By Ann Gynn published August 12, 2016

80 Ideas to Improve Your Content Marketing

80-ideas-improve-content-marketing

What should you be doing with your content marketing right now?

First, spend a few minutes to glance at (or even read) this list of 80 things to do with your content marketing. (Hint: “Don’t just create content” is the unofficial first thing to do — or not to do!)

Only have a minute? Scroll to the section where you need the most insight:

  • Planning and teams – 12 ideas to help
  • Research and strategy – 14 suggestions to review
  • Creation and execution – 21 thoughts to consider
  • Distribution and promotion – 17 tips to evaluate
  • Evaluation and analytics – 8 concepts to check out

What about the other eight ideas? Well, they didn’t fall neatly into a category but they were too good not to share so they’re at the end.

Second, pick which ones suggested by the 40-plus experts presenting at Content Marketing World are most necessary and helpful for you and your brand. And then get to work!

Planning and teams

  1. Set out to become the premier destination for your topic or area of expertise. (Michael Brenner)
  1. Don’t get stuck in approval hell. (Christoph Trappe)
  1. Shift PR budgets to content marketing. (John Hall)
  1. Identify changes your organization must make for a sustainable content marketing program. (Roger Parker)
  1. Invest in your talent. (Andrea Fryrear)
  1. Hire someone with editorial training and experience. (Joe Lazauskas)
  1. Learn about finance. Learn about IT. Learn about HR. (Carla Johnson)
  1. Train to keep sharpening tool and technology skills. (Denise Kadilak)
  1. Learn how to say “not now” to immediate requests and get control of content backlog. (Jeff Julian)
  1. Detail a content marketing strategy clearly tied to business outcomes the top floor cares about. (Jonathan Crossfield)
  1. Ensure your content marketing strategy and creative align. (Nicole Sholly)
  1. Know who you are – your tone, your viewpoint, your passions. (Todd Wheatland)

Research and strategy

  1. Determine your true differentiator. (Christoph Trappe)
  1. Study. Plan. Question. Strategize (Russell Sparkman)
  1. Define the role of each tactic. (Cassio Politi)
  1. Talk to people on the frontlines to know what your audience wants and needs. (Mariah Obiedzinski)
  1. Spend more time with your prospects. (Doug Kessler)
  1. Take time to understand your prospects’ true journey. (David MacLaren)
  1. Talk to customers. Talk to customers. Talk to customers. Talk to customers. Talk to customers. (Primoz Inkret)
  1. Find out how your audience spends their days and what keeps them up at night. (Andrea Fryrear)
  1. Schedule a call to talk to someone that you normally only see on social media. (Andy Crestodina)
  1. Make your audience happy to be engaging with your brand. (Chuck Hester)
  1. Build relationships because more action is taken by people with whom you’re truly connected. (Ian Cleary)
  1. Take a day to consider how augmented and virtual reality can help drive amazing experiences at all stages of the customer journey. (Jeff Julian)
  1. Worry less about the potential for negative feedback about your content. (Mariah Obiedzinski)
  1. Anticipate future needs and requirements. (Denise Kadilak)

Creation and execution

  1. Build content around strategy. (Stoney deGeyter)
  1. Create content that people are actually search for. (Arnie Kuenn)
  1. Sharpen your message until it’s laser sharp. (Ahava Leibtag)
  1. Invest in the efficiency of evergreen (Allen Gannett)
  1. Don’t just republish. Refresh and repurpose content in interesting ways. (Nicole Sholly)
  1. Embrace disposable, real-time and live content. (Jay Baer)
  1. Humanize by injecting a brand personality. (Chuck Hester)
  1. Leverage social issues to ensure your content will be talked about. (Juntae DeLane)
  1. Be visual. (Juntae DeLane)
  1. Dig for data within your organization to help establish your brand as authoritative. (Margaret Magnarelli)
  1. Tie every piece of content to one persona trait. (David MacLaren)
  1. Create content to address the top five reasons your customers would not be comfortable working with your brand. (Ian Altman)
  1. Engage your audience in creating, curating, and sharing your content more actively. (Matt Heinz)
  1. Bring influencers into your content – features, co-authors, quotes, backlines – and listen to them. (Pierre-Loic Assayag)
  1. Ask the sales team which piece of content they would share with prospects if you create it. (Ian Altman)
  1. Tap into different voices within your organization. (Pierre-Loic Assayag)
  1. Test placement of calls to action on content pages. (Brian Massey)
  1. Refresh your high-performing old content, add text-based calls to action toward the top or middle of page (Dechay Watts)
  1. Adjust title and on-page content for posts with highest conversions to target keyword phrase that your market is likely to search. (Dechay Watts)
  1. Create information products. (Gini Dietrich)
  1. Review the rules of readable design. (Roger Parker)

