The Lean Content Marketing Blog

How to get more return on investment from content

Curated content

Can You Afford The 10 Creative Types Needed To Build A Killer Content Marketing Team?

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Creating content, especially in a lean marketing team, is an all-hands-on-deck endeavor. Having a dream team in place to create not only the social posts, blog pieces, and video snippets, but the strategy, big picture campaigns and creative long-term vision should be a top priority for marketers in 2015.

Source: www.b2bmarketinginsider.com

Michael Brenner makes an interesting list of all the various creative talents you would need in an ideal Content Marketing team. But while there’s no denying that this would be a dream team, it’s anything but lean.

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5 Top Marketing Experts, 15 Ideas and 2 ROI Analysis on Repurposing Content

Repurposing content

Repurposing is a key strategy of the lean content marketing methodology. Megan Marrs has 11 interesting best practices and ideas on how to repurpose content efficiently in this great post which made me want to elaborate on this topic.

So here’s the take of several other content marketing experts on the value of repurposing content, a cheat sheet that summarizes key ideas to repurpose content (Megan’s 11 plus 4 others I added) as well as the ROI analysis of two of our own experiment with content repurposing.

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7 Actionable blogging tips for content marketers that are proven to get results

Blogging remains the pillar of content marketing, particularly for SMBs. But when you browse many company’s websites, you realize their blog is under optimized.

 

So why is blogging for content marketing so difficult?

1. It’s hard to maintain the discipline: even when you have an in-house team of content writers, creating content is time consuming and it takes a lot of efforts to maintain the rhythm. Publishing great content on a consistent basis costs a lot.

2. It’s easy to get demotivated by the lack of impact. Initially a blog doesn’t get much traffic so for ROI-driven management team, it’s tempting to dismiss it into the “tried this; didn’t work” category.

Fortunately, getting results out of your content marketing in general and out of your blogging efforts in particular is accessible to anyone. Sure, it requires some particular techniques but the good news is they’re not particularly hard to implement.

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Create great content by leveraging your analytics

content marketing analytics

It’s 5:02 a.m. on Friday as I am writing this. The dog is on the floor licking…something (he likes to lick a lot!) and my wife is asleep beside me in bed.
The last 10 minutes have gone something like this:
• What’s happening on Twitter? Boring.
• How about Facebook? Someone else got engaged. Yay for them.
• Any new emails? Delete. Delete. Inbox Zero!
• Hmm…

Source: blog.bufferapp.com

We’ve all been where Bryan Harris was when he wrote the above introduction to this post. As bloggers or content marketers, we always hear that voice in the back of our heads.

When are you going to just sit down and write that post? What are you even going to write about? How are you going to actually make an impact with the finished product?

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The one decision we all make constantly. Or why we must curate or die in 2015.

The key to success in a myriad of web content that may drown us in 2015 is to curate content. The whys and hows are explained in-depth inside this article.

Source: www.searchenginejournal.com

It’s interesting to see that content curation is evolving from an opportunity to a necessity as Julia McCoy from ExpressWriters recently noted in the Search Engine Journal explaining how we must curate content in 2015.

Why is that happening? Why is this accelerating?

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6 Email Marketing Secrets from Marketo

According to research performed earlier in 2014 by Gigaom and reported by eMarketer, email marketing is still the most commonly used method of digital marketing, with a whopping 86% of respondents claiming to use it. If that’s not enough, though, over half (59%) of B2B marketers surveyed by HubSpot say that email marketing is the most effective channel for generating revenue.

With this in mind, I’ve taken an extensive look at Marketo’s Email Lookbook 2014 with the goals of pulling secrets, tips, and email marketing best practices from each section of the report and sharing them in an easily digestible way. (To read the whole report, click here!)

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5 Top Trends Emerging From CMI’s 60 Content Marketing Predictions for 2015 eBook

It’s time for our annual eBook of content marketing predictions. Read on to see what big trends, changes, and advances experts see on the horizon for our industry in the upcoming year.

Source: contentmarketinginstitute.com

What are the content marketing trends for next year? The Content Marketing Institute asked thought leaders around the world for their predictions and compiled that in this ebook. 

You can read mine above but there I encourage you to read the ebook for others as well. 

Jay Baer’s (slide 10) is particularly interesting:

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How the right influencer strategy can amplify your content marketing

 

To rise above the noise, convey a message and mobilize buyers, content marketers are turning to influencers.

Source: www.slideshare.net

Scaling Content Marketing is the key area of focus for many marketers these days. A number of strategies are being offered by experts, social networks or distribution platforms including the most natural one to them: pay for play. As Mark Schaefer wrote earlier this year, Content Marketing could be the victim of its own success if content strategists don’t put in place strategies to overcome the content abundance that results in diminishing returns. Earlier this year, Facebook for instance admitted to de-prioritize the organic reach of content from Facebook pages as users are more and more publishing content to more and more friends. The solution, they say? Buy ads to boost your post. And as LinkedIn and Twitter are also massively dependent on advertising revenue, this trend is here for good.

