Steal These 5 Awesome Content Marketing Tips

MarketingProfs B2B Forum 2014 Lessons

Steal These 5 Awesome content marketing tipsDoes anyone, except maybe Ann Handley or Joe Pulizzi, produce content so amazing that they couldn’t benefit from some awesome content marketing tips?

Live events like MarketingProfs B2B Forum 2014 are what LinkedIn’s Jason Miller calls “Big Rock Content”.

Live events are epic content you can re-imagine and adapt for other audiences, needs and venues. They’re a prime example of Rebecca Lieb’s Thanksgiving turkey analogy.

Steal these 5 awesome content marketing tips

If you want to improve your content then steal these 5 awesome content marketing tips from MarketingProfs B2B Forum 2014.

Don’t just file this article away where it will never be seen again. Instead use these 5 tips as the basis for an action plan to improve your content marketing.Steal These 5 Awesome content marketing tips

1. Develop a content marketing strategy.

 “You need a content marketing strategy was the biggest refrain at MarketingProfs B2B Forum.

Don’t think you have a content marketing strategy just because you execute content marketing tactics that yield results.

Since without an overall content marketing strategy, the tactics don’t work together to achieve your overarching business objectives. As Kristina Halvorson pointed out, “strategy forces us to prioritize what’s most important for our customers and our goals.”

2015 North American B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks revealed that:

  • 35% of marketers surveyed reported having a documented content marketing strategy.
  • 48% of marketers surveyed have a content marketing strategy that’s NOT documented; it’s verbal.

You need to document your strategy because:

  • 60% of marketers with a documented content marketing strategy rate themselves as highly effective.
  • But only 32% of those with a verbal content marketing strategy rate themselves as highly effective.

That’s significant! A documented content marketing strategy enables you to achieve specific measurable outcomes for each marketing activity by supplying your target audience with the information they need. (Need some help with your content marketing metrics? Check out this list of 53 metrics.)

Actionable Content Marketing Tips:

  • Get your executives together to create a content marketing strategy. Don’t just rubberstamp something a junior manager wrote to get it off of your desk. Consider whether this document is aligned with your business goals.
  • Document your content marketing strategy to ensure each content marketing activity is aligned with it. Write it down and check every element against your business objectives.

2. Give employees and customers the tools they need to create quality content.

Many marketers consider user generated content (aka UGC) to be “free” content. As if all that’s required is to ask your customers and the content will magically appear.

BUT–The reality is that you must make creating quality content ridiculously easy for employees and customers because only 1% will create content. Social media participation rates-Creators, Contributors, Lurkers

Further, you must remove the fear of failure. Just because you’re a writing whiz who can churn out post after post of high value text, don’t assume that your employees and customers have this skill.

Despite academic and professional credentials, these potential content creators may be embarrassed by their writing skills. To overcome this challenge, provide editorial support including copyediting.Awesome content marketing tip

MarketingProfs did a great job of streamlining the customer content creation process. Each attendee received a paper Flat Handley (#FlatHandley) via postal mail to cut out and take with them. MarketingProfs added instructions for creating fun social media posts using their hashtag (#MPB2B).

Ann spotlighted her favorite user generated content during her talks and via email. Additionally, MarketingProfs offered special prizes for the best posts.

Actionable Content Marketing Tips:

  • Make it super easy for content contributors. Photographs are a great option. They only need a click of a smartphone or tablet. There’s no writing fear to overcome.
  • Provide fun, easy tools. Take the “Don’t make me think” approach to content creation and sharing.
  • Get contributors’ permission to share and publish their content. Respect your customers and employees by asking their permission to use their work and/or likeness. They may not want to be seen endorsing your products or brand.

3. Add the personal touch to your content.

My mother would be proud of Ann (and I’m certain hers is beaming) because Ann wrote a personal thank you note to each speaker. WOW!

I was more touched by Ann’s personal note than any other speaker’s gift I’ve ever received (and that includes a medal from the US military for teaching them about social media back in 2007!!!)

The old-fashioned hand written thank you note breaks through. You don’t need to throw a top rated marketing conference to accomplish this. You mother, like mine, probably taught you this at an early age. Further, amidst today’s dwindling postal mail, your note will stand out as REAL, someone-cares-about-me communication.

Actionable Content Marketing Tips:

  • Include handwritten notes as part of your communications tactics. Given the personal and time-consuming nature of these letters, target important prospects, customers and employees.
  • Encourage your key salespeople to use handwritten notes. But understand that your sales team may require training to develop this underutilized habit. The payoff: personal communications go a long way towards building relationships.

4. Free the other sides of your creativity.

Unlike other professionally focused conferences, MarketingProfs’ B2B Forum 2014 included a number of activities and presentations to push attendees outside of their comfort zone. Austin Kleon-MarketingProfs B2B Forum 2014

5. Include quality control as part of your implementation process.

Every detail of MarketingProfs B2B Forum was well orchestrated including their surprise guest, Seth Godin. Seth Goden via Instagram at MarketingProfs B2B Forum 2014-1

To accomplish this you need well-trained, experienced employees and a strong quality control process in place to keep everything running smoothly. You have to be prepared to react when something doesn’t work. The same holds for other forms of content marketing.

Actionable Content Marketing Tips:

  • Establish processes and procedures for every aspect of content creation and distribution. Where possible think through likely issues in advance so that you’re not on a deadline when you have a problem.
  • Have resources available to troubleshoot any potential issue. Put someone in charge. Also, give them the authority and ability to contact the appropriate resources.

MarketingProfs included a lunchtime talk on improv by Cisco’s Tim Washer. While comedy may not be for everyone, it forces you to stretch yourself.

Other activities included a meditation session and a walking photo tour of Boston. What a great way for visitors to take advantage of the city!

In his closing remarks, Steve Garfield instructed attendees to “Embrace the grey area.”

Actionable Content Marketing Tips:

  • Step outside of your regular activities. It can be as simple as a different route home. Just change your routine to get new input. It will give you another perspective.


Even if you’re not planning a live event, these 5 awesome content marketing tips are worth stealing from MarketingProfs.

Together they’ll help get your content marketing strategy on course to succeed and provide additional content for your pipeline.

If you’ve used any of these content marketing tips, what were your results? If you were at MarketingProfs B2B Forum 2014, what were you key take-aways?

Happy Marketing,
Heidi Cohen

P.S. BONUS Tip: Read Ann Handley’s new book Everybody Writes. Handley does the impossible. She explains how to write GREAT English in easy-to-follow terms. While you’re at it, buy a copy for your team as well as your favorite high school and/or college students.



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Photo Credit:

Big thank you to the shared Instagram images via #MPB2B.

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