Content marketing in 2017: 10 experts share their secrets to success

Taking a look at the year ahead, we’ve curated tips from experienced and successful marketers from around the globe who’ve shared their secrets for creating relevant, meaningful and needle-moving content.

1) Hire the best creative team, says Andrew Hirsch, CEO of London’s John Brown Media:

The key ingredient to success is hiring the very best designers and the very best editors. This should almost be money- no- object. Who your editor is and the quality of the design are the two key elements for success.

2) Create meaningful content, says Will Travis, CEO of Sid Lee USA:

If you create content that has no relevancy or engagement with your brand, or no recognition or memory that makes people think ‘that reinforced my belief in that brand’, why do it?

3) Put your audience first, says Ann Handley, Head of Content at MarketingProfs:

The best content is really content your audience wants. It’s very customer centric. It answers questions for them. It makes them feel like “you understand me” or “you get me.” You need to get inside the head of your customers and make them the hero of whatever it is you’re writing about.

4) Find your sweet spot, says Joe Pulizzi founder, of The Content Marketing Institute:

The sweet spot is the intersection between knowledge and/or authority, combined with passion. But it doesn’t necessarily have to be passion; it can also be around a key customer pain point.

5) Be bold, brave and say something new, says Dave Burda, Editorial Director for MSP Communications, Healthcare Group:

If you want to be a thought leader you’ve got to stretch yourself, say something new. It’s what separates you from the crush.

6) Experiment with new social channels, says Stacy Martinet, CMO at Mashable:

It is so important to give the team space to experiment with social because of the rapid rate of change in the industry. What we were doing [at Mashable] on Facebook two years ago is no longer relevant today, and what we are doing today on Snapchat didn’t even exist two years ago. It’s about throwing things at the wall and seeing what sticks.

7) Atomise your content, says Jay Baer, President of Convince & Convert:

It’s about taking a big content theme and executing it in a number of strategically similar ways, but on different platforms. It’s a more efficient way to create content. Instead of reinventing the wheel every time, it’s about taking a wheel you already have and finding more ways to create smaller wheels.

8) Collaborate with other brands, says Andrew Davis, author of ‘Brandscaping: Unleashing the Power of Partnerships’:

Converse, the shoe company, and Guitar Center, a company that sells music equipment in retail stores, have come together successfully. The reason they did this was Converse realised if they could build a relationship with musicians very early on, and embrace their passion for music, that it would pay off in spades.

9) Listen to what the data is telling you, says Andy Crestodina, co-founder of Orbit Media:

You really can’t make good decisions unless you are paying attention to the data. The trick to marketing is data-driven empathy. You must know the hearts and minds, fears and hopes, and dreams of your audience. You know that through data.

10) Take a nimble approach to budgeting, says Andrew Hanelly, creative director of Rev:

Things change every single day. If you’ve created one piece of content and it’s converting like crazy, divert funds to accelerate its online success. If a piece of content is falling flat, slam on the brakes. It is critical to remain vigilant, checking the channels, reviewing metrics and responding to whatever you’re seeing. The idea that things are variable on a day to day basis is a bit counterintuitive to a traditional marketer’s comfort zone—but, that’s what it takes to be successful.

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