As mentioned in my reply to Mark, I believe there are ways to overcome content shock and scale Content Marketing through Lean Content. Interest-based content curation is an answer in the broad sense as it’s about leveraging existing content rather than adding to it but the team at Traackr puts it in a more specific context: influencer amplification.

Their point is a clear one: rather than paying for distribution, getting influencers to amplify your reach is a much more efficient approach.

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SEO: what it used to be vs what it is now

SEO: what it used to be vs what it is now

With Panda, Penguin and all the other Google updates, SEO has changed over the years. What used to work doesn’t anymore.

Source: www.quicksprout.com

As many have observed for some time now, SEO has completely changed over the past few years. From being machine-centric, it became people-centric. But what does it mean concretely to content marketers?

This infographic by Neil Patel gives a number of interesting points, a couple of which I want to comment:

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Be Human in Your Content Marketing

Don't be a robot content marketer

Here’s one of the most significant tenets of content marketing: People like to do business with other people. They don’t like to do business with faceless, anonymous, inhuman brands or big corporations.

Source: www.business2community.com

Occasionally people ask us how they could fully automate their content publishing. They’d like to not only get content suggestions automatically but also that this content be published automatically. They’d want to set up once and then forget their content marketing while just reaping the benefits of it. I don’t blame them and I even understand them. But content simply doesn’t work that way for the precise reason Amanda Clark from Grammar Chic introduces this post we’ve curated.

Communication is fundamentally human.

It’s not just an ethical question but it’s also a matter of efficiency

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Inbound Marketing: the power of content curation

Inbound marketing is definitely more efficient and appealing to the sophisticated modern customer than traditional interruptive outbound techniques. But for inbound marketing to work, you need to have its lifeblood: content.

Source: www.slideshare.net

This Slideshare is from a talk @Marc Rougier recently gave on how content curation helps to solve inbound marketing #1 pain point: scaling the content you publish to feed your landing pages and conversion loops.

Content curation has played an important role in content marketing for some time now. And as content Marketing and inbound marketing are converging – especially for B2B marketers who are looking for ROI – we wanted to look specifically at what it brought to inbound marketers specifically.

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Are you using Lego blocks to make your Content Marketing lean?

Creating original content on an ongoing basis can be a challenge, so most marketers practice the fine art of content repurposing.

Source: www.toprankblog.com

As a kid my favorite game was to play Lego and build, deconstruct and rebuild stuff (spaceships mostly: I’m a geek…). As a father, I’ve been fascinated to see that construction game becoming my kids’ favorite too and see what they came out with in terms of new ideas to build. This is what this post by Leed Odden made me think about so here’s a good question for all content marketers:

Are you thinking of your content as modular lego-type building blocks?

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3 Practical Ideas To Make Content Marketing Everybody’s Job

content marketing should be team work

“The need for content has moved beyond a traditional marketing department’s ability to create and is now everyone’s job.”

Source: www.ducttapemarketing.com

Or why Content Marketing needs to grow beyond the marketing team (as I also wrote about in that post). Now, where I disagree with John Jantsch is when he uses the word “creation”. I talk to hundreds of business owners, entrepreneurs and even VP Marketing at larger companies which all tell me how incredibly hard it is to get non-marketers to create content.

Don’t fool yourself: you won’t get everybody to create content.

But here’s what you can do very easily.

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3 Key Take-Aways for Content Marketers From the 2015 CMI/MarketingProfs Benchmark

“This is the fifth year that MarketingProfs and Content Marketing Institute have put together this report on how marketers use content in their marketing mix. With changes in the industry, the report may look a little different than you remember.”

Source: www.slideshare.net

Content Marketing is being adopted very quickly, especially by B2B Marketers. The Content Marketing Institute together with MarketingProfs published this great report that gives many enlightening facts about the key challenges they face and how they resolve them.

Among other great findings, here’s what I found particularly interesting:

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If you still think curation doesn’t add value, watch this music video

This guy created a remix of 23 music videos from YouTube to create awesomeness.

Source: www.youtube.com

Ever since we started working on content curation, we’ve had this question: is content curation adding value? Is it stealing? Is it repeating like a parrot?

And ever since we started, we’ve seen more and more examples of how the remix culture is becoming a massive trend.

Just like good DJ’s, good content curators are creating something new out of the existing by not only aggregating but giving new meaning to content.

This video made me speechless. Isn’t it amazing?

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Can you afford to have a content strategy that isn’t lean?

“As content marketing has become a vital strategy for brands and agencies, the need to measure the success of that content has grown as well.  An Aberdeen Group report revealed that the most effective content marketers are also those most likely to measure.”

