The CMI team is always thankful that we work with – and can learn from – so many inspiring, insightful, and creative professionals in the content marketing industry. But in the spirit of the Thanksgiving holiday that’s being celebrated in the United States, we thought we would express our appreciation a little more directly – and publicly.
We share some of the blog articles and videos we admired most over the past year. Like our list from 2015, a few of our favorites were curated directly from our own blog; but this time around, we’ve also added outside voices to the mix so you can discover what they have to offer, as well.
While this list represents only a small fraction of the amazing content marketers we should all thank for sharing their wisdom and experience, we hope you’ll find something of value that will help guide you on your path to greater content marketing success.
Author: Carla Johnson
Why I’m thankful I read it: Carla teaches how to make the difficult task of storytelling easier. In this post, she reminds us not to focus on “what” to say, but “why” we want to say it. Great tips on how to craft a story that’s relevant to your customer. –Lisa Murton Beets
Don’t focus on “what” to say, but “why” we want to say it says @carlajohnson via @lisabeets.
Author: Jay Acunzo
Why I’m thankful I read it: I love reading anything Jay writes, and this particular article really resonated with me. His advice here is simple to understand: Trust your intuition – even when it seems to go against conventional wisdom or it takes you in a direction that’s “unthinkable” (i.e., unfamiliar or even a bit uncomfortable). Following your gut is not always an easy path to take, but, as Jay asserts, it’s the only way for your content to stand out and gain attention in our noisy world. –Lisa Dougherty
Following your gut is the only way for #content to stand out in a noisy world says @jayacunzo via @brandlovellc
Post: Moz Returns to SEO
Author: Rand Fishkin
Why I’m thankful I read it: Rand always offers an interesting “all-cards-on-the table” perspective that I really appreciate. In this post, in particular, he crystallizes that approach better than I ever could: “If we shy away from transparency when things are rough, then it’s not really a core value, it’s just a marketing tactic.” It’s a compelling view on remaining true to your authentic self that all content marketers should subscribe to. –Ann Gynn
If we shy away from transparency when it’s rough, it’s not a core value, @randfish via @anngynn.
Author: Justin Gray
Why I’m thankful I read it: As someone who has evaluated many marketing automation platforms, I appreciate reading a post that speaks to the work it takes to prepare yourself for success after you’ve selected your system. Justin does a great job of breaking down specific content creation tasks, providing clear direction and helpful tips along the way. –John Hanson
Author: Buddy Scalera
Why I’m thankful I read it: I often find marketing-related blogs are either information-driven (i.e., relating facts, figures, company news) or built around sharing personal experiences, opinions, and anecdotes – it’s all business, one way or the other. It was a rare pleasure to come across this particular post, which deftly balances purpose and prose: It provides useful insights, analysis, and advice on how to design visual content, but it also brings those lessons to life with a relatable story that’s actually fun to read. –Jodi Harris
Author: Rebecca Lieb
Why I’m thankful I read it: Following on Rebecca’s compelling new research report, this post gives a quick rundown of the benefits of providing contextually relevant communication through the power of smart devices and internet-of-things technological innovations. In the future, if your business isn’t prepared to answer whenever, wherever, and however your audience calls out for assistance, you may be putting your marketing strategy at a Siri-ous competitive disadvantage. –Jodi Harris
Answer when your audience calls for help or put your #marketing strategy at risk says @lieblink via @joderama.
Author: Celeste Headlee
Why I’m thankful I read it: This video post, which I discovered on the TED website, busts through the typical advice on how to be a good conversationalist. Celeste avoids superficial tips like maintain eye contact. Instead, she hits us where it hurts – and helps. Whether I’m interviewing someone for a blog post or chatting with a neighbor, this talk’s through-line applies: “Be interested in people, and then be prepared to be amazed. You won’t be disappointed.” –Marcia Riefer Johnston
Be interested in people, and then be prepared to be amazed @CelesteHeadlee via @MarciaRJohnston.
Author: Clare McDermott
Why I’m thankful I read it: I am a huge fan of podcasts, in general, and I’m a regular listener of our PNR podcast. I think Clare did something truly interesting here by highlighting all the behind-the-scenes work that goes into making a podcast successful and shedding light on what a struggle it can be to measure the effectiveness of content in this format. –Joseph “JK” Kalinowski
Author: Aaron Orendorff
Why I’m thankful I read it: Aaron always provides great tips on how to optimize on certain platforms, whether it’s your website, mobile, or email. Here, he offers quick, actionable ideas that I’ve been able to implement right away. –Laura Kozak
Author: Pam Didner
Why I’m thankful I read it: Lately, I have been trying to do more of my own writing for the Orange Effect Foundation blog, as well as for LinkedIn. Whenever I get stuck or feel overwhelmed, this post reminds me to think about why I’m writing, which motivates me to keep working to pursue my passions. –Pam Kozelka
Author: Amanda Gant
Why I’m thankful I read it: As the title of the post suggests, this article is chock-full of ideas you can use – right now – to improve your website. While the content we publish at CMI is key, we all know that content is only useful if it can be found. We are devoting more time to our website so our readers can find the information that is most relevant to them, and this post helps. –Michele Linn
#Content is only useful if it can be found says @michelelinn.
