9 Content Marketing Experts Reveal Their Secrets
While most businesses use some form of content marketing, does it generate the results their executives demand?
For many, their content marketing is a leap of faith. Therefore, they can’t answer this question.
20 Content Marketing Tips Guaranteed To Yield Results
But your content doesn’t have to be. Just pay attention to the actionable marketing advice of these 9 top content marketers.
Each expert provides actionable advice you can apply to your business’s content marketing efforts to improve your results. (Big tip of my hat to each one for their contributions.)
1. Content marketing strategy drives your marketing to yield results.
According to the 2015 Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs research, there’s a huge gap between effective content marketers and everyone else. That gap is represented by just 2 small differences.
- Effective content marketers document their content marketing strategy.
- Effective content marketers consistently review their strategy.
These 2 things may seem small to most, but they’re the Moon. All those companies out there that are creating and distributing content without doing these two things are at a significant disadvantage.
- Stop doing everything, get a strategy, write it down, and consistently review it with the team. It’ll make all the difference.
Joe Pulizzi – Content Marketing Institute and author of Epic Content Marketing (@JoePulizzi)
2. Integrate B2B marketing and sales to streamline the sales process and increase profitability.
The biggest problems in the content marketing space come down to 2 main issues:
- Buy in from Management
- Involvement from Sales
If an organization wants to reach their content marketing potential, getting buy-in, and major contributions from their entire team, is critical. Especially important are the sales people since they’re the ones most aware of the prospect, customer, their questions, fears, concerns, thoughts and issues.
To tear down the sales/marketing silo in an organization, marketing should be a part of sales and sales should be a part of marketing.
- Make marketing and sales into one department to provide full awareness of both perspectives.
- Encourage management to require this integration to truly affect change.
Marcus Sheridan – The Sales Lion (@TheSalesLion)
3. Tie goals and target audience to bottom line results.
To yield better content marketing results, you must consider your business goals and target audience and then measure, measure measure.
- Create more value, for more people, more often, so when it’s time to choose, they choose you.
- Measure everything. High performers connect actions to outcomes.
- Integrate at all costs. Subscribers, fans, followers, leads, and customers choose when and where to interact with your brand. They don’t differentiate between marketing departments and channels.
Paul Roetzer – PR 20/20 and author of The Marketing Performance Blueprint
and The Marketing Agency Blueprint (@PaulRoetzer)
[Editor’s note: Jay Baer of Convince and Convert and author of Youtility places metrics higher in his strategy than many marketers. This is similar to the point that Roetzer is making.]
Take this advice a step further to ensure it yields profitability in the form of content marketing ROI. To help you, here are 53 Content Marketing Metrics. ]
4. Communicate your content through the use of quality writing.
Being able to communicate well in writing isn’t just nice; it’s a necessity. And it’s also the oft-overlooked cornerstone of nearly all content marketing.
Writing is the heart of content marketing; your words tell your customers who you are before they ever talk to you. So it’s the heart – and the liver, lungs and central nervous system (that last part paraphrases Doug Kessler!)
The key to writing with pathological empathy for your customer:
The first step of that first step is to have a goal, and then reframe your goal to relate it to your readers:
- Why does it matter to them?
- What’s in it for them?
- Why should they care?
- What’s the clear lesson or message you want them to take away?
- What value do you offer them?
- What questions might they have?
- What advice or help can you provide?
To get to the heart of this reframing, I ask “So what?” and then answer, “Because…” Repeat that “so what/because” query and response string as many times as necessary—until you’ve exhausted any ability to come up with an answer.
Or until you’re questioning things best left to the philosophers.
Ann Handley – MarketingProfs and author of Everybody Writes and Content Rules (@AnnHandley)
5. Integrate original content and curated content into your content marketing plan.
Content curation is an integral part of any content marketing strategy. Don’t take my word for it. Content Marketing Institute just hired a content curator.
Here are the 3 content curation superpowers:
- Be a tastemaker. Become the go-to person in your field.
- Tap into the power of your existing content. Content curation maximizes the reach and longevity of your own content through a content audit and metadata about your content.
- Leverage other people’s audiences to extend your content reach.
Heidi Cohen – Actionable Marketing Guide (@HeidiCohen)
6. Incorporate your 360° brand into your content.
Your content must convey your business’s brand.
- Actively manage the tone of voice of your content by making it someone’s job.
- Create a Tone of Voice guide packed with examples — and write in your tone of voice!
- Avoid lawyers: they ruin tone of voice.
Doug Kessler – Velocity Partners and author of Irresistible Content for Immovable Prospects (@dougkessler)
7. Target content creation based on distribution channel.
Marketers need to learn to create channel-specific content instead of repackaging one piece of content for every channel.
Most new digital channels originated as communities (i.e. blogs) or social networks (i.e. Facebook), so when we simply rebroadcast the same piece of content across many channels, we give up the ability to connect with our customers in the way they expect on that channel.
Allen Gannett – TrackMaven (@Allen)
8. Optimize your content for maximum reach, consumption and results.
Here are 3 content marketing tips guaranteed to yield results centered around content and search optimization that are ignored day in and day out across sites and content:
- Have your website architecture ready to receive content. The biggest SEO issue we continue to see is unintentional duplicate content on a website. The bigger the site, the bigger the problem.
- Optimize not only your web pages, but also every single image you post. It can take less than 2 minutes to do, and yields amazing results via image searches and citations.
- Use internal linking from within content to other relevant pages on your website. Not just from blog posts, but from any content on your site where it naturally makes sense to send the reader to more information on your website. This spreads your “SEO” authority throughout your site.
Arnie Kuenn – Vertical Measures and author of Accelerate! (@ArnieK)
9. Allow time to get organizational support and resources to transition to an integrated content marketing strategy.
The ability to get your organization on course with a content marketing strategy and to have them stick with it requires management support and time.
- It’s not that hard to create a strategy, but it is hard to stick with one.
- Don’t be afraid to challenge people with proof; data never lies.
- Prepare people for the amount of time it will take to catch on; if you set expectations, you won’t be accused of failure too quickly.
Ahava Leibtag – Aha Media Group and author of The Digital Crown: Winning at Content on the Web (@AhavaL)
The content marketing bottom line:
Content marketing is maturing. Therefore, you must strategically use content to achieve your business goals.
Integrate these 20 content marketing tips guaranteed to yield results as explained by these 9 top content marketers.
At its core, this translates to determining your business objectives, knowing your target audience and designating metrics that help you track whether you’re achieving your goals. In other words, define your content marketing strategy.
What other essential content marketing tips would you add to this list and why?
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