Last week a wonderful piece of curated content marketing advice from 36 experts was published in advance of the largest global event dedicated to content marketing – Content Marketing World (CMW) in Cleveland, Ohio on September 10th. To create this collaborative book, my friend Lee Odden and his team reached out to a group of speakers from CMW to gather their best content marketing tips in a single location. As I was reading through the collective advice from 36 very smart marketers, there were several that stood out as particularly valuable and I wanted to share them here. (Note – you can scroll to the bottom of this post to see the full presentation with all 36 tips on Slideshare):
1. There is an “I” in failure.
“My advice for a successful corporate blog: Don’t make it a solo act.”
Jennifer Mesenbrink (@editorthink) – Senior Manager Digital & Social Media Content, Motorola Solutions
So many teams start by tackling the resourcing challenge of content marketing and find their solution by simply assigning all responsibility to one team member. That rarely works. In this valuable reminder Jennifer Mesenbrink uses the brilliant example of the Dave Matthews Band (a personal favorite of mine too) to illustrate just how powerful an experience can be when everyone has different complimentary skills and pools them together well.
2. Speak the right language.
“We know we can rise above the noise when our content makes our brand relatible to the customer.”
Paolo Mottola (@paolojr) – Digital Engagement Program Manager, REI
Every audience that shares a passion also usually has their own lingo. One of the first things I do in every new business situation is work hard to learn the language that people use. Customers and passion based communities require the same attention to detail. In this tip, Paolo Mottola shares the wonderfully disgusting example of the “snot rocket” as an example of just how hard REI works to connect with their passionate audience (bikers in this case) by using language they understand.
3. Have a personality
“Unexpected and brave realness captures attention and sparks a connection.”
Heather Meza (@heathermeza) – Senior Manager of Inbound Marketing, Cisco Systems
I’m a clear fan of businesses using their personality to stand out, and Heather Meza nails the importance of that in this tip by sharing the apt example of Mick Jagger and his many “moves” that not only helped propel him to become a memorable rock legend, but also inspired a newer song with the descriptive title “Moves Like Jagger” from Maroon5.
4. Remember quality matters.
“In the quest to create content marketing that answers questions and provides utility – it’s easy to forget quality still matters.”
Rohit Bhargava (@rohitbhargava) – That’s me!
When it comes to marketing advice, there are a lot of voices out there sharing that great content marketing needs to be useful and answer questions. It certainly does. But there are lots of examples of brands trying to create utility or answer questions without paying attention to the basics around good content creation. Just because your intern knows how to operate a digital camera doesn’t mean he or she should be the one to create all your online content. The quality of writing and production matters … especially in a world where there is so much substandard content being produced to compete against.
5. Never try to sound smart.
“The truth is consumers don’t go online looking for ‘smart.’ What they want is simple, clear, concise, etc.”
Marcus Sheridan (@thesaleslion) – Founder of The Sales Lion
Having heard Marcus speak live, he certainly practices what he preaches. In this important reminder, he offers a caution against trying too hard to offer value through intellect instead of just focusing on relaying ideas in more simple and intuitive ways. Particularly for complex B2B brands, this may seem like hard advice to follow. Yet the greatest content marketing can and does find that balance between simplicity and value. There is a valuable place for clarity and plain language – even if your audiences happens to actually be rocket scientists.
6. Make face to face connections.
“Host an annual face to face meeting to share upcoming marketing plans and challenges.”
Pam Didner (@pamdidner) – Global Integrated Marketing Strategist, Intel
It is a proven fact that teams collaborate better when they have real personal connections – and despite our virtually connected world, there is still no substitute for improving collaborate by bringing your teams together. In this important advice from Pam Didner, you get a valuable piece of insight that I remember from my time working with Intel for many years … that a team used to meeting one another can create more effective plans and execute them better as well.
7. Embrace content’s longer shelf life.
“Don’t think of your content as fixed in time and place or even as perishable.”
Robert Simon (@robbiecurious) – Director of Interactive, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts
Content doesn’t disappear online, but it can get buried. The nice thing about search engines and social media, though, is that it can bring attention to old content at opportune moments as long as it’s still relevant. In the past, I’ve written about using this principle to strategically create “content time bombs.” In this tip, Robert Simon shares the important lesson that content doesn’t need to be fixed in time, but rather can be created intentionally to survive and be relevant for a longer period of time – if you do it right.
8. Plan for distribution.
“Create great content and plan for amplification so your next hit will top the charts.”
Lee Odden (@leeodden) – CEO of TopRank Online Marketing
The last tip, fittingly, comes from the man behind gathering all the contributions to this valuable ebook. His valuable lesson: creating great content isn’t enough to be successful if you don’t have a good amplification and distribution plan behind it. Distribution is all about putting the content in the right places. Amplification is about driving more people to see and share it. Both are necessities if you want to get the most value from your content marketing.
Want more insights like this? Join us at Content Marketing World >>
I am also very excited to share that I will be presenting two entirely new sessions for attendees at Content Marketing World. The first is on globalizing your content marketing to reach different cultures, countries and ethnicities (in partnership with my good friend and Intercultural Communications Expert Paolo Nagari). The second is a keynote for the special Technology Summit the day after Content Marketing World finishes – specifically on how to create great content marketing for technology and B2B companies.
The entire event is filled with unique learning opportunities from some of the best content marketing minds in the business, and the closing keynote is none other than the amazing William Shatner. If you are working on any content marketing initiatives, it will be a great learning event and I hope you can join us there!
Finally, if you want to see the full ebook and presentation of “36 Content Marketers Who Rock!” – you can view it on Slideshare below: