14 February 2024 |

It’s 2014 again in the content marketing world.

By Tracey Wallace

Webinars are hot. Guest authorship is popping. News-jacking is trending. So much of what I began to build my career on years ago is back in vogue––but this time, with fully powered integrated marketing teams behind them. 

And it makes sense. When SEO is uncertain, folks lean into the tactics that drive leads and traffic outside of the SERP alone. These tactics can be optimized for search––but they have power and usability far beyond it. 

These tactics are what made content marketing a known discipline a decade ago, and it’s a lot of fun to see them come back, to build real strategies around them, and to have a lot more people excited about them than I did in 2014––when content really was on an island within the team. 

Here’s what is back––and why. 


The eye-roll I bet you all are giving me right now, ha. 

I know it well. 

I, too, gave such an eye-roll at the insatiable desire for more webinars, and teams calling them the “hot new content thing.” 

They aren’t new. 

And they certainly aren’t hot, right? Think again. 

Since 2014, there has been a big upgrade in webinar technology that allows you to create real shows out of the experience. Moreover, a webinar doesn’t have to be just a presentation of a deck. 

  • It can be an interview at a really nice recording studio with an influencer. 
  • It can be a known presenter presenting what they would show at a big trade show, but for your audience, for free, without them having to jump on any plane. 

And, webinar strategies are more advanced, too. Folks know the value of video, and real people and insights (thought leadership!), which means repurposing is a core part of the program. 

And, you want diversity. 

  • In speakers, yes. 
  • And in format: panels, presentations, interviews. 
  • And in the stage of the funnel: top, middle, bottom. 

Then, you need to integrate it: content syndication and paid newsletter sponsorships to drive leads, sales enablement and sequences for the sales team with different cadences and playbooks for leads versus those who attended versus those who engaged. 

Think of these new webinars as mini online conferences. 

You are taking all the benefits of the online conference––big names, tons of insights, great design, lots of distribution and excitement––and creating it on a much smaller scale for monthly (or heck, weekly, if you have the resources) webinars. 

And you know what? They are working. Really, really well. 

Guest authorship 

At BigCommerce, I was a content marketing team of 1 with a total of zero dollars of budget to my name. The only way I could scale myself was through a guest authorship program. I worked with partners. I worked with customers. I worked with influencers. I wrote a whole book with several experts, and published it on Amazon. 

Even before BigCommerce, at NaturallyCurly, I relied solely on a guest authorship program and a really cool SmartSheets setup to publish 10 articles or so a day.  

But guest authorship for a lot of companies fell by the wayside over the years due to an increased focus on “SEO content,” which experts don’t joyfully write. 

Or, it fell by the wayside due to a more journalistic approach, the one I took for sure. In that approach, you hire journalists and they interview experts and write stories based on those interviews. 

Both approaches were effective, to an extent, but they have problems. SEO isn’t as reliable as it once was as a distribution channel, and a journalistic approach isn’t as scalable as a guest authorship program. 

Guest authorship programs open up access to the real experts––not just the influencers. The people who are doing the work, and who are excited about a new tactic they’ve found, a new change in the industry they want to explain to folks, to trends they are noticing. 

It can be your internal team as writers. Your partners. Your customers. Your community. It can be anyone. And, depending on the person, they can write it themselves, or you can interview them and ghostwrite it. 

These pieces still go through the same editorial process you have set up. They get edited, for sure. They get optimized for search, of course. But now you have a steady stream of content ideas and willing experts as authors. 

Expertise breadth, and becoming a publication of curation in a sea of sameness and information overwhelm is the path forward. 


I about fell over in my office chair when a colleague commented on one of my decks that talked about us publishing more news, and said, “I think this is called news-jacking.” 

She’s right. It is. 

And it’s an area ripe for a resurgence because the marketing industry is in a period of chaos. AI is disrupting everything. Algorithms change daily. What worked yesterday, much less last year, isn’t what works today––and people are having to think on their toes, and manage anxiety and stress due to layoffs caused by a lot of these changes. 

And there isn’t a ton of great, trustworthy content out there helping folks read between the lines of these industry changes. Sure, you have influencers on LinkedIn writing mini-essays about it, but it’s hard to tell who is a real expert there and who isn’t. Plus, a lot of folks aren’t on those platforms. They are heads down in the work, trying to figure out what to do next. 

And you can be the brand there to help them figure that out, show them a path forward, ease the anxiety, and news-jack like crazy to drive traffic on topics that have your audience awake at night. 

The goal with this one? Speed. You need to turn these around quickly––in days, ideally, and doing that in an integrated marketing environment is hard. But, it’s possible––and it pays off.