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Content Marketing Strategy: Marketers Share their Favorite Books, Blog Posts & Resources

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“Strategy” can be kind of a dubious term. As someone who has done a lot of acquisition and transaction-oriented marketing work, I’m sometimes a bit skeptical of an over-emphasis on strategy and under-emphasis on execution.

That said: if you don’t have any strategy and direction at all, or if you’re chasing after the wrong goals, all of your tactical execution is going to be wasted. I also know that strategies can vary wildly from business to business and website to website, and there’s really no such thing as a single, one-size-fits-all, be-all-end-all content strategy (not even our own content marketing roadmap).

For that reason, we got the input of a number of marketers on their favorite content marketing strategy resources. Check out the answers folks have given below, and see if there are a few resources you can pick out that give you some inspiration and help guide the direction of your own content strategy.

“What’s the single best resource on content marketing strategy you’ve read?”

Meet Our Panel of Marketers:

Kelsey MurphyKelsey Murphy

Kelsey Murphy is a Professional & Personal Coach, communication specialist, public speaker, advertising director, and business owner. Learn more about Kelsey and her work at www.kelseymurphy.com.

What’s the single best resource on content marketing strategy you’ve read?

Dana Malstaff is brilliant – she helps get to the root of what you REALLY want to say, and lay it out in a digestible, smart, organized way. She is creative, brainstorming savant. I’d be lost without her.

She has a great free resource on her site here – expandyourreach.club – and is an incredible coach.

Sam AnthonySam Anthony

Sam Anthony is the Owner of TheSiteEdge, a Minneapolis-based online marketing and web design agency.

The single best resource on content marketing that I have ever read is…

The “17 Insanely Actionable List Building Strategies That Will Generate More Subscribers Today” article from Brian Dean at Backlinko.com.

You can find it at http://backlinko.com/list-building (pretty much everything on this site is solid gold)

Why was it life changing?

There are millions of articles on content marketing and “how to do it better.” But the simple fact of the matter is that if 1,000,000 people are all saying that is the way to do it better – you are just going to be doing the same thing as everyone else. This piece is about going 5 steps further than the rest of the content marketers out there. It is so easy to just post content that doesn’t take much thought, which is why it doesn’t get shared or utilized and it certainly does not establish you as an authority. You need to utilize the tools available on the internet and [some of] your own brain power to do something better. Lastly, every bit of advice in this article can be learned from and adapted to use on one’s own site – all of it is actionable.

Natalie BidnickNatalie Bidnick

Natalie Bidnick is the digital strategist for Elizabeth Christian Public Relations in Austin, Texas. She has over nine year’s experience working with more than 50 brands on improving their online presence.

What’s the single best resource on content marketing strategy you’ve read?

As a content marketing professional, I recommend reading OpenTopic and the Moz blog for ideas, inspiration and best practices regarding blogging and curation.

Richard HollisRichard Hollis

Richard Hollis is the CEO of Holonis, the next generation online platform. He has
spent the better part of a decade researching best practices for online marketing when developing Holonis and is an expert when it comes to content marketing.

In my years of research I have read a myriad of books and two that I would recommend as my top resources on content marketing strategy are…

“The Age of the Platform” by Phil Simon, and “The New Rules of Marketing & PR” by David Meerman Scott.

I would point out two great resources these books have to offer, one from The Age of the Platform stating, “Platforms comprise individual components, features, products, and services, collectively referred to in this book as planks. Put simply, without planks, there are no platforms.”

And the other resource on content marketing strategy comes from The New Rules of
Marketing& PR stating, “Great content brands an organization as a trusted resource and calls people to action – to buy, subscribe, apply, or donate. And great content means that interested people return again and again. As a result, the organization succeeds, achieving goals such as adding revenue, building traffic, gaining donations, or generating sales leads.

Ben JorgensenBen Jorgensen

Ben Jorgensen is the CEO and Co-founder of Klick Push, Inc. Klick Push connects consumers to brands through digital music. We allow marketers to use music as dynamic content to drive omni-channel marketing initiatives.

What’s the single best resource on content marketing strategy you’ve read?

I would have to say that our CRM, Hubspot, is a great source of content marketing materials. Additionally, reading between the lines, you can simultaneously infer Hubspots marketing strategy. This is a company that not only has good content marketing materials but have a sound strategy.

