These days it never ceases to blow my mind, when I think about the ridiculous amount of content that is being created, shared and consumed on the World Wide Web.
Just to get things in perspective, within the first 60 seconds of your day, people have already posted 300 hours of video on YouTube and watched nearly 7 million Snapchat videos.
And in the same minute, almost 350,000 tweets are sent, 4,166,667 times Facebook posts are liked, Instagram likes clocked to 2,430,555… and we haven’t even started with other social media platforms. Likewise, over 2 million blogposts are published on the internet every day; even though many of them simply go unnoticed.
It’s no secret that ‘content’ rules the world we live in today, and Content Marketing still is one of the major ways of achieving business successes in the digital realm. But what does it take to cut through the clutter and the noise, and make your content stand out and shine?
The 2017 B2B Content Marketing Report from CMI says - 89% of B2B marketers use content marketing today. Yet, only 19% of them find their Content Marketing Approach to be very successful and only 3 % find it extremely successful. The majority (78%) still haven’t found the desired success with their approach.
What makes these handful of ‘top performers’ successful while others trail behind with moderate results? Is it the quality of the content they’re producing? Is it their content marketing systems and strategies which help escalate their sales figures? Or is it the result of their stellar teams and the company culture?
To find answers to these questions, today we look into some of the key traits found in highly successful content marketers:
1. Having A Documented Content Strategy
The best of them are definitely not blindly ‘shooting off’ campaigns and hoping to gather the desired leads or sales. A common practice amongst the successful marketers is to have well-documented content marketing strategies to work with on a consistent basis.
Everything from deciding which social networks to push your daily tweets and posts, to how many blogposts to create per week on which topics, to the creation and insertion of CTAs and Lead magnets, including production and dissemination various other content (videos, podcasts, webinars, infographics, etc.) is planned, documented and scheduled to receive an effective outcome.
The B2B Content Marketing Trends 2014 reveals that among the most effective Content Marketers, 66% have a ‘documented strategy’, compared to 11% of least effective marketers. On average, only 44% of marketers are armed with a documented Content Strategy.
2. Capturing Ideas As They Come
Most successful Content Marketers are always on the lookout for great ideas. They have a habit of capturing or writing down ideas, all the time, because you may be highly creative but it’s hard to bring up an amazing idea on command.
It really doesn’t matter if you think the idea is not worth a dime, it’s always best to list out anything that’s even slightly interesting, because you never know when that very idea can flourish under different perspective, or through a different lens.
The trick is to however, always be ‘in-sync’ with who your target audience is. This will help your brain to find inspiration as you go through your day. These ideas can come from various encounters, such as: customer feedback and comments, everything you read, sales teams, conferences and webinars, the news, etc.
Sometimes the right content idea could come from the things you find to be dumb and way out of the box. But it could very well be the right example to alert your audience about an important issue they’ve been facing.
3. Keeping A ‘Pulse’ On The Industry
One of the key traits of savvy Content Marketers is to keep pace with the trends in their chosen industry.
As the industries are always moving in a constant flux, any approaches, or communication model that is not in sync with the trends, will show as ‘outdated’ or could mean that the brand is out of touch and is ‘inactive’.
Smart marketers are always a step ahead of their competition in this regard. They take every opportunity to understand and grasp the trajectory of their industry, such that they can tailor the right content and approach to engage with their audience.
To keep oneself abreast of industry innovations, trends and practice, successful marketers will routinely research and keep themselves informed through various reports and useful platforms like Alltop, Feedly, Buzzsumo, etc.
4. Love for Data Analysis
A great Content Marketer is a stickler for Marketing Analytics. They are always on the look out to see what works and what doesn’t; and poring over analytics and metrics will help them make a much informed and smarter decisions; making the campaigns and strategies more effective.
Analytics tools helps bring focus onto your marketing/sales objectives. Any seasoned marketer will tell you, whether it’s about driving more traffic to your website, capturing more leads, increasing engagement in social media, or driving more sales, when you track and gauge the right user generated data and metrics – you can create better ‘content’ to reach your desired business objectives.
Free tools like Google Analytics or a much sophisticated paid versions like Kissmetrics or HubSpot Inbound Marketing Software can help you track user data or KPIs and analyses your every inputs and marketing campaigns to help generate effective ROIs.
Networking is all about building meaningful relationships and connecting with the right people in the industry, for your business growth.
Smart Content Marketers always build good rapport with their industry bigwigs and thought leaders. When you’re on good terms with such influencers, you can land key guest-blogging opportunities, interviews, brand mentions on social media, or simply get invited to key networking events or land speaking opportunities at big conferences.
As you continuously network and engage with others in your field, it helps to reach out to new audiences and build brand awareness, trust and credibility amongst your prospects and customers.
6. Adaptability & Hunger For Learning
As with any industry, disruption and innovation is equally imminent for Content Marketing. Those far-sighted marketers, willing to adapt to, and learn from the new changes, are always the ones extremely successful and miles ahead of their competitors.
When you’re always open to change, when you regularly learn, and experiment with the latest trends and best practices, you’ll always be at the top of your game. Successful marketers are always hungry to learn and try new things to enhance their business acumen and optimise their marketing approaches.
The most sought-after habit that you can emulate from them is to constantly keep tab of industry developments by reading blogs, magazines, books, and consuming any information that comes your way, with regards to your niche and marketing trends.
Rather than understanding Content Marketing as a limited, ‘rigid’ approach to selling to your customers. When you recognise Content Marketing as more of an ‘evolving’ and ‘integrated’ business practice, you can develop the skillset, passion and the grit to grow your business with exceptional authority and credibility.
7. Building Trust With Audience
Without this you’re not going anywhere. Any successful marketer knows that ‘trust’ is the primary building block for businesses that stands the test of time. No wonder Brian Clark from Copyblogger says, “Building trust is bigger than tactics – it’s your entire mission”.
He believes it’s important for Content Marketers to understand that with promotion and clever messaging, you may be able to create awareness and liking to your brand, but when competition looms, it’s only the ‘trustworthy’ ones that gets chosen.
One smart marketing tactic which Brian suggests is to practice the craft of ‘disinterested goodwill - When you give away quality content that’s so good you could have charged money for it, you’re acting with “disinterested goodwill.” That means your audience received value regardless of whether they ever pay you a dime.
‘Disinterested’ here implies that you ‘selflessly’ serve your audience whether or not you receive any benefit from them. In the content marketing context, this refers to showering your audience and customers with free contents such as eBooks, guides, free videos and webinars, or, free trial offers – in exchange for little (email addresses) or no contribution from their part.
Marketers who create ‘quality content’ that demonstrates ‘authority, and caters to the queries and ‘pains’ of customers with a genuine ‘selfless’ motive – will drastically strengthen their relationship with the targeted audience, hence building brand credibility and trustworthiness high above their competition!
To Sum It Up…
I hope the above takeaways will help inspire you to build the required traits of a successful Content Marketer and build a brand that is followed, loved and trusted by your target audience.
If you'd like further assistance or would like to discuss anything covered today, we'd love to hear from you.
Call Andy Fox (me) on (03) 5249 5570 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Our Website is www.element7digital.com.au