10 Content Marketing Lessons You Can Steal from Top Athletes

I’m a huge fan of sports and athletics. So if I go a little quiet when the big game or the Olympics are on, well… now you know why.

More importantly, as someone who puts great value on his own physical fitness, I see the talent, work and dedication that goes into becoming the very best in a given sport as something that should be hugely admired.

I also believe that there’s a hell of a lot that most of us, as employers or employees in less, well, physically demanding roles, can learn from the training practices and actions of top athletes.

Here are ten of these life lessons, as well as how they should be applied to our content marketing efforts:

Channel Pressure to Help You Perform at Your Very Best

From the critical opening second of an Olympic sprint – where even the tiniest error or hesitation could throw the whole race – through to the deciding penalty shot of a World Cup final, competitive sports and athletics are filled with high-pressured situations.

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What I find most interesting, though, is how adept professional athletes are at not just coping with pressure, but channeling it to their advantage – something most of us could learn from. Many would say this is what separates the good athletes from the great.

Unfortunately, a lot of us just don’t perform at our best when under pressure. As unpleasant as that is, it’s very common, and nothing to be ashamed of. It is something, however, that we can work to change.

When faced with pressure, our bodies tend to respond in two ways: they either go into “challenge” mode, or “threat” mode. Continue reading “10 Content Marketing Lessons You Can Steal from Top Athletes”

How to Leverage Influencers to Build Your Brand

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Having trouble getting your message noticed online? Unfortunately, cutting through the internet’s increasingly noisy atmosphere is a common problem facing brands these days, as consumers have learned to both ignore online advertisements and distrust the ones that do break through to their consciousness.

So what’s the solution? If banner ads or traditional media buys aren’t getting you the results you want, it’s time to start leveraging influencers to help grow your business.

Simply put, influencers are those that, well, influence others to action. They might be traditional print authors, bloggers, industry leaders, consultants, media figures or others in occupations that put their opinions in front of an audience. Think about your own field of expertise. Are there any company leaders whose careers you follow? Any bloggers whose recommendations you’re quick to act on? These are the influencers whose eyes you want to catch.

That said, there’s a big difference between identifying the influencers in your field and actually getting them to promote your brand or product to their followers. Here’s everything you need to know about finding these authority figures and leveraging them to get your message heard… Continue reading “How to Leverage Influencers to Build Your Brand”

35 All-Time Best Digital Marketing Slide Decks

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I’m a big fan of slide decks. When done well, they’re an incredible tool for absorbing information without actually realizing how much ground you’ve covered or the volume of new knowledge you’ve taken in.

What’s more, you don’t have to be an award-winning designer to create your own. With the right tools and a little creativity, almost anyone can kick out a slide deck that looks good and is both informative and interesting.

That said, not all slides are created equal – and there’s no shortage of decks that just aren’t worth your time. So don’t waste it! I’ve hunted high and low to find the cream of the crop and here they are – 35 of the best marketing slide decks to watch now. Continue reading “35 All-Time Best Digital Marketing Slide Decks”

Content Marketing in Boring Industries: 10 Tips from 10 Companies Doing it Right

A few weeks, I got called out on Inbound.org for writing about six companies doing content marketing well and only listing marketing companies. According to the site’s visitors, marketing to marketers is easy – the examples I shared wouldn’t necessarily translate to those working in other industries.

Well, I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty confident that solid content marketing principles apply to everyone – in every field. So I did some digging and started investing companies in boring industries and found that there are tons of great examples out there of businesses that are crushing it online.

I’ve shared a few of them below, along with 10 tips you can take from their successes to apply to your own marketing campaigns.

Tip #1 – Become an Expert

Every industry has experts. Marketers are all familiar with guys like Seth Godin and Rand Fishkin – but just because they work as marketers doesn’t mean that examples don’t exist in other fields.

Take Autodesk, for instance. The company has been working hard to establish itself as an authority in the sustainable design field – an industry most people aren’t even aware exists. Largely, it’s done so through the publication of guest blogs to other sites, creating a web of mentions that get the company’s name out there without coming across as overly self-promotional. Continue reading “Content Marketing in Boring Industries: 10 Tips from 10 Companies Doing it Right”

Hacking Your Content Strategy: 21 Tips and Tricks to Improve Efficiency

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Killer, epic content is critically important to your business’s marketing strategy, but you know as well as I do that creating it takes time. And whether you’ve got a target audience that doesn’t know you exist or a C-suite breathing down the back of your neck to prove ROI, you need results faster than that.

Marketers in every industry and vertical are under skyrocketing amounts of pressure to the enormous amount of content needed to reach their goals. It isn’t surprising to hear, then, that according to the Content Marketing Institute, 69% of marketers cite lack of time as one of their biggest challenges.

Fortunately, there are a number of ways that you can streamline your content marketing strategy. Here are 21 hacks that can help you execute your campaigns more seamlessly – possibly even increasing your ROI at the same time. Continue reading “Hacking Your Content Strategy: 21 Tips and Tricks to Improve Efficiency”

10 Reasons Your Landing Page Sucks and How to Improve It

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Landing page creation is as much an art as it is a science. You want things to look good, but you also want your content to work for you. A landing page that looks pretty – but doesn’t bring you the results you want – isn’t a good landing page at all!

It’s true that a well-optimized landing page can significantly increase the success of your inbound marketing campaigns. But that said, most brands make a number of critical landing page mistakes that end up killing their conversions. In fact, research from Econsultancy suggests that only 22% of brands are satisfied with their landing page conversion rates – but few take the necessary steps to optimize them more effectively.

If you’re in this position, it’s time to stop whining about the results you should be getting and start taking action to improve your landing pages. Here’s how to get started: Continue reading “10 Reasons Your Landing Page Sucks and How to Improve It”

35 Must-Listen Podcast Episodes for Entrepreneurs

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Chilling in your car on the way to the office? Killing time while you hit the treadmill at the gym?

Forget music or audiobooks! Use your time wisely to improve your business skill set or expand your mind with any of the following 35 must-listen podcasts for entrepreneurs:

Mixergy, “How Brian Scudamore Built a $150M Empire with $700 and a Pickup Truck

The Mixergy series is another good source of inspirational interviews with successful business owners. If you’re new to the site, start with the Brian Scudamore episode for the fascinating story of Brian’s history founding 1-800-GOT-JUNK.

Continue reading “35 Must-Listen Podcast Episodes for Entrepreneurs”

Getting Hacked: What to Know and How to Recover

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If you stop by here frequently, you probably noticed that I had a bit of downtime recently. Unfortunately, my site was hacked again, but I’m happy to report that everything is back up and running – no data lost and no personal information compromised.

I wish I could say that this was the first time somebody messed with my site, but what I’ve come to learn is that getting hacked is part of the price of admission for running on WordPress.

Don’t get me wrong – I love WordPress. The fact that it’s open source and widely adopted means tons of great templates, plugins and add-ons, many of which I use to power this blog. But those same pros turn into cons when you take into consideration the fact that hackers have the same amount of access as you do.

Dealing with the potential for WordPress hacks requires two things – being able to recognize the signs that you’ve been hacked, and knowing how to clean up the mess while simultaneously protecting your site for the future. Continue reading “Getting Hacked: What to Know and How to Recover”

19 Growth Hacking Resources You Won’t Want to Miss

If you’ve read my past post on growth hacking, you know that my first rule of growth hacking is that you don’t talk about growth hacking – you go out there and get the shit done.

The resources below have all found a balance between these two pursuits. They’ve taken action, seen results, and now they’re sharing their insights with the following 19 resources you won’t want to miss: Continue reading “19 Growth Hacking Resources You Won’t Want to Miss”

How to Build a Marketing Strategy that Guarantees Conversions

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Let’s get one thing straight right now… If you’ve got a piece of shit product that you’re trying to sell to the wrong people, for the wrong amount of money, I can’t help you.

Instead, what I’m offering in this article is a process you can use that – when applied correctly – virtually guarantees conversions from your digital marketing efforts. If you’re ready to put in the effort, there’s no reason you can’t use this approach to make money selling products and services online.

Ready to dive in? Let’s get started…

Step #1 – Establish product-market fit

Plenty of marketers out there think that making sales online comes down to the tools you use – as if adding the right landing page creation tool or a new pop-under banner program is the secret to profitability that will somehow make up for a weak product-market fit.

Unfortunately, it isn’t the mechanics of your site that lead to sales. Although image matters, when it comes down to it, sales result from matching up a market segment with a problem to a product that solves their issues and that they can acquire without too much pain. Old school marketers call this “product-market fit,” and it’s a vital component to have in place before you begin your content marketing campaigns. Continue reading “How to Build a Marketing Strategy that Guarantees Conversions”