4 Case Studies Show How to Crush It With Out-of-the-Box Content Marketing

By Leslie Carruthers


This post was co-written by Shopify’s Casandra Campbell.

Content marketing can be a valuable tool for nearly any company, in nearly any industry, at nearly any point in the sales funnel. But with the glut of content available, how does a brand create and distribute content that allows the company (and the audience) to experience that value?

We sent out a request for examples of awesome content marketing via HARO and other channels. In this article, we highlight four out-of-the-box case studies that show how content marketing can be used to create true value.

Shutterstock’s annual Creative Trends infographic

Shutterstock is one of the largest online marketplaces for licensing royalty-free images, videos, and music. For its annual Creative Trends report, Shutterstock analyzes its customers’ search and download data to predict the styles and trends that will dominate the coming year and distributes results in the form of an infographic hosted on its site.


Shutterstock uses its proprietary data to create something genuinely useful for its two audiences – customers and contributors.

Shutterstock uses its proprietary data to create something genuinely useful for its two audiences – customers and contributors.


Shutterstock reports its 2017 Creative Trends infographic earned:

  • Mentions in more than 100 articles
  • 6 billion unique site visits
  • 5,300 social media shares, 11,000 social media engagements

Why we love it

Creating one piece of content to serve multiple audiences is usually a bad idea. By trying to serve too many types of reader, you typically end up making your content too broad and readers lose interest.

Creating one piece of #content to serve multiple audiences is usually a bad idea. @TheSearchGuru @Casandra_Camp
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However, Shutterstock …read more

Source:: content marketing

Road Map to Success: Resources to Refresh Your Content Marketing Program

By Jodi Harris


No matter how far you’ve come in your content marketing career – and how much you continue to progress – there are always a few things you wish you were better at, understood more deeply, or had known about earlier.

On my career path, I traveled from print journalism to public relations to digital publishing before arriving at the content marketing crossroads. At that point, I needed to get up to speed on some fundamentals that hadn’t factored into my previous roles; so I turned to informational resources like CMI to power my journey of discovery. (Yep, I relied on content marketing to strengthen my ability to be a content marketer.)

There’s always more to learn; but my self-education efforts have helped me to bridge some knowledge gaps, develop new skills and techniques, and produce better results for my clients and content partners.

I thought I would return the favor by revisiting the fundamentals of successful content marketing from top to bottom. Think of this post as a road map to CMI’s best resources on topics where you or your team might benefit from a refresher course or an expanded view.

What is content marketing?

Like most things in life, you can’t reach your full potential for success with content marketing until you understand exactly what it is (and what it isn’t) – including how it’s defined, what business goals it can help you achieve, and what roles it should play in relation to your other marketing disciplines and techniques.

#Contentmarketing success starts with knowing what it is AND what it isn’t, says @joderama.
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While some circles of the digital industry have yet to agree on a definitive characterization of the technique, the definition we use at CMI represents the consensus:

Content marketing is the strategic marketing approach of creating …read more

Source:: content marketing

4 Unconventional Ways to Promote Blog Content on Social Media

By David Zheng


Remember when you could write an amazing blog post, paste the link with a featured image, and hit share on social to see your web traffic grow?

The same old content promotion tactics don’t work anymore. With organic reach rapidly declining on social media, you need new ways to effectively promote blog content without paying for it.

In this post, I’ll walk you through four effective and unconventional ways to promote your blog content on social media without paying for it.

Let’s jump right in.

1. Use Facebook Live

It’s no secret reaching people with content (organically) on Facebook is tough. In fact, it’s almost futile.

Reaching people with #content organically on @Facebook is almost futile, says @Nansida.
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Image source

Unless you’ve got millions of fans, your organic reach is going to be tiny. Boosting posts is an option but likely not a sustainable plan for all your content.

But what else is there?

Well, one of the most underused forms of content promotion on Facebook is live video.

