Content marketers are always open to consuming more content.
Well … good content. Am I right?
As a content marketer myself, I’m always on the hunt for good content as a way to improve and learn more. I recently went through some pretty hefty content planning activities and a shift in approach, so I’ve been consuming a lot of content for content marketers.
Like a lot, a lot.
But I ended up keeping track of the quality resources I wanted to have for easy reference (way more than 25!). While scanning through the list, I figured, why not share this list with others out there, so all our readers can benefit from this wicked compilation of resources, too? Of course, to challenge myself and keep everything fresh, I put restrictions on this list to only be amazing content published in 2016.
So here it is! 25 amazing content marketing resources so far in 2016.
How you go about consuming all this content is up to you. Maybe you want to have a content marketing marathon (all the power to you, there’s no way my brain could digest all this info in one go), or maybe you want to pick and choose what you read based on where your business is at today. Whichever approach you choose, I guarantee there’ll be something you can learn from these 25 content marketing resources.
3 … 2 … GO! (Ha, tricked ya!)
Setting the Stage for Content Success
– Search Engine Journal
While some may say goal setting is a periodic thing, I say ‘heck no!’ I mean, generally speaking organizations tend to set goals for the year, and for each quarter on this more periodic schedule, but regardless of where you are in your planning cycle, it’s always a great time to set a goal. Particularly if you don’t already have a well-defined plan.
This post is a great idea-generator to provide some fodder for what those goals might look like in content.
If you want to be the best, isn’t it smart to learn from the best? That’s why Michelle Manafy broke down the habits of successful content marketers. While this post doesn’t go too deep into each component (that’s what the other 24 resources are for!), it’s a great inspirational piece to shortlist some key priorities for nailing this content marketing thing!
– Content Marketing Institute
Building on Search Engine Journal’s post (#1), this piece from Neil Patel dives deep into the reason many content teams are struggling and why it all relates back to a lack of a documented strategy with proper tactics.
A seriously ‘down and dirty’ post, this one will give you all the step-by-step instructions you ever wanted to start setting those SMART goals and taking action right away!
– Crazy Egg
We all know what personas are. And surely we have them created for the organization as a whole. But are you thinking about them when you write each piece of content?
This post highlights why that’s an important exercise and how it will help you to bring out the human element of your writing. In addition, it goes in depth on how to create these content personas and implement them in your day-to-day content creation. This means your content will be more relatable to your target audience and — by default — more effective.
As content becomes more of a priority and content teams expand, we all need to give some thought to how our team will progress and scale in the future (whether we’re a leader, a contributor, or some combination of the two).
Skyword explored what content teams might look like in the future and how individual contributors that may not exist or may bog down the system now will molded into beautiful brand storytellers. It’s pretty magnificent and it’s backed in data so … read on!
At some point along your content journey, you’ve likely heard about this thing called video. If your content strategy is going to be successful, it’ll need to have a video component. Flat out.
I initially came up with the concept of this guide because I knew, as a content marketer, how helpful it would be to have an asset that walked me through the process of setting a video marketing strategy step by step. Almost like a video marketing counsellor.
So that’s what this does. Download it, follow the steps, and fill it out within the PDF. By the end, voila: you’ll have a complete video strategy!
Attracting Hungry Eyeballs (A.K.A. Traffic)
– Search Engine Land
Apparently content marketers are guilty of not thinking about search when they’re creating content. Err … I don’t possibly know what they’re talking about. Okay, okay it’s true. I constantly have to remind myself of this, still!
This resource is a wicked summary of all the things we should be doing to keep SEO top of mind and ensure we’re getting that extra boost from the oh-so-powerful wizards at Google. (Oh and Bing, etc. but … well … you know.)
This post rules my B2B world. Buzzsumo analyzed over 100,000 posts to determine the secrets to content that gets shared across 100 B2B sites. From benchmark social shares for each platform to the type of posts that outperform their peers, this post has a comprehensive collection of super-relevant data on B2B social sharing.
There’s not much to say on this one. Blog titles are such a small thing that non-content marketers think we probably whip up in a matter of seconds. But in reality, they can take much longer and ultimately have a massive impact on blog success.
This post goes through what makes up a successful blog headline (where ‘successful’ is defined by traffic and social shares).
On another note, I’ve also used CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer (yes, I actually have it bookmarked) to help me narrow down blog headlines and get closer to a catchy and shareable title. Obviously it’s not going to present you with a title on a silver platter out of nowhere, but it’ll definitely help point you in the right direction and refine your working titles.
Building a Slick Content Workflow and Process
– Content Marketing Institute
As an organizational nerd, I just love the idea of creating more efficient workflows. Especially coming from an organization that works so collaboratively. In this piece, Raechel from CMI discusses a large handful of opportunities for structured workflows in the content marketing process including producing content, understanding where the dependencies lie, and creating more structure and speed around approvals and reducing re-work. Dreamy.
– Hubspot and Uberflip
I’ve learned so much from Hubspot’s approaches to repurposing content and optimizing existing blog posts in the last year, it’s really pretty nuts.
Recently, Hubspot and Uberflip came together for a live Google Hangout to chat about some of these approaches and it was such a helpful, info-packed conversation in such a casual style, I just loved it. I guarantee you will, too.
– Content Marketing Institute
Yes, this is the second post in this section alone from the Content Marketing Institute (CMI). They continue to deliver really meaty, actionable posts. What can I say?
I love this one because:
- It’s full of super-helpful templates
- It’s a summary/compilation post
- It links off to a million other great resources
This is a compilation of some of the best tips, tools, and templates from the CMI blog. Feel free to pick and choose which templates will help you in your processes, but be confident that there’ll be something here to simplify your approach and keep you up-to-snuff.
Oh, if I had a nickel for every time I had this conversation!
Scoop.it addresses the great debate with grace and about a million and one graphics to visualize the conundrum and how to find a solution, or a balance between quality and quantity of content. There are tons of tangible takeaways in this one.
Crafting Mind-Blowing Content
I’ll admit that after a while, sometimes I feel like I’m scraping the bottom of the content idea bin. That’s when I know it’s time to reset, reconsider my goals overall, and sometimes, just hit the drawing board again and look to my team and others for inspiration and new ideas.
That’s what this post is all about: how you can spark the next great campaign idea that’s begging to be released.
The most successful content teams don’t do it on their own. They have significant help from external sources, influencers, and … you guessed it: employees.
This post will help you identify who might be a top contributor in your organization, how to bring them on board with a plan, and offer tips to keep them motivated.
– Marketing Land
I know, there are so many different types of content, you don’t need another list. But so often we fall back on what’s comfortable: blog post, ebook, or infographic. Today’s buyers want more and more visual content, but there are so many more options than infographics and Slideshares!
Check out this post for five visual content ideas that aren’t infographics.
Who doesn’t love to learn from other great examples, right? Here’s a sweet compilation of 32 of them, from social campaigns to blogs to videos and even emails and microsites.
Order the pizza, pop a bag of popcorn and dig in.
I know you’re creating videos because you know they’re a top-performing content asset. Who isn’t?
These 15 tips will help you brainstorm more creative video ideas, choose better shoot locations, learn how to scale video production on a budget, and more!
– Kapost and Ardath Albee
This webinar is probably the best I’ve ever attended for creating content that actually builds a journey for your customer and ensures you’re keeping them on track and helping them towards their purchase as efficiently as possible.
I’m telling you, I don’t remember the last time I was this engaged in a webinar. I literally went to Amazon and bought Ardath’s new book, Digital Relevance, within the hour. Just ask my team … I jumped up and down about it for weeks.
Everyone loves a good Whiteboard Friday video from Rand Fishkin. This episode gets into the secrets to creating content that’s ten times as good as any of your competitors’ (10x content) so you can beat them on search.
Serious business and serious takeaways.
Amplifying Efforts with Proper Promotion
– Quick Sprout
Neil Patel has another winner here where he breaks down, in great detail, the steps to creating viral content by first crafting kick-ass content that has the potential to go viral and then putting just as much effort (if not more) into marketing and promoting that content.
You could literally copy and paste this post into a word doc and it could become your blog creation and promotion strategy. That’s how detailed it is. Heart.
We all know that we should spend more time promoting our content than creating it. But sometimes we get so stuck in the ways we’ve been promoting in the past that it’s a challenge to think of new avenues to push our content through.
That’s why I love this post, with more than 100 ways to promote your content once it’s already created.
What better way to get more visibility for your content than through your influencer network? While you continue to build up your audience, theirs is already there. Plus, for the most part, everything your influencers say is gold whereas for you … well, consumers might not say the same.
Check out this post for an in-depth look at creating an influencer strategy to help promote your content.
Measuring Content Success
Broken down into all the different avenues and mediums you may want to measure, this is a great post for making sure you’re measuring the success of all your initiatives in the weeds.
There’s a handy ebook that goes along with the post, too, which might help if you’re old school like me and like to print those off for repeated reference!
– Content Marketing Institute
You may have already seen this one, and yes, it was actually released in 2015. But I figure, since it’s all about 2016 trends, that I can include it. (Hey, I made up the rules here anyway, right?)
This is a great comprehensive look at the state of content marketing in North America right now and serves as a perfect way to benchmark your organization’s performance versus the norm.
How do you stack up?
(You can also take a quick peek through it in the Slideshare version below. How’s that for repurposing content?!)
Woo-eee. You made it through! Have you read them all yet?
There’s a lot to go through. As I was consuming all of these great resources over the last few weeks, I made copious notes in Evernote of the main things I wanted to take away. But most importantly, I started making tasks in Asana so that I could hold myself accountable to putting my new learnings into practice.
Think this is a great list? Let’s keep the momentum going. Share it with the world so others can learn from this list too!
I just read 25 of the Very Best Content Marketing Resources in 2016 … So Far from @Vidyard. You should, too! (Click to Tweet!)
Also, if you have others to add to the list, add them in the comments below! I’m never opposed to more resources to learn from and even writing a follow-up post (or updated version of this one) with additional content from 2016!
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