Reverse-engineering the habits of highly effective content marketersThese are the 5 things great content marketers do really well
Behind every successful content marketing program is at least one person who cares a whole hell of a lot.
That person is the difference between content that feels like a deliverable and content that feels like a destination.
Based on our experience working with marketers behind some of the most successful and sustainable programs in content marketing, here are some commonalities we’ve noticed among those at the helm:
- They genuinely participate in the communities they sell to. You can’t sell sandwiches — or ideas — from the ivory tower. In order to market content to an audience, smart strategists know they need to rub elbows with the people they are serving. It’s about more than transactions — it’s about relationships.
- They understand where and how to get audience trend data on influences, hot buttons, sacred cows and the pain points people deal with related to your space. Understanding these touch points can help illuminate opportunities for brand relevance.
- Beyond their own space, they study what’s resonating with people and pop culture. The best content marketers are masters of formats and editorial product development. They are pop culture omnivores and armchair (or professionally-trained!) sociologists. They understand how to reverse-engineer a trend in one space and apply it to another.
- They get the channel packaging required to reach great heights. How ideas are presented within a channel (sort of like how a box of cereal presents itself on the store shelf but instead of organic bran flakes, it’s an organic search) is crucial for engagement. We call it content packaging. Great content strategists understand how to write copy that will do it all: be searchable, educate, engage and/or delight in social, hook email audiences, deliver habit-forming experiences, and convert. The best of the best even know what that content should look like graffitied on an overpass, if need be.
- They know which needles to look at and how to move them. The best content marketers align their activities and approaches with measurable, demonstrable outcomes — and learn as they go. Sure, sometimes that metric is reach, but many other times it’s app downloads or appointment referrals and LTV; meetings requested or memberships joined. Content that bridges to a brand business goal from an audience pain point is what every successful content marketer maps to reach.
While big ideas and a big picture understanding of content marketing are a great start and are necessary ingredients, sustainable success is based on humble service to both the audience and the brand, with creative editorial content as the element that connects, engages, and grows the connection between the two. R
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