Have You Joined the Content Marketing Movement?


Businesswoman Reading Latest News

In the last few years, the words “content marketing” have become buzzwords in the corporate business, marketing, digital and media space. But what is it really? Content marketing as defined by the Content Marketing Institute (CMI):

Content marketing is a marketing technique of creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience — with the objective of driving profitable customer action.

Content marketing is becoming the new black from both a quantity and quality standpoint for individuals throughout the world. Some have stumbled into this world. Businesses both large and small are realizing that in order to compete, they must embrace this new era of interaction and develop true content marketing programs. Content marketing is becoming a disruptive force. In the past, marketing pros relied on production, publishing and promotional amplification tools. Content is the fuel that makes all of those platforms run. However, a few blog posts or an email campaign won’t suffice anymore.

Provide Value With Content

Relevant content coming from a business through a thought leadership perspective has a considerable effect on attracting and retaining customers. It’s not hokey, it’s not a pitch and it’s not everyday sales — it truly has become an educational and informative way to deliver knowledge and content to build brand loyalty and awareness.

A study by Roper Public Affairs shows that 80 percent of business decision makers prefer to get company information in article form rather than in an advertisement. Seventy percent say content marketing makes them feel closer to a company, while 60 percent say that company content helps them make better product decisions. “Content marketing works because it delivers relevant proof of value,” says interactive content marketing strategist Mark O’Renick. Quality content marketing engages consumers to look at a business differently.

Many C-suite, advertising and marketing executives believe their company has great content to shoot out and share in the public arena, but they don’t feel they can do this quickly enough or keep it moving through a streamlined process. Spreadsheets, emails and project management systems have all been used by marketing teams in recent times to churn out content on a routine basis. This has led to a whole new industry of technology solutions that make your typical marketing editorial calendar look like a thing of the Stone Age.

Work Smarter

A Kansas City, Missouri-based startup, DivvyHQ, realized that content marketing is the present and the future of marketing. Their founders, both from the digital agency world, developed an ideation, planning and production workflow specialty tool to help businesses and online publishers embrace content marketing and collaboration, but in a manner that allows the user or users to do so in a more efficient way without all the headaches. Simply put, DivvyHQ aims to take content marketers out of spreadsheet, email, storage and organizational hell and alleviate the challenging manual and laborious process. Corporations such as Intel, Toyota, Bed Bath & Beyond, Walmart, Sprint, H & R Block, Travelocity and Adobe have all worked with DivvyHQ. PR and media giants Ogilvy, Edelman and the National Geographic Channel have also used the product to streamline their content needs.

“Despite the traditional publishing industry taking a beating over the last decade, companies can learn a lot from the day-to-day planning methods, scheduling tools and production processes that help publishers hit deadlines and crank out great content every day,” says content marketing expert Brody Dorland.

Turn to the Cloud

Companies and enterprise level organizations who handle multiple individuals and tasks are finding out they need a way to plan, divide and conquer their content marketing and editorial needs on the cloud. They have discovered they also need ways to break down the internal silos in the workplace. Some have used the old fashioned approach and tried breaking down physical walls in their office to get their employees and content producers to talk. There is an easier way. Virtual, real-time sharing and collaboration significantly improves these situations and breaks down silo walls.

Dorland believes, “Simplifying things and leveraging the cloud to help global, decentralized content teams collaborate, share assets and increase the quantity and quality of their content output is huge right now.”

The content marketing phenomenon isn’t going away. Content collaboration and team calendaring is on the upswing. The spreadsheet free editorial calendar is the new king of the castle. Companies both large and small are yearning and will continue to yearn for high-powered, specific content marketing tools to help take their business to the next level.

Content marketing is the new black.

A version of this post originally appeared here

@JasonGrill is the founder of JGrill Media where he consults on media relations, public affairs and strategies and government relations. Under same umbrella, he works in the media as a local and national writer/contributor, radio host and television analyst/commentator. He is the co-founder of Sock 101.

The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.

5 Quick Ways To Repurpose Your Content


Smart content marketers know great content — whether it be a blog post, infographic or video. Recycle it, repurpose it and reuse it for different channels and mediums.

Why? Simply because you want to maximize the exposure your content gets, thus extending the reach of your brand and effectively, improving your ROI. You’ve already done the research and crafted the story. It often takes minimal effort to turn one of your best blog posts into a neat SlideShare presentation.

Not only is this useful for getting more eyeballs, it’s an easier way to engage different readers, since some prefer text while others enjoy visual content.

Here are five ways to redistribute and repurpose your content:

Microblog It

One of the beauties of excellent content is you don’t necessarily have to keep it in its original form. In fact, you can play around with your content to suit different mediums while still ensuring your message still adds value to readers. Here are two ways you can microblog your existing content:

  • To start, you can simply tweet out parts of your content that your audience might enjoy most. For example, if you have a list post, tweet some of its best points.
  • Or, you can chop up the post into its individual tips and turn each tip into a funny picture or gif for a post on Tumblr.