Robyn TippinsRobyn Tippins

Robyn Tippins is the Co-Founder and leader of community marketing and business operations for Mariposa Interactive, a content marketing agency specializing in inbound and lead generation for Manufacturing OEMs, Startups and High Tech. She has been managing online communities for 17 years. Her book, Community 101″ is a primer on online community management. Over the years she has worked with large and small companies, including Yahoo, Intel, MTV, AT&T, Behr Paints, Fleishman Hillard, ReadWriteWeb, SAY Media , Mozilla, Cisco, Facebook and Current TV. She authored the Community Certification program at GetSatisfaction.

What’s the single best resource on content marketing strategy you’ve read?

Soup to nuts, for both insiders and beginners, it’s “Inbound Marketing: Attract, Engage and Delight Customers Online”, by the founders of Hubspot, Brian Halligan, Dharmesh Shah.

Each of our new employees, from admin staff and sales folks to our account managers and creative staff, get a copy of the book and are required to discuss it with me within their first 30 days. We’re Hubspot Partners, so it’s vital they’re up to speed quickly on both the rationale and vision behind content marketing and the unique way a Hubspot partner agency works. We’ve thrown around the idea of writing a book ourselves, but can’t find a better way to put the overall process and value of content marketing than this one.

Arlissa VaughnArlissa Vaughn

Arlissa Vaughn is the Digital Marketing Specialist for Aegis Power Systems, Inc. – a custom power supply design and manufacture center. She has helped the company develop a video and blog series, as well as implement social media promotion for B2B marketing.

The best publication I’ve read on content marketing is…

The Blueprint of a Modern Marketing Campaign” e-book produced by Kapost and Eloqua (subsidiary of Oracle.)

This e-book goes in depth on digital content strategies, providing marketers with a great year-long plan of how to implement a derivatives pillar-style plan for each campaign.

Chris PilbeamChris Pilbeam

Chris Pilbeam is a content marketer and Senior Manager of Editorial at Alarm.com, the leading connected home platform used by millions of people to make their homes safer, smarter and more efficient.

Pound for pound, the best content marketing strategy resource I’ve ever read isn’t a book. It’s…

A short guide written by Geoff Livingston for Cision, called How to Content Market (Better Than the Competition). It outlines eight steps for executing a content strategy, including nailing down your editorial mission, researching to differentiate yourself, and weaving content types together. It’s a birds-eye view of the process that really does lay it all out without getting lost in case studies.

They’ve ungated it and there’s a copy online here:

Beth BridgesBeth Bridges

Beth Bridges is the Marketing Manager for J – I.T. Outsource, a full-service technology and digital identity management company. She is a published book author with hundreds of articles, blog posts, and videos published for herself (as The Networking Motivator) and her current and former employers.

The ironic part of content marketing resources is that there is so very much content available. How do you know what’s best? By their reach and how often you see other marketers using, sharing, and referring to those resources. Because if they’re doing content marketing right, you’ll come across them over and over. That said, one of the single best resources I’ve found is something I had to dig for…

Coursera.org offers free online classes called MOOC’s, Massive Online Open Courses. They have a very powerful, systematic, and relevant course called “Content Strategy for Professionals in Organizations.” Best of all, it’s free! https://www.coursera.org/course/contentstrategy

Michael EpsteinMichael Epstein

Michael Epstein is a successful CEO turned Online Marketing, Web Development & Business Strategy Consultant at GetOnlineWithMe.com.

Perhaps the best singular resource I’ve found on content marketing is…

The Definitive Guide to Engaging Content Marketing from Marketo, found here: http://www.marketo.com/definitive-guides/definitive-guide-to-engaging-content-marketing.

It’s 110 pages covering the entire process from developing an understanding of your target audience to defining your tone and style, to writing and distribution/promotion. Very comprehensive and useful for someone who wants to understand the complete process for a good content marketing strategy.

Brooke ElliottBrooke Elliott

Brooke Elliott is the Marketing Director of REDVIKING® Bold Engineering, designers and builders of manufacturing and test solutions: machines, automation, conveyance, software, process design and implementation.

The best ongoing resource of content marketing strategy for me, a B2B marketer, is…

The daily email I receive from MarketingProfs, which quickly describes 5 of their offerings.