Source: blog.visual.ly

This report by the Aberdeen Group highlights the need to measure results as a key success factor in content marketing.

Beyond this key findings – companies which measure tend to do better – there are interesting numbers as those in the above chart. The companies surveyed in this report had a customer acquisition cost of $20-$30,000.

Does this feel a lot to you?

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Third-party content is 4x to 7x more trusted than your own

“I had always believed that most of the marketing content used by a company should be developed internally (…). Because of three recent research studies, I now have a different view on this issue.”

Source: customerthink.com

Some people still think that the only type of content that can demonstrate your expertise and show your thought leadership is the one you create.

If you’re still thinking that, think again as the data has spoken.

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16 B2B Content Marketing Stats You Need to Know Today

Jeff Zabin, CEO of Starfleet Media and celebrated business researcher, recently released his 2014 Benchmark Report on B2B Content Marketing and Lead Generation. The report was created with the intention of “provid[ing] a rich, up-to-date snapshot of how B2B companies are creating, licensing and utilizing content assets in their incessant quest to demonstrate thought leadership, raise brand visibility, and, perhaps most importantly, generate qualified leads.”

B2B content marketing is a unique field that’s still constantly developing, and this report has some important insights into it’s current state as well as where it’s headed. I’d recommend reading it for yourself, but in the meantime, I’ve pulled out some of the most interesting statistics and findings.

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10 Inspiring Quotes From the Best B2B Content Marketing Experts

One thing I pride myself on – and you’ll know this if you’ve read anything I’ve written in the past – is always continuing my quest for new knowledge. One of the most important parts of working in a field that evolves so quickly is keeping up with the trends and the experts.

If you’re a content marketer, digital marketer, or B2B professional in need of some inspiration, I’ve got some for you. Read, learn, be inspired, and share!

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5 Ways To Prove To Your Boss You Need Content Curation

Have You Made the Business Case For Content Curation? If not, this data will help persuade your management to invest in content curation.

Source: heidicohen.com

This is a solid summary by Heidi Cohen on why content curation is besoming essential to businesses. Its role to content strategy mix has evolved from being anecdotical a few years ago to becoming central as it not only helps fill the gap but provides meaningful synergies for your created content.

 

Now as Heidi puts it, content curation is not free: while it’s – as she puts it – “a low cost way to fill your content marketing pipeline“, low doesn’t mean zero. I still regularly have debates with people who think that automated aggregation can replace content curation: it doesn’t. There’s no way to set it up once and forget about it. You’ll need to invest as little as 15 minutes a day to achieve results but these 15′ need to be spent.

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Must Read Report: The Internet’s Latest Disruption – Knowledge

Know or die: risk and opportunity of Knowledge 2.0

“And the web stormed the enterprise and disrupted roles, tasks and jobs: it cast speed, openness, flexibility and efficiency throughout, sparing no business processes: manufacturing, logistic, accounting, customer relation management, lead generation…”

The digital mutation is also profoundly disrupting how knowledge is acquired, organized and shared. Knowledge is an intangible, yet strategic asset of any enterprise. With businesses becoming more virtual and dematerialized, its value is patently and rapidly growing.

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Social Media Engagement is Not a Strategy

 

Social media marketers are keen to drive engagement but it may not necessarily be a viable strategy. In fact, it comes at a cost.

Source: www.slideshare.net

Mark Schaefer has a great point: we often confuse the means with the end.

In a blog post that I wrote a couple weeks ago, I explained why I thought social media publishing was dead – as we know it. One of these points was that the impact of publishing on social media for our goals is the combination of volume, quality and engagement. As Mark explains, engagement is only one variable in that equation.

So how can you convert your social media activity to make it count towards your goals?

One of the important basic first step you can take is to make sure you publish through a content hub that you can make your own and from where you can convert visitors: to subscribe to your content, to reshare your previously published content or to sign up for whatever pre-sales activity makes sense in your business.

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How Content Curation and Repurposing Extend the Life of Your Content Marketing

Content Repurposing – Updating or changing content into a different form than the original to serve a different audience or the same audience differently.

Source: www.toprankblog.com

When I started to publish content, I felt frustrated that it didn’t have the impact I wanted. I had spent hours, sometimes day on trying to get thoughts, data and examples together and when hitting publish, the post only lasted for a few minutes before being drowned in the social media flow. 

Several techniques like the ones Lee Odden mentions here addressing just that and prevents your content from “melting like wet snow as soon as it hits the ground“.

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5 Ways to Beat Content Marketing Overload

This intensive guide created by Vocus was inspired by Mark Schaefer’s infamous Content Shock theory of a few months back. He essentially states that soon, there will be too much content for anyone to stand out and that marketers need to start taking actions to combat this unfavorable outcome sooner than later.

I’d recommend content marketers to read this entire guide and note some of the tips inside, but here are a few of the key takeaways worth noting.

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