One of the best ways to improve your skills as a content marketer is to learn from the successes and failures of other marketers. And as we near the end of 2017, many marketers are reflecting on what has (and hasn’t) worked in the past year and looking to what this means for content goals and plans for the coming year.
It doesn’t matter if you are a team of one or a team of one hundred, outside insights can be incredibly valuable for improving your approach to content marketing.
Since we know you’re likely busy working, wrapping up 2017 and planning for 2018, we’re here to help. Recently we had the chance to sit down (or stand up?) for some great content conversations with some of today’s top marketers.
Below you’ll find their top content lessons learned in 2017 as well as how you can apply these insights to your own content marketing approach.
In a profession with so many moving parts and fast-paced changes, it can be easy to become risk averse. The problem is, if you don’t take risks to create great, more impactful content, your competition will, and your audience will follow.
Content risks don’t have to mean completely changing your approach. It can be slight tweaks and tests along the way to improve performance and innovate.
Chief Content Officer, MarketingProfs
It’s no secret that social networks and content on 3rd party websites are a great way to attract your audience. Ultimately though, these approaches should be used as a means to draw people to owned content on your website.
Social algorithms change constantly and you’ll find that if you put the majority of your efforts into building relationships on those platforms, you can lose that audience faster than you gained it.
Author & Keynote Speaker
“Use social media platforms to get your audience to your own content so you create a direct connection.” @joepulizzi tweet this
As more and more brands become publishers, that means that a huge influx of content has been hitting the search results and inboxes of your target customers. Unfortunately, a lot of what is out there is not at the level of quality that it needs to be to provide value.
That means, customers are becoming overwhelmed by crappy content and are in dire need of quality content created for them by marketers who understand their top needs.
CEO, Owner Media Group
“There should be a big, wide-open playing field for marketers that are passionate and make real business happen.” @chrisbrogan tweet this
All too often, content distribution and amplification are either ignored, or treated as an afterthought when creating content. At the end of the day, we are marketers that are responsible for the performance of the content that we creates which means giving distribution the time and attention it deserves.
Content Marketing Manager – Marketing Solutions, LinkedIn
“Give your content room to breathe and focus on what works and what doesn’t so you can approach it better next time.” @amrynnie tweet this
It doesn’t matter if you create content for a B2C or B2B audience, the key is connecting with people. When marketers focus on creating product, solutions or services based content, they’re ignoring the true needs of their audience.
Buying audiences don’t care about marketing buzzwords, they want to know what problems you can help them solve. This requires creating a true connection and providing honest and helpful content based on what their top needs are.
Writer & Producer, Cisco
“Instead of trying to change what people say, we need to change how people think.” @timwasher tweet this
You wouldn’t hire a plumber to do your drywall or a professor to act as an electrician. The same can be said for your marketing team. While there are some marketers that can fulfill multiple roles, now more than ever it’s critical to work with a dedicated content marketing staff.
That can mean hiring full-time resources in-house and/or partnering with an agency that has expertise in your industry.
VP of Marketing & Sales Development, BrightFunnel
“One of the most important things your team needs is a dedicated resource to run content.” @dayroth tweet this
While we are seeing a 1-2% increase each year in marketers who have a documented content strategy, we are still nowhere near to 50%. Your content strategy should be your guide for all content you create and serve as an anchor point if your team ever starts to get off track.
Without a documented strategy, it is MUCH more difficult to meet business objectives and make a case for content’s place within your organization.
Content Marketing Leader, GE Digital
“Your content strategy is the single most important document you’ll create. It’ll make you more productive and it’ll be used internally on a regular basis.” @cnmoody tweet this
If we are going to move forward and improve content in 2018, it’s essential to reflect on what we’ve learned in 2017. Some lessons are easy and others are plagued with difficulty. As you reflect on the past year, think about your biggest content lesson learned. Feel free to share in the comments below!
Disclosure: BrightFunnel is a TopRank Marketing client.
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