We requested 15 experts to share their Content Marketing Key Takeaways with us. Here's what we have got.
What do you see coming your way? Content Marketing Tips?
Let’s not kill the suspense just now, and begin with two facts today.
Fact # 1: *74% people suffer from glossophobia*. (Source: Brandon Gaille)
(Glossophobia is the fear of public speaking, FYI, in case you didn’t already know.)
Fact # 2: Fact # 1 has got nothing to do with today’s topic.
It was just a stunt to grab your attention – because we have taken our fellow Braveen Kumar’s humor adding suggestion in content a little too seriously. (If humor is not your thing or you don’t find this stunt in particular humorous, you still can’t deny the useful addition to your knowledge base with the first fact.)
Now that we have your kind attention, let’s get to the point.
Since the end of this year is right ahead, a New Year gift for you all is in order.
And for anyone looking for business growth through content marketing, what could be a better gift than getting Content Marketing Tips & Key Takeaways from the Experts?
So, we requested 15 Field-Experts to weigh in on certain marketing aspects. We are delighted to put together this post with the Content Marketing tips, suggestions, and guidance from the following experts.
1- Rio Rocket is an experienced digital marketing, social media, and branding expert, and an artist. You can also find him on Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter.
2- Khabeer Rockley is an international speaker, sales and marketing strategy coach, and founder of The 5% Institute. Also, see his LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook profiles.
3- Kyle Douglas – a Search Engine Optimisation pro and a website marketing consultant – is the SEO Manager at Revium.
4- Carma Levene is the Founder of Carma The Social Chameleon. Feel free to check out Carma’s LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook profiles.
5- Anastasia Iliou – the Senior Content Manager at Medicare Plan Finder. You can also look her up at LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.
6- Delon Yiu is an educational blogger at Tutors Field.
7- Ray Pastoors is the Founder of LYF Solutions® – Digital for Small Business (Facebook, Twitter). Here is where to find Ray.
8- Sarah Green is the Marketing Manager at White Chalk Road.
9- Morgan Taylor is the Chief Marketing Officer at Let Me Bank. You can also find Morgan on LinkedIn here.
10- Kristina Azarenko founded Marketing Syrup. She’s also seen actively using Twitter to share value.
11- Alexander Porter is the Head of Copy at Search It Local. Discover more about the company here and Alexander here.
12- Tabitha Jean Naylor is the Owner of TabithaNaylor.com Inc. Find more about her services on LinkedIn, Facebook, and YouTube.
13- Jakub Kliszczak is the Marketing Specialist at Crazy Call.
14- Prosper Taruvinga is the Founder and Online Prosperity Consultant at Livelong Digital Pty Ltd. You may also find his business profile on Facebook or meet him on his personal Facebook or Instagram profiles.
15- Marty Spargo is the founder of SEO Is Life. Feel free to find out more about him on LinkedIn and Twitter.
Hearty Mighty THANKS to all the experts, who took out time to share their precious Content Marketing tips & takeaways with us to learn from.
Our thirst for learning and sharing was GRAND but knowing the worth of their time, we got down to just 4 questions. However, rest assured to find the learning outcomes of these questions Priceless.
Here’s what we asked them in particular:
1- What factors do you give top consideration to while creating a Content Marketing Strategy?
2- What are the most interesting discoveries/learning outcomes from the mistakes you made while applying content marketing to your business?
3- How would you advise a small business owner planning to carry out content marketing on his own?
4- What are the top favorite Content Marketing trends on your list to follow for 2019 and 2020?
Let’s see what the key Content Marketing takeaways of these experts are:
On the question of “factors they give top consideration to while creating Content Marketing Strategy,” here’s the response we received:
Jakub Kliszczak explains, “#1 factor is the goal of the strategy. Is it traffic? leads? Is it brand recognition? You have to have a goal to tailor the whole campaign accordingly“.
