What Is Content Marketing?

Listen. If you are even remotely connected to the business, marketing, and advertising world, then you’ve probably heard the phrase “content marketing.”
You’ve at least been exposed to it through:

Blogs
Podcasts
Videos
Search engine optimization
Email autoresponders
White papers
Copywriting
Social media
Landing pages

But what exactly is content marketing? Glad you asked, because I’ve got answers for you. One short answer, and one really long. Here’s our official definition:
Content marketing means creating and sharing valuable free content to attract and convert prospects into customers, and customers into repeat buyers. The type of content you share is closely related to what you sell; in other words, you’re educating people so that they know, like, and trust you enough to do business with you.
Which brings us to another question: how do you actually use content marketing?
Well, even if you consider yourself a seasoned practitioner or you’re a fresh-out-of-the-box beginner, this handy, systematic, and exhaustive guide — loaded with 100 articles that cover content marketing essentials for building a viable money-making platform — is at your finger tips.
How to use this content marketing reference library
Content marketing can be simplified into the convergence of three spheres: your audience’s interests, your brand story, and your unique perspective or content medium. Combine these three to achieve content greatness.

The 100-article list below reaches back to November 2008 and goes all the way up to the present. It contains 10 categories:

Content essentials
Content strategy
Content research
Idea creation
Content creation
Content promotion
Traffic generation
Content marketing case studies
Content auditing
Content business building

Yes, I read all 100 articles. It took

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3 Resources to Help You Become a Master Content Marketing Storyteller

How would you answer the question, “If you were stranded on a deserted island — and could only have five books with you — which five would you choose?”
I’d choose my favorite stories to help me feel less alone and remain motivated.
If stories are powerful enough to bring a sense of belonging to someone subject to the ultimate level of isolation, think of the effect they can have on your clients and customers who are (presumably) integrated into society.
This week’s Copyblogger Collection is a series of three handpicked articles that will show you:

How to build an audience with story
How to identify the most important element of your marketing story
How to use storytelling to create an irresistible content series

As you work your way through the material below, think of the following lessons as a mini storytelling course for content marketers.

How to Build an Audience with Story (From America’s Greatest Living Playwright)

Information is simultaneously too much and not enough. Information is impotent to reach the hearts and minds of those who want to run with your idea, product, or service.
Story, on the other hand, is virile, rare, unforgettable. And when well-crafted, more true than the mere statement of plain facts.
If you think theater and drama have nothing to do with business, Robert Bruce will surprise you in How to Build an Audience with Story (From America’s Greatest Living Playwright).
Without dramatic tension, your content may only pack as much punch as your Aunt Gertrude’s dull, chewy holiday

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Why Marketers with Big Egos Make for Really Bad Marketers

Last night, I was recording my newest podcast (The Hot Seat, coming to iTunes soon) with my good friend Ryan Hanley and we were discussing a subject that quite possibly has killed more great marketing ideas and best practices than maybe anything else: Ego Yep, ego kills great marketing. It also kills creativity, sales, culture,…
The post Why Marketers with Big Egos Make for Really Bad Marketers appeared first on The Sales Lion by Marcus Sheridan.

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How to Survive and Thrive as a Corporate Content Marketer

In early 2012, I turned on my corporate-provided laptop for my first day of work writing content for a large technology company.
To say I was nervous would be an understatement. For more than 15 years, I’d been a dedicated freelancer — rejoicing in my independence, working in my little office from a log home in the middle of a vast forest.
Back then, starting my own business was the only way I could live the life I wanted. But thanks to increased telecommuting options and better connectivity, now I get to enjoy my lifestyle along with a regular paycheck.
Content marketers are creative people and being thrust into a hugely bureaucratic environment can be bewildering at first. When I was self-employed, I was free to focus on my own projects. Want to launch a new ebook? Sure! Go for it.
Life as a content marketer in Corporate America is different.

Adapting to the corporate world
When you work at a large company, a paraphrase of the classic Serenity Prayer is helpful:
To survive and thrive, you need to accept the things you cannot change, change the things you can, and have the wisdom to know the difference.
In a company with thousands, or in my case, hundreds of thousands of employees, the chain of command is deep.
It’s unlikely you’ll launch an ebook all by yourself.
As a corporate content marketer, projects inevitably require working and playing well with others in a gigantic sandbox.
You’ll need to accept a few realities

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The Hubcast 71: HubSpot Projects, Recipes, Templates & 2016 Marketing

The Hubcast Podcast Episode 071         Welcome back to The Hubcast, folks: A weekly podcast all about HubSpot news, tips, and tricks. Please also note the extensive show notes below, including some new HubSpot video tutorials created by George Thomas. HubSpot Strategy This week in our strategy section, we talk about why…
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The Tightwad’s Guide to Creating Competitive Content on a Budget

Do you need to spend a lot of money to create exceptional content?
In a word, no.
The barriers to entry for publishing on the Internet are extremely low. That’s why we see so much mediocre content everywhere we look.
But you’re here reading Copyblogger. That tells me that “mediocre content” is a phrase that’s not part of your vocabulary. You’re aiming to create content that’s remarkable. Content that attracts an audience and builds your business.
Today we’re going to cover how to produce winning content on a budget. A really small budget.
The fact is, you don’t need to outspend the competition.
You need to outthink them.
1. Gather ideas from all over
The first tip involves a mindset shift.
It’s about seeing the world around you — both your business world and your personal life — as a source for ideas. Because when you’re creating content on a regular basis, the world can inspire your writing if you let it.
Some of the most interesting content forms when you take a seemingly unrelated aspect of your life and apply it to your content marketing.
To explore this concept, read The Content Crossroads: Supernatural Success at the Intersection of Ideas.
Once you shift your mindset to one of always-on idea gathering, you’ll need a place to capture and save your ideas.
Look for something you’ll always have on hand, whether it’s a small notebook you carry around or an app on your computer or mobile phone. Make sure it’s easy and fast to use, and

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A Beginner’s Guide to Cornerstone Content: Answers to 9 Common Questions

When it comes to defining cornerstone content, Brian Clark said it best:
A cornerstone is … basic, essential, indispensable, and the chief foundation upon which something is constructed or developed. It’s what people need to know to make use of your website and do business with you.
Cornerstone content pages can also help you accomplish many of your content marketing goals.
Goals like getting links to your website, finding new readers, attracting subscribers to your email newsletter, ranking well in search engines for competitive keywords, and giving new life to old articles.
Which makes cornerstone pages important for both seasoned bloggers and brand-new websites. And fortunately, these pages aren’t complicated to create.
So, let’s answer nine common questions about cornerstone content.
1. How is cornerstone content different from a blog post?
A blog post is usually a detail-rich, nuanced, and sometimes epic focus on a particular topic — like this article on cornerstone content you are reading right now.
Cornerstone content, on the other hand, is one single page that is a main location for the content about that topic. One “hub” page, if you will.
For example, a cornerstone content page would be a hub for all of our articles (say 10) about cornerstone content.
You could think of cornerstone content as broad and wide, while a blog post goes narrow and deep.
2. Why create cornerstone content? What’s the “big goal?”
First and foremost, cornerstone content is useful and relevant for your website visitors.
But if it’s interesting and all-inclusive, people will want

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8 Qualities of the Most Successful Small Business Content Marketing Case Studies

  Note from Marcus: A few years ago I had the pleasure of being hired by a health company in Alaska to assist them with their digital marketing efforts. In order to do this, we found and hired an in-house content manager by the name of Kevin Phillips. To make a long story short, Kevin would become…
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