Imagine you were compiling a course curriculum for a class on online marketing. What would be your go-to resources?
I’d love to share with you what I’ve got so far, and it’d be awesome if you’d consider adding any personal favorites in the comments. Here is what I’ve bookmarked as my must-read social media articles and content marketing resources.
23 Must-Read Social Media Articles and Content Resources
1. Stock and Flow (link)
Robin Sloan’s big ideas, published back in 2010, still ring true for me and my marketing today. Here’s the idea of stock and flow in a nutshell:
- Flow is the feed. It’s the posts and the tweets. It’s the stream of daily and sub-daily updates that remind people that you exist.
- Stock is the durable stuff. It’s the content you produce that’s as interesting in two months (or two years) as it is today. It’s what people discover via search. It’s what spreads slowly but surely, building fans over time.
2. White Bread vs. Wheat Bread Content (link)
We’ve built this one into our content strategy a bit at Buffer. Written by Greg Ciotti (and based on an insight from Pamela Vaughn of Hubspot), the white bread / wheat bread concept works this way:
- White bread content is snackable, bite-sized, easy to consume.
- Wheat bread content solves problems, dives deep, and addresses issues.
3. 16 Explosive Content Promotion Strategies (link)
Robbie Richards’s comprehensive page on promotion strategies is bound to have at least one you’ll find worth trying. Here are my three favorites: Snip.ly, social media timing, LinkedIn groups.
4. The Quickest Way to Feedback: Start With a Cupcake
Looking for amazing marketing advice and metaphors? The Intercom blog has it. The cupcake post is a great example of a simple idea, explained clearly and with immediate action.
5. Social Media Explained With Donuts
You may have seen this image floating around the net before (we’ve used it to talk about social media strategies, too). For those curious about the differences between social media networks, this graphic’ll set them straight.
6. 9 Persuasion Lessons From a 4-year-old (link)
What’s one of the biggest reasons someone clicks your tweet or update? Persuasive writing. This list from Jarom Adair at Copyblogger gives several good ideas for ways to write your next social media update from the right, persuasive perspective.
7. A Scientific Guide to Posting Tweets, Facebook Posts, Emails, and Blogposts at the Best Time (link)
Before I joined the Buffer blog, I had a folder of Buffer favorites all by itself! This post about social media timing, written by Belle Beth Cooper, remains one of my favorites.
8. Social Media Strategy in 8 Steps
Jay Baer shares his 8-step plan for an awesome social media strategy in a post that inspired us to share our social media strategy as well. Great stuff in Jay’s article!
9. Making Your Writing Work Harder for You (link)
I was really grateful to be turned onto this gem from Patrick McKenzie; it exists in McKenzie’s email archives so it’s a bit hard to find on its own. In 4,500 words, he covers a ton of ground with how to manage a blog effectively, including some neat ideas on what blogposts should truly be.
10. Master This Copywriting Formula to Dominate Any Social Platform (link)
Problem > Agitate > Solution
Demian Farnworth of Copyblogger goes into much more detail on this master method, including ways to spice it up if you plan on using it over and over again (re-use is a good idea, by the way). Maybe try this one out in your next blog post or social media update.
11. A Scientific Take on Viral Marketing (link)
How do you create a viral piece of marketing? There’re no easy answers, but there is a little bit of science. This post from Gregory Ciotti on the Help Scout blog covers the basics.
12. Using Neuroscience to Design a Better Blog (link)
We love neuromarketing articles and ideas at Buffer. These design tips from Ankit Oberoi of KISSmetrics, backed by neuroscience, can be relevant for not only design but also writing, blogging, social sharing, and more.
13. Why Content Marketing Fails (link)
Rand Fishkin’s SlideShare presentation on content marketing includes five big reasons why your content marketing might fail—and in so doing, reveals five reasons why it could succeed, too.
14. “Growth Is Not a Hack:” 7 Strategies for Growing a Loyal Audience (link)
This piece from Contently is a great reminder and overview of ways to build a blog and social media audience in an everlasting way.
15. 9 Content Marketing Growth Hacks to Drive Traffic and Conversions (link)
The list item above seems a bit in contrast here—growth hacks versus no growth hacks. We’ve found that you don’t really need to fall on one side of the debate or another. Tips for long-term growth are helpful as well as tips for quick gains. The growth hacks from Garrett Moon, writing at Unbounce, are a great place to start with the quick wins.
16. How I Cut My Writing Time From 2 Days to 2 Hours (link)
Digging into our Buffer blog archives for this one, I’ve kept coming back to this writing advice from Belle Beth Cooper. Lots of great tips in here, including how to dump your good research if it’s holding you back.
17. The Creators Code (link)
File this one under “Inspiration.” The Hiut Denim Company’s manifesto on Medium talks about the 10 essential elements for creators. The advice is easy to come by: It’s 68 words in total.
18. How to Create Great Content That Drives Traffic
I like that this title kind of speaks for itself. Create great content that drives traffic—and if I might add, great content creates great engagement on social media.
19. How I Write 8 Blog Posts a Week While Running 2 Companies (link)
The headline sounds impossible, right? There’s great advice in this one from one of the best bloggers in the industry, Neil Patel. His idea workflow is worth the price of admission alone.
20. Publish Your Blog Post Without SEO and 1000s of Visits Will Be Lost (link)
Rand Fishkin’s guest post on Problogger states a very eloquent case for the value of doing SEO with your content marketing. Even a little bit of SEO goes a long way.
21. Make It Rain Traffic With These 3 Advanced SEO Tactics (link)
Scott Krager, writing at clarity.fm, delivers three unique ways to expand your SEO strategy—and how to do so in such a way that even us beginners could get things done and see results.
22. How to Grow a New Website to Over 100,000 Visits In One Month (link)
SEO Nick offers some great advice on how to go from zero to 100,000 visits on a blog. Your numbers might not be the same as Nick’s, but you can at least use the blueprint for getting your new blog started with a bang.
23. 26 Creative Ways to Publish Social Media Updates (link)
This big resource from Social Media Examiner’s Ali Luke covers some awesome ideas on new tests to try with social media posts, including some of my personal favorites: photo quotes, employee interviews, questions, and thanks.
We’re fortunate to have so many great sources of inspiration and education in the blogs we read and love. This list of social media and content resources likely just scratches the surface of all the great posts out there.
Which posts do you love?
Share your favorites in the comments. I’d love to give them a read!