He further adds, “Consider what’s proven as an important factor while creating Content Marketing Strategy“.
Jakub goes on saying, “Your competitors have already done it. They’ve been at your stage, did the research, and executed their strategy. So, invest a part of your budget into software that lets you crawl through different websites (or try something free if you have a tight budget) and find out what’s been successful for them“.
He further explains, “Don’t turn into copycat but put everything through your original scope. In the beginning, getting some traction is the key. After you’re successful reproducing what others have done in various niches, you’ll be able to execute strategy fully on your own rules.”
Ray Pastoors emphasizes on “Understanding the purpose of existence of the company before creating the strategy.” He states, “First, we start with why the organization exists. If we are not clear on purpose, we are not clear on what we are trying to achieve by speaking to an audience or through our or the client’s content streams“.
He adds, “After understanding the purpose, we breakdown the different business goals and objectives to understand what will align well to the audience, what is achievable, when it is achievable and how it will drive organizational value in the short, medium or long term?”
He goes on saying, “For a lot of small to medium-sized businesses, the reality is they cannot do everything and be everything at once. So a good strategy will pull out the key items to focus on, and not try and be the end all and be all to everyone”.
Sarah Green says, “Knowing your Audience & Creating Engaging Content FOR THEM is the top consideration your Content Marketing strategy depends on.”
“First, answer who your audience is? What are their pain points? How can you help them? Then create engaging content that they will want to consume and share,” she adds.
Khabeer Rockley says, “Before creating content for my audience, I do research in regards to what my audience is looking for. I use a free tool, Ubersuggest, which shows me exactly what people are searching for, as well as how often they type in the keywords per month. This allows me to create content that is valuable for my desired audience and clients.”
Carma Levene explains, “The audience – what they’re into/how they consume content, the part of the user journey/funnel they’re in, trends, etc. should be the top considerations”. She further adds, “Checking Google Trends or Buzzsumo for content themes that are gaining popularity, and where it’s going to be served to the audience (so it fits natively on the platform) are the most important to me.”
Morgan Taylor advice to “Always consider what you want to say and whom you’re trying to say it to. If you can’t nail down these two things, your strategy will inevitably fail.”
Kristina Azarenko enlists several factors as her top considerations while creating the Content Marketing Strategy.
She says, “Buyer’s journey – are they researching the topic? Are they looking for alternatives? Are they looking to buy the tool/product my company offers? – is an important consideration.” She further counts the “search keywords volume” to be another vital consideration, saying, “I need to make sure people are really searching for the content I’m going to create.”
She also considers “general seasonal trends (Christmas, Halloween content) as well as company news (new product releases)” important while creating a content marketing strategy.
Tabitha Jean Naylor says, “The number 1 thing for me is creating interesting content that people will actually want to read. This means researching topics – including analyzing competitor content strategy as well as trends in the industry – to develop an editorial calendar that includes the types of topics my target audience will have an interest in”.
She further explains, “My general rule of thumb is to always “publish with a purpose,” not “busy Marketing”. It is marketing being done, just so that people can say they are doing marketing. It’s a terribly ineffective strategy that will yield abysmal results“.
Rio Rocket agrees to the “Creation of evergreen content as the top consideration in content marketing strategy“.
Kyle Douglas recommends “Using an interesting topic to create content around“.
“This may sound like a no-brainer, but choose a genuinely interesting topic when creating content, especially when starting out. If you are going to be writing it yourself, you will put in that much more effort if you are genuinely engaged with the piece. Additionally, when it comes to promoting that content, having a unique and passionate angle on the content will make it stand out from the crowd,” says Kyle.
Anastasia Iliou warns, saying, “We pay the most attention to SEO and to what competitors are doing. You have to go above and beyond your competitors. That means publishing more quality content that is useful, comprehensive, and entertaining. Additionally, no matter how good your content is, if your site isn’t built to be SEO friendly, you’re going to have a hard time.”
Marty Spargo mentions, “I always start with competitors in the industry and see what’s been working for them. That doesn’t mean that you should go out and try to compete with them directly on certain keywords, but it will give you a clearer picture of where the content gaps in your industry might be.”
Delon Yiu considers “hiring a writer who has the right background and expertise” as a top priority.
He explains, “For our Tutors Field blog, we always invite teachers or students who did exceptionally well in school to produce the content. It ensures we are giving the best possible advice and insight to our readers.”
Alexander Porter warns, “Content marketing has changed so much over the past years it’s no longer effective, or realistic, to assume content will create the exposure or links you desire (no matter how good it is).”
He states, “Instead, we focus on creating inclusive content. By that, I mean, how can we bring in experts and authority figures to add value to this content?”
He adds to the importance of inclusive content saying, “Not only will this stand out in a highly saturated content marketing space, but through including expert sources, you’ll be able to leverage their audiences, drive the exposure and link building that your content would otherwise have lacked.”
Prosper Taruvinga advises considering “Authenticity” in the content. “People come to the internet to get information. And if your brand is providing that, your prospects get to know, like and trust you. And people do business with those they know, like and trust.”
He explains his point further saying, “If you are just writing content to “wax lyrical”, you will get caught out and lose the trust your content will have got for you. So, represent your business in your content in the most authentic way possible. Being authentic is clearly defining your audience what it is you can actually do for them. Then go out and deliver on your promise.”
On the question of “if the experts have committed any mistakes,” this is how the experts responded:
Jakub Kliszczak says, “Yes, sometimes less is more, and this applies to how you approach content creation and SEO. Yet, some cases would prove this one wrong”. He further adds to his list of mistakes saying, “Another one was when I tried to mess up too much with a single article and ended up making it *un-indexable*.”
Anastasia Iliou mentions, “It’s important to push out a lot of content, but if you’re pushing mediocre content, it doesn’t matter how much of it there is.” She says, “We made the mistake of prioritizing quantity over quality, publishing multiple short blogs per day that were just *ok*. Now, we focus on quality first. Our content is longer, stronger, and performing much better.”
Alexander Porter says, “In the past, we probably focused too much on getting content out into without a strategy. This leads to content that ended up ranking nowhere and helping no one. Interestingly enough, when we applied a reverse pyramid pillar content approach and filtered parts of the failed content through our social channels, we saw engagement increase.”
She goes on saying, “So while we took the lesson on board that 1 x piece of content meticulously planned and implemented was better than 5x pieces of content created ad hoc, the reverse was true for social media.”
Rio Rocket says, “When your strategy is primarily evergreen, the only mistake you can ever make is not creating enough of it“.
Kyle Douglas mentions, “Creating content for content’s sake in my early SEO/content days leads me to create content that didn’t move the needle on traffic or rankings. Content should always be created with a specific focus and be informed by real-world metrics pulled from keyword ranking tools. Be specific with the topics; the internet doesn’t need another *benefits of doing XYZ post*.
Delon Yiu pointed out her early days’ mistake saying, “We built a blog that has great content and traffic. Our core business is to get students to book lessons, but the blog had no entry point to the main site where students could make bookings.”
Kristina Azarenko states, “I had a situation when the user intent behind the search was different than I originally came up with. After some testing, I pivoted and changed the content to make sure it really is what the users are looking for.”
Marty Spargo states, “You need to make sure that you’re creating content that people will be looking for. One of the biggest mistakes that I made in the past was creating content that I thought was interesting but didn’t answer any particular questions.”
Khabeer Rockley says, “At first, I was writing content that I thought would be beneficial for my audience. However, it didn’t get much traction. Once moving to the strategy above, I have better engagement, and am getting more sales“.
Carma Levene affirms saying, “Yes, we made the mistake of thinking that people won’t watch long video content. They WILL if they’re engaged. Also, the fact that Video converts best – I find with social advertising that video is great for awareness, but conversions have worked better from me with static content.”
Ray Pastoors says, “Yes, all the time. Marketing, especially content marketing, is all about experimentation. Although you have a strategy to guide you, the tactical side of this strategy will play out in digital marketing channels and the world of analytics.”
Ray further adds, “For example, we thought it would be worthwhile talking about key topics in digital marketing on our Learn Hub. However, over time we soon learned that even the basics of digital marketing and the lingo were foreign to our audience. We, therefore, had to take a different approach in the way we consider what topics we want to write about. So every time you speak with us, we strive for consistent service and use language an everyday Australian with no digital background would understand.”
Tabitha Jean Naylor agrees saying, “Of course, and I think that most experienced marketers will admit to this. Sometimes topics that you think are innocent are interpreted in a different way than you intended, or you say something that’s against *the norm*, which can really ruffle a few feathers. But it’s all part of the process. ”
“When I’ve made a mistake, I’ve apologized for it and tried to *right the wrong*. When people become combative because I’ve written something that they don’t agree with, I try to engage in intelligent dialogue. At the end of the day, content marketing is about engaging people. And through this type of engagement, you can learn an awful lot about who is actually reading your content, as well as facilitate the conversation with them that helps to improve your brand image,” she says.
When we asked the experts for their tips for small business owners doing content marketing themselves, the responses were amazingly practical.
Jakub Kliszczak suggests to “Do the research“. He says, “Equip yourself with a tool like Ahrefs or so, and analyze your competition, what is already working and replicate it according to your scope, brand, and voice.”
Kyle Douglas emphasizes, “Build up a base of quality, interesting content first and then start to look at driving traffic from more competitive niches and topics. This will enable you to double down on the *passion* factor, meaning your content will be more engaging.”
Kristina Azarenko states, “Think about quality, not quantity. It’s better to have 2 good posts every month that 20 mediocre ones. Also, be flexible: you should be able to change your content calendar if you see new trends or newsworthy things happening in your industry.”
Rio Rocket stats, “If you’re a business owner and adamant about doing it yourself, resist the temptation to create large amounts of seasonal content that would likely only benefit you for short periods and focus on creating an evergreen content marketing strategy that reaps the rewards year-round.”
Khabeer Rockley advises, “Don’t guess your online marketing; use free tools out there to learn about what people are asking. Tools like Ubersuggest and Answer the Public are free and will help you create content people are looking for and will find valuable.”
Tabitha Jean Naylor suggests to “Plan“. She says, “Plan editorial topics that your target audience will care about, and then plan how to actually get these articles in front of them. Writing an article, publishing it on a blog, and praying that people read it is not a strategy. Everyone is doing content marketing these days, which means there’s more *noise* out there than ever. Without a strategy in place, very few eyes will actually know their articles exist, let alone read them.”
Prosper suggests to “Target the Audience“. “People are already consuming personalized content. Gone are the days where you can spray and pray with your content. 75% of consumers are more likely to buy from a retailer that recognizes them by name, recommends options based on past purchases, or knows their purchase history – Accenture”, he says.
Carma Levene says, “Get good advice from someone who’s done it before. Consider production costs as only part of the budget since you also need to pay for distribution in most cases.”
Anastasia Iliou states, “If you have the budget for it, hire an in-house content marketer who has experience with copywriting, SEO, and graphic design. Alternatively, hire a freelance writer. You can get 1,000-word blog posts done for $100 per piece or less. Spend a couple of grand on some high-quality pieces of content that you can reuse and adjust as much as you need to, and you’ll have your content marketing strategy off the ground in no time.”
Marty Spargo mentions, “It’s not something to be taken lightly. I would say that unless you’re really sure about what you’re doing, it’s a good idea to get the help of an expert to guide you. It’s better to spend a little extra money to get expert assistance and make sure you’re on the right track than to save some money but fail completely.”
