The Art of Professional Content Marketing
This is the first in a series of letters on Professional Content Marketing.
This series of letters will address the core issue preventing businesses from producing content that will grow their business: They see themselves as amateurs.
Amateurs in the context of content marketing.
I was an amateur too once. I’ve experienced the pain of creating content without acceptable results.
Struggling content marketers view their work as a task to be checked off a to-do list.
Because those businesses struggling with content marketing do not view each piece of content as a salesperson, working 24/7 to generate new sales opportunities.
These organizations are not yet convinced content marketing represents a legitimate growth opportunity.
Thus, they have no strategy.
According to Contently, Only 12% of B2C and 33% of B2B marketers without a content strategy consider their content marketing efforts effective. In contrast, in those organizations with documented content strategies, 36% of B2C and 43% of B2B marketers consider their content marketing efforts effective.
This is despite, new research from Content Marketing Institute, that 86% of B2B marketers report that their organizations are using content marketing, and 70% of B2B marketers are creating more content than they did one year ago.
Becoming a Content Professional
I can tell you the exact day I became a professional content marketer, January 2nd, 2012. On that day I made a promise to myself, no more excuses.
On January 2nd, 2012, I launched the 100 Insurance Questions Answered in 100 Days video campaign. My first tactical content campaign.
My job title didn’t change.
My salary didn’t change.
On the outside, nothing changed.
But on the inside, in my mind, everything changed. This was the day I began to take content marketing seriously.
I didn’t wait for permission. No one would ever going to give me permission.
We didn’t have a market department.
The marketing function was just a bullet point in my job description. Not a prioritized organization driver of growth.
Here’s the secret to becoming a professional content marketer… you and you alone decide when it happens.
Turn pro or don’t. It’s completely up to you.
As Jeff Goins explains:
Life will never slow down and provide the optimum scenario to become the pro version of ourselves.”
We must decide to do so…
…then take action.
In an effort to win the battle for attention online, we, as content marketers, must take to our keyboards, video cameras and microphones with reckless abandon.
Create quality content with reckless abandon.
Content which educates, entertains and inspires your audience.
The Internet doesn’t need more crap content.
More content is NOT the answer to attracting more attention. WRONG!
This is our amateur brain trying to finish a task instead of working to accomplish a goal.
Content marketing is NOT about more content, it’s about more content that is valuable, entertaining and/or useful to your targeted consumer base.
Valuable content doesn’t involve the word “epic” or “awesome” or any other exciting sounding adjective that describes nothing.
Valuable content doesn’t mean going viral on Twitter or getting listed on Buzzsumo.
Valuable content is NOT your latest sale or discount.
Valuable content answers the everyday questions of target consumers in language they understand.
Valuable content is consistent, concise and focused on the specific information a consumer needs to become a more informed buyer.
Professional Content Marketing
You are not an amateur content marketer.
If you were, you wouldn’t be reading this blog post. You wouldn’t be putting in the work. You wouldn’t have already given yourself permission.
But giving yourself permission is just the beginning. Here are 5 Content Marketing Tactics the Connected Generation Can’t Resist.
And 9 more essays on professional content marketing:
- Developing a Culture of Belief in Content Marketing
- 5 Methods for Learning to Love the Content Creation Grind
- The Professional Content Marketer’s Guide to Authenticity
- A Completely Mad Strategy for Selling Online
- Permission to Start: A Short Manifesto on Creating More Content
- A Golf Lesson in Content Marketing Success
- 7 Secrets of Storytelling Success (from a recovering corporate writer)
- Torque, Digital Marketing and Knowing When to Downshift
- How to Find Your Perfect Online Audience
I know you believe in content marketing.
The art of professional content marketing is our put up or shut up moment.
This article, plus the series of letters above, set the path for going pro.
If you’re looking to take professional content marketing even deeper, check out my new book, the Content Warfare Book.
I hope you will come on this journey with me and candidly share your questions, thoughts and opinions in comments below.
Our combined insights will help fuel the growth of everyone seeking to become a professional content marketer.
Thank you and Good luck,
I am Ryan Hanley
photo credit: Olivander via photopin cc
image credit: giphy.
image credit: giphy.