More than 350 blogs were reviewed by Junta42 and their lead researcher Janet Robbins for their selection of the Junta42 Top Content Marketing blogs. This is the eight installment of this list for Junta42. Congratulations to Jay Baer from Convince and Convert for his spot at the top. Here are the top ten blogs:

We think that The Wrap’s list of the “Top 25 Must-Follow Media Insiders” is right on. And we promise it’s not just because Rex is the third insider listed. Why does The Wrap’s Dylan Stableford believe media-obsessed Twitter users should follow Rex? Dylan says it’s because, “Hammock, aside from running a custom publishing operation in Nashville, is a serial adopter of new media tools (as evidenced by his one-letter Twitter handle) and has plenty of worthwhile opinions on them, and others.”
Yes, we knew all that about Rex. We’re just glad more Twitter users are now catching on.

When a visitor arrives at one of your landing pages, it’s critical the page is designed to make it easy for the visitor to perform a desired action. These actions can be varied—for some of our clients it can be to fill out a form or to watch a video. For others, the action can be to spend more time on the site, clicking to other pages. Good, relevant content makes these actions happen and we help clients create this type of content that meets their goals. Michele Linn of has some great tips for how content marketers build better landing pages:

At Hammock we not only love words and beautiful layouts–but we love data too. Why are we so fond of numbers and graphs and spreadsheets? Because this kind of data collection and analysis ensures that the media we are creating are doing what they are intended to do. We’re always clear on how our words and video and tweets and other media are working (or not working) because measurement is such an integral part of what we do.
Jon Buscall, in this content marketing article, “Data is Content Marketing’s Friend,” says you can’t rely on your gut instinct when it comes to evaluating if your media is meeting your objectives. I couldn’t agree more. We don’t rely on crystal balls or some kind of unscientific “feeling” when it comes to our clients’ content marketing efforts—we rely on hard data to track if their strategy is working and if changes are necessary. At Hammock data is indeed our friend and it helps us create content that works for our clients.

Leaders in custom media and content marketing from across the county have been in Nashville this week for the Custom Content Council’s (formerly the Custom Publishing Council) annual conference. When not exploring local sights like the Country Music Hall of Fame or the honky tonks of Lower Broadway, attendees have been learning from their colleagues and debating the latest trends in custom content.
This morning Rex, one of the founders of CPC (oops, make that, CCC), moderated a panel of custom media CEOs and industry veterans. Chris McMurry, CEO of McMurry, Diana Pohly, President/CEO of The Pohly Company, Valerie P. Valente, SVP/Publishing Director of Rodale Custom Publishing and Cameron Brown, President of King Fish Media shared strategies for evolving their content services to better meet the needs of their clients. The panelists acknowledged that 20 years ago their businesses were focused on magazines and newsletters while today those offerings have expanded to video, social media, event media and more.
Even though platform choices and vehicles have expanded, their focus remains the same: Meeting their clients’ goals with custom content.

At Hammock we work with clients to create content that works–content that solves specific business challenges. But how do we know what content will work for each client? There are some universal content marketing rules to follow, as Rex points out in his “Content That Works” series, but sometimes learning what not to do is just as helpful to guiding strategy decisions.
Here are five areas where sees marketers make mistakes when it comes to their content marketing plans:

Do you know how well your content is working for you? If you can’t answer this question with confidence, you aren’t alone. Most marketers today lack a clear idea of how their content is helping them meet their business objectives. But with all of the money and resources invested toward this content, they can’t afford to be in the dark about how it’s helping them meet their goals.
Enter the content audit. At Hammock, we understand how important such an audit can be. That’s why we provide services to evaluate how clients’ current use of media and other content is working for them. Immediately after starting a relationship with a client, we conduct a Hammock Content Marketing Intelligence Report, a comprehensive look at which content is currently working and what changes are needed. This report involves an intake assessment, in which we collect all relevant information from the client for our research. (We provide a simple checklist of what we need so it’s a pretty painless process.)

Everywhere you turn today companies are encouraging you to follow them on Twitter. And it’s not just the big national players like CNN who promote themselves on the social media tool–it’s local small businesses too, which I was reminded of just last week. At a fundraiser I struck up a conversation with caterers from Sweet 16th, my favorite bakery in Nashville. During our quick chat they explained how they are making bread now and chimed in, “Follow us on Twitter so you can find out which breads are available each day.”

The jury is still out on how the iPad and other tablets will impact what has been a struggling magazine industry the last few years, but Wired editor Chris Anderson has a positive outlook on the potential of the tablet to change the industry. Why is Anderson so confident in the opportunities tablets will create for magazines and content marketers? He shared the following insights at the American Association of Advertising Agencies’ Transformation Conference in San Francisco last week:

We hear it all the time: Companies who treat their websites as “brochure” sites and then wonder why they don’t have more visitors. According to this content marketing post from Talk Back Media, “your site should be like a salesperson working around the clock to boost your business”—and a brochure site will simply not cut it. The goal is to create content on an ongoing basis that continues to tell the story of your product or service. It doesn’t matter what form the content takes—it can be through blogs, white papers, case studies or people pages—it just has to be vibrant, relevant and regularly updated. This discipline not only makes your site more attractive to search engines, but also to site visitors. They’ll have an incentive to come back to the site more often if they know the content will be different every time and of interest to them because you have set yourself up as an expert and a trusted source.