By Sharon A.M. MacLean
We’re hearing a lot about content creation these days. Makes sense; content drives online marketing that helps companies connect with their ideal buyers. The good news is the following experts have passed on lessons they wish someone had taught them when they got started.
Here’s 9 contributors and their ideas that I liked best.
1. Clare McDermott recommends gaining the enthusiasm and support from your leadership. She says that without their willing participation, the project–no matter how well-researched and designed–is a low-flying dud. Amen, sister.
2. Russ Hanneberry knows that creating content isn’t enough. Content needs to be distributed and marketed properly to gain traction. A traditional publisher once said, “You must be seen to be believed.” It’s still true.
3. Amanda Maksymis got this one right: Content marketing is not a tactic or a strategy. It’s a mindset that my collaborator Kate Leighton knows a great deal about. She manages large-scale arts and entertainment communities and believes the culture of an audience first needs to be captured to engage believability.
4. So true, Paula Crerar: No matter how much content you produce, it’s never enough. She says audiences are made up of different profiles, job titles, and levels of skill. The challenge is to come up with enough fresh, high quality content that’s relevant for each segment. Think re-purpose.
5. Say it again, Arnie Kuenn: Editorial calendar. His calendar includes many steps, including optimizing the content and a promotional timeline for each piece of “promotional worthy” content they create.
6. It’s not about you, says Anna Ritchie. Pushing out sales copy to the reader can damage your reputation and brand while educational materials lead to building strong relationships with your target audience. This takes trial and error. Which pieces do people download first? How frequently are people responding to sharing your content. Which ones fell flat?
7. Toby Murdock believes a part-time managing editor with traditional media experience will help to analyze the audience’s interests, create a content plan, and manage writers. Look to the world of journalism for these skills.
8. Darryl Praill wished he’d knew how content got found. Here’s some tactics he found useful.
- Embed your top 30 to 50 keyword phrases within all your content;
- Source, contribute to, and link relevant blogs back to your content. Use tools like Google Alerts that have keyword search capabilities;
- Update your website constantly with the fresh content so Google keeps ranking your site higher for keywords and lets your content get found;
- Ask influencers to share your content;
- Consider using old-fashioned email and include the forward to a friend functionality.
9. Joe Cernov uses cooking parlance that compares content marketing to stock–a building block ingredient for nearly all of a company’s “dishes”. It’s like the sous chef who makes up the stock that serves as the foundation for the signature dish that goes unnoticed by everyone but the head chef.
In many ways, content marketers should aim to make their colleagues the celebrities. You’ve just described an important ingredient in the secret sauce, Joe.