Repost It

There’s no shame in reposting your work onto other sites. Doing so may actually help you reach a lot of new readers who have not yet visited your site before. Here are three ways to you can easily repost your content.

  • Medium is one place you can easily republish your content. Simply paste your content and add an interesting featured image, and there ya go. Your content is now available to other Medium readers (and if you’re lucky, the editors might recommend it in their weekly newsletter).
  • Examiner.com is another place you can repost your stuff. Unlike Medium though (which is now open to everyone), you have to apply to become an Examiner. Fortunately, becoming one is easy. Apply here.
  • Of course, if you manage columns on other websites, you can always review their “contributor guidelines” to see if they’ll accept republished content (but always make sure to disclose that the post originally appeared on your site and link to the original article so everyone knows the content’s source). For example, I am a contributor to The Huffington Post and republish my best articles on my column.

Syndicate Your Blog

One of the easiest ways to get your content seen by more people is by syndicating your blog’s feed with content aggregators. You set it once and then forget it because your posts are automatically delivered to sites that syndicate your feed, and if the post meets contribution requirements, it’ll go live as soon as it is approved. Two noteworthy examples are:

  • Business 2 Community (which accepts contributors and blog syndication for content that would be relevant for their readers who are business professionals).
  • Social Media Today (which accepts contributions and blog feeds related to social media).

Visualize It

Some, among us, are visual learners. Therefore, an 800-word blog post with one or two images probably isn’t going to cut it.

  • Instead, highlight the article’s key points and add several engaging images to turn it into a fun SlideShare presentation.
  • Better yet, create an awesome video and publish that on either Vimeo orYouTube.
  • Or turn your content into a shareworthy infographic. If you’re not a designer, but would still love a sweet infographic, start a project on Visual.ly.

Make It Downloadable

Finally, make it downloadable. Convert your content into PDF form with an attractive design and engaging images (oh, and capture some emails while you’re at it). Two ways to make your content downloadable include:

  • Creating a whitepaper.
  • Writing an e-book (here’s one we’ve published about related content).

What are other creative ways you are getting your content seen through different channels? 

This post originally appeared on the Shareaholic Content Marketing blog

Danny Wong is the co-founder of Blank Label (and an Inc. 30 under 30 alum), marketer at Shareaholic, and an occasional writer.

The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.

Startups: Content Could Be the Key to Crowdfunding Success

Amanda L. Barbara headshotBegging might not be so bad.

In its early days, the popular gaming blog Penny Arcade was run purely on donations for more than a year.

“The word crowdfunding hadn’t been invented yet,” said Jerry Holkins, one of the site’s creators. “Back then, people simply called it ‘begging.’”

As the site grew, it became dependent on advertising dollars, but the founders yearned for those early days. They launched a Kickstarter campaign to see if their “begging” model could work again. Their fans overwhelmingly said yes, donating more than half a million dollars to remove ads from the site.

Great content made the difference for Penny Arcade. Dedicated gamers were hungry for the site’s comics and commentary, and they were willing to break out their wallets to support the content.

You, too, can use content to win fans and accelerate your crowdfunding efforts. By providing useful information your audience wants, you can ask for financial support without coming across as spammy or feeling like you’ve resorted to begging.

4 Tips to Make Sure Your Content Hits the Mark

1. Know your audience. Who are they? Where do they live? What are they passionate about? You can’t provide your audience with valuable information if you don’t know who your audience is and what interests them.

Author Janna Leyde is a great example of what can happen when you truly understand your audience. Janna’s father suffered a traumatic brain injury from a car accident that occurred when she was 14 years old. Janna hoped to write a memoir about dealing with the injury. She reached out to survivors of traumatic brain injuries and their families, with the goal of reaching one new person each day to talk about her Pubslush campaign to write her untold story. Her supporters donated more than $15,000 to make her book, “He Never Liked Cake,” a reality.

2. Provide fresh content. Don’t just regurgitate the things everyone else is saying. Be innovative enough to stand out from the crowd, sharing your own unique ideas and insights. Use your creativity and branding power to create a special voice and style people can associate with you.

The content shouldn’t be too self-promotional, either. If you are providing valuable information and unique insights, word will spread, and your brand will earn trust.

3. Engage with your audience. It’s important to not just spew out information, but to also allow readers to comment and create a conversation. The Internet gives businesses unprecedented access to directly interact with customers — use it! Respond to comments, engage in conversations on social media, and always provide a way for your audience to get in touch with you.

4. Know your business model. If you were courting investors in the real world, they would ask dozens of questions about your business, your goals, and where their money will go. While your online campaign might be soliciting hundreds or thousands of micro-investors, the idea is no different. Know your business model and industry inside and out so you can be ready to answer any question that comes up.

Content marketing for a crowdfunding campaign is essentially the same as content marketing for a product or service. People aren’t just investing in the project you’re raising funds for — they’re investing in your brand. By providing valuable information to your audience, you can build trust and interest and drive traffic to your campaign — without having to beg.