Author: Ann Smarty
Why I’m thankful I read it: Ann clearly articulates her ideas on how to bridge the gap between sales and content marketing and how more effective collaboration can lead to greater success for both functions. At CMI, we’ve made concerted efforts to step out of our own personal comfort zones and reach across the table to our other teams, and this post is a wonderful example of how we can all strive to create those close, “peanut butter and jelly” relationships in our organizations. –Peter Loibl
Collaboration btw sales & #contentmarketing can lead to greater success says @seosmarty via @peterloibl.
Author: Jay Acunzo
Why I’m thankful I read it: Drawing interesting parallels between marketing and stand-up comedy, Jay has provided a teachable moment here that is truly a gift. As Jay points out, not all comedians perform with the same cadence or delivery, so why should marketers? He also reminds us that, while frameworks are certainly helpful, they should be adapted to suit the needs of your business (and your customers) rather than being adopted outright. He perfectly sums up his view thusly: “Don’t try to follow the best practice. Try to create it. Don’t emulate the industry standard. Try to become it.” –Cathy McPhillips
Not all comedians perform w/ the same cadence, so why should marketers? @jayacunzo via @cmcphillips.
Author: Andy Crestodina
Why I’m thankful I read it: For starters, this supports the research arm of CMI’s business. Secondly, I always find that Andy’s posts (and all of Orbit Media’s posts, really) offer the best takeaways, explanations, and tips – without trying to game the system. And lastly, though marketers never want to create posts just to receive links or social shares, this post reminds us just how important distribution and amplification are when it comes to reaching our conversion goals. –Cathy McPhillips
Author: Doug Kessler
Why I’m thankful I read it: First of all, Doug is one of the best writers I know. Second, he’s right: Too many marketers start with the “what” and not the “why.” Great reminder from Mr. Kessler. –Joe Pulizzi
Too many #marketers start with the “what” and not the “why” says @dougkessler via @joepulizzi.
Author: Amanda Todorovich
Why I’m thankful I read it: Amanda offers excellent advice for content teams (or any other team, for that matter): Get out of the day-to-day content creation mode and take some time for the creative thought process. Why is this so important? I’ll let her explain: “When writers and designers start to view creating content as a chore, we lose. When we don’t have enough time to give a project the full creative attention it deserves, we lose. We don’t innovate in those circumstances. We don’t push our voice or choices. We aren’t bold in those overwhelming to-do list moments. We create content that gets lost in the fight for sore eyes when we have to ‘just get it done.’ The team must stay inspired, engaged, and excited to tackle new projects.” –Stephanie Stahl
When writers & designers view creating #content as a chore, we lose says @amandatodo via @editorstahl.
Author: Andrew Davis
Why I’m thankful I read it: Drew offers some surprising advice to companies that are looking to push their panel discussions beyond the standard (boring) fare: Bring the drama. Embrace a debate, offer up a conflict, and give your presenters something to take a passionate stance on. If you can do that, not only will your attendees be more engaged, Drew may even offer to speak at your event for free! –Karen Schopp
Author: Andre Oentoro
Why I’m thankful I read it: I really enjoyed this piece because it gave me some takeaways about optimizing video that I had not thought of before – especially some of the SEO tips for YouTube. –Amanda Subler
Author: Nicole Fallon Taylor
Why I’m thankful I read it: As a former journalist, I was familiar with the advice Nicole shares. But I remember working with plenty of PR professionals who just didn’t understand what the day-to-day job of a journalist entails or were totally unaware of the best ways to effectively engage the interest of reporters. The great lessons Nicole offers here should go a long way towards closing that knowledge gap. –Amanda Subler
Author: Marji J. Sherman
Why I’m thankful I read it: Though I only recently discovered this post (from 2014), it still serves as a wonderful reminder of the impact our words have in both our personal and professional lives. Hopefully, Marji’s inspiring advice will make you press pause and take a minute to be thoughtful before you hit “publish.” –Monina Wagner
Author: Christopher Bell
Why I’m thankful I read it: Hollywood might decide what its audience does or does not want to see; but that doesn’t mean marketers must follow the same path. This TED talk video shares how your audience responds when you listen and produce quality content. –Monina Wagner
Author: Ann Handley
Why I’m thankful I read it: I’m cheating a little here, since I first saw Ann Handley present these tips at #CMWorld this year and then noticed she wrote a post on the same topic. I don’t write often enough to spend much time looking for new tools, tips, or tricks that might make the process easier. So, I’m thankful that Ann has already done the research, and has shared her discoveries so that we can all benefit. –Angela Vannucci
What content are you particularly thankful for this year? Please share in the comments.
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Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute
The post 22 Blog Posts That Content Marketers Can Be Thankful For appeared first on Content Marketing Institute.