7 Experts Tell You How To Create Great Content Marketing
Want to stand out from the 86% of US B2B marketers who use content marketing as part of their strategic marketing approach?
Done well quality content attracts and keeps an audience that yields profitable customer action.
Don’t take my word for it. Content marketing is how Johnson & Johnson persuaded doctors to buy their bandages. In 1888, Johnson & Johnson published Modern Methods of Antiseptic Wound Treatment. [Note: Social Triggers’ Derek Halpern was the first to point out this finding!]
Like Johnson & Johnson, you need to develop content marketing that:
- Stands out
- Attracts attention
- Helps your core audience
Here’re 13 tactics you can use to increase your content marketing’s ability to drive measurable results.
7 Content marketing experts
To help you improve your content marketing we interviewed 7 Content Marketing World 2015 presenters.
- Heidi Cohen of Actionable Marketing Guide (Twitter handle: @HeidiCohen)
- Bob Gilbreath of Ahalogy (Twitter handle: @MktgWithMeaning)
- Erin Monday of Lenovo (Twitter handle: @ErinMonday)
- Lee Odden of TopRank Online Marketing (Twitter handle: @LeeOdden)
- Matthew Patrick of Theorist Inc (Twitter handle: @MatPatGT)
- Joe Pulizzi of Content Marketing Institute (Twitter handle: @JoePulizzi)
- Robert Rose of Content Marketing Institute (Twitter handle:@Robert_Rose)
Q: What is your best piece of content marketing advice and why?
Here are 6 pieces of expert content marketing advice to make your content stand out and shine for your target audience.
Develop a content marketing strategy. Don’t just dive in and start creating content. You need a plan that’s aligned with your business objectives. Your content metrics should track back to these objectives. (Need help? Get your content success checklist.)
Before you develop new content, audit your existing content to determine:
- What you have that’s still useful,
- What you have that needs to be updated,
- What you have that needs to be deleted, and
- What you still need to be covered (i.e.: What’s missing from your content marketing).
Treat content creation just like product or service marketing—research what your target customer is challenged with or excited by, then deliver the content that they need.
[Editor’s note: Check out Gilbreath’s author interview.)
Make content that’s relatable, memorable, for the masses. If your name is, for example, Erin Monda, and no one ever remembers you, or how to spell your name, try adding a “Y.” There. That’s better. Now you’re in like, newspapers and stuff.
Master the ability to create a content experience that makes it easy and interesting for buyers to inform themselves that your solution is the best solution for them whether they’re first starting to research purchase choices, evaluating a few options, or they’re ready to buy.
Understand that different pieces of content should have different, highly focused goals. To use YouTube for example, a video that’s meant to drive blog embeds isn’t the same as one that will drive an increase in subscribers.
In this landscape, it’s easy to see content as “disposable” since the shelf life of each individual tweet, post, or video is so short. It’s not.
Each piece of content should add value to the audience its reaching, across any and all platforms.
When content marketing is done well, it’s an approach that’s integrated into marketing more broadly and provides multiples lines of benefit. So, my best piece of advice is to find those multiple lines of benefit. For example, a content marketing effort shouldn’t only be about “more leads” or “better SEO”.
What are the multiple ways that we, as a business, can derive value from an asset we call an audience? Among the measurable benefits are more leads, higher quality leads, and better prospect and customer data.
A great content marketing program takes a multi-tiered approach to measurement and benefit to the business, and stacks the deck in the favor of the marketing team.
Q: What is the biggest content marketing mistake that you see marketers make?
To improve your content marketing, it’s helpful to examine what doesn’t work. Here are 7 pieces of Expert Content Marketing Advice regarding content marketing mistakes.
Creating empty, flabby content that’s not associated with their business goals is the biggest content marketing mistake that marketers make.
Here are 5 actionable content marketing tactics to create quality content associate with your business goals:
- Determine your business objectives. Make your goals as specific and measurable as possible. They should focus on increasing brand and name recognition, generate leads, close sales, support customer service and engage with prospects, customers and fans.
- Know your customer. To this end, create a marketing persona and social media persona.
- Develop content to meet customer needs through the entire purchase process. Include the 5 content basics: product information, customer FAQs, how to’s, styling and customer ratings and reviews.
- Distribute content effectively. Use owned and social media. Also curate your existing content to keep it visible to prospects.
- Measure content marketing results. Track content metrics back to your business objectives.
Not thinking about how they must continually create more and better content over time. You can’t have 10 articles and call it a day!
Creating content that is too canned, too branded, too boring. People like to have visceral reactions. They like to laugh. They like to ponder. You need to get at their lizard brains.
Singularly emphasizing end of funnel content and SEO at the cost of actually engaging buyers that are actively seeking useful information to help them solve a specific problem.
Another mistake: Creating really bad content!!!
They’re marketing. People no longer want to be “sold” to.
Instead, the brands that are going to have the greatest success are those that are able to make an authentic, organic connection with their consumer.
It’s about creating a relationship with your brand, a community around it, and trust with it. That’s something unfamiliar to a lot of traditional marketers and it’s something very difficult to fake.
There are many content marketing mistakes that all rise to the top. Among them are:
- No documented strategy.
- No focus on one specific audience.
- No creation of a compelling story that you can actually be the leading authority around.
- Lack of patience.
- Lack of publishing consistency.
The biggest content marketing mistake is to view content marketing production as simply another type of marketing collateral asset.
Too many times I see companies simply adding “content marketing” as an alternative form of collateral to drive direct marketing results. This may be effective at a campaign level once, twice or even occasionally.
But, ultimately, it doesn’t build anything – especially an audience – and most often devolves into sales materials and a failed attempt at content marketing.
Want more content marketing advice from these experts? Check out the social media-content marketing interview.
The content marketing bottom line:
Skip the promotion!
Give your target audience the quality information they seek to solve their specific problems related to your offering.
Please join us at Content Marketing World.
On Wednesday, September 9, 2015, I will be moderating the Social Media Track with Bob Gilbreath, Erin Monday, Lee Odden and Matthew Patrick. We’ll give you tips, tactics and insights to help your your content marketing succeed in 2016 and beyond.
If you don’t have a ticket yet, what are you waiting for? Just register NOW!
Don’t be shy. We look forward to meeting you IRL. Find a reason to come up and say hello.
P.S. Need help? Get your content success checklist.
Join Heidi Cohen and fellow marketers at the mega-conference designed to inspire and empower you—Social Media Marketing World 2017, brought to you by Social Media Examiner.
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The event takes place March 22-24, 2017, in San Diego. Actionable Marketing readers get an early registration discount.
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Learn how to take greater control over your content marketing performance.
Download this new e-book from Content Marketing Institute to get expert advice on which reports you should be tracking, how to make sense of the data they provide, and ways you can apply those insights to take greater control over your content marketing performance.
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