Don’t rely solely on popular blogs to learn about content marketing
It is very important to keep up with the trends and search engine updates in order for the content you create to be/stay relevant for both humans and machine. You will find the lion’s share of information on popular content marketing blogs. However, If you want to stand out, you should start reading some up-and-coming blogs too. Some have excellent tips and advice that is based on first-hand experience. In this article, we have highlighted three really good ones to get you started.
Grow and Convert
Grow and Convert targets content marketers and therefore has some really in-depth and high-quality articles. Their main focus is on helping companies get ROI from content marketing.
How you can benefit
The owners write from experience and share case studies of things that they, and others, have actually achieved. Some of their content has come about as a result of testing things on their own website and sharing the results with others.
The blog talks about:
- content strategy
- list building
- conversion optimization
Benji focuses on the “grow” side of Grow and Convert. When he was at ThinkApps, he helped them become one of the top 30,000 websites in the US in less than 12 months.
Devesh heads the “convert” side of Grow and Convert. He is also the owner of Growth Rock where he works with e-commerce companies to increase their online conversions. He applies extensive user research, usability testing, analytics evaluations, and A/B testing.
This article is based on the framework that Grow and Convert use for determining what content they should be writing to attract the right audience to their customers’ blogs and of course their own blog. The potential for learning a thing or two from this article is quite high. Even if you are an experienced content marketer.
This is the post that launched the Grow and Convert site. It grants you the opportunity to see what the owners’ were thinking in terms of content marketing when they first started out. You will read what they believed was wrong with the industry and how they thought they could stand out from the competition. If you’re looking to stand out from your competition, use this post as a reference. It is a well-written combination of an opinion piece about the state of the industry plus their strategy to get their initial boost in traffic laid out transparently.
Have you ever wondered whether it’s best to generate leads and then nurture them, or if it’s better to go directly for a sale or sales conversation through a CTA? This article goes into the heart of things and tackles the math concerning this issue. If you are like many content marketers, the result may surprise you.
Influence & CO
Influence & CO is a true gem for content marketers. Although it is not so popular (yet); it has been mentioned in influential publications and won prestigious industry awards. All thanks to their consistent thought leadership content.
How you can benefit
The Influence & Co blog tackles all aspects of content marketing – from thought leadership to content creation to lead generation and content distribution. Their well-researched articles are quite useful for small and medium-size businesses. However, if you really want to make the most of their knowledge, you will definitely want to look at their 4-Step Guide to Exceptional Content Marketing. Alternatively, you can check out our 5-Secrets Guide for Creating Remarkable Content on a Small Budget.
It is always advantageous to consume information from those who actually do the work. You know that you are getting first-hand information from those who actually roll up their sleeves and get their hands dirty.
Influence & Co are experts in the following fields:
- thought leadership
- lead generation
- guest-contributed content
- public relations
- content marketing strategy
- owned media
- content amplification
- technical SEO audits
Influence & Co describe their team using the following statement:
“We are a passionate group of entrepreneurs, writers, and content junkies who love what we do. With backgrounds ranging from journalism to tech startups to Fortune 500 companies, we tackle the world of thought leadership and content marketing from all angles”.
This is a great article that basically teaches you what an early content strategy for your company should look like. It then exploits what an intermediate content strategy should look like. This is where you take your content strategy to the next level. Then finally – you guessed it – the author tackles the advanced content strategy and what it means for your content marketing efforts.
I am a fan of this article because it is so simple yet so powerful. If you are starting out or are looking to rebuild your content marketing strategy, this is one of the articles you should definitely read.
Before you even start putting pen to paper you should already know where you want to publish your content. That is a no-brainer, right? Yet so many content marketers fail to outline their goals properly and reach their target audiences where they actually spend time. This article touches on one aspect of finding the right platform to publish your content; namely publications. It compares marquee publications (publications that have one million or more monthly page views) to niche publications (publications that have built an engaged audience around a specific topic). The article does a good job of outlining when to publish on which type of publication.
Castleford is a creative, full-service content marketing agency that is based in Australia and New Zealand. Their blog has a very lively and experienced team behind it. This is another blog that has content marketers who get their hands dirty and really know what they are talking about.
How you can benefit
Over the past years, Castleford has been rapidly evolving on the content marketing scene.
As an agency, they have constantly rolled out new products and adjusted others to match the needs of their clients. This is reflected in their blog and you can benefit from this. It is important to keep up with the bigger more general trends in content marketing that the likes of CMI and HubSpot highlight. However, you can find some real hidden gems on smaller blogs like this one, especially where the authors are actual practitioners.
The Castleford team is headed by Adam Barber who started in content marketing 12 years ago; back when it was just kicking off. Behind him is a strong team that takes care of editorial, content marketing and strategy.
I like this article because from my own experience I know that many novice content marketers and clients do not realize that Search Engine Marketing (SEM) should be part of their content marketing.
Content marketing is not all-organic and this article does a good job of showing the very basic steps you need to integrate SEM into your content marketing strategy. It will also show you the very basics of SEM and creating Pay per Click (PPC) campaigns.
Drip email campaigns do not get the recognition they deserve when it comes to content marketing. This powerful lead nurturing tactic is something you really need to understand especially as a B2B company looking to generate leads.
This guide written by Adam Barber himself is a good place to start if you are looking to learn about drip email campaigns.
Have you been reading a blog that you think is a hidden gem? It would be awesome if you shared it with us down in the comments.
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With over a decade worth of experience working with small businesses on different aspects of digital marketing, I have come to realize that content should be at the heart of every small business marketing strategy.