19 Content Marketing Experts Offer Their Best Advice
Have you ever wondered what the best piece of content marketing advice is? Where do you need to focus your marketing efforts versus what’s just nice to have? Now that content marketing is the hot marketing buzzword, what are the critical elements your content needs to rise above the noise to drive measurable business results?
To help you, we surveyed 19 top content marketing experts to get their advice and here’s what they say.
- “Stop being amazing, and start being useful.” From Youtility cited by Jay Baer of Convince and Convert, author of Youtility and Peg Fitzpatrick one of the ringleaders at 12Most.
- “Content marketing is like producing a movie. It requires a cast of skills to design, execute, distribute and measure a content initiative.” I’ll be speaking at CMW on how to become a social business. I’ll explain how a social business approaches content the same as producing a movie. [Here is] my blog post explains the “producing a movie” analogy. Bernie Borges of Find and Convert and author of Marketing 2.0.
- “My best piece of content marketing advice is to always be helpful and create marketing that helps people.” Michael Brenner of SAP and the B2B Insider blog.
- “Don’t try to be like everyone else. Every day I see a brand make headlines for a unique approach they took and the next thing you know you see others trying to copy it without ever achieving the original success. Being unique, while being true to your brand and culture is critical so copying someone else is rarely a good idea. Yes, you should always be paying attention to what others are doing and learn and be inspired from them, but mimicking them rarely works.” C.C. Chapman author of Amazing Things Will Happen and co-author of Content Rules.
- “The three elements every marketer needs to have their content succeed in reaching and converting their prospects into customers and fans are: 1] Set measurable, attainable content marketing goals aligned with your business objectives. 2] Know your target market including your end user, influencers, buyers, social media colleagues, fans and the public. To this end, create effective marketing personas and social media buyer personas. 3] Select effective measures of your content marketing that track results back to your business goals. Think sales and profitability.” Heidi Cohen – Riverside Marketing Strategies
- “Let’s study what works and what doesn’t: in almost every case I’ve found of content that just jumps over the fence and provide incredible value – a real investment was made. Spending four hours on a blog post isn’t a big investment. 40 hours isn’t even a big investment. I’m talking about hundreds of hours. Not that time equates to quality – but the most magic content I’ve seen was often built on research, and then great presentation. Dove’s investment in the study that demonstrated that only 4% of women think of themselves as beautiful became a starting point to countless pieces of content to this day – ultimately reaching tens of millions of consumers. That same research was quoted in mainstream media thousands of times over.” Ric Dragon of Dragon Search and author of Social Marketology.
- “Be interesting, valuable, and educational. Too many people write content that is self-serving and uninteresting. People won’t read or share that. Tell personal stories, engage people in a way your competitors aren’t doing, and give away advice.” Gini Dietrich of Arment Dietrich, SpinSucks and co-author of Marketing in the Round.
- “I have to say while everyone seems to be coming aboard, few understand the amazing affect content marketing can have when education, entertainment an”d inspiration collide. In my opinion, the middle one, “entertainment” isn’t easily accomplished or taught so my advice is if you want to stand out amongst the noise fest, hire the absolute best writers. I appreciate the content marketers with the deepest knowledge and most researched content, but I remember the ones with the best storytelling skills.” Barry Feldman, author of The Plan to Grow Your Business with Effective Online Marketing, a free e-book.
- “Throughout all phases of your content marketing (finding topic ideas, crafting your headline, and creating the content), keep your ideal reader / customer in mind. Put your reader / customer first, and any optimization second, and you’ll have a great piece of content every time.” Kristi Hines creator of Blog Post Promotion.
- “Don’t expect miracles. Your best content will be limited by the reach of your community. Build your community/network in hand with creating your body of content. Think marathons not sprints. Don’t begin the journey unless you are ready for a long road ahead. To quoth Seth [Godin], “ideas explode into a vacuum”, you need an audience to fill any vacuum you create. Create a fresh perspective to engage people and cultivate curiosity and a need. Be persistently different to build your platform over time. I use a simple formula: Brand Value = Content x Connections x Engagement” Nick Kellet of Listly.
- “Be consistent and useful.” Dave Kerpen of Likeable Media and Author of Likeable Business and Likeable Social Media.
- “Get to the point of creating and maintaining a content editorial calendar. We work with a lot of companies on content. Everything from creating blog posts to developing comprehensive strategies, but the ones that are really taking off are the ones so committed that they religiously create, distribute and hold people accountable for their content editorial calendar. Here’s our free calendar template.” Arnie Kuenn of Vertical Measures and author of Accelerate.
- “If you are going to create content, make sure it is the best piece of content out there. Creating mediocre content is almost worse than creating content at all. It’s an all or nothing game as the great content is the one that is shared and linked to. “ Neil Patel of Kiss Metrics and Crazy Egg and blogger at QuickSprout.
- “Every brand should create their own content marketing mission statement. So few have one. Here’s how to create your mission statement.” Joe Pulizzi of Content Marketing Institute and Author of Managing Content Marketing and Get Content Get Customers.
- “I love Rebecca Leib’s turkey dinner analogy for content, and I use it quite often here at Marketo. The concept that there can be turkey dinner content (the main event), and then leftover content (slicing and dicing the main event into smaller content pieces), is pretty genius. For us, our Definitive Guides are often the turkey dinner, and we can squeeze out a good 20 or so pieces of content from them.” Dayna Rothman of Marketo.
- “On the web, you ARE what you publish.” David Meerman Scott author of Real Time Marketing and PR.
- “Content marketing goals and activities should include changing/ adapting the corporate culture and customer service. Everyone in the organization should be part of it, should live it, not just a few. What is the point in having a great, content rich website and/or blog and/or custom magazine and/or profiles on social media if your customer service continues to suck or be ignorant of your content marketing strategy? Here’s more information about your content marketing team.” Nenad Senic, Disput.si.
- “Know your audience. If you don’t know your audience, any other rule here won’t apply.” Peter Shankman, Shankman/Honig and author of Customer Service: New Rules for a Social Media World and Nice Companies Finish First.
These references are chuck full of useful information for every content marketer. At the core, you must develop goals, know your target market, provide useful information at every step of the process, plan content result in advance, and measure your results.
What other useful content marketing advice would you add to this list and why would you include it?
Note: Both Jay Baer and Peg Fitzpatrick cited Jay Baer’s Book, Youtility.
Join me at Social Media Marketing World this coming Spring in sunny San Diego, California, where I'll be presenting a session on Blogging.
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The average piece of content takes 20 hours to create and costs approximately $1,200 to produce. The problem here is pretty clear — in order for B2B marketers to maximize their content marketing ROI, they’re going to need to figure out a more effective way to increase content consumption and engagement.
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