By Joe Pulizzi published December 22, 2012

3 Content Marketing Strategies to Get Serious About for 2013

content strategy for 2013Last month, I put together 42 content marketing ideas for 2013, which received some excellent community reaction. Even though all 42 were useful in some way, there were a few in that bunch that are worthy of further elaboration. As we roll into next year, here are the 3 content marketing strategies that marketers need to take seriously now. 

1. Headlines and more headlines

Upworthy is a content curation and news aggregration site launched earlier this year by some heavy hitters from and The Onion. It took only a few months for them to reach over two million unique visitors and has been able to grow at a faster rate than even The Huffington Post and Business Insider.

Much of their success can be attributed to their headline work. Yes, you heard that correctly. While most companies spend just minutes on their titles and headlines for blog posts and articles, Upworthy will come up with 20 or more headlines for a piece of content and could spend hours getting the headline just right (take a look at some of their best titles here, such as “The 2 Most Rational Sentences About Gun Regulation On the Internet Right Now.”

Content Strategy for 2013 - Upworthy

Even here at the Content Marketing Institute, we recently started working with someone to just review our headlines and titles. Since then, our traffic has been up over 25 percent, with a lot of the credit going to a more focused effort on compelling headlines that are both search engine- and sharing-friendly.

In the print magazine business, there is one purpose of a cover and that is to compel a reader to open the magazine. The reason for a headline is so the content is read. How much of your content is going to waste simply because your audience isn’t compelled to get started?

2. Defining the channel plan

Does this channel plan sound familiar to you?:

  • First, post compelling content on the blog.
  • Second, distribute blog post on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest (tagging the image), etc.
  • Third, start next blog post.

Simply put, most organizations don’t have a coherent content marketing channel plan. If you haven’t already, your organization needs to develop a content marketing channel plan that considers these seven factors:

  1. Situational analysis
  2. Channel objectives
  3. Content/conversation plan (how you’re telling your story)
  4. Metrics
  5. Personas addressed
  6. Content management process
  7. Editorial calendar

Once you go through the channel plan, your Facebook channel plan may look something more like this than just a link from your blog:

Velocity: Three posts per day
Tone: Friendly, funny, and with a tongue-in-cheek attitude
Desired action: We want them to click through to the blog
Structure: 10 to 20-word post, plus pictures (if applicable) and a “conversion link”

Here is an example of CMI’s new channel strategy for Facebook (with heavy emphasis on images):

Content Strategy for 2013 - Facebook

3. Public speaking training

Content marketers are often so focused on becoming online influencers that we often overlook the obvious — content marketing for in-person events. If you are working to position people in your company as thought leaders, a public speaking plan has to go with it.

The sad truth is that most corporate marketers are horrible speakers. I know this firsthand from planning for Content Marketing World (registration is open). Most consultants and authors, on the other hand, get it. They understand not to use too many words on a PowerPoint deck. They understand that the audience needs to be “reset” every eight minutes. They understand that your non-verbals are critical to a strong performance. They understand that their future and career rest on how they perform on stage.

They also understand that speaking in public is, perhaps, the best way to spread your message. This is especially true today, where audience members can actively tweet and share your message, amplifying your purpose beyond the walls of your current event.

So, as you prepare your employee influencer strategy for 2013, heed these four points:

  • Identify those employees who will serve as external spokespeople for your company.
  • Hold an internal educational session, just for employees, where your prospective influencers can speak. This is done mostly so you can see them speak.
  • Use some kind of public speaking rating system to identify those that need help.
  • Then you can decide whether to hire an internal public speaking trainer or send certain folks to your local Toastmasters group.

Please don’t overlook this point. As you grow your online influence, the speaking requests will naturally come. When they do, you’ll be ready to send out a number of candidates to spread your message.

For more tips to help you plan your content efforts for 2013 and beyond, read our section on developing a content marketing strategy.  

Cover image via Bigstockphoto.

Author: Joe Pulizzi

Joe Pulizzi is the Founder of Content Marketing Institute, a UBM company, the leading education and training organization for content marketing, which includes the largest in-person content marketing event in the world, Content Marketing World. Joe is the winner of the 2014 John Caldwell Lifetime Achievement Award from the Content Council. Joe’s the author of five books, including his latest, Killing Marketing. His third book, Epic Content Marketing was named one of “Five Must Read Business Books of 2013” by Fortune Magazine. If you ever see Joe in person, he’ll be wearing orange. Follow him on Twitter @JoePulizzi.

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  • Scott Aughtmon

    Great strategies, Joe. Was especially interested in the ones about titles and speaking. Hope you have a great Holiday season and a safe/fun New Years. Thanks for creating CMI.

    • Joe Pulizzi

      Thanks Scott…the public speaking one is the most overlooked one of all…and a big opportunity in my opinion.

      Thanks again for all your support!

  • globalcopywrite

    Hi Joe,

    I couldn’t agree more about the importance of public speaking. I launched my company in a country where I had never worked, in a city I had never visited before I moved there. Public speaking opened doors and helped me establish a reputation as a content marketing consultant. What’s more, I know ever speaking gig, on average, results in 3 solid leads for my business.

    As for titles, it’s an area I need to work on. You convinced me to make it my primary content marketing goal for 2013.

    • Joe Pulizzi

      Thanks Sarah…awesome news on the speaking front. Now, if only more marketers thought the way that you do…

  • Ryan Ridgway

    These are awesome! A headline/title is definitely something that is often times just thrown together. I’m definitely guilty of it myself when i’m in a pinch for time. I find the articles I write that receive great feedback are often the articles which spawned from a title first-post second relationship as opposed to just writing and asking “what in the f are we going to call this thing?” Cheers – Ryan

  • Bhuvnesh Rohilla

    An amazing post sir! To-the-point !

  • Ram Babu SEO

    Awesome one after 42 tips on content marketing ideas! Yes it should be necessary to have your social strategies content plan for THROW!