Hot on the heels of the release of the 2015 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends study from MarketingProfs and Content Marketing Institute, we're taking a look back at the most valuable and indispensable content marketing resources of 2014.
The study found that just 35% of marketers have a documented content strategy, and those without a strategy are eight times less likely to say they're effective at content marketing.
As you prepare your content marketing strategy for the coming year (and you ARE preparing one, right?) ,keep the following expert tips, advice, and guides in mind.
The Art and Science of Content Marketing and Storytelling
1. The Irresistible Power of Storytelling as a Strategic Business Tool—Harvard Business Review
Executive coach and bestselling author Harrison Monarth explains what Budweiser and Shakespeare have in common in this column on the power of storytelling for brands.
2. Introducing the Periodic Table of Content Marketing—Econsultancy
Chris Lake shares a visual guide to the elements of successful content in this quick reference infographic, styled after the periodic table of elements.
3. The Art and Science of Content Marketing [Infographic]—MarketingProfs
Does content marketing success require left or right-brain thinking? This helpful infographic from Salesforce and Kapost points you in the right direction.
Kevan Lee reveals the seven essential elements of a perfect blog post, with detailed and specific tips for achieving perfection in each one.
5. How to Use Data to Improve Your Content Marketing Strategy—Content Marketing Institute
In a sea of data, which metrics actually matter for content strategy? Ben Harper identifies four types of data we should be studying and shares tools for monitoring and measuring each.
Isn't creativity best performed in an environment free of constraints and boundaries? Simon Penson makes the argument for creativity as a process in this in-depth column on the science behind creative content.
Creating Awesome, High-Quality Content
7. This Writing GPS Helps You Create Ridiculously Good Content—MarketingProfs
"Good writing takes planning and preparation; it doesn't just emerge, fully formed, as if from the head of Zeus. Or your own head, for that matter," writes Ann Handley in this excerpt from her new book, Everybody Writes. Learn from the first person in history to have held the title of "chief content officer" as she outlines a 12-step process for creating relatively long text—blog posts, articles, e-books, whitepapers, website content, and the like.
8. 11 Essential Ingredients Every Blog Post Needs—Copyblogger
Writing your blog post is only an initial step in creating great content. Demian Farnworth outlines an editing process for ensuring each of the critical elements of an effective blog post is accounted for, with an infographic for easy reference.
9. Seven Content Marketing Tips for Media Pickup and Massive Exposure—MarketingProfs
In this column, I shared a proven, replicable process for creating and promoting content designed to resonate with media, earning your brand valuable media mentions and backlinks.
There is an art to creating social content that people just can't wait to share. Jeff Bullas dives into the psychology of social sharing, with a set of guidelines for creating more shareable content.
Aleyda Solis shares a simple, step-by-step process that every content marketer should exercise in the creation of effective content that provide the relevance that audiences crave.
12. 10 Content Marketing Growth Hacks [With Infographic]—Unbounce
Want to become a content hacker? Garrett Moon outlines each of the 10 hacks you can use to gain traffic and increase revenue faster than you might have expected, with an accompanying infographic you'll want to keep on hand.
Half the battle in content marketing is finding the time and resources to dedicate to it. Neil Patel outlines three techniques companies of all sizes can use to become more productive and effective at the creation of social media content.
14. Content Without Strategy Is Just Stuff—Joe Pulizzi
Content marketing master Joe Pulizzi shared this entertaining and informative post on his LinkedIn blog. Check it out and learn how to avoid falling into the trap of creating a bunch of stuff.
Converting With Content
15. The Big List of 189 Words That Convert—Buffer
Of course, there's a purpose to all of this awesome content, right? Kevan Lee shares the ultimate list of words that persuade and convert, in this indispensable resource for copywriters and content marketers.
What good is your best content if no one ever sees it? Truly successful content is built for promotion and conversion. Learn how to implement promotion from the early planning stages, as well as how to execute for maximum impact and exposure.
17. Is Your Content Marketing a Failure? These 5 Metrics Can Tell You—MarketingProfs
The volume of data at your disposal can quickly become overwhelming. Alesia Krush points to five metrics content marketers should be tracking to ensure their strategy is heading in the right direction.
18. How to Create a Content Marketing Strategy—Convince and Convert
Having a working content strategy is a must, yet it's where too many content marketers are falling down. Jay Baer outlines a seven-step process for creating a content marketing strategy to guide your efforts in the coming year.
Content remarketing is a super-powerful way of maximizing the value of each piece of content and boosting your conversion. Get your content back in front of an interested audience and seal the deal.
Super-Helpful Content Marketing Tips
20. B2B Content Marketing Trends for 2015—MarketingProfs
Get a glimpse at content marketing's very near future and prepare for 2015 with this recent infographic from Uberflip.
21. 53+ Free Image Sources for Your Blog and Social Media Posts—Buffer Social
Bookmark this handy list of free image sources and refer to it whenever you're in search of high-quality, royalty-free images to complement your awesome content.
If you're doing the same thing as all of your competitors, how can you ever stand out? Elisa Gabbert shares the secrets of contrarian content, with tips to help make it work for your blog.
23. Writing Tips: How to Come Up With 50 Topic Ideas in 30 Minutes—Entrepreneur
Keeping a steady flow of amazing content coming isn't easy—it's a good idea to have a stockpile of ideas on hand for your brainfreeze days. Who better to inspire than Neil Patel? Give his content brainstorming exercise a try.
If you feel like you're constantly toiling away at your content creation but not turning out great product, check this out. Katie, AKA The Wellness Mama, reveals the secrets of prepared writers and the benefits of becoming one of them.
Sometimes, what we should actually be doing flies in the face of conventional content marketing wisdom. See whether you may be falling for any prevalent content marketing fallacies, and discover a few truths to help drive a more successful content strategy in the future.
Must-Read/Follow/See Content Marketing Resources
26. 72 Must Follow Facebook Pages for Aspiring Content Marketers—Post Planner
Content marketing changes quickly, so it's important to stay in tune with the latest strategies, tips, and tools. Pat Parkinson offers a huge list of inspirational content marketers to keep up with.
27. 39 Blogging Tips From the Pros—Social Media Examiner
We're incredibly fortunate in our industry to have such knowledgeable and also giving content marketing leaders to look to for insight and advice. Check out Cindy King's comprehensive collection of blogging tips from some of the industry's best and brightest.
Wizard of Moz Rand Fishkin warns content marketers of an overly optimistic mindset and shines a cold, harsh light on the stark realities of most content marketing experiences in this Whiteboard Friday episode.
29. Content Marketing In 15 Minutes a Day: 3 Content Hacks—AnnHandley.com
Many businesses—especially small ones—have time and resource constraints and confront often-ungenerous realities. What if you really have only mere minutes a day to focus on content marketing? Can it be done? Ann Handley says "yes."
As marketers continue to get more comfortable with content marketing strategy and tactics, one question still plagues the industry: What's the best way to measure the effectiveness of your content? Pawan Deshpande, CEO of Curata, crowdsources the most comprehensive article ever about the key performance metrics of content marketing.