Great content marketers aren’t born, they’re made.
Want to stand out from the crowd? Develop the following habits.
1. Follow a Routine
“Great content marketers aren’t born, they’re made.”
Routines can be a powerful tool for artists, politicians, CEOs, content marketers, and just about anyone else who is trying to build something extraordinary. There’s no blueprint for what routine is going to work for you. But if you’re embarking on a creative project, it’s in your best interest to develop one.
Have decision fatigue? Take a tip from Obama and sport one or two outfits for the next four years. Have your best ideas before bed? Truman Capote embraced the fact that he was a “horizontal author” who couldn’t think unless he was “either in bed or stretched on a couch and with a cigarette and coffee handy.”
Everyone has different daily rituals. There’s no one-size-fits all solution. Figure out the habits that help you produce your best work, and schedule time to support those habits.
In the world of marketing—like most worlds—knowledge is power. And we marketers operate within an environment that is constantly changing and innovating. The best way to ensure your content is contributing to the signal and not the noise is to read—about digital trends, about top campaigns, about the companies our industry leaders celebrate.
If you don’t understand what separate good content from great content, you’re not going to be very successful.
3. Embrace the Struggle
In an interview with the Paris Review E.B. White said, “A writer who waits for ideal conditions under which to work will die without putting a word on paper.”
“A writer who waits for ideal conditions…will die without putting a word on paper.” E.B. White
Creating a well-oiled content marketing operation is hard. If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it. The best content marketers embrace the struggle. They push through outdated processes in the name of innovation. They buckle silos. They see the chaos and miscommunication rampant within their marketing team and roll up their sleeves.
4. Don’t Assume
In 2012, Harvard Business Review published an article revealing three common assumptions marketers make when it comes to identifying what customers want:
- Most consumers want to have relationships with your brand.
- Interactions build relationships.
- The more interaction the better.
The findings revealed in this article proved that all three assumptions were dead wrong:
- People want relationships with their family and friends, not a business.
- Shared values build relationships, not interactions.
- There is no evidence to suggest the more interactions a brand has with a customer, the more likely that customer is to purchase.
It’s not the content marketer’s job to build warm and fuzzy friendships with the people they hope to do business with. It’s the content marketer’s job to figure out what their target audience needs and what questions they have. With that information, they must meet those needs and answer those questions with highly-targeted, high-quality content.
What habits work for you and your team? Share them in the comments section below!