By now, I’m going to assume that you’re fully aware of the fact that content marketing has been rolling off many a digital tongue lately. If you are one of those that have been tuned in and have a clue about what I’m talking about, then I will also assume you’ve been searching the web for and reading up on related articles like a fiend since you heard the phrase, like the rest of us. If you somehow found yourself here and have no clue, hey, why not stick around and learn something new today!

In my searching, I’ve come across some pretty appetizing content marketing resources that I’d like to put in one blog post for you to feast on, put to good use, and hopefully spread the word about.

The Content Marketing Resources Menu

Apéritif

Let’s start this conversation off with something to stimulate your intellectual appetite, shall we? (…or get you a little drunk on the idea of content marketing, if you’re the lightweight type!)

Content marketing isn’t a service – it’s an art. The art of crafting content aimed at attracting, engaging, and empowering a target audience to take action. It’s not selling, not pitching and not shouting. It’s a long-term strategy that builds a loyal customer base and drives profits.”

Okay, that’s all you really need to know before sinking your mental teeth into the three resources I’ll be serving up to you today.

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Appetizer (#1)

There’s a man named Neetzan Zimmerman. He is a genius at creating viral content. He used to work at Gawker, one of the world’s biggest blogs, generating more traffic than all of Gawker’s other writers combined. Now, he works at Whisper, a hot social networking startup in Los Angeles, where he is editor-in-chief. HubSpot asked him to share his secrets, and so this fantastic slideshow was born:

9 Secrets from a Genius to Make Your Content Go Viral

 

 

Neetzan, beyond loving your name, I love your secrets. And, since we’re sharing secrets as friends here as we share an appetizer, I’d like to share one of my content marketing secrets, too.

Jess’ content marketing secret:

Don’t be afraid to use a conversational style of writing, from time to time, to better connect with your reader. Essentially, writing as you would speak. Some will appreciate the style and, well, those who don’t can go read something else! 😉

Now that secrets have been shared during our appetizer, let’s dive a little deeper into the content marketing conversation with our main course.

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Main Course (#2)

Before we dine, let’s toast to wisdom, shall we?

“May we live to learn well, and learn to live well.”

Now, onto the meal. And, I hope you brought your appetite because this is hands down one of the most comprehensively satisfying guides on content marketing that I’ve come across to-date. As stated by the creators of it over at QuickSprout, “Simply put, use this guide to help you take your content marketing to the next level.”

The Advanced Content Marketing Guide by Neil Patel and Kathryn Aragon

Within this guide, you will find the following chapters on the subject of content marketing:
1. Build a Strong Foundation

2. How to Generate Thousands of Clickable Ideas for Your Content

3. How to Plan Your Content for Maximum Productivity

4. Learn to Write Content Like a Pro

5. 12 Content Writing Secrets of Professional Writers (Yes, we’re sharing more secrets over the main course!)

6. Templates for Quick and Easy Content Creation

7. Overcoming Common Content Marketing Roadblocks

8. The Other Side of Content Creation: Optimize for Search

9. Promoting Your Content to Increase Traffic, Engagement, and Sales

10. Driving Business Objectives with Content: 5 Simple Strategies for Monetizing Your Content

(Simply click the picture above to download this content marketing feast!)

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Dessert (#3)

Let’s be honest, after that main course you may be pretty full heading into dessert. Don’t let that stop you from enjoying this third resource though. Consume it now, save it for later (I hope you’ve already taken the step to bookmark this blog post anyway). Either way, dessert is meant to be enjoyed, not forced, so enjoy this one when you get the chance and when you could use a little taste of controversy.

“Content Shock”

Transparency is key when it comes to what we consume, right? Well, that same principal holds true here as well. You should know that not everyone is complete sold on the taste of content marketing trend. Enter: the concept of “content shock”.

The conversation started with Mark Schaefer’s blog post Content Shock: Why content marketing is not a sustainable strategy. The main premise of his post is this:

The amount of available content is exploding, our human capacity to absorb content is limited, which at some point creates an ‘economic’ pressure on the system that will require adaptation and shifts from current marketing strategies. As this crunch intensifies and the cost to enter and compete in this field increases, content marketing as we know it may not be an economically viable option for some businesses.”

Upwards of 250 blog posts have been written in response to his original post. These posts cover everything from expanding upon the ideas Schaefer initially included in his post to suggesting solutions to battle content shock and arguments against content shock. As a result, Schaefer took the liberty of creating a number of posts after the fact to address the various major responses and to discuss various sub-topics related to content shock. I’ve got those toppings right here for you:

Interested in learning more about the content shock debate beyond Schaefer’s original post? Six Arguments Against Content Shock

Looking to gain an understanding of how you can come out a winner in the content shock battle? 10 Strategies to Battle Content Shock

Curious about how content shock is actually beneficial to consumers? A Content Shock Parable: The Consumer View

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Bon appétit!

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