Content marketing has always been in the news for its ability to connect and attract a broader range of customers. It is now more actively being used, with over 70% of marketers actively investing in content marketing according to a HubSpot report. A whopping 500 hours of content is being uploaded on YouTube, and nearly 2500 WordPress posts are published each minute as per research by Smart Insights. This number is only increasing as digitization spreads in every corner of the globe.
With a stupendous surge in content creation, content marketers need to carve a niche for themselves to get noticed and potentially maximize their outreach. Wondering how successful content marketers get it done? This blog will look at some of the lesser-known *secret* habits of successful content marketers, including content marketing tools they use, which you can adopt in your content marketing strategy and routine.
1. Prioritize and Plan
Whether you are starting or have a flourishing career in content marketing, we all have just 24 hours as everyone else. So what matters is how we utilize this precious time.
Most content marketers seldom have a plan, leading to indecisive strategies, last-minute content creation, and haphazard execution. Every marketer needs to learn the art of prioritizing and planning to ensure that they are always a step ahead in their content marketing journey.
To start in the right direction, create a content calendar for all your marketing channels. The calendar helps your entire marketing team prioritize and plan accordingly, while you can be productive by spending time on things that matter!
2. Write drunk, edit sober!
Even though it’s an overused quote (and one that is often incorrectly attributed to the prolific writer Ernest Hemingway), the essence of the quote makes a lot of sense. No, we are not recommending being drunk, but the key to creating brilliant content is to start by fuelling your passion. Let the words flow, and if you are in the right frame of mind, do not interrupt it. Write with all your passion, and when you are done, it is time to edit.
Editing requires a more structured approach, and thus the terminology, ‘edit sober.’ The quote merely tells us the process of content creation, allowing the heart to work wonders while the mind enables you to put it all together properly.
3. Focus on the KPIs
Often, content marketers do not have a specific goal, prioritizing their content quality and connection as the essential parameters. However, content marketing is not just about creating quality content. It is also about ensuring that content that is relevant and effective gets distributed efficiently. This requires a proper content strategy, and Key Performance Indicators can help put the entire plan in perspective.
The KPI should be the critical value for content marketers and could be as simple as the number of emails (leads) generated, website visits, post likes, and so on. Embrace the right KPIs to align with your overall objective and keep tracking the metrics on regular timelines.
4. Empathize with your audience
The content explosion is real, which has led to an audience with an extremely thin attention span. If your content, creatives, or posts are not what readers are looking for, they may not even spare a second and just scroll past it. Getting the audience’s attention requires you to put your best foot forward, and to do this, you need to be in your audience’s shoes.
Prioritize value for your target audience over everything else and make sure your content and overall marketing approach reflect that. From webinars, eBooks, how-to guides to other materials that provide value-driven content, build on understanding your audience to create the right kind of content. Content marketers may also undertake market research or build personas to help forge a better connection and enable better outcomes.
5. Network and build credibility
The one thing that differentiates a successful content marketer from the one who is just managing is his or her ability to build relationships. Be it marketing or any other business, networking and engaging with others in the industry are integral to overall success. It allows you to understand what others around you are doing, and being in touch with thought leaders and influencers can help you maximize your reach by leaps and bounds.
Guest-blogging and collaborations have also showcased a considerable potential for both parties to reach beyond their circles, ushering in new opportunities to engage with newer people and potential customers.
6. Note down your ideas
Ever had a brilliant idea while you were in the shower or just about to fall asleep or while driving? Creative ideas simply flow, and there’s no fixed process to make them come to you. Most content marketers have been through situations where they had a game-changing idea but had forgotten to write it down. And poof! It was gone, forever out of your system!
Always having a notepad with you is a great approach, but you can also use technology to help you stay productive. Apps such as Evernote or Notion help you capture your thoughts whenever they flow, and you can even revisit and prioritize them when you have the time.
7. Stay updated and experiment often
Marketing is perpetually in flux, and new trends are coming up or becoming stale every few months. Savvy content marketers need to know what’s happening in the market, and thus it is essential to take time out for research and analysis. If you have a particular niche or industry that your content is centered around, it is prudent to have the right resources to get the latest updates from the market.
Being in sync with the latest trends can help you plan your marketing approach or revise it ahead of time, allowing you to beat the competition. Moreover, you are closer to being the trendsetter, rather than the one who just follows the trend. Watch out for new platforms and formats and see how you can leverage them to create new types of content and discover new audiences.
– Share your unique experiences
Besides focusing on networking and building your audiences, content marketers use various content marketing tools to share their experiences with the world. In an increasingly connected setting, it’s only right that your unique ideas have a platform.
Not only does sharing your unique experiences outside of work help with the content creation process, but also boosts your credibility among users. Maybe you wanted to share social media content creation tips that only you know. Maybe you want to teach other people how to become content creators. It’s never too late to start a webinar or go live every Sunday and share your unique experiences.
– Maintain a blog or as many as you can
On the quest of how to become a content creator, blogging cannot be ignored. Blogs are a great tool and using your time to maintain your own blog is a great way to foster engagement and pen down your thoughts. Even if things get busy, you can always learn and share new content strategy tips with your eager followers.
Content marketers use blogs as a powerful content marketing tool because they are highly effective. Even if all your readers don’t read every post you publish, maintaining a blog will serve as an anchor for people to revisit your journey as a content marketer.
It’s not necessary to be a great writer. But blogging is a powerful content marketing tool that encourages creativity and discipline.
