Since I wrote 10 Essential Content Marketing Lessons for Modern Marketers, a new class of college graduates entered the workforce. We saw the annual cycle of articles for these budding professionals, with advice about nine-to-fives and entering specific fields.
Across marketing, too, industry experts and influencers were asked to share their wisdom. Some of the advice was short and sweet, some high-level, and some actionable:
I had the honor of speaking to a class of future marketers over the summer. On top of advice gleaned from experts and influencers, I pulled tips directly from the Kapost Academy, a free resource used by current marketers to inspire ideas and cultivate best practices around our changing trade.
The tips I shared with future college grads aren’t just for marketing newbies. Far from it. And today, I’d love the honor of sharing them with you. So without further ado, here are 10 more essential content marketing lessons for modern marketers.
1. The job’s not finished once the content is finished.
It’s easy to feel like “launch day” is the last step. After all the research, writing, editing, and designing, it’s a thrill to see that final blog post, eBook, video, or SlideShare presentation set free into the wild. But without a solid promotion strategy, the results won’t be great. Oh. And it isn’t enough to have a dedicated person or team to “spread it around on social media” either. You need a long-term plan using a variety of channels to earn the attention your content deserves.
2. “Brands must act like publishers” is more than a tired refrain.
If you’re in marketing, you’ve heard people using that phrase above and talking about brand journalism.
It isn’t just talk.
Once a company realizes the benefits of content creation and starts churning out content, things quickly become complicated. It’s vital to approach the content creation, organization, and publishing process. Lucky for you, there are plenty of great resources out there to help.
3. Events are a great inspiration for content.
Marketers spend a LOT of money on events. Companies throw down on sponsorships, elaborate booth setups, and hosting—and for good reason. Events are great for driving brand awareness and lead generation.
But, too often, the conversations that happen at events are left untouched once the event ends. Sure, we may follow up with marketing or sales materials, but an often-missed opportunity is creating unique content for and from the event. Think about putting more of those dollar investments into creating content tailored to event audiences. In other words, less swag, more content.
Learn More: Turning Events into Content
4. You might be undervaluing webinars.
With so much to do in executing a marketing strategy, webinars often get tabled. It’s understandable. There are so many of them already, it can be hard to find a time, and they take extra effort to do correctly.
But ignoring webinars could be a big mistake. Of course, you need to test the results for your own audience, but webinars tend to be affordable lead generation and relationship-building forms of content, and provide long-term value for marketers. If you’re struggling to get your webinars going, Liz O’Neill of Kapost has some handy guides to planning and promoting kick-ass webinars.
5. Content marketing doesn’t have to be so hard.
If I told you that one piece of content could actually produce 269 pieces of content, you might think “easier said than done.” While it does take a good bit of forethought and planning, executing isn’t as difficult as you may imagine. Using the content pillar approach, you can find ways to create auxiliary content out of existing content and generate a much longer shelf-life for the original idea, combined with a wider reach on different channels.
Expanding upon what you already have is the perfect place to start a new campaign.
Learn More: Creating Content Pillars
6. You need to know how to translate great ideas into great content.
A lot of potential content gets stuck in the idea phase. Often, this is the result of ill-defined workflows, but it also happens when marketers don’t understand what makes an idea worthy of production. A set of well-developed buyer personas and knowing what content performs well will help you choose the best ideas to execute.
Learn More: How to Transition Ideas into Production
7. Incorporate influential people and companies into your content.
10 More Essential Content Marketing Lessons for Modern Marketers by @andrewjcoate
The term “influencer marketing” has come alive over 2014, yet much of what’s written focuses on how to get “influencers” to share your content.
That’s the wrong way to look at it.
Sure, an endorsement or even a single share on social from an influential person can have a great impact on brand awareness and referral traffic, but you shouldn’t pursue influencers just for that one-time golden ticket.
Focus on building real relationships through genuine interactions. Among the easiest ways to build these relationships is weaving influencers into the content you create. For example, ask for comments or advice and use that feedback as the basis for future content. Barry Feldman offers a great list of ways to do just that.
8. You need to measure the success of your content somehow.
I’ve talked to many marketers who are bombarded daily by asks like “how are you measuring that?” or “how do you determine success?” Until recently, that was a difficult line of questioning to answer. After all, different companies look at success in different ways, or might want to measure different things altogether.
That doesn’t matter. The point is you have to measure your success somehow.
Many companies—Kapost included—help marketers attribute success to content efforts on a wider scale. If you haven’t begun to dig into this for your own content, it’s time to start researching and devising a plan to measure your efforts in a more transparent way.
9. Figure out where your content is most likely to succeed.
There’s no single channel that’s universally “the best.” To understand the right places to promote content, marketers must first understand the audience they’re trying to reach. When it comes to content types, different channels have specific strengths and weaknesses. As you work on persona development (or re-development) part of your research should focus on what types of content these personas like to interact with and where. This will help you focus your efforts appropriately when promoting content.
Learn More: The Best Channels for Content
10. Hire a Community Manager.
Okay, I’m biased here. But this point goes beyond establishing future job security for my kick-ass industry peers. Community managers have great insight into many of the topics discussed above, including the development of personas, discovering the best content types per channel, and measurement of content success. Community managers have always been tied to metrics, and tend to have a good understanding of measuring conversions in different environments. In fact, they have many secret skills that make them insanely valuable to your content operation.
Learn More: How to Hire a Community Manager
Well, there you go. 10 more lessons to get you going. But there’s always more to learn. For more, visit the Kapost Academy and let us know in the comments what lessons you feel are vital for modern marketers.