Distribution and promotion

  1. Obsess over distribution – the main differentiator between your audience reading your content and your competitors’. (John Hall)
  1. Think how and where you’re going to get content in front of your audiences BEFORE you create it. (Todd Wheatland)
  1. Be in places that matter to your audience. (David Pembroke)
  1. Craft a distribution strategy and start with fundamentals (think email before Periscope). (Joe Lazauskas)
  1. Spend more money on content distribution. (Chad Pollitt)
  1. Distribute your content to your best buyers with Facebook ads. (Brian Carter)
  1. Pixel and retarget to death through Facebook advertising. (Gini Dietrich)
  1. Gut check your reliance on paid promotion. (Allen Gannett)
  1. Build email subscribers. Can’t get email? Retarget website visitors with ads. (Ian Cleary)
  1. Amplify the content that is working to larger audiences through advertising platforms. (Travis Wright)
  1. Use social channels to pressure test your ideas. (Buddy Scalera)
  1. Move content off your website into places where people actually spend time. (Jay Baer)
  1. Stop scheduling social media Wake up, see what’s trending, and see what your brand can add to the conversation. (Leslie Carruthers)
  1. Share other people’s content more than your own, actively promoting influencers and thought leaders in your area. (Michael Brenner)
  1. Make sure your website and content is optimized. (Arnie Kuenn)
  1. Make it count when you get people’s attention. (David Pembroke)
  1. Get the metadata (Margaret Magnarelli)

Evaluation and analytics

  1. Take a step back and really analyze what’s working and why. Be honest. (Jonathan Crossfield)
  1. Get rid of useless tactics. (Cassio Politi)
  1. Have a key metric for each goal. (Brian Carter)
  1. Calculate your revenue per reader. (Brian Massey)
  1. Track all activities to revenue. (Doug Kessler)
  1. Schedule check-ins to review you’re meeting your goals. (Karl Sakas)
  1. Take a long, hard look at your website – is it really easy to navigate for a newcomer? (Leslie Carruthers)
  1. Stay up to speed on what Google looks for to optimize your natural search and discoverability. (Matt Heinz)

Don’t forget to do these too

  1. Spend 10% of your budget on fun things to test the marketplace and your own creativity. (Ahava Leibtag)
  1. Do something creative or weird outside of business like art, comedy, improve, or music. (Brian Carter)
  1. Attend conferences with A-list speakers AND talk with people who are doing the day-to-day work. (Buddy Scalera)
  1. Read more than you write. (Chad Pollitt)
  1. Tinker on side projects. (Jay Acunzo)
  1. Volunteer your services for charity or friends. (Buddy Scalera)
  1. Use the word “no” more. (Jay Acunzo)
  1. Take a break! (Andy Crestodina)

Next steps

Overwhelmed by these great ideas? Pick one that you think is possible to execute in the next two weeks. And do it. Then pick another and another – and soon, your content marketing program will be rapidly accelerating.

We don’t pick favorites, but we do think No. 75 is a great one. You can hear directly from all these experts and many more, and interact with thousands of marketers at Content Marketing World Sept. 6-9. Use code BLOG100 to save $100.

Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing World

Author: Ann Gynn

Ann Gynn edits the CMI blog. She also serves as the Tech Tools editor for Chief Content Officer magazine. Ann regularly combines words and strategy for B2B, B2C, and nonprofits, continuing to live up to her high school nickname, Editor Ann. Former college adjunct faculty, Ann also helps train professionals in content so they can do it themselves. Follow Ann on Twitter @anngynn or connect on LinkedIn.

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  • Mattducz

    This…is amazing. Bookmarking and reading this every time I’m in a slump. Thank you!

    • Ann Gynn

      Glad you plan to use to get a fix when you’re in a slump — that’s a great idea.

  • http://www.wordspicturesweb.com/ Buddy Scalera

    So many great ideas in here. I also bookmarked it. Good stuff.

    • Ann Gynn

      Thanks for your contributing your great ideas, Buddy. CMI in particular loved No. 75 🙂

  • Daljeet Kaur

    Well managed and great read. I always prefer to see tips shared by expert themselves instead of those basic pick up lines.
    Thumbs up to you Ann for collecting all the ideas.

    • Ann Gynn

      Thanks also goes to CMI’s Kim B who helped pull together the responses. Good to know you found it helpful!

      • Daljeet Kaur

        Great to hear that 🙂 Working in a team always been more productive and comes up with amazing things 🙂

  • https://www.10seos.com/top-seo-companies John Smith

    Interesting post !!

    • Ann Gynn

      Glad to hear you found it interesting — thanks for letting us know. Do you have a favorite one or two?

  • Rhonda Perry

    Great article and easy read. Plan to save it for inspiration when needed!

  • http://www.version-next.com Ankesh Agarwal

    Wow its very very greate post for me its will be help for me.