Best of The Web: Content Marketing Round-up Issue #1

Linda Phan
by Linda Phan | Last Updated Oct. 18th, 2013 2 COMMENTS

This month we discovered that Content Marketing is appearing increasingly more often in mainstream Marketing news as well as on the Business front, and for good reasons. One of those reasons is that most companies today are more likely to adopt a Marketing plan that focuses on Content Marketing than say, on mostly SEO, because Content Marketing at its core directly translates into a business goal that leaders are already constantly striving for; creating great valuable content that attracts (and keeps) customers.

This month’s latest and best news in the content marketing space answer some crucial questions such as:

  • What are the big, successful companies doing that I’m not doing?
  • What are some real, actionable steps I can take to improve my company’s Content Marketing?
  • What new areas can my company expect to integrate with Content Marketing?

Check out the top stories this month:

Content Marketing Roundup:

Big Publishers Want Big Content — How We Got Coverage on 15+ Top Sites

by Daniel Tynski on Medium

This article walks you through the actual tips and principles that helped Medium land features and links for their clients on 15 of the most well known publishing sites today, including Women’s Health Magazine, MTV, The Daily Mirror,, CNET, Daily Mail, Huffington Post, Yahoo News, among others.

Who Can This Help?

This would help any marketer, whether in SEO, Content, or any other discipline, who knows what they’re doing, but would like to land placement on a more highly authoritative publishing sites like these.

From The Post:

“Betting on big content means you’ll spend more money focusing on bigger initiatives, and you’ll spread your risk among a smaller number of projects — but you’ll also be taking advantage of a simple fact that will only become less true as time goes on:

With the right idea and presentation, even the little guy can compete with the giants. Any single business’ potential for visibility is not constrained by the size of their pocketbooks, but the creativity of their ideas and the focus of their execution.”

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Creating Viral Content: 2.5K Shares For 1 Blog Post

by Loz James on Content Champion

This podcast features a list of incredibly informative modules from Richard Marriott of, a successful SEO and Content blog, including how he was able to get his unknown blog to reach over 2000 shares through one viral blog post. He also talks about how to write a successful expert roundup post and how to get those experts to share your content, how to use Twitter and social media to promote your content, how to use images and videos for outreach, and a bunch more from his own personal experiences on his blog.

Who Can This Help?
This podcast would be especially useful for marketers who are brainstorming new and innovative ways to get their content to go viral, and who want to learn from other successful marketers in the online space.

From The Post:

“I thought, I have like no Twitter followers whatsoever, I only had 200 at the time. And I thought, well if I could get experts involved and make something viral, and they’ll help share and their followers will come, and you know, I’ll be able to reach out to so many people I wouldn’t be able to reach out to before. So I decided to do a roundup. And then it was a matter of getting the right question.

Because I’m an SEO newbie, I’ve been so frustrated with trying to find answers about what tools I should use, so this idea was actually in my head for that. And I thought, wait a minute, I could ask a question to find out what tools the experts were using and other people would relate to this, because they’re in the same position as me … I basically also realized this question could be answered in one tweet, which could be really powerful stuff. I found that everyone replied on Twitter.”

The most actionable SEO Tips

The Most Actionable SEO Tips Ever

by Steve Webb on Web Gnomes

This is a standout article gives you some real, actionable items to apply to both your Content Marketing and SEO strategy. It has proven itself to be a valuable reference, having already garnered over 1000 shares on social media Some of these tips mentioned here will help you optimize your existing content, and some will give you ideas of new ways to create shareable content from resources already available to you.

Who Can This Help?
This article would be great for SEO’s and marketers who have some familiarity with SEO, and who want some actionable SEO tips rather than advice that is either outdated, broad, or purely theoretical.

From The Post:

The most actionable SEO tip I know, and one I use every week is this…

Write more completely.

It’s the easiest, no brainier activity you can use to rank higher and deeper for more long-tail keywords. You can explain it to anyone, and they don’t even have to be an SEO. Aside from creating better content, there are some very real SEO benefits to be gained:

1. The richer you can make your page contextually, the more material you provide to search engines to understand what the page is about. This also gives you more long-tail opportunities.

2. Since Panda, thin pages tend to not rank very well. Consider the questions posed about high quality sites on Google’s Webmaster Central Blog:

  • Is this article written by an expert or enthusiast who knows the topic well, or is it more shallow in nature?
  • Does the article describe both sides of a story?
  • Does this article provide a complete or comprehensive description of the topic?
  • Does this article contain insightful analysis or interesting information that is beyond obvious?
  • Are the articles short, unsubstantial, or otherwise lacking in helpful specifics?”

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Content Marketing Checklist

by Siege Media

This is an actual interactive checklist available at the Siege Media website, designed to help streamline and organize your Content Marketing processes. It is broken into the three stages of production: Idea Generation, Pre-Launch, and Post-Launch, which makes it both user-friendly and intuitive.

Who Can This Help?
This checklist is a really convenient tool to help virtually any kind of online marketer improve their Content Marketing process.

From The Post:

Things to check off during the Concept portion of the Idea Generation Phase:

1. Simple – The idea is easy enough to understand for the target demographic and the industry’s related news publications.

2. Unexpected – The idea concept or idea reveals new information. Or the study can be tweaked/pivoted to reveal new data.

3. Concreteness – Is it something the reader can quickly make a connection with. It is something real, measurable and not abstract.

4. Credibility – The content is trustworthy: the idea/concept, website design, layout, formatting, images, trust symbols, and history of good content all convey the trust required to be effective.

5. Emotions – The content triggers emotion within the reader, whether subtle or extreme.

6. Tells Stories – There is a story or idea behind the concept that engages the reader deeper than just being shown data without explanation.

7. The idea, when communicated, won’t be received as overly promotional/directly selling the products of the business it represents.

The Kind of Video You Should Create for Your Business

by Phil Nottingham on the Moz Blog

This post is a thorough and informative look into video content marketing, and it not only gives some great ideas for using video in various content marketing plans, but also explains things like how you could create product videos or creative stories, what makes the most sense with video content for each business, and what to do with video on a limited budget.

Who Can This Help?
This article on video content would be perfect for businesses that are actively looking broaden their marketing reach and are open to stepping into video content marketing, as it takes you right into the brainstorming and content ideation process.

From The Post:

“[One kind of video] you can do is tutorials and how-tos. The value of these videos is that they can be incredibly useful to build up your brand with an audience on YouTube. So I’m going to explain exactly the kind of style that you should be creating, that’s not too heavily branded, very informational, and not focused on selling.

You can also do a lot of thought-leadership content. Thought-leadership content can get you links, it can get you great presence on YouTube, help you build your brand as well, and demonstrate that you’re really an expert in whatever field it is you work in.”

How I Increased Facebook Reach and Engagement by 200-300% This Week

by Darren Rowse on ProBlogger

This article is an engaging and informative walk-through of how Darren was personally able to nearly triple the activity on his Facebook posts by testing out a few different image, link updates, and status post techniques and then monitoring their success. Most of these techniques really aren’t exactly new tactics most marketers haven’t heard before, however, it is rare that you come across such a personal and firsthand look into a successful marketer’s own Facebook marketing strategy and research data, so this article is a particularly useful tool in that regard.

Who Can This Help?

This article would be really helpful for an online marketer who is already active on Facebook and who would like to improve their engagement and reach, because this article does a great job in presenting a case study that is both inspiring and useful for Facebook marketing strategy.

From The Post:

“I’ve never done ‘collage’ based image updates on Facebook before so this was a very new experiment for me. I’m glad I did it. I used a free web based app called Pic Monkey to create these collages which were a collection of images from blog posts. Here are some examples:

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This status update was our most popular this week. It was a collage of 16 images that came from this blog post from our archives. This was a popular post that I knew had done well on Facebook last year so I thought it might be a good one to experiment with. You can see it received over 850 likes, 502 shares and had quite a few comments. It ‘reached’ over 80,000 people.”



Timeless Content Marketing Lessons from the World’s Fastest Growing Online Publication

by KISS Metrics

This article explains how UpWorthy, one of the newest and fasted growing online publications today, has been able to surpass the early record numbers of some of the web’s most trafficked online publications, and how to apply their success model to your own business’ content.

Who Can This Help?
This article would be truly helpful to any online marketer wanting to learn from today’s models of success, whether you’re a traditional marketer, or in Content or SEO.

From The Post:

“How does content like this make waves in a place like the web, where viewers are drowning in eye-catching alternatives? The answer is headlines.

While I’m certainly not the first person to tell you that memorable headlines are one of the most important parts of any widely read article, I think you’ll be surprised to see just what an impact small headline changes can have.

The UpWorthy team is so fanatical about headlines, that editors must assemble at least 25 headlines for every new article that is published. According to CEO Eli Pariser:

The ethos behind the 25 headlines is you can have the best piece of content and make the best point ever. But if no one looks at it, the article is a waste. A good headline can be the difference between 1,000 people and 1,000,000 people reading something.”

How to Use Instagram For Content Marketing

by Shanna Mallon on Online Marketing Institute

This article gives some great insight and useful tips for online marketers on how to harness the audience reach of Instagram as a unique social platform, and use it for your business’ own content marketing.

Who Can This Help?
This article would be great for marketers who already have a presence in other social media platforms and are ready to expand their social reach in a meaningful way.

From The Post:

“As is true of all social channels, you’ll gain more from Instagram when you look at it less like an advertising opportunity and more like a community. People don’t connect with brands; they connect with people. So to make the most of Instagram, make the most of connections.

According to blogger Mary Beth at Annapolis & Company,  “The bottom line is to build a following of genuine people who care about your contribution to the online world, and for you to follow people with whom you resonate. You’ll go way further than just commenting on feeds who have a large following but have no real interest in, or stalking people saying, ‘please follow me,’ or ‘give me a shout-out.’”

21 Tips Guaranteed To Rock Your Content Marketing

by Heidi Cohen on Heidi Cohen Blog

This article contains 21 effective Content Marketing tips and tricks, each of which are supported with appropriate references and research. While some of the steps mentioned might already appear in your current strategy, there are certainly more than a few gems in here that even the most experienced content marketers can take note of.

Who Can This Help?
This article would be helpful to both Content Marketers who are fine-tuning their content marketing approach, as well as any online marketer wanting to take their content marketing efforts more seriously.

From The Post:

“Don’t wing content creation! Two-thirds of marketers develop their content marketing without a plan according to IMN.  Provide structure to your information creation. Use an editorial calendar to create large, medium and small content. If a month’s too difficult for you to manage, the two week, Cliff Notes Approach to editorial calendars may help.

Plan content reuse in advance. Since marketing resources are scarce, create multiple pieces of content from the same effort. Don’t forget to get your human resources and legal teams involved to ensure that it’s part of your employees’ jobs and talent and agency contracts.

Avoid THDR (aka: Too Hard Didn’t Read). If your content looks like it’s too much effort to read, then potential readers will skip it. To this end, format your content marketing to be effective and easy-to-consume.”

5 Things Winning Content & Link Marketers Do Differently

by Matt Gratt on Buzzstream

This article is a great lesson for marketers of all levels. Here, the guys from Buzzstream aggregate their experiences with their most successful clients and offer up five big differences between the companies that are absolutely dominating their content promotion and link development, versus the ones that aren’t.

Who Can This Help?
This article contains advice that would be useful for any online marketer who is looking to re-evaluate their current Content Marketing and Link Strategy, and who want to learn from the ones who are doing it right.

From The Post:

“Content marketing requires a different mindset then traditional ad campaigns – Content Marketing is Accumulative. It compounds. In many ways, it looks more like building a brand over the long term rather than short-term, largely independent campaigns.

While each ‘push’ may look like a campaign, the results are not independent – over time, they grow and make everything you do effective.

As content marketing programs grow, they become ‘flywheels‘ – self-reinforcing marketing programs.   Every piece gets incrementally easier as your organization both learns to do great marketing and your brand and audience grow.”

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How to Create a Content Strategy (In Only 652 Steps)

by Ian Lurie on Portent, Inc.

This in-depth article is pretty much a full course in Content Strategy, and it covers essential Content Strategy subtopics such as goal-setting, auditing, competition analysis, strategy execution, and best practices, which would be especially interesting for marketers who are trying to hone in on their content marketing skills.

Who Can This Help?
This article would be ideal for any online marketer who currently does not have a thorough Content Marketing Strategy, or maybe does have one that isn’t quite working well, since it takes you step by step through every stage of Content Strategy development.

From The Post:

“To be honest, I rarely do a deep competitive analysis. We’re not going to imitate the competition, because that probably won’t work. And being a copycat is really, really bad for your brand, as Adecco found out. And we’re not going to learn much from them, because we have no information about their process/challenges/resources.

However, there are times when competitive research and comparisons make sense:

  1. Prompt a response. Nothing gets a team motivated faster than “our biggest competitor is using this strategy, and they’re kicking our butt.” This works well when you’re justifying everything from fully descriptive title tags to content that’s not marketing-focused.
  2. Give you a goal. If you have no idea what to set as a goal, you might check share data for competitor content. That assumes the competitor is doing well, of course.”

Have great a Content Marketing article you’d like to share? Leave us a note in the comments section.

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