I fell into marketing quite by accident. I was going to be a tour manager, watching over band members and tweeting pics of performances.
Instead, now I’m watching over brand mentions and tweeting pics of sad puppies.
While the skills I honed in the music industry translated fluidly into marketing, I still had a lot to learn.
As recent research from the Content Marketing Hiring Handbook shows, marketing hiring managers are looking beyond candidates with marketing and PR degrees for content marketing positions. While these graduates and aspiring professionals may have translatable skills such as writing or editing, there is plenty they must understand about marketing to be successful. And as traditional marketing gives way to modern marketing, even seasoned vets find themselves drowning in new tools and processes. It can be overwhelming.
So, regardless of where you are in your career, here are 10 essential lessons every modern marketer needs to learn. Each of these can be found in the Kapost Academy, a free and flexible educational experience for marketers of any experience level.
1. Content marketing is a hot term for good reason.
Content has taken its place at the center of marketing. While the term is always evolving, implementing an effective strategy requires knowing exactly what “content marketing” means and why it’s so important.
Learn more: What Is Content Marketing and Why Now?
2. You get better by understanding what the best do.
There is no shame in reaching out to others for their expertise, nor in adopting the strategies and techniques of companies seeing results. Once you know what goals you want to achieve, figure out who’s already succeeding and learn from their experiences.
Learn more: What Is It that Great Content Marketers Do Well?
3. Your efforts should be focused.
Gone are the days of “spray and pray” marketing. These days, it’s necessary to customize marketing messaging to specific people. Understand the different personas you’re trying to reach, and tailor content to them.
Learn more: Using Personas to Target Content
4. You need ideas, people, and process to succeed in content marketing.
These may seem like fundamental points, yet the greatest struggles in content marketing come from weaknesses in one of these areas.
Learn more: The 3 Must-Haves of Content Operations
5. Content marketing is a team effort.
The most valuable content marketing efforts are collaborative, and draw on strengths from various marketing roles as well as sales and customer success teams. Each of these departments has a role in using or creating content and, therefore, needs to have a seat at the table.
Learn more: Forming an Editorial Board
6. You need the right tools.
If you want to establish a solid content operation, you need understand the tools required to generate, distribute, and measure your work. Examples include marketing automation, social media, and content marketing software.
Learn more: The 4 Tools You Need to Know
7. Look inward for ideas.
On a daily basis, your sales, service, and support teams listen to the needs of prospects and customers. This gives them unparalleled insight into the big concerns facing buyers. Talk to them, and create content that meets the needs they encounter.
8. Then, look outward for ideas.
After asking your internal teams about issues they face, ask your audience directly. Create content that directly answers questions and provides value.
Learn more: How to Transition Ideas into Production
9. You’ll need to spend some money.
Often times organizations fail to put money behind their efforts. While there are many ways to promote content for free, sometimes that’s simply not enough.
Learn more: Using Paid Media to Market Content
10. Marketing is not just for marketing.
Far too often, marketing and sales remain in silos. A better approach is to find ways to enable sales with the content being produced by marketing.
Learn More: Content Marketing for Sales
These 10 lessons are a great place to start. But there’s always more to learn. For more, visit the Kapost Academy and let us know in the comments what lessons you feel are vital for modern marketers.