20 Content Marketing Resources to Bookmark ASAP
You don't have to tell me about all you have to do.
Planning, creating, and distributing content.
Testing and optimizing it for more conversions, rankings, and shares.
Keeping up with the constantly changing industry and learning about your customers and audience.
And doing all of it well. Over and over.
No wonder marketers love caffeine.
To help you get by, I'm inviting you into my beloved content marketing swipe file. The resources in my bookmarks folder, Pocket feed, and Kindle app - the stuff that helps me be a better content marketer.
From strategy and productivity to lead nurturing and SEO, check out the cheat sheets, ebooks, and guides below to get help where you need it.
General content marketing
1. How to 10x Your Content Marketing Team's Productivity
Content marketing has a ton of moving parts and different people working together. As most teams can tell you, it doesn't always run so smoothly. This ebook from Uberflip has great advice for improving the whole team's productivity.
From how you structure your team in the first place, to how you build processes and communicate with each other, every aspect of how your team works together impacts your content. Make everything as efficient as possible with Uberflip's help.
2. Free Templates for Creating Buyer Personas
These free buyer persona templates from HubSpot are almost as famous as some of HubSpot's massive projects and resources, like their blog or marketing grader. And yet it's just 25-page slide deck, with a good portion of the slides mostly blank.
That says something, right? These make it easy to create buyer personas, even if you've never done so. The templates prompt your team what to think about, consider, identify, and ask about your target personas.
3. Simple Style Guide Template
I'm incredibly nitpicky about style and ensuring consistency for all of our content.
It's probably very annoying, but necessary.
That's why I love Kapost's style guide templates that make it possible and easy for every brand to have style guidelines.
Use it to figure out what sections and structure your own brand's guide should have, and follow the prompts to make sure it contains all the information needed to guarantee consistency across all your brand's content.
4. 50 Best One-Sentence Content Marketing Tips
Sometimes you don't have a whole afternoon to learn new things about content marketing. You'd like the quick and dirty tips, please, not a 50-page guide. That's what this great Onboardly roundup ebook gives you.
It features quick, tweet-length tips from experts like Joel Klettke, Dan Martell, and Jeff Bullas. All just a quick sentence, in (as Onboardly says) "the name of sweet, sweet brevity." Scroll through it for tips on content mapping, creating content, and more.
5. Behind the Scenes: How Mention's Content Team Uses Mention
Media monitoring can help content marketers at every stage - from persona research and strategy planning all the way through to promoting blog posts and engaging readers.
In this ebook by our content team, see how it can be used by some of the content marketers that know media monitoring best (not to brag or anything...). We take you through some of the ways we use our own tool to make content marketing easier, and how you can too.
6. 2016 B2B Customer Experience Benchmark Report
It's always important to stay up-to-date on content marketing trends and the behavior patterns of audiences, especially in an industry like ours, that moves so fast. This 2016 benchmark report presents Kapost's original research on marketing-driven customer experiences.
The report lays down some important statistics, their own conclusions and findings based on the stats, and how to apply them through keys to success in content marketing. Download it now to help guide your strategy for the rest of the year and beyond.
7. 9 Excel Templates to Make Marketing Easier
I'm all about templates, so those first persona resources won't be the only ones appearing on this list. In this Excel templates bundle from HubSpot, get the spreadsheets you need to run your team smoothly, without the normal hours spent tediously putting it together yourself.
The spreadsheets cover marketing necessities like an editorial calendar, goal setting templates, and SEO and PPC planning guides. Your whole team will save time on the regular with this kit.
Content strategy and planning
8. How to Build a Content Marketing Plan in 10 Days
Before you create a single piece of content, you need to get a few things nailed down, otherwise, those first posts won't support your overall strategy.
This free content strategy course by Sujan Patel walks you through creating a plan in just a few days. It goes over planning and strategy items like deciding who your audience is and what they want, along with more tactical tips like writing headlines and sharing posts.
9. CoSchedule Editorial Calendar Templates
Your editorial calendar is the skeleton of your content marketing program. Without a good one, things can tend to fall apart. People don't know what they're doing or when, let alone what needs to be accomplished long-term.
Calendars can be as simple or complex as you'd like, but here's a good calendar template to start from by CoSchedule. Make sure your whole team knows how to find what content's being published when and what needs to be done for it.
10. 6 Things Content Marketers Can Do With Media Monitoring
Once you have a strategy and editorial calendar ready to go, it's time to dig into more specific research - like looking into specific topics or personas instead of the bird's eye view of them all. Media monitoring comes in handy here.
