Read the title of this article again.
… Done? Okay.
I bet, When you read the word “Content Marketing”, you think about blogs, articles, social media posts, emails, Infographics and viral YouTube videos.
But content marketing is more than that.
Content marketing is all about storytelling – and humans have told stories for as long as they could speak.
Remember the days when you were kid, your grandparents, parents, and school teachers have been telling you stories to help you understand something.
We, humans easily connect with stories because they make us emotional.
Okay, let's review some content marketing facts:
- 74.2% of companies indicate that content marketing is increasing their marketing teams’ lead quality and quantity.
- 87% of B2B marketers surveyed by Forrester say they struggle to produce content that truly engages their buyers.
- Top 5 B2B content marketing tactics: Social Media Content (92%); eNewletters (83%); Articles on your Web Site (81%); Blogs (80%); In-Person Events (77%)
(Thanks to Curata)
Content marketing is the art of creating valuable, engaging, and helpful content that your prospects and customers can enjoy.
Content marketing can help build a better relationship with your prospects and customers. You just need to create and deliver a message to your target audience.
… Because if you want to connect with them you must have something to deliver.
There are some different ways you can deliver a message: blogs, emails, website pages, visual content, videos, social media, print, and much more.
When you educate your audience, you earn their trust. And if they trust you, then they’re more willing to do business with you.
According to the Content Marketing Institute, content marketing is defined as:
“Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”
Every business must invest in content marketing strategy because content is a cost-effective channel for building long-term relationships with your prospects and earn their trust.
Here are the 21 exclusive and actionable content marketing tips from the brightest minds in marketing.
Tip #1. Create and publish 10x content
“It’s not about being as good as the top 10 names in search results. It’s about creating content that’s 10 times better than all that. Find unique angles these top 10 might have missed. Examine every point they made and find ways to counter or top that.”
Tip #2. Content marketing is education
“We talk about online marketing in general, but as time has evolved and different practices have come and gone, the thing that really works is using engaging content as a way to draw people to your business. It's less of a pitch and more about being helpful and educating people. We’d like to say we’re educating people enough to do business with us. If you pay attention to what people are struggling with and problems they face, it informs you on needs in the marketplace.”
– Brian Clark, Founder and CEO of Rainmaker Digital
Tip #3. Understand your audience and create content for them
“The first step to creating an effective content marketing campaign is deciding who you’re going to serve. You can’t just create content about anything and everything – and trying to would be a lot of work anyway.
Furthermore, if you’re creating content for a specific subset of people, it’ll be easier to meet their needs
Understanding what content your audience needs is quite easy. All you have to do is to stay up-to-date with the current affairs in your industry.”
Tip #4. Make a connection with your audience
“The good news is that the Internet has a way of delivering audiences without you even trying. Think of what SEO does. Think of what people do when they find great content, they amplify! This means if you have great content, you'll get some people to connect with it.”
– Avinash Kaushik, Digital Marketing Evangelist for Google
Tip #5. Be a content marketing artist and scientist
“Content marketing will always matter. Content is the basis of all advertising — you can’t communicate anything to your prospects without content.
The best content marketing is neither a perfected art nor an exact science, but a combination of both. A well-designed content object lacking data-driven promotion will not perform to its potential. Similarly, applying the science to content promotion for a piece that lacks creativity won’t resonate.”
– Larry Kim, Founder of Wordstream
Tip #6. Create content that scales
“Simply churning out content should not be the sole function of any content marketing department. Are you presenting the right content – curated, recycled or original – to the right people at the right time?
Companies may not win 10, 000 hearts at one time, but they can win 10, 000 hearts and minds one at a time.
Give one person something that they really care about and show that thing to a bunch of different people. And you see that every day with useful content that becomes massively successful just because it is so useful.”
– Jay Baer, New York Times bestseller author, Founder of Convince and Convert
Tip #7. Try to reach to influencers
“The key is to start producing content that is useful and interesting to your target audience. You have to give them a reason to come to your website. Without that, outreach to influencers isn't going to be effective. In terms of finding influencers, you can use a tool like SEOmoz's FollowerWonk – or even Twitter search.”
– Dharmesh Shah, CTO of HubSpot
Tip #8. You better be ready to invest in getting content right
“Content marketing is all the marketing that’s left. Marketing is no longer about the the stuff that you make but about the stories you tell. Real content marketing isn’t repurposed advertising, it’s making something worth talking about.”
– Seth Godin, Blogger, Marketer and Best-seller Author
Tip #9. Harness The traffic building power of remarkable content marketing
“Maybe you read people like Tim Ferriss, Neil Patel, Brian Clark, or one of the other big-name bloggers who regularly produce high caliber material you can’t get enough of.
Their amazing content turned them into respected experts, helped them build a loyal fan base, and opened up huge opportunities in their business and personal lives. And it all started with great content.
Before email. Before social. And long before I spent a single penny on ads, I produced great content.”
Tip #10. Be a better storyteller
“If you want to be remembered then touching hearts is where it happens. Many content marketers are discovering that storytelling has a power that they have ignored but are struggling to stand out in a sea of brand blandness.
So the art of storytelling and the importance of emotions is being rediscovered and gaining the focus it deserves.
The Hero’s Journey as revealed by Joseph Campbell (and used in movies) is a revelation on the power of myth and storytelling. It is an art form that sits behind the science of what can sometimes be seen as a technology arms race.