– Work hard, play hard!
This is probably one of the most important tips for content creators. Especially when you get busy with a lot of different projects, you will push for quality and consistency. That may be time-consuming. Since you enjoy your work so much, you may hardly find any time to take a step back and relax. Well, relaxation is important.
Besides helping you calm your mind and relieve yourself of stress, a little bit of playtime goes a long way in reorganizing your focus and avoiding fatigue. Every successful content creator needs some time for themselves, where they get to realize that their work is a product of their well-being, which should be nurtured with rewarding experiences. Never overwork your mind, even if you are a mathematician.
– Learn the secrets of using Google
Research is a fundamental part of a content marketer’s journey. Without the right content marketing tools, you can’t get anywhere. Google is probably the most advocated guide for resources online. However, there’s a special way to find the exact information you’re looking for. Over time, you will learn how to look past the first SERP and narrow down your search results.
Besides being open to learning, content marketers have to learn to navigate search engines. It’s a very useful skill. You can use synonyms to look for information pertaining to your query. You can search up symbols to find exact matches for your query. You can include or exclude words from your search query to gather a more refined search result. You can make use of Google images to inspire new ideas. You can find a tonne of useful content marketing tools online, content marketing tips for content creators, and great ways to refine your search for information. By learning how to use a search engine, you add value to the content creation process.
– Revisit your past works
Some may think that reading up on your previous work is being self-obsessed. But that is far from the truth. By revisiting your past works at varying intervals, you are constantly analyzing your own performance. This helps you realize how far you’ve come since the last blog you wrote. Especially when you’re searching for tips for content creators, or ways to improve your existing content marketing strategy, you can learn a lot from your past works. It’s a great idea to have all your work compiled into a portfolio to look back and reevaluate the journey so far.
Just like learning from your experiences, reminding yourself of the road you’ve taken to become the best content creator is a great step in refining your work ethic, attitude, and knowledge. Especially when you’ve begun to enjoy the success of your journey as a content creator, it’s good to humble yourself by learning how you’ve improved or changed the way you create and distribute content. Reflect on the new content marketing tools available, on the growth you’ve witnessed as a professional, and the experiences that have shaped your career.
Content is now the fundamental element for every digital and traditional marketing strategy and can define your brand marketing approach’s overall success. Given its importance today, content marketers need to understand that their role doesn’t just revolve around creating and editing content; it is much larger! Successful content marketers need to be able to communicate to their target audience in a way that is impactful yet helpful.
The new normal has transformed the way marketers work, as customers are more likely to trust a brand whose content they have found to be valuable and thought-provoking. Ensure that you are in sync with customer challenges and needs and reflect on how you can add value in these changing times.
Content will now focus on empathy and value, making it essential for marketers to develop the right habits and stay on course. Any content marketing habits that you live by? Let us know in the comments below.
You can build an audience on social networks. This is the fastest and easiest way to establish a following for your content, which in turn allows you to extend reach beyond those connections by using curated lists or retargeting ads.
The best place to start would be with what you know – yourself! People want more information about who you are and the more you engage with a target demographic, the more interested they become in what you have to offer.
Blogging is the most traditional form of content marketing and offers you an opportunity to share your expertise on a regular basis with new leads, current customers, or anyone who might be interested in what they have to say.
The best blogs are those written by experts (not marketers) for their true audiences – people like them! For example, if you’re writing about vegan cooking but happen to be an expert at making coffee cakes as well then focus your energy there instead.
There’s always something going on in our lives that we want others’ advice on and this gives bloggers the ability to provide it while also driving traffic back to whatever site they’d like readers to visit next time. That makes blogging a rewarding journey.
There are plenty! But here are 3 people you can check out right away.
1) Michael Brenner, CEO, and Founder of Julia Allison Digital Agency – “Julia is on the show answering questions about all sorts of topics including her yearly digital marketing budgets (the number is more than a lot of companies), and how to measure content marketing ROI. She hits this point home by saying she wants to make sure she spends her media dollars wisely, measuring everything in terms of ‘influence.'”
2) Rand Fishkin – “Rand shares his thoughts about why non-profits may be better executing content marketing as well as various industry challenges like how they can leverage some form of visual storytelling.”
3) Brian Clark – He shares that he’s still wildly excited by new challenges and adventures and also offers a lot of social media content creation tips for those who want to learn how to become a content creator.
Here’s a list of some famous content marketing tools:
3. Sprout Social
6. Google Charts and Data Visualization Tools (Google Sheets Lab)
7. Google Slides as a Presentation Tool (Pivot Tables, Calculations, etc)
8. Nuzzel for News Aggregation
9. Bitly for URL shortening
Here are three avenues to explore.
1. Social Media: Social media is a subjective thing that you have to find what works for your brand. It’s a great way to build social proof and nurture a community of followers.
2. Blog Opportunities: Why not start your own blog? You could do it about anything from food to personal thoughts like the one pictured above! You can likely even get subscriptions if you create something that has the reach or audience potential.
3. Affiliate Marketing: Get affiliate links from other sites and include them in the content of your site with an affiliate link in return- this will help you make money off of other people’s products and brands instead of relying 100% on ads/promotions being successful.
Read up on the latest content marketing tools: Knowing what to use to make your work easier and better is vital to growing your content business. By learning about the latest content marketing tools and methods, you stand a chance of building a more successful enterprise for yourself and your clients.