This Month In #ContentMarketing: April 2016

The life cycle of a marketing practice (by this I mean SEO, content marketing, social media marketing, etc.) tends to look something like this:

  • “This is a new thing! You should do it! All the cool kids are doing it!”
  • “Do ALL THE THINGS in this practice. This is the next Facebook/SEO/super cool thing.”
  • “Well…that was a thing. I think it is dying now. Read five other articles about how this practice doesn’t work.”
  • “This has been around for a while, but we’ve been doing it all wrong.”
  • “Things keep changing. Here’s what you need to know.”

Content marketing as a medium has grown in the last few years, as marketing practices are wont to. No real big surprise. But it is finally starting to mature. We’re no longer floundering around in the dark churning out mountains of content to see what Google will hate the least.

At this point we’ve learned, as Joe Pulizzi of Content Marketing Institute put it, “Activity doesn’t mean performance.” According to Joe, it is time to dive in and actually create useful content on a consistent basis. That is where content marketing is right now.

It might not sound exciting, but it does work. If this isn’t what you are doing, then you are doing content marketing wrong. Period.

That being said, there are tons of new articles being published each and every month, and  a lot of them are filled with really useful information on how you can improve your strategy. So, every month I round up the best of the best so you can get your content marketing education all in one spot.

Here are five articles about content marketing published in the last 30 days that you should read if you want to stay up to date in the field.

1. How Kindness Makes Your Content More Successful by Sara Wachter-Boettcher

This article on Content Marketing Institute’s blog explains why writing kinder content matters and offers six ways you can create more compassionate content.

As content marketing continues to grow into one of the most effective forms of marketing, we need to learn how to spend less time selling and more time caring about our audience and helping them. This is a distinction that many marketers struggle with, and it results in content that misses the mark and alienates our readers.

Three of Sara’s tips include getting to really know your readers, treating them with respect, and letting your ego go. Each tip includes an example and a well-thought out explanation about why it matters.

Read this if: You are looking to truly connect with your readers to build real relationships.

2. What I Learned From Really Long Form Content Production by Pete Wailes

The long form versus short form content battle wages on, but in this article on builtvisible, Pete Wailes took the time to build and test the results of a long-form piece of content in great detail.

In addition to trying to determine if a truly long-form content is viable in today’s world of decreased attention spans, Pete also looks at what works to keep users engaged in a 30,000+ word article —both on mobile and on desk top.

Read this if: You are struggling to decide if your brand should create long form content or wondering how to implement it successfully.

3. What 300+ Content Marketing Campaigns Can Teach You About Earning Links by Kelsey Libert

If you’ve been involved in the content marketing field for a while, you know it takes a lot to produce an effective piece of content. And not every piece of content you create is going to have that winning combination of value, intrigue, and emotional hook.

In this article on Moz, Kelsey Libert looks at the data for more than 300 content marketing campaigns and shows us what works and why.

Read this if: you want to learn what works in content marketing — without having to make the same mistakes that have already been made.

4. 10 Writing Tips You Absolutely Won’t Have Heard Anywhere Else Before by Ali Luke

First, I absolutely love the title of this article on Smart Blogger. I often see article titles and think “Oh, those are going to be all the same old tips.” This one tells me right from the start that it isn’t the same old stuff. A few of the tips are pretty closely related to tips you’ve likely heard before, but have a different enough twist to make them really useful.

Read this if: You ever struggle with coming up with ideas to write about or actually getting words on paper.

5. Authority Content: Build an Audience that Builds Your Business by Demian Farnworth

This article on Copyblogger breaks down what authority content is, why we should try to create it, and the power it holds. The best way to build an audience that builds your business is by showing people you are an authority in a certain field, not just telling them. Demian also breaks down how to create really in-depth, authority content.

Read this if: You want to create a content marketing strategy that positions you as an authority in your selected field.

Bonus Pick:

I had the pleasure of chatting with Joe Pulizzi of Content Marketing Institute about the report about titled B2B Technology Content Trends. We had a really interesting discussion and I even got to ask him where he sees the future of content marketing going.

You can listen to our Marketing Nerds podcast below!


Image Credits

Featured Image: Image by Paulo Bobita
In-post Image: Gonzalo Aragon/