Delon Yiu affirms, “Content marketing is time-intensive. It can also take you a long time to see the results of your efforts.”
Ray Pastoors emphasizes, “Get ready for lots of learning, experiments, and failures. Make sure you are prioritizing what will give you the best return on effort for your time.”
Ray further adds, “If you can’t do more than one channel due to time or budget constraints, you most well put your attention on one area you can do well and see if it generates a positive return for you“.
“Don’t be afraid to ask questions. There are plenty of free business groups out there now who are willing to share some advice. Also, use YouTube, blogs similar to your industry and previous insights as a guide to run content marketing”, he says.
Ray’s tip goes on, “At the end of the day, with any content marketing, the rule of thumb is to add value to your audience. If you are cutting corners or not providing the value your audience would expect or demand from you, you are likely not going to get the returns you were hoping for.”
Morgan Taylor advises, “If you’re a small business, then focus on marketing locally. You can expand later, but when you’re small, you need to be focusing on your base first, and your base comes from the people in your community. Get them on board first; the rest will follow.”
Alexander Porter says, “If you don’t have strong copywriting skills, SEO skills, or marketing skills, you can use roundups to create the foundation of your content marketing strategy.”
He says, “Include the expert opinions of authority figures in your niche to build credibility, trust, and exposure. Alternatively, if you’re short on time, focus on content upgrading instead of content marketing.”
He further emphasized his point, saying, “I interviewed Neil Patel earlier this year and asked him which content strategy will move the needle most in 2019 – to deliver revenue. He was firm on the belief that content upgrading is the answer.”
“Using your existing content and upgrading it, adding value, including the most recent data, can improve your rankings quickly compared to trying to start from scratch, which many business owners struggle to do,” Alexander says.
Sarah Green advises, “Edit, Edit, Edit!” She says, “Your content marketing efforts may live or die by your ability to successfully edit the content. Refer back to your marketing road map and ensure this content is in line with your strategy and audience.”
She further adds, “Check your grammar and spelling! To present your business as an industry leader, you need to ensure all spelling and grammar is one hundred percent accurate.”
And finally, we asked experts of “their top favorite trends for the year 2019 and 2020”. Here’s the list we got:
“2020 is all about E-A-T as far as I’m concerned. Google has already made significant moves to make Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness bigger factors in the SERPs over the last couple of years. I only see that trend continuing into the future,” explains Marty Spargo.
Sarah Green states, “Successful content marketing relies on people consuming and sharing your content. By offering something of value, such as free white paper or how-to guide, you are encouraging your audience to engage with you while building your brand recognition with your target market,” she adds.
“Optimising for voice search may become more important in 2020,” says Delon Yiu. He goes on saying, “Search focus may shift from generic keywords to a more conversational query.”
Jakub Kliszczak says, “More video, voice, automation and behavioral psychology. Think creative. Less pure clickbait and much more trust-based marketing (which is awesome for any real marketer).”
Khabeer Rockley adds, “For me, it’ll be video, brand awareness, and most importantly – consistency. Showing up daily is the true key to success.”
Carma Levene mentions, “I really like the LIVE trends and podcasts as a really authentic way to produce content that’s not overly polished. I’m glad that we seem to be moving away from the super curated Instagram aesthetic too. I don’t chase trends too much – people are looking for an actual authentic connection, even with the faces of brands”.
Morgan Taylor says, “Podcasts“. “They may seem like a fad that will fade out before the year is through, but the reality is, they’re catching like wildfire. Reach people through podcast sponsorship and interviews. It’s the next big medium’,’ he adds.
Prosper states, “Visual content is on the rise: I have a statement, the closer you are to the camera, the closer you are to the bank. Visual content distribution platforms are increasing in popularity. In the last 12 months, YouTube still remains the top of the most visited sites. 82% of all internet traffic is projected to be video by 2020 – IBM.”
