You may have heard the phrase “invest in yourself”
As entrepreneurs, knowledge workers, creatives and content marketers we often end up in an echo chamber of our own creation. We get consumed by a project, answering emails and bouncing around in your business.
Sharpening the saw is often forgotten or neglected.
Because we sometimes feel that reading and research as not as vital to generating cash flow or turning that all important profit. We feel guilty for not “working”.
We become blunt and jaded by the incidentals rather than what is really important. Inspiration and entrepreneurial creativity can then wither away. Investing in yourself means feeding your mind and soul. In a fast changing digital world this ongoing education is vital.
So we need to do some of the following despite the inner voice trying to keep us plugging away.
- Reading and researching
- Acting on the ideas that emerge
- Building digital assets
To help you find some inspiration I have been crawling through the most shared content marketing articles on BuzzSumo and come up with these 10 “must read” posts on content marketing.
So if you are a savvy digital marketer or an entrepreneur that understands the importance of building great online content, then these are worth a long glance.
#1. Comparing the ROI of Content Marketing and Native Advertising
This post by Kelsey Liebert (Director of Promotions at Fractl) on the Harvard Business Review website was one of the most shared content marketing articles in the last 12 months.
Over time any marketing tactic becomes less effective.
Technology such as “Ad blocking” stops banner ads and digital advertising has a sliding rate of return as people switch off. Some of the solutions to solve this include using content marketing and native advertising including sponsored content to get all important attention.
This resource provides some rather interesting insights into what works best.
Shares – 16,100
#2. How To Create An Easy Content Marketing Strategy You’ll Actually Use
Brian Sutter (Director of Marketing for Wasp Barcode Technologies) wrote this great piece for Forbes that most marketers should know and need to understand. Creating a content marketing strategy you will use.
It provides great tips and steps on the keys to succeeding at content marketing from goals, automation and conversions. He has made the complex simple.
The secret to its sharing success could be put down to 2 things. A great headline and and a site that gets a lot of organic traffic.
My favourite quote from the post. “Never create a piece of content and only use it once. Every single piece of content you make needs to be reused and recycled”.
Shares – 14,600
Image source: Ascend2
#3. Content Marketing Trends That Will Dominate 2016
Linkedin was a little late to the content marketing party but this great piece by Aashish Chopra got some serious sharing.
Trends posts are always a sure fire winner to maximize sharing and views and this is no different
Favourite insight from this post. “Human attention span is at the all time lowest of 8 seconds, Gold fish is 9 seconds…..Gold Fish!”
#4. Content Marketing Tips for B2B Organisations
Rand Fishkin has a popular series called “Whiteboard Friday”. This insightful post is both a transcript and a 14 minute video.
One little lesson from this article: Re-purpose content for people’s media preferences including text and video.
Favourite insight: “Target the right section of the funnel. Make sure it’s targeted to the right audience, and then come up with a piece of content that’s going to move the needle in the right place”.
Shares – 6,600
#5. Visual Content Marketing: A Resource Guide for Marketers
Visual content is a great way to maximize sharing. This post provides an exhaustive list of resources that you can use to take your content marketing to the next level.
The top insight from this post: “Creating a series makes your content immediately recognizable”
Shares – 5,900
6. The 7 deadly sins of content marketing
Content marketing is often seen as a game of trust building and maximizing social sharing. Trond Lyngbo in this post from Search Engine Land reveals one strategy that is often overlooked by the amatueur.
The importance of optimizing for search engines.
Favourite insight: “Creating a few outstanding, memorable articles that are well-researched and written by experts, ones that others would have a hard time improving upon, can set you apart from everyone else….especially if they’ve been properly optimized for search engines.“
7. How to Turn 1 Idea Into 2 Months of Content Marketing
Not surprising to see Content Marketing Institute on the list.
Coming up with ideas and inspiration is the bane of not just authors but also content marketers. Here are some clever tips from Roger Parker on how to create a series of posts and also why it is important.
Top insight: “How often have you come up with an idea that’s too big and too important for a single blog post, but you’re not ready to write a book?”
8. How to Manage Your Content Marketing in 30 Minutes a Day
Time is precious and you need to get smart about how you use your time as a content marketer. Otherwise you will be trapped behind your desk for the rest of your life!
Aaron Agius’s great guest post on Hubspot reveals the tips, tricks and tactics to make the most of your time.
Top insight: “Reach out to bloggers. While you’re reading through blog posts, take a moment to find the email of the blogger that wrote the piece. Compliment their work, and open up the doors of communication……you will have a surprising number of opportunities from doing this”
Shares – 4,500
#9. 16 Eye-Popping Statistics You Need to Know About Visual Content Marketing
Top insight: “Visuals are memorable and effective, because they help people process, understand, and retain more information more quickly”.
#10. 75 Content Marketing Tools You Can’t Live Without
Marketing is now just as much a tech game as an art form and creative pursuit. Neil Patel from Quick Sprout reveals some tools that will save your time and money.
Top insight: “With the right subject matter, a targeted strategy, and a bit of luck, your post has the potential to go viral”.
Shares: 4,100 shares
About the author: Jeff Bullas
Jeff is an entrepreneur, blogger, author, marketer and speaker and works with personal brands and business to optimize online personal and company brands with emerging technologies, content, social media technologies and digital marketing. He has spent most of his career involved with information technologies, telecommunications and the web.