Amanda L. Barbara is Vice President of Pubslush. Pubslush is a global crowdfunding publishing platform for authors to raise funds and gauge their audience for new book ideas and for trendsetting readers to pledge their financial support to bring books to life. Follow Amanda on Twitter

Back to Basics: How Online Content Can Drive Business Sales

Each month, companies introduce hundreds of new tools to help business owners attract traffic online and generate leads and sales. Some business owners spend an incredible amount of time and money buying and learning how to use these tools, only to achieve mediocre results. Fortunately, one tried and true strategy — content marketing — remains a simple way to attract the targeted traffic you need to grow your business.

Sarah Ware, content marketing, startup tips, Markerly

What is Content Marketing?

Simply put, content marketing is the process of crafting and publishing engaging, useful content that your prospects want to read.

In most cases, the content is not an advertorial designed to sell your services or products, but an article or post designed to build visitor interest and keep readers coming back to your site. By publishing content that is useful for your readers, you can build a sense of trust that makes visitors want to buy from you.


For content marketing, trust is everything.

Advertising through content campaigns can take several forms. One of the simplest ways to distribute articles and other content is by publishing these pieces on your business website or blog. You can distribute press releases to hundreds of free and paid sites to tell potential customers about news, product launches, and other information related to your business or industry.

You can also promote and distribute content via social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. This gives you the added advantage of social distribution because people who see value in your content will naturally want to share your posts with their friends, family members, and business associates.

How Can Content Marketing Help Your Business?

Learning how to advertise through content offers several advantages that can help you build online visibility and attract new customers to your business:

  • Well-crafted content can help your site and blog pages appear prominently in search engine listings. When you write and publish exceptional content that provides information relevant to your business and target audience, search engines will likely place high value on your content pages. This means that they might appear on the first page of results for a particular search instead of being buried beneath thousands of other page listings. Of course, in order to rank high, you need to focus on one or two keywords that are relevant to your content. Resources such as the Content Marketing Institute can provide you with valuable information on crafting content and including keywords.
  • Engaging, useful content helps visitors perceive you as an expert in your industry. Helping people improve their lives through online content builds trust while establishing you as the “go to” authority to meet their needs. As a result, when it comes time to make a purchasing decision, your company becomes the obvious choice.
  • You can use content as the start of a “sales funnel” that naturally leads visitors to a purchasing decision. As noted above, your content should not be overtly promotional; however, skilled copywriters can weave in phrases and subtle “calls to action” that can motivate readers to take an additional step, such as signing up for an email newsletter, requesting product information, or attending a free webinar. You can also use tools like HubSpot to help you manage your sales funnel so you can more effectively guide prospects through the sales process.

Getting started with Hubspot:



Hubspot is an automation tool that allows the user to preset interactions with customers or site visitors. It starts with interaction. The first step is to draw readers in via social media or email. The next step is directing that traffic to the website or blog. The last step is to organize visitors for further actions. Hubspot isn’t alone in using this traffic flow. This is just how the cogs of content marketing turn.



Hubspot automates the process of sending emails, analyzing customers, and adding delays. The actual interface looks something like the screenshot above.

  • Online content can give you valuable information about your visitors. By inviting interaction via blog comments, social media posts, and feedback forms, you can learn about your potential customers’ needs and wants. If you provide them with valuable content, they will be happy to share their thoughts, opinions, and suggestions. You can also use analytical tools such as KISSmetrics and Markerly in conjunction with content marketing to learn even more about your visitors and prospects.

Getting started with Markerly:



Markerly provides brands with detailed reporting on how different demographics engaged with different bloggers, quotes and photos. Markerly helps brands discover what is and isn’t working with their content campaigns, and uses that data to turn content viral.

Getting started with Kissmetrics:


Kissmetrics allows users to get in-depth data on the customer. It looks something like this. It keeps track of how often the customer visits, what they buy, how much they spend, as well as activity before and after they signed up.

How Can You Help People Find Your Content?

In addition to social media posts and search engine listings, you can use a variety of other strategies to help visitors find your marketing content. You can add your blog to a directory such as BlogHer to put your content in front of interested readers. If you have time, you can increase visibility by writing guest posts for relevant blogs and websites. Also, visiting similar blogs and leaving thoughtful, relevant posts can attract potential customers to your site.

Getting started with BlogHer:



BlogHer is a specialty directory that helps get blogs written by women out into cyberspace. Interested contributors simply have to meet the guidelines, apply, and get listed. Some of the guidelines include a 30 day old blog, written by a woman or a group of women, or certain exceptions for interested men. Choosing an applicable niche is a great way to get your blog out there.

Content marketing is not a shortcut to success. In order to make this strategy successful, you should commit to consistently publishing well-written, insightful articles and posts. There is no “magic button” for attracting traffic; however, content marketing is among the most reliable strategies available.

Markerly makes publishing tools that we’ve proudly been using since their alpha stage over a year ago. Right click on anything on Nibletz and watch Markerly go to work. For more info visit markerly.com

Why Brands are spending $43 billion on stories this year, and you should too!