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Editor's note: This article was submitted by Natalie Slyman, the director of content and social media at Influence & Co. Natalie loves telling stories, cooking, and her two cats, Roxanne and Priscilla.


Wouldn't it be wonderful to have the gif
t of seeing into the future? There'd be no surprises, no "gotcha" moments. You'd know exactly what to expect, and you'd be able to completely prepare yourself and your team for whatever's next in the world of content marketing.

While we can't know the future, we can look to the trends and technologies that are shaping the marketing industry today and predict what they could mean for brands and content marketers in 2019.

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Editor's note: This article was originally written by Amanda Zantal-Wiener (@amanda_zwpublished on HubSpot, and has been reprinted with permission. Zantal-Wiener covers tech news for the HubSpot Marketing Blog. 

Earlier this year, a handful of my extremely bright and capable colleagues compiled a report on topic clusters. Now first, what the heck is a topic cluster?

A topic cluster is a method that uses a single "pillar page" as the main hub of content for a given topic. All of your content assets related to that topic link back to the pillar page— and the pillar links out to each asset.

Here's why it's critical to your content strategy.

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Content production is one of the more time-consuming functions of a modern marketer. Most people spend 2-3 hours writing a single blog post, and many brands publish multiple times per week—sometimes multiple times per day.

This production rate is required, considering that 84% of people expect brands to provide content that entertains, tells stories, provides solutions and creates experiences and events.

That’s a tall order.

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Have you ever experienced writer’s block? If you’re a content marketer like me, chances are you have. 

Fortunately, there are ways to overcome this blank page problem, but first—let’s take a step back. 

The earliest signs of content marketing date back to 4200 B.C. in cave paintings. Marketers have been telling stories to drive engagement and generate leads for years in some form or another. But, the future of marketing resides in the hands of those creating compelling content that inspires action. 

The rest? Well, it's just noise.

According to Hosting Facts, more than two million blog posts are published every day to the web. Knowing this, it’s imperative for content marketers to tap into their creative side to develop content that attracts and retains key audiences. But how you ask?

Follow along for four tips and tricks to get your creative juices flowing inside (and out) of the office to help your content breakthrough the overwhelming noise and reach the most relevant audiences.

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Consider your approach to writing a stellar piece of content. 

You spend time researching the topic, gathering resources, organizing your ideas, drafting an outline, transforming your outline into a rich first draft, passing it off for a review, making final tweaks... Phew! 

Hours later— probably at least two hours, according to Hubspot— your final product is informative, resource-rich and memorable. You’ve invested a great deal of time to ensure that your audience consumes the best piece of content you can create. 

After all that effort, you’re doing yourself a disservice to only spend 45 seconds sharing it on your social media profiles and moving on to the next project. It’s time to make your content work harder.

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Editor's Note: The following excerpt originally appeared in Content Marketing Fast Forward. See the full article here

Despite advances in marketing automation, much of the technology marketers rely on to plan, execute, and evaluate content marketing campaigns is elementary. But artificial intelligence (AI) possesses the power to change everything. Artificial intelligence is the science of making machines smarter, which in turn augments human knowledge and capabilities.

While traditional marketing technology is built on algorithms in which humans code sets of instructions that tell machines what to do, with AI the machine creates its own algorithms, determines new paths and unlocks unlimited potential to advance marketing and business.

It may seem like a futuristic concept, but AI-powered technologies are already being used today by companies like Amazon, Salesforce, and HubSpot to improve marketing and sales. In the process, AI will change how brands organize their content marketing.

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Goal-oriented marketers aim to produce top-notch results that prove their efforts are worth it. Take content creation: We want to produce the most effective assets, reach the right audiences, and in turn, gain more website visitors, obtain leads and boost our site’s rank. 

But, while a good content asset is useful, what if you aren’t reaching the right audiences? Or, what if you aren’t reaching any audience at all, and your time is wasted on stale or unusable content?

As a simple example, take into account the amount of time it takes to produce a blog post. According to HubSpot, about 30% of marketers spend two to three hours writing blog posts. Now, multiply that by the two, three or four posts you’re producing in a week, and suddenly, you’ve devoted almost an entire workday to blog production, just to have no one read your efforts.

This is where maximum content distribution comes into play. Read below to learn several different promotion strategies, along with ideas to maximize your content’s ROI across three different types of audiences.

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The following is a guest post by John Hall. John Hall
 (@johnhall) is the CEO of  Influence & Co. , a keynote speaker, and the author of " Top of Mind ." You can book John to speak  here .


If I asked you to close your eyes and picture the two people you trust most in the whole world, who would you see? I see my wife and my mother. Years of offering wise counsel, challenging me to grow, and teaching me something new have fostered an incredible bond of trust and respect between us.

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We’re in the thick of a new year, and like many professionals, marketers are searching for the next top trends to drive results in 2017. 

This and every year, we search for ways to break through the clutter to ensure our content reaches the right audience at the right time. But with the number of bloggers projected to hit more than 31 million by 2020 in the U.S., it’s our duty to seek out and test the hottest trends to make our content stand apart from the rest. 

According to a 2016 study by Content Marketing Institute, B2C marketers ranked the following as top content priorities:

  • 73% indicate that they want to create more engaging content.
  • 55% want to create more visual content.
  • 44% say that better repurposing content is a must.

Luckily, there’s a surefire strategy that satisfies the needs listed above: visual content marketing. Let’s face the facts that our audience craves visuals: The brain processes visuals 60,000 times faster than text, and we read only 28% of written content. 

Are you still contemplating how you’ll incorporate visual content marketing into your 2017 strategy? Check out the list below for three ways to rely on visuals this year to drive results.

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As content marketing continues to evolve, businesses across the globe have adopted it at a rapid pace. And that’s not stopping in 2017.

So what’s predicted to become of content marketing this year? To help cut through the clutter, I've compiled influencer trends from top shared posts based on BuzzSumo data from the past year.

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