If you want to stand out in a noisy digital world then you need to also tell a better story.”
– Jeff Bullas, Content Marketing Influencer, Founder of Jeffbullas.com
Tip #11. Create content that inspire the reader to do something
“Stop obsessing over your search engine rankings, share counts, the size of your email list, or any of the normal metrics. Sure, it’s all interesting, but none of it matters unless you inspire the reader to do something. Not with one post, not by demanding they do what you want, but by creating a flow of content that subtly nudges them down the path to victory.
Is it hard?
Yes, but it works. If you can master creating content that generates influence, and then you back up that content with marketing that converts influence into action, you’ll have built a “machine” that prints money for years or even decades into the future.”
– Jon Morrow, Founder and CEO of Smart Blogger
Tip #12. Build a content strategy to get more traffic, backlinks and sales
“If you’re serious about getting results from your content, there are 3-steps you need to know:
Step #1: Find content with a proven track record of attracting backlinks, social shares and first page rankings.
Step#2: Make strategic improvements to that content.
Step #3: Promote that content via email outreach
And BAM. You’re done.”
– Brian Dean, Founder of Backlinko
Tip #13. Creating Content for Other Blogs, Forums, Media and Events
“Once you’ve started creating great content, and you’ve found your readers where they’re already hanging out, you can take the next step: creating content or guest posting for other, larger sites to help build your profile and drive traffic.
But of course, the first thing you need to discern is-who are you trying to reach? And where are they? That will help you determine who to guest post for, or where to have your content published.”
– Darren Rowse, ProBlogger
Tip #14. Delight your readers with ‘content gifts’
“You get an audience who relies on your for information or who you delight with content gifts.
Content gifts are a unique way of connecting with your audience while you have their attention, the gifts can go a long way toward building valuable relationships with your audience or potential customers.”
– Ann Handley, Chief Content Officer of MarketingProfs
Tip #15. Rich Content and Freemium
“I really believe today that Rich Content and Freemium are the only two strategies actually just keep on giving.
I wanted to give a Rich Content examples. I'm just gonna get right into it.
Segment.io has an Analytics Academy. I'm sure some of you have thought of this idea. People put in an e-mail and you basically, drip lessons to them overtime. This can be a really good tactic if you need to do a lot of education in your market and you think there's some way that you can get a lot of e-mails but that's a caveat.”
– Hiten Shah, Co-founder of Kissmetrics
Tip #16. Live video and Snapchat
“The growth in video marketing is the biggest surge that he has seen. SnapChat will join Facebook and Twitter as one of the top three social networks.”
– Mike Stelzner, Founder and CEO of Social Media Examiner
Tip #17. Repurpose your content
“Repurposing content is an efficient way to create content that meets customer needs. The magic of realizing maximum value from your content investment isn’t only about repurposing a single piece of content into 25 different individual parts.
Evolved content repurposing is really about empathy, smart planning and a modular approach that delivers efficiency as well as a personalized experience for your audience.”
– Lee Odden, TopRank Marketing
Tip #18. Anyone can buy traffic; engagement is the key
“Most people start by talking about page views, social shares, and clicks. But it’s important to first tie your content performance to the business case that got you started in the first place.
For awareness and thought leadership content, it’s important to go beyond traffic metrics to look at engagement rates. Anyone can buy traffic. But engagement is the key in today’s attention-starved world filled with so many choices.”
– Michael Brenner, CEO at Marketing Insider Group
Tip #19. Create a Content Marketing Mission Statement
“When it comes to your organization’s content marketing, you should think like the media and begin with a solid editorial mission statement.
Always think of your content marketing mission statement, making sure every piece is useful, helpful and/or relevant to your core target audience.
Start with these questions: Who is your core target audience? – Write with them in mind. What will be delivered? – The content should be useful, relevant and helpful to this core audience. What is the overall outcome or goal.”
– Joe Pulizzi, Author, and Founder of Content Marketing Institute
Tip #20. Work on the road or in the shower
“I capture every single content idea – the good and the bad – and triage later. For me, it’s a combination of Outlook Tasks, a Moleskine notebook that’s constantly in my suit jacket pocket, Evernote, Dial2Do while driving, and AquaNotes in the shower.”
– Matt Heinz, President, Heinz Marketing Inc
Tip #21. The more strategic content you create-the more business you’ll attract and convert
“Content marketing’s purpose is to make it a whole lot easier to sell stuff. We use content to create a context of persuasion, so that when we move toward a business transaction, it makes sense and feels logical and natural.
If you’re crafting content to support a business, it would be great if people bought stuff. Conversion is what happens when interest turns into action.”
– Sonia Simone, Chief Content Officer, Rainmaker Digital
BONUS TIP: Be precise and authentic, and don't forget to proofread
“Develop these three habits to produce powerful content: Be precise, authentic and don't forget to proofread. Make your language concise by replacing jargon with something real that anyone can understand. Let your personality reflect in your writing to show authenticity, and don't use bad grammar on purpose to sound casual.”
– Vladimir Gendelman, Founder and CEO of CompanyFolders
Want to add another content marketing tip to this list? Leave your ideas in comment section below.
Pawan Kumar is an Inbound Marketer and Content Creator at Sarv.com , an award winning company which provides Email Marketing and Cloud Telephony solutions. He's a story-teller and movie geek. Don't hesitate to connect with him on Social Media.