Every day it gives me the ability to quickly choose from some of the best content marketing advice I’ve found anywhere, including courses, webinars, seminars and instructional videos. I am a huge fan of MarketingProfs for content marketing (they haven’t asked for an endorsement, I promise!).

Valentin ValovValentin Valov

Valentin Valov is the Digital PR Strategist of Hop-Online, a full service online marketing agency. He helps people and brands better understand the new age of communicative & interactive driven marketing.

The one single factor in content marketing is always story telling. You cannot create content around keywords or agenda and expect revenue. Shaping your outgoing resources around an idea worth sharing to the right audience at the right time is both an art and an engineering. Couple of books to start:

“Trust Me, I’m Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator” by Ryan Holiday and “Predictably Irrational” by Dan Ariely.

One of the most compelling video sources I recommend is Annielytics on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6Kg6_Mckn_M_ARZL6vdd5w

Tools for researching great topics are available today. These are probably my greatest source for content marketing. Try Buzzsumo to get insights on the most share-ble content on your topic, or the new Content Explorer in Ahrefs. You’ll be surprised how many web resources are in need for improvement.

Brett BastelloBrett Bastello

Brett Bastello is a Content Marketing and Link Building specialist at Inseev Interactive, a digital marketing company located in sunny San Diego.

One of the best resources I have for content marketing is…


Conversely, Ahrefs just released a similar product, however I have been using BuzzSumo much longer. What these products do is highlight the most popular content over a given time set based off the keywords you’ve entered. This is so important to content marketing because it allows me to see exactly what readers are reading and what viewers are watching when I’m working on building out my content strategy.

Nikki WhiteNikki White

Nikki White is the Content Team Lead at Payoff, a next generation financial services company. She is a seasoned content strategist who has created content for fortune 500 companies as well as top 3 E-Commerce companies, worldwide.

My all time favorite content resource I’ve ever read was…

“Contagious” by Jonah Berger. My team and I reference his content on a daily basis. The nuggets in that book are indispensable and the anecdotes really drive the point home.

Dan WadeDan Wade

Dan Wade is the Director of Marketing at Life Floor, a Minnesota-based manufacturing startup that produces a slip-resistant, impact-absorbing tile. Prior to joining Life Floor, Dan was the Director of Activation at LockerDome, where he worked on campaigns for clients ranging from media companies like VICE to professional athletes like Patrick Willis and Brandon Phillips.

The best resource for content marketing I’ve ever found is…

The community at GrowthHackers.com.

They’re particularly good at finding SlideShares from marketing presentations and highlighting the best ones, and while there’s more there than just content advice, that’s my first stop whether I’m looking for something specific or just looking for the top new ideas in marketing.

Jon BinghamJon Bingham

Jon Bingham is Director of Marketing of BKA Content, a provider of high quality content for agencies and enterprise businesses to use in their content marketing efforts.

I find this piece on content marketing to be very helpful, especially for novice content marketers…

What’s the Difference? Content Strategy vs. Content Marketing on Search Engine Journal.

It describes the differences between Content Marketing and Content Strategy and does a good job of explaining what each entails.

Linda PophalLinda Pophal

Linda Pophal is content marketer, business writer, and CEO of Strategic Communications, LLC. Strategic Communications, LLC, works with B2B clients to help them achieve their goals through effective content marketing and management with both internal and external audiences.

My top go-to resource for content marketing strategy is…

EContent; it has both hard copy and online editions and provides news and perspectives about a wide range of content marketing/management-related issues. Their regular columnists include a wide range of thought leaders who are up-to-date on the issues and new opportunities in this field.

Matt-AntoninoMatt Antonino

Matt Antonino is the Head of Product for Pay on Performance, a full service digital marketing agency in Melbourne.

With apologies to Copyblogger, the single best source of content marketing strategy for me has to be…

Convince & Convert.

Not only do they have a range of content topics and great ebooks, they also focus on other content-related material such as podcasts, content conversion optimisation, social media & email writing, content calendaring, software and tools and other content-related topics that may not get as much attention on strictly copywriting & editing content blogs. The variety of information and depth of knowledge makes them my first choice for content resources.

