Content marketing success is not down to luck. It’s due to a calculated, formalised strategy and plan. Marketers who are consistently successful have different priorities than their peers, says Joe Pulizzi, the founder of the Content Marketing Institute. From his latest research, he found that content marketers who achieve great results with their content do so because they have a strategy, a budget, and they place a high value on creativity and craft while producing content. “We all have the same number of hours in a day. What you choose to focus on during those hours can set you up for content marketing success,” said Pulizzi.
He believes commitment is the number one indicator for marketers outshining their peers. “You need to go all in or do nothing. Mediocre content will hurt you more than doing nothing at all,” said Pulizzi at this year’s Content Marketing World Conference and Expo. In CMI’s latest content marketing research report he outlines five key traits that successful content marketers have in common. Here we’ve outlined what they are:
1. They know what success looks like
Committed marketers are more likely to understand what an effective or successful content marketing program looks like within their organisation. These marketers are more likely to know what success means to their company. It begins with setting goals and ensuring that everyone in the organisation understands what they’re working towards. Pulizzi says that content marketing should aim to reach these three basic goals of increasing sales, attracting more subscribers or inducing greater loyalty with existing customers.
2. They have a documented strategy
To succeed in content marketing marketers must document their content marketing strategy. This must be done before jumping into the tactics. Pulizzi says even a basic outline, written on a piece of paper, is better than none. Some of the basics to include are: what you want to achieve with content marketing, who the audience is, what utility your content is going to give your customers, allocating a budget and identifying channels to distribute the content on. According to the CMI marketers who document their strategy are much more likely to accomplish their content marketing goals and be successful.
3. They have a higher percentage of budget allocated to content
Marketers who are committed are spending a higher percentage of their total marketing budget on content marketing see greater results than those who only allocate a small proportion. This is often because they have created a dedicated team to produce and distribute content, and don’t see it as an ‘add-on’ to marketing, but as a central function.
4. They value creativity and craft
Those who are committed to content marketing prioritise the actual craft of creating great content. While checklists are helpful for publication and distribution activities, there are no shortcuts when it comes to sitting down and creating great content, says Pulizzi. Most content creators are passionate about their trade, and this makes them better at their work he says. Or as Apple’s CEO Tim Cook once said, “We aren’t focused on the numbers. We’re focused on the things that produce the numbers.” Pulizzi believes that content marketers who focus on quality rather than quantity reap greater rewards.
5. They prioritise the discipline
Committed marketers prioritise content marketing. They see it as an ongoing business process, rather than as a one-off campaign. They set goals and seek to understand their audiences’ needs, wants and fears. Their content mission is about differentiating their offering from their competitors by delivering value to their customers. These marketers understand that aligning content marketing to the sales process or other marketing and loyalty initiatives will improve the chance of success. Even those with a basic content strategy have a plan to measure the effectiveness of their content.