10 things successful content marketers do

Staying current and planning ahead; embracing consistency and diversifying. Such are the complementary elements of effective online branding efforts.

What makes a good—even great—content marketer isn’t how many books you’ve read, how many webinars you’ve attended, or how many times your mom has “liked” your Facebook posts.

It’s that what you do makes the difference, day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year.

If you aspire to content marketing greatness, here’s my list of 10 things successful content marketers do:

1. Successful content marketers stay current. Your readers look to you for insight on how current developments in your industry—and in the rest of the world—affect them, so it’s so important to stay informed. Set up some quality news sources in a reader (I like Feedly) and set aside time each day to peruse the latest articles and posts.

2. Successful content marketers embrace consistency. When clients ask me “How often should I be publishing?” my first response is usually “Whatever frequency you can keep up with.” Smart content marketers know that consistency trumps frequency: better to have a simple, beautifully crafted e-newsletter once a month, every month, than an elaborate blog post that comes around once in a blue moon. Remember this: If your schedule is “whenever I get around to it,” eventually you’ll stop getting around to it.

3. Successful content marketers diversify. Some people read e-newsletters, some stay informed through social media, others can’t wait to sink their teeth into the latest juicy e-book. Successful content marketers know it’s important to establish a diverse set of “touch points” for connecting with their audiences.

4. Successful content marketers repurpose. Creating and delivering quality content on a consistent basis is a long, tough road. Successful content marketers know that every piece of content—from the shortest tweet to the longest e-book—has a second, a third, maybe even a fourth life ahead of it. They know how to go from small to large (compiling tweets into a tip list) and from large to small (breaking a webinar deck into tweetable nuggets) with a few clicks of the mouse.

5. Successful content marketers plan ahead. The calendar is one of the successful content marketer’s best friends. Plan ahead so you can leverage the buzz around product releases, national holidays, and industry events such as major trade shows.

6. Successful content marketers use the right tools. Yes, there are a jillion-and-one tools out there, each promising to make the content marketer’s life sooo much easier. Spend time researching the right tools to help you and your team to come up with new ideas, capture and share ideas, create your editorial calendar, and accomplish all the other tasks on your list. Remember: When it comes to tools, more expensive isn’t always better.

7. Successful content marketers leverage new networks—prudently. If we were to go down the rabbit hole of every new social network out there, we’d never get anything done. But successful content marketers take the time to review new networks as they emerge and make strategic decisions about which ones to use-and which to drop.

8. Successful content marketers embrace images and video. Your audience is continually bombarded with text, so creative, relevant images and videos can be a huge competitive advantage. Think about how you can add infographics, quick video tips, and other visually engaging content delivery methods to your bag of tricks.

9. Successful content marketers get clear on their content’s brand. How would you describe the tone of your content? Snarky? Comforting? Sweet? No-nonsense and straightforward? There is no right answer: It depends on your organization’s overall brand and the expectations of your audience. Spend some time getting clear on your content brand, and share it with all content creators on your team.

10. Successful content marketers keep track of their results. As content marketers, we have to know what’s working well and what needs improvement. Smart content marketers spend time at the beginning of each month reviewing the previous month on Google Analytics (or other analytics package) to see which practices are driving website traffic and conversions. It takes a little time, but in the long run it can save hours that would otherwise be spent on unfruitful practices.

It’s your turn: Please share the content marketing practices that drive your success in the comments section.

A version of this article originally appeared on Resonance Content Marketing.

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