Orig. Post September 19, 2014 by Entrepreneur | Re-Post September 25, 2014
With survey after survey reporting companies will spend more on content marketing than ever before, content marketers need to pull out all the stops to ensure this tactic delivers solid ROI.
There is just one problem, though. Not all content marketing strategies work and content marketers have only themselves to blame. If a content marketing campaign doesn’t deliver results, it means the people in charge have made a hash of it.
Why do some campaigns fail, while others score? What do successful content marketers do differently?
The popular perception is that their skill sets and proficiency make the difference but, more than that, it is their attitude and approach. Two campaigns using similar tactics can throw up contrasting results purely because content marketers behind the really profitable campaign view the same tactic through different eyes.
Successful content marketers do five things differently:
1. They respect content. I know you might be thinking, “Respect! I mean c’mon, where does respect enter the picture?” But that’s what the truly astute marketers do. They respect the potential content has to build brand reputation. They are extremely selective about content. Before content is pushed out, they thoroughly evaluate the potential for it to generate interest, provide an actionable solution, trigger user engagement and go viral.
That respect ensures a particular brand is only associated with high-quality content that adds value to the lives of its target audience at some level or other.
2. They explore content formats. One reason why some content marketers get left behind is their inability to use a variety of content formats.
There is a limit to the returns content will deliver over time. There is range of effective content formats that can be leveraged for marketing, yet ineffective content marketers choose not to explore them.
The best content marketers know how to tell a brand’s story in the best way possible. They find the ideal format to get the message across. They might go the visual route with infographics or videos. They might even take the on-demand talk-radio route a.k.a. podcasting.
They are fearless in their pursuit of customer attention. They know what it takes to deliver the brand message with impact.
3. They accept accountability. Successful content marketers know the buck stops with them. They are in charge. If a content strategy fails to deliver results, they can’t pin the blame on somebody else. A content marketing campaign that fails to deliver is their failure, nobody else’s.
This guarantees they stay away from frivolous decision making. Each strategy is seen from the ROI prism and every outcome of the content strategy is scrutinized for tangible deliverables. It allows them to weed out elements that are not performing and focus on core elements that deliver results.
4. They view content marketing as a cog in the larger marketing wheel. Content marketing is as much a part of your integrated online marketing strategy as is SEO, social media marketing, PPC etc. Smart content marketers ensure the tactics they utilize seamlessly integrate with other marketing strategies to become a single, immensely powerful growth engine for their business. For them, marketing convergence is as important as the success of their content marketing strategy.
5. They have no rule book. The fundamental rule of content marketing is that there are no rules. Successful content marketers experiment and keep pushing the limits of their ingenuity to ensure they promote content that the target audience will welcome. Content marketing, by its very nature, gives you the opportunity to fully vent your imagination. The best marketers use this to their advantage.
Successful content marketers are knowledgeable in detail about their craft. They view content not as a commodity to be sold but as a value-added solution they are responsible for delivering effectively to the intended audience.
Jim is a 30 year veteran of Fortune 500 sales and marketing with companies such as Oracle, Dell, and EMC, as well as Hilton and Omni hotels. His passion lies in helping emerging growth companies raise funds by leveraging the marketing tools and strategies that large corporations typically use. His focus is simple. “Help Businesses Raise Capital!”