Content Marketing Tips

32 Inspiring Content Marketers (from Buffer, HubSpot, Sumo, Drift & Co.) Share Their #1 Content Marketing Tips

These days, content marketing seems like the holy grail. Everybody does it. But only a few companies know how to do it right. Regularly publishing content regularly is no longer enough. The overload of content forces you to stand out if you want to get a significant number of eyeballs on your posts.

The following blogs and websites are really crushing it.

I analyzed 32 of the most successful blogs and websites out there and wanted to learn more about the content marketers and contributors behind them and their #1 content marketing tips. To give you a better sense of their blog/website performance, I also analyzed their monthly visits and found the top organic articles and the most shared posts. (I used SimilarWeb to get the website/blog traffic data and used Ahrefs to find the best articles. Please bear with me if the numbers are not 100 % correct 😊)

Content Marketing Tips

But now, let’s get the party started.

There’s both an overview of all the brilliant content marketers who shared their #1 content marketing tips with us and links to the tips themselves:

(If you want to be directly forwarded to a specific tip, feel free to click on it.)

    1. AhrefsThe Foundation Is Great Content (Tim Soulo)
    2. BufferAlways Be Learning (Brian G. Peters)
    3. cognitiveSEOLet Your Words Depict An Interesting You (Eva Năstruț)
    4. ContentlyTarget Valuable Search Keywords (Joe Lazauskas)
    5. Convince & ConvertLet Your Content Stand Out (Wade Harman)
    6. CoScheduleThe Measure Of Phenomenal Content (Jordan Loftis)
    7. Direct Marketing NewsWhy Would Someone Want To Read This? (Ariella Brown)
    8. DriftStart Differentiating With A Real Point Of View (Sonja Jacob)
    9. Effective ExperimentsMake Sure To Help Other People (Lindy Tolbert)
    10. Fit Small BusinessDo Your Research (Maggie Aland)
    11. GartnerApproach It From A Position Of Generosity (Monica Brown)
    12. GetResponseDon’t Neglect Data (Michal Leszczynski)
    13. HotjarStick To A Repeatable Process And Ship, Ship, Ship (Louis Grenier)
    14. HubSpot – You Need To Be Better (Kieran Flanagan)
    15. IdeascaleExplore Your Data (Jessica Day)
    16. John Wiley and SonsMake Sure You Have A Story To Tell (Annie Sullivan)
    17. JotFormLearn Who Your Audience Is (Chad Reid)
    18. KlearIntegrate The Channels Of Distribution Into The Content (Yuval Maoz)
    19. LeadpagesSlice, Dice, And Dole Out Your ‘Hero’ Content Across Different Channels (Madeline Blasberg)
    20. Neil Patel DigitalStart By Looking At What Others In Your Space Are Doing Well (Averi Melcher)
    21. Network for GoodIntegrate Your Content With The Rest Of Your Marketing Programs (Lisa Paoletti Bonanno)
    22. ryrob.comShift Your Focus To Depth (Ryan Robinson)
    23. State of DigitalMake An Effort To Help Your Audience (Bas van den Beld)
    24. Stone TempleAdd Unique Value (Eric Enge)
    25. SumoPPC Is The Holy Grail Of Content Marketing (Chris von Wilpert)
    26. Tubular Labs Think About The Story From The Customer’s Point Of View (Carla Marshall)
    27. Vertical ResponseStart Small (Julio Camarena)
    28. VidyardLet Your Personality Shine Through Your Content (Hannah Cameron)
    29. WishpondOffer Something Which The Big Guys Can’t (James Scherer)
    30. WistiaBe pProactive and Reactive (Jenny Mudarri)
    31. Wordstream – Always Start With Keywords That Are Relevant, High-Volume And Low-Competition (Elisa Gabbert)
    32. Zest.isCreate A Content Marketing Growth Engine (Yam Regev)

1. Tim Soulo, Ahrefs

Tim Soulo from Buffer
Tim is the head of marketing at Ahrefs and he built the marketing and content department from scratch.

Total Monthly Visits: 4.67M (Ahrefs.com)

Best Organic Post: Find Out How Much Traffic a Website Gets: 3 Ways Compared (~ 10k visitors per month)

Most Shared post: 75 Actionable SEO Tips (That Work Like A Charm in 2018) (>8.400 Shares)

Tim Soulo’s #1 Content Marketing Tip:

Acknowledging that many people are going to roll their eyes reading it, I’ll still say it: the foundation of successful content marketing is to create great content.

But what is “great content” anyways?

Well, for me it’s the mix of 3 ingredients:

  1. Quality – is it well written? is it visually appealing? does it have quality images and perfect formatting?
  2. Uniqueness – are you saying the same things as thousands of existing pages on the same topic or are you sharing something entirely unique with the world?
  3. Authority – why should people listen to what you say? Are you an overweight person talking about weight loss or are you shredded?

 

But, above all, great content is all about addressing whatever people were looking for when they started reading your piece of content.

Your article can be of top quality and unique, and you can have all credibility in the world. But if you fail to give people what they were looking for – your content will fall flat.

So yeah, I’m afraid I can’t give you a better advice other than “create great content.” All other content marketing tactics and strategies are secondary.

In the words of Ryan Holiday: “Promotion is not how things are made great – only how they’re heard about.

2. Brian G. Peters, Buffer

Brian Peters from Buffer

Brian started his marketing career as a social media manager at the California Polytechnic State University. Now, he’s working as a digital marketing strategist and leading digital innovation at Buffer.

Total Monthly Visits: 3.15M (blog.bufferapp.com)

Best Organic Post: The Ideal Facebook Cover Photo Size And How To Make Yours Stand Out (Including 12 Excellent Examples (~ 40k visitors per month)

Most Shared Post: 8 Amazing, Little-Known Ways Music Affects the Brain (>107k Shares)

Brian G. Peter’s #1 Content Marketing Tip:

My biggest piece of to be successful at content marketing is: Always be learning.

Lots of marketers think that they can’t be a good designer or that they can’t make great videos or that they can’t write solid content. But that’s not true.

Most anything in life can be learned with consistent practice. That’s what tends to separate good from great marketers. Don’t overthink it, just do it!

Eva Năstruț, cognitiveSEO

Eva Nastrut from cognitiveSEO

Eva is a passionate content writer at cognitiveSEO and BrandMentions. In addition, she’s responsible for PR and digital marketing