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The Ultimate Content Marketing Best Practices List

The Ultimate Content Marketing Best Practices List

Like most things in life, the content marketing game isn’t a precise art but there are some verified best practices out there. The marketing game is changing, check out our wrap-up of content marketing’s best practices, with links to some great content below, to stay ahead of the curve.

Brands as Publishers

With the rise of social media came a new opportunity for established brands. They suddenly found themselves with huge audiences of engaged fans with whom they could interact directly. This shift has led to a new wave of brands as publishers with a valuable, premade resource at their fingertips - the audience.

“The industry has fragmented, digital channels and platforms have proliferated, and social networks have created an expectation among consumers that brands will engage them directly. In such a climate, business and marketing leaders have rushed headlong into publishing—they’d be foolish to stay on the sidelines” - John McCrory

The Rise of the Brand Newsroom

Along with the new phenomenon of ‘brands as publishers’ comes the same problems that media face – immediacy. A well-oiled brand publishing unit will churn out relevant content in a short time frame because the same principles apply as an online news source. Immediacy comes first, closely followed by relevancy.

“Brands are becoming publishers as a way to satisfy the audience’s need for immediate, relevant and quality information. The “brand newsroom” creates audience-centric content that informs and/or entertains while reinforcing values, beliefs, and core competencies of the brand.” – Derek Miller

End of Days for Digital Display Spells Opportunity for Brands

Ad banners are considered a relatively old-school form of marketing which is good because they’re becoming obsolete. According to Fortune, ad blockers have increased 41% in the last year alone, spawning a new generation of aggressive click bait ads and further blurring the line between content creators and journalists.

“The “advertising apocalypse” that’s become a critical issue for publishers – and why it’s an opportunity for brands… we ponder the blurring line between journalists and content marketers and agree what should be done about authors who hijack the term “content marketing.” – Joe Pulizzi

Don’t Build Your Content House on Rented Land

Content marketers should have this mantra tattooed on them somewhere, it’s so important. Most comms channels are owned and ruled by someone else who can at any point pull the plug, change the rules and generally ruin your best laid plans. At the end of the day, you’re strategizing within a framework that you don’t control. It’s incredibly important for ambitious brand publishers to consider building their content on the platform that gives them the most control.

“Two recent developments that clearly illustrate why you should not build your content house on rented land: LinkedIn has placed limits on your ability to download contact information about your connections, and Google Plus as a social network is no more.” – Joe Pulizzi

Can Technology Solve Content Marketing’s Biggest Problem?

One of the biggest problems faced by marketers is achieving optimum content velocity by posting as frequently as possible. Repositioning content creation as the first priority in a marketing schedule is easier said than done though. The news doesn’t stop day to day and if you want to build your brand as a relevant media player, neither can your content.

“Well, according to the Content Marketing Institute, only 16 percent of B2B content marketers publish content daily; overall, only 42 percent of B2B marketers publish more than once a week, a figure that’s especially troubling when you consider that CMI’s stats include social media posts. The numbers aren’t much better for B2C marketers: Just 17 percent publish daily, and only 48 percent publish more than once a week” – Joe Pulizzi

Content Marketing Projects That Are Taking the World by Storm

Unsurprisingly, the best content marketing programs are those which are mapped out in detail. A strong foundation of research will do a lot of the work for the content you produce because while content is king, it’s not all equal. Once you’re all mapped out, remember the value of content depends on its purpose – a thoughtful, value adding campaign can be as valuable to the right client as a viral video.

“If you really want your content marketing to stand out in a crowded marketplace, you need to focus on helping your target audience reach their goals, not just on furthering your own. The best way to do this is through utility marketing – providing something that customers not only would want to use but would also find so valuable that it becomes an important part of their lives.” - Joe Lazauskas

The Marketing Mega-Trend Behind Mary Meeker’s 2015 Report

We’re seeing some of the predicted marketing trends sweep through our ranks now. Mobile use is definitely increasing but the chance of a customer buying on their mobile is lower than on a desktop. Notifications are becoming more interactive out of necessity, as the Apple watch set the standard for customers to literally never be outside of the reach of them. Live, user generated stories, popularised by Snapchat and recently rolled out in Instagram, are the future. And demand for services, like Uber, AirBnB and Task Rabbit is rising, and looks like it’ll keep rising.

“Relevancy has been a buzzword in marketing since the first ecommerce transaction took place. But it’s having a renaissance as the technologies needed to actually deliver on true, individual level relevancy are now changing the way marketers think about, well, marketing (segmentation, cross-channel connectivity, customer lifetime value and so on and so forth).” – Neil Capel

Forrester Report: Marketers Seek Better Ways To Tell Their Product’s Story

The days of static company websites have passed and aggregating dynamic, social and community content is the way forward for B2C marketers and even B2B marketers. User generated content attracts site visits while also favourably influencing buying behaviour. There’s a gap in the market for an end-to-end platform to important publish social content and manage an online community.

“Social depth platforms meet this need by helping companies deploy online communities and related social capabilities on their websites and microsites. SDP space is rapidly evolving as marketers seek to consolidate multiple technology platforms that overlap in features and functionality and therefore drain internal resources. In response to this need for an end-to-end solution, traditional online community vendors have extended their platform capabilities by snapping up other vendors, integrating with marketing systems, and partnering with technology vendors. Other user-generated content platform providers are also seeking ways to extend their platforms by adding more community-like features to their offerings. What does this mean to marketers? These platforms will continue to become more robust and integrated, eventually eliminating the need for multiple, disparate technologies.” - Kim Celestre and Zachary Reiss-Davis

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