Andy HuntAndy Hunt

Andy Hunt is the Founder of Uplift ROI, a pay-on-performance optimization service.

One of the best resources I have read about content marketing was…

This post by Robbie Richards.

One of the reasons I love it so much is that is very easy to follow and relies on tools that are mostly free or offer free trials. Even knowing a bit about content marketing, I was able to learn and implement a few things from this post and have recommended it to more than a few people.

Dave WaringDavid Waring

David Waring is the Co-founder and Editor of FitSmallBusiness.com, a site that helps small business owners choose the right products and services for their business.

We focus our content marketing efforts on search engine optimization and have built our site from 0 to 9000 visitors a day in the last year and a half using this method. The single best resource on content marketing that I have read is…

Moz.com’s Beginners Guide To SEO.

It gives a full overview of everything the reader needs to know to get started in SEO and is required reading for all my staff.

Katie BissonKatie Bisson

Katie Bisson is Marketing and Public Relations Manager for Technology Seed, a managed IT service provider.

What’s the single best resource on content marketing strategy you’ve read?

My first resource is Marketing Profs. They provide great tips on content ideas, writing and creation. Along with providing tips in blog or article format they also host an abundance of webinars all geared toward content creation. This is, by far, my favorite site to turn to.

My second resource is social media. I follow a large number of marketers and marketing agencies that all write great blogs and tips for content marketing. Skimming social media allows me to get a varied insights and also get numerous opinions on new content marketing trends.

Jason BayJason Bay

Jason Bay is a millennial entrepreneur and marketing fundamentalist who specializes in helping young entrepreneurs 10x their marketing efforts. He is also the Founder of the site GenYSuccess.com.

My favorite content marketing resource is…


The guys at Fizzle do a wonderful job with their podcast, blog and membership platform. Their monthly membership gives you unlimited access to video courses on everything related to running an online business. It’s where I learned everything I know about creating a podcast that gets featured in New & Noteworthy on iTunes and writing blog posts that get shared hundreds of times.

Maurice BretzfieldMaurice Bretzfield

Maurice Bretzfield is a Certified Business Mentor and Digital Marketing Solutionist. Learn more about Maurice and his work at MauriceBretzfield.com.

What’s the single best resource on content marketing strategy you’ve read?

Epic Content Marketing: How to Tell a Different Story, Break through the Clutter, and Win More Customers by Marketing Less” by Joe Pulizzi.

Greg ScottGreg Scott

Greg Scott is an Author, Founder of Infrasupport Corporation and a veteran of the tumultuous IT industry. After working as a consultant at Digital Equipment Corporation, Scott branched out on his own in 1994 and started Scott Consulting. A larger firm bought Scott Consulting in 1999, just as the dot com bust devastated the IT Service industry. Scott went out on his own again in late 1999 and started Infrasupport Corporation, with a laser focus on infrastructure and security.

What’s the single best resource on content marketing strategy you’ve read?

I’ve seen David Meerman Scott‘s presentation on the subject twice now and I have his book, “The New Rules of Marketing and PR.” His presentation made sense and so that’s the way I set up both my company website and new book website.

Tom Demers
Tom has over ten years of experience in search engine marketing, including as the Director of Marketing for search marketing software provider WordStream, Inc. Prior to working at WordStream, he was an in-house SEO specialist and SEO Manager, worked as an SEO consultant for a search engine marketing agency, and has done independent organic and paid search engine marketing consulting for numerous clients. Tom lives about a half hour outside of Boston. You can get in touch with Tom via Email at tom at MeasuredSEM dot com, or you can follow him on Twitter @TomDemers.

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  • Matt Antonino says:

    Thanks for including us! Great group of people (followed most of the marketers & SEOs on Twitter just now.) It’s fun to see how everyone interpreted the question. Some with full on sites (like me) and others with single articles or pieces of content, etc. Going to work my way through the resources listed as I haven’t seen some of these before.

  • uperb article. There was some time in seo world more than 95% run behind the links, link building, buying, selling, link offers, link exchange, mutual links, one way links, reciprocal…….. it leads to known school level plays to unknown cracking plays……..

    Hope many strict filters installed by Googlers create a better atmosphere of awareness, fear, link phobia. I don’t know how to explain it all.

    Let us concentrate on content, quality content, Fresh content, useful contents……