If you couldn’t guess by the title, Everybody Writes was a webinar focused on content marketing. Handley has recently written a book on the subject and decided to share her knowledge with the Marketo community.
I received so much great information from the session that I decided to share a brief summary of the webinar with you all so you can take some tips back to your own content marketing strategies!
In her intro, Handley presented the facts that content marketing can no longer be ignored. “It’s no longer about why we need content. Now it is: how do we create engaging content that will drive business for our own company?”
To put simply, our content marketing strategies boil down to one fact:
But how do you achieve this goal?
Here are seven ways to create better content:
1. Be Strategic
Go back to your content marketing mission and ask yourself the Five W’s of Journalism –
– What is our goal? What are we trying to do for our organization?
– Who are we trying to reach? Should we create different personas?
– When in the cycle should we approach them? When are we most valuable and useful to them?
– Where do you want them to go next? Have we given them many paths to conversion?
– Why does it matter to them? What’s the story only we can tell?
2. Think Thanksgiving, Not Spanish Tapas
We should no longer create content as one-off articles or blog posts. We need to think more holistically and break our story into digestive pieces for our audience.
Jason Miller from LinkedIn asks the question, “What’s the conversation you want to own,” to lead to another, “How can we become the source for that information?”
In answering these questions you will get closer to becoming a thought-leader to provide whole-turkey topics and not unfulfilling small snippet tapas.
3. Tell a Different Kind of Story
We no longer have the excuse that we don’t have anything more interesting to talk about. You must re-invent your stories, steal ideas from yourself, to help you tell your story.
Seth Godin says it all in his definition of innovation:
Take what you know, innovate, and create a different story that is worth your audience’s attention.
4. Be Useful
Will your readers miss you if you go away?
If you follow the formula below, and provide stories that are useful, invoke empathy, and leave your audience feeling inspired – you will provide great content that your audience won’t want to disappear!
5. Mind Like Water
Just like water will fill the spaces within any crevasse, you need to be willing to write the stories that are open to you.
Being open-minded in your storytelling may lead to stories you didn’t necessarily expect to tell, but that need to be written.
6. Hone Your Skills
There are five skills that will propel you to content marketing success:
You don’t need to master each one, but a basic understanding of them all will lead to a powerful content marketing team. These skills should be the foundation of your dream team!
7. Be a Better Writer
Handley gave many quotes to empower the audience to become better writers:
“Writing is the heart of content marketing.”
“Our words are our ambassadors; your emissaries.”
“Writing is not primarily about grammar – it is important – but it is not the only thing about good writing. More importantly, writing is about clear thinking.”
Therefore, the key to becoming a better writer is to be a stronger thinker; and write with a strong and undiluted voice.
Ann Handley offered a lot of information throughout the hour-long webinar, but are there more questions you are still hoping to get answered about content marketing?
Ask us in the comments or watch the video!
All images were slides taken from Everybody Writes, Ann Handley’s webinar hosted by Marketo.
About the Author: Deanna Zaucha is the Content Marketing Coordinator for Webs and Pagemodo, and also manages our social media presence. She can be found on a dance floor, or on her iPhone keeping up with trends in marketing and tech. Get more from Deanna on the Webs Blog and Twitter.