Daily watch time for Facebook Live content has grown by more than four times since its launch in 2016. On top of that, users comment on Facebook Live videos at 10 times the rate of standard content. Even Facebook has dumped millions into paying influencers to use Facebook Live.

Daily watch time for Facebook Live broadcasts has grown by more than 4x since 2016 via @Facebook.
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How do you use Facebook Live to promote your latest blog post? Go live and announce it. When you do, a notification is sent to all your followers and fans even if the video is only a few minutes long.

Use @Facebook Live to …read more

Source:: content marketing

5 Brands Share Their Content Marketing Process

By Nichole DeMeré


It’s a hazard of the job for content marketers. When you read or see a piece of high-quality content, you wonder how it got created. You ask yourself, “What does this company do to create great content? Is it great for business too?”

The simple answer is high-quality content serves both audience and business. “It’s written in such an energetic and engaging way that it will trigger the audience to take actions,” says Massimo Chieruzzi, CEO of AdEspresso.

If great #content is written in an engaging way it will trigger the audience to take action. @MassimoCw
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Nathan Ellering, head of demand generation at CoSchedule, says high-quality content is synonymous with highest-performing content. At his firm, that content includes five distinct characteristics: great topic, well-researched, optimized for search engines, comprehensive plus actionable, and optimized to capture leads.

High-quality content is synonymous with highest-performing #content, says @njellering.
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Quality content is “powerful enough to stop people in their tracks, make them think, and debate with themselves or others. It is user-centric, capable of solving a user’s most painful challenges,” according to Hotjar’s Louis Grenier and Fio Dossetto.

Quality #content is capable of solving a user’s most painful challenges, says @LouisSlices & @content101. ‏
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Content marketing strategists from these three brands plus two more willingly shared how they ideate, strategize, and produce that high-quality content, and evaluate its success. Read on to get some tips and insight that you can incorporate into your content marketing process.

Massimo Chieruzzi, CEO, AdEspresso


We have internal and external copywriters based on the topic. Data-driven articles usually are written in-house. We typically pay above market rates to secure the best writers and avoid high turnover.


Source:: content marketing

How to Set Your Content Free for a Mobile, Voice, Ready-for-Anything Future

By Marcia Riefer Johnston


Do you tune out when people talk about structured content? The conversations can get stunningly abstract. Stodgy even. And the way some people talk about structured content, it can come off as a miracle cure: Lower costs! Happier audiences! Efficiency! Accuracy! Consistency! Set your content free!

Hard to picture? Sound too good to be true?

Having worked with structured content as a technical writer (creating user manuals for medical devices), I’m here to tell you this approach can deliver on its promises. Yes, you must update your processes. Yes, you must determine what kind of structure makes sense for your content and your customers. Yes, you may need a new CMS and maybe even new team members.

And yes, you may look back and declare all those changes worth making.

In her Content Marketing World talk, Structuring Content for Dynamic Storytelling, content strategist Carrie Hane details what it means to set your content free by structuring it – and why marketers should care. In this post, I share some of her insights.

Structured content: A recap

As Carrie defines it, structured content is “information that is planned, developed, and connected outside of an interface.” It’s ready to be used in any interface with any style. It enables both people and machines to manipulate and consume content.

Rather than create content in a formatted blob, as shown in this typical blog-post entry screen …


… you create content in unformatted, labeled chunks that resemble fields on a form.

Structured content is unformatted, label chunks that resemble fields on a form, says @CarrieHD.
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In Carrie’s structured example, the system recognizes the …read more

Source:: content marketing

How to Get Listeners to Push Play on Your Podcast [Examples From Boss Brands]

By Jodi Harris


For a growing number of brands, the story of standout content marketing success in 2018 might just sound like a podcast.

