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Gavin Hirst - Monday 21st September 2020


5x Content Marketing Habits you need to succeed

Content marketing is not simply something you can pick up and be great at.

Content marketing is made up of so many facets – copywriting, video production, graphic design – the list goes on.

Being a good content marketer is about more than just being a good copywriter or designer. Great content marketing is not about one-off tactics. It’s a long term, strategic approach and if you want to be successful at content marketing, you need to hone certain habits that will ensure that every piece of content has a specific focus on quality.

To mould your content marketing habits, Marcus Collins, Marketing Professor, University of Michigan Ross School of Business has two broad mantras:

  1. Focus on people
  2. Be consistent

With every piece of content you are working on, these two key areas should be at the forefront of your thinking and these two ‘mantras’ are behind these five key habits every content marketer needs to adopt.

1.      Work as a team

A great habit to get into is collaboration. Whilst this is not always possible depending on the makeup of your team, working together often helps to get the creative juices flowing and allows you to be more natural in the content you create rather than always sticking on brand.

Whilst you may be responsible for your company’s or your clients content marketing strategy, it doesn’t mean you are always the best person to tell the story. Speak to people all across the business and find out other people’s experiences and stories – you may just find some inspiration.

Of course, if you are a one-man-band when it comes to content creation, you can reach out beyond your own walls and get input from experts, clients, academic, studies, and other relevant sources. These all add depth and value to your content pieces and help to bring them to life.

2.      Involve your community

Another habit to get into is involving your community. Whilst this can include your own staff, it more often refers to your customers and prospective customers. As well as being a great source of information for your content pieces, your customers can really help to shape your strategy by providing you not only with user-generated content, but feedback on products, services, and other content pieces you have published.

By asking your customers and prospects what they want, you have a better chance of delivering highly relevant and meaningful content through your content platform.

The more questions you ask, the better the content you are likely to produce and the more impactful that content is likely to be with your target audience.

Get into the habit of involving your community and you will reap the rewards.

3.      Make it real

With so much content available online, being real is the only true way to stand out. Your company or your clients have a unique voice – there is no other business that can share that voice so it’s important to ensure that shines through in the content you are creating.

This means the tone you use, as well as the imagery, the video content, and most importantly, the people.

Showcase your staff through videos, podcasts, and profiles. Use customer testimonials. Speak to your suppliers. Use everything you can to bring a human voice to your content and you will find that your content becomes more engaging.

4.      Create an experience

Instead of focusing on creating individual pieces of content, think more about the experience you want to provide your customers when they visit your site.

Do you really want them to stop at one piece of content?

You should be thinking about how content pieces can work together to help you to build a relationship with your customers.

To create a great content experience, you need a strategy. It can’t just be something that’s done on the fly. You need to determine what you want to achieve with the content you are creating and figure out how that fits with your overall communications strategy.

Once it becomes a habit, creating your content strategy each year will become much easier.

5.      Review, reflect and improve

Finally, and perhaps the most important habit to get into is one of reviewing your content, reflecting on what works and what doesn’t and then improving your strategy moving forward.

It’s all too easy to fall into a habit of simply creating and publishing content without ever spending the time to review how successful your individual pieces of content actually are.

Once you have a better understanding of the content that resonates with your audience, you can refine your content planning process and ensure you are creating more of the content that hits the right mark with your target audience.

On the flip side, you can also see which content misses the mark and understand the potential reasons for that. Then you can either bin off that particular content line or refine the content to make it more appealing your target audience.

Summary

Creating great content is about creating great habits. Once those habits become ingrained, it’s amazing how much easier it becomes to create great content on a regular basis Sure, you will still have some misses, however once you start to review all of your content as a matter of habit, you will quickly weed out those duds and refine your future content so these become less and less frequent.

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