It is, therefore, obvious that the use of video content to attract and nurture prospects is on the rise among the progressive marketers out there. This is because we are now mobile-first; the mobile phone has replaced the television.”
Ray Pastoors says, “We are going to see marketers continue to play with visuals. Think about 3D images, quick and engaging videos, and 360. As the competition grows stronger, it encourages a lot of organizations and marketers to think outside the box. We saw this with live stream and stories, and can only expect more of this in the future.”
Ray Pastoors has another fantastic, out of the box tip. He says, “As the climate changes, there’s going to be a growing demand from consumers. In terms of content marketing, you can demonstrate your focus on sustainability by providing tips and ways for your audience to be more sustainable themselves. ”
“Consider offsetting your emissions, donating to responsible causes, or reducing your footprint as an operation to make this part of your content marketing and overall business. For example, go paperless, source recycled materials, invest in solar panels, or start small, with a compost bin. Every bit helps,” he adds.
Rio Rocket says, “The content marketing trend to follow going into the next decade is using A.I. to create new media format content. In a data and news reporting format, A.I. created content is virtually indistinguishable from human-generated content. Industry leaders such as Automated Content are paving the way for more creative applications of A.I. generated content for practical sales purposes.”
Tabitha states, “For me, 2019 has been a year of learning a lot about A.I. – and chatbots in particular – to develop more conversational marketing. I’m going to be putting these efforts on steroids in 2020, now that I have a very solid understanding of everything and a lot more confidence in my mastery of the subject. For people looking to get a leg-up on their competition, embracing the power of this type of technology is a must.”
Kyle Douglas says, “While not new, expert roundups expose small business owners to a range of new potential contacts, each with their own network. So, when the time comes to share the content, you can drive a large spike of traffic to the website or content piece with relative ease. While the expert in your roundup might not need your services, the content consumers in their network might.”
Anastasia Iliou rates “Cross-functionality” high.
“We have lots of great blogs, several videos, a bunch of great infographics, etc., but they are not always cross-functional. We’re going to work hard next year to make sure that all of our blogs have corresponding videos and that everything is being shared out on every channel (social media, email marketing, podcast, etc.).”
Ray Pastoors considers “being on that search result they call ‘position zero’ – lingo for a Google Snippet” a future favorite.
“The position zero is unique because it beats other ranking websites, sometimes even ads, and stands out in search results. A user is much more likely to click the snippet or read it, then to view other search results. So for many business owners, Google Snippets are going to be a key goal for the New Year,” he says.
Kristina Azarenko suggests, “Structure your content properly: use headings, HTML lists where applicable. This might help you secure featured snippets in Google results (those quick answers displayed above position 1)“.
Alexander Porter ranks, “Content Upgrading, Guest Blogging and Authentic Stories” quite high.
Ray Pastoors says, “Evolve your marketing to be more personal“.
“If you are a small or medium-sized business, you have the upper hand when it comes to personalization. The reason being, you are often the face or know your customers better than the big end of town often do.”
“Tap into what your customers are saying. If they are not saying anything, ask them how they feel about you, your products, services, and what is missing from their business or lifestyle. These added insights will help you to personalize your experience better for them, reaching there and keeping them from leaving you,” he adds.
That’s all from the Content Marketing Experts. These Content Marketing tips, experiences, and takeaways are truly invaluable.
2020 has its arms wide open for you with surprises. But with the advice from these experts, getting away with the upcoming unforeseen circumstances in the marketing world wouldn’t be a problem now.
How exactly so?
See which of these experiences and tips apply best to your situation. Make a list, use them, and hit the ground running.
If you still have questions, shoot in the comments; our in-house experts would love to help you with whatever is holding you back from growing forth.
Great roundup! Amazing work team, a pleasure to be included.
Thanks, Alexander. It was a pleasure to get such insightful tips from you. The advice you got us from Neil Patel’s interview, in particular, is spectacularly practical. Hoping for more future collaboration. Cheers