Though podcasting certainly isn’t a new medium, it has come into its own as a content platform over the last few years. With the success of high-profile series like Serial and S-Town, highly successful podcast networks like Wondery and Gimlet, and the growing legitimization of audio content as a vehicle for high-caliber performers and other creative talent, consistent audio storytelling can offer businesses the chance to win massive audience attention for their brand messages – and do so in a way that many feel to be less “markety” than other scripted content formats.

Power of the podcast

Just how large an opportunity could podcasting represent for marketers? Consider these findings on its engagement benefits from Edison Research’s 2017 Podcast Consumers report:

  • Listener growth is strong: The percent of monthly podcast listeners has increased from 21% to 24% of the population year over year.

The % of monthly #podcast listeners has increased from 21% to 24% of the population YOY, via @EdisonResearch.
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  • Adoption is surging among younger adult audiences: Forty-four percent of consumers age 18 to 34 consume at least one podcast a month.

44% of consumers age 18 to 34 consume at least one #podcast a month via @EdisonResearch.
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  • Podcasts capture – and sustain – the audience’s attention: Fifty-five percent of podcast consumers listen to most of each episode they download, and 75% listen to more than half of each episode. And, while the format only accounts for 2% of the audio content consumed by listeners, it is the No. 1 audio source based on time of consumption (30%).

#Podcasts are the No. 1 audio source based on time of consumption via @EdisonResearch.
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Beyond those …read more

Source:: content marketing

Ready to ‘Fire’ Your Content Team?

By Ann Gynn


Have you ever had one of those days where you wish you could start your content marketing team over? One of those days when you want to fire everybody, figure out what you really need, and then hire (or rehire) as needed?

That moment of frustration likely ended quickly because you knew firing your content team wasn’t an option and probably wasn’t the best solution.

But don’t ignore the thought and just push past the pain. Take that negative thought as a signal you need to reflect on why you’re feeling that way – to identify what isn’t working and what practical solutions may be possible. Here are a few questions and tips to help guide you through that process.

If it’s the foundation …

Before you look at the team or the individuals, assess whether your content marketing program is set up for success. Your team needs to work from a strong foundation to have any chance of achievement.

1. Do you have a documented content marketing strategy?

Your strategy is essential to ensuring that your team is operating from the same page. Your strategy should communicate all the relevant elements your team needs to know – purpose, goals, audience, style guide, metrics, etc.

HANDPICKED RELATED CONTENT: Developing a Content Marketing Strategy

2. Do you have buy-in from company leadership, including executives in interconnected departments?

Operating the content marketing team in a silo is a recipe for frustration. If your organization as a whole as well as individual departments (especially sales) haven’t bought in or worse, don’t even know about the content marketing strategy, you must bring them into the conversation.

3. Have all team members been informed of the strategy?

If you have the foundational document, you must deliberately distribute it to the …read more

Source:: content marketing

How to Curate Content Like A Pro: 8 Lessons [Examples]

By Heidi Cohen


Editor’s note: Even if you read this title when CMI published it three years ago, you’ll find the updated information and new examples helpful to your content curation.

Content curation taps into the power of existing owned, social, and third-party media to enhance and extend your content marketing resources.

This doesn’t mean content curation is free.

Rather, curated content is more cost effective than brand-spanking-new content. Even better, content curation enables you to maximize the full potential of existing content across your organization.

To ensure that we’re on the same page, here’s my content curation definition:

To meet your audience’s information needs, content curation is the assembly, selection, categorization, commentary, and presentation of the most relevant quality information. You add your human editorial perspective while integrating your 360-degree brand.

While saving your audience valuable time, content curation isn’t a cheap substitute for original content creation. Rather, content curation yields measurable benefits aligned with your business goals. It:

  • Fills your editorial calendar with quality content from a variety of voices
  • Extends the life of existing content across your organization, including non-marketing information
  • Supports ongoing content amplification and distribution

#Contentcuration isn’t a cheap substitute for original content, says @HeidiCohen.
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By contrast, content aggregation is the compilation of information, references, or links. While it looks like content curation, content aggregation lacks unique editorial input and commentary.

While most content marketing research no longer tracks the use of content curation as a separate category, Jebbit’s Jenna Keegan recommends marketers ideally strive to curate 25% of their content.

Marketers should strive to curate 25% of their #content, says @jennakeegs.
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Based on my experience, marketers can use content curation at least once a month or as frequently as once a week. Here’s how a monthly content curation plan might look:

<img src="http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/content-curation-600×226.png" alt="content-curation" width="600" height="226" srcset="http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/content-curation-600×226.png 600w, http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/content-curation-125×47.png 125w, …read more

Source:: content marketing

How to Build a Content Calendar That Goes Way Beyond the Basics

By Kim Moutsos

Click to enlarge

Is there anything left to say about how to put together a content calendar?

Between Content Marketing Institute writers and guest contributors, we’ve covered basic content calendar tips (including templates and examples) thoroughly over the years.

But as your organization’s content marketing maturity increases, you may outgrow your existing approach.

How will you know?

Most likely, you’ll know because you start to feel growing pains, often when you’re considering how to expand the scope of your content programs to include new initiatives (a print magazine, a new blog, podcast, or video series) or how to centralize management and governance of distributed content projects within one team. You may find yourself (and your team) struggling for efficiency when planning and tracking production, or optimizing, refreshing, and reusing your content.

You can alleviate the pain with an advanced approach to managing a content calendar. This advanced approach should give your team:

  • A single source for the status of in-progress content on different channels
  • A way to track your content’s use by teams in different internal brands, divisions, or countries
  • The ability to track related and repurposed content through metadata for better content governance

To pull this off, you may need a new calendar tool and new processes, or you may simply need to adapt the processes you use with your existing tool.

First, though, let’s clear up any potential confusion around what I mean by a content calendar.

A content calendar by any other name

In Content Marketing Institute articles, you probably see “content calendar” and “editorial calendar” used interchangeably. Are they the same thing?

The term “editorial calendar” sometimes refers to a published list of issue themes and dates that sales teams use to book advertising into publications. This kind of editorial calendar typically includes a general description of what’s in each issue but remains vague enough to allow for changes …read more

Source:: content marketing

How to Audit Your Content: 5 Essential Steps

By Marcia Riefer Johnston


Look up “audit” in any dictionary. The first definition should be: “Ugh.” Who on earth would choose to spend time auditing content, let alone teaching others how to do it?

A content strategist like Laura Creekmore, that’s who. Someone who knows that without a deep understanding of your existing content, you’re working in the dark.

In Laura’s Content Marketing World talk, Conducting a Content Audit, she answers the basic questions any marketer might have about this formidable, invaluable task. She starts with these two definitions to ground the conversation:

  • A content inventory is a list of content items, just like the kind of list you’d make if you managed The Gap and took inventory of all the clothing in your store.
  • A content audit is an analysis of the inventory. It’s a foundational part of a content strategy.

Earlier CMI posts on content audits focus on questions of the what, why, when, and who. Here I focus on the how through the five steps Laura outlines:

  1. Identify your main goal.
  2. Identify the content to include.
  3. Define your inventory/audit facets.
  4. Inventory the content to be audited.
  5. Audit the content in your inventory.

1. Identify your main goal

What content problems do you most want to address? Choose your audit’s main goal accordingly; your goal determines everything you do in your inventory and audit.

For example, if your goal is to figure out how to organize the content you’ll bring into a new CMS, you may want to spend zero time evaluating messages for consistency.

Other possible goals:

  • Get rid of ROT (redundant, outdated, or trivial content).
  • Understand the scope of your content of all types.
  • Determine SEO effectiveness. (If this is your main goal, Laura encourages you to audit for one of these other goals as well.)
  • Compare content quality to a standard (such as accessibility or reading levels).
  • Evaluate content for consistent messaging.
  • Assess which content …read more

    Source:: content marketing