From seeing what your target audience is talking about to seeing what content your competitors publish, it makes it easier to keep up with all the different social networks and websites you need to keep up with. This monitoring guide talks about exactly how to get started saving time.
11. Recruit the Dream Team: Content Marketing Hiring Handbook
You can't cook without the right ingredients and tools, of course, but it all starts with who's handling them - the chefs. No matter how great a strategy you have, it won't succeed with poor content marketers on your team.
Learn how to recruit your content marketing dream team in this hiring handbook from Kapost. Figure out how to structure the team, who to hire first, and what each person should be focusing on. And most importantly, how to all work together seamlessly to build a content machine.
12. How HubSpot Does Inbound: Creating a Content Machine
There's no denying HubSpot's content team is a well-oiled machine. They produce high volumes of highly visible and influential content, and it's always great. Have you ever wondered what has to go on behind the scenes to make that happen?
Their content machine ebook explains how they do it, and how they make it look so easy. Hear their strategies for building a culture of content, refining their creation process, and making everything they do more effective.
13. 47 Ways to Come Up with Better Content Ideas
When you've taken care of the big projects like building a team and creating a content strategy, the real work begins. And that starts with nailing down some topics to create content about. And then coming up with more topics, and then more topics, and then more, because content marketing is a long game.
To keep your creativity flowing and your ideas fresh, this marketing cheat sheet can give you ideas for seeking out inspiration and getting your brain's gears grinding. You'll always have a place to look for more ideas.
14. How to Come Up with Endless Targeted Content Ideas
The cheat sheet above gives you lots of different ways to look for new ideas. This ebook is similar but takes the opposite approach. It goes over a handful of ways to brainstorm, but it dives deep. Like really deep.
See exactly how expert content marketers plan their content. I spoke to more than 10 other content marketers - all smarter and better than me - and asked them how they keep their editorial calendars full. Here are the full details on their processes and favorite methods, as well as how you can replicate them yourself. You're welcome!
15. Blog Post Outline Template
I'd say content outlines are one of the most underrated and underutilized tool content marketers have available to them. Everyone wants to jump right into writing - and I get it, but taking extra time to outline can actually save time on a piece itself.
I find that with my own posts, five minutes of planning and making some quick lists can save at least 15-30 minutes of writing the first draft. Don't believe me? Try CoSchedule's outlining template and see how much time it saves you.
16. Writing Tips for Non-Writers
Not all marketers are writers. But nowadays, all marketers are content creators. Even if it's not your main thing, I doubt anyone on your team manages to avoid it completely. And as a content marketer, you probably get thrown into editing it. So you should probably make it for easy for your team to write well...
These writing tips from Onboardly will teach them how to get started writing content, and which resources to turn to for further learning. You definitely want to subtly post it in your marketing team's Slack channel.
17. 500+ Powerful Words for Writing Emotional Headlines
Headlines are like storefronts, front yards, and book covers: they're someone's first impression, and the larger piece of work is judged based on them. They need to be enticing, welcoming, to make people want to check it out further. Meaning, they need to rock.
CoSchedule has made it so easy to write amazing headlines - combine their headline analyzer with this tear sheet of "power words" to write content titles long enough, and it'll get easier and easier to knock out clickworthy content.
18. 24 Ways to Promote Your Next Blog Post
Do you put as much effort into promoting content as you do creating it? We all say we do, but let's be real - every content marketer can spend more time on distribution.
Come up with new ways to build traffic - both long- and short-term - to your blog posts (or other content) with the help of our free content promotion printable.
19. 46 Large Publications That Take Republished Content
Content syndication and republishing make everything you write for your own blog work twice as hard. If the third-party publications are much larger than yours, it can get even better.
SumoMe has a great guide to growing traffic that includes a free spreadsheet of publications you can pitch, along with the contact info you need to pitch them.
20. 10 Reasons to Consider Marketing Automation
Let's talk more about making content work harder for you. There's a simple way to get content to consistently generate, nurture, and even close leads for you: marketing automation. Marketo's guide explains what it is, how to get started, and why automation is the assistant your sales and marketing teams need.
Start your own resource folder
When you're expected to churn out content on the regular and promote it so that it performs well, sometimes you need a little help.
It's normal to feel stuck, to feel creative blocks. That's not what separates the good content marketers from the bad, but do you know what separates the smart ones from the dumb ones? The awareness to recognize it and figure out how to deal, like with help from any of the resources above.
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