The 10 Commandments of Content Marketing
The following guideposts of content marketing have been developed based on the experiences of hundreds of B2B marketers. I’ve been in the fortunate position to work with, learn from, and share best practices among some of the brightest B2B marketers around the globe. Here, I’ve compiled a list of The 10 Commandments of Content Marketing:
Thou shalt steal content.
Of course I don’t mean “steal” in the literal sense of the word, nor am I condoning plagiarism. But I do mean look to influencers in your community for inspiration. Provide comments on content about industry topics. Freely share content created by others in your community, with proper attribution, of course. Share others’ content and provide your own viewpoint in response to popular industry topics.
Thou shalt covet thy neighbors’ content.
Look to others on your team, your organization, or influencers within your industry for content ideas. For simple tips to find hidden content within your organization, and re-purpose it for your content marketing strategy, check out this list of ideas. I’m a fan of creating your own original content, and you can augment this strategy by curating content from other industry influencers, coupled with your own viewpoints.
Thou shalt be authentic.
Use your true voice, be the expert in your area. Continue to refine your topic until you are confidently the expert on the topic. In his book, Content Inc., Joe Pulizzi talks about content tilt, meaning the perspective you take on a particular topic. Joe advises content marketers to keep narrowing the focus until you truly are the expert on that particular subject. Choose one audience and become the indispensable expert for that audience.
Thou shalt stay committed, and uphold your commitments.
A common pitfall for organizations is to commit to a grandiose content marketing strategy, (“Let’s do a daily blog, a weekly email newsletter and twice monthly webinars!”) only to lose steam a few months into the program. This is often prompted by leadership changes or resource reallocations. Take a crawl-walk-run approach to your content marketing strategy, and ease your team and your organization into the strategy. Show small wins along the way to recruit more resources for your content strategy.
Thou shalt honor your elders.
Check your web analytics platform for the “oldie-but-goodie” content, and then expose the heck out of it. Look for opportunities to create ebooks, infographics, webinars, or multi-part educational series from your most popular blog posts.
Thou shalt pay attention to data and metrics.
Your web analytics platform and marketing automation platform will tell you what your prospects and customers love. Do more of what they love. Stop doing what they ignore.
Do unto your customers as you would have them do unto you.
Treat the entire customer experience with respect. Manage your content strategy in concert with your lead generation strategy, and continue your efforts post-sale after prospects become customers. So many companies do a great job at converting prospects into customers, but then forget to apply a content strategy to the post-sale customer experience.
Thou shalt fill the funnel.
Your content marketing strategy does not give you an excuse to ignore the sales and marketing funnel. In fact, it’s quite the opposite – as a content marketer, you have a supreme calling to help fill the top of the funnel and educate prospects throughout the buying funnel.
Thou shalt stay focused.
You will tire of your content before your audience will. Evaluate your content strategy at least quarterly, to determine what content is resonating best with your community. Look for ways to replicate the most successful topics and content types. Give your team permission to stop creating content that isn’t getting used by your prospects or customers.
Thou shalt remember the business strategy.
There is nothing worse than content marketing for content marketing’s sake. Who cares about clicks, engagements, impressions if your content is not helping drive the overall business goals? Be sure your content strategy is birthed out of your organization’s business strategy. Review these goals on a regular basis with your team, and adjust your strategy to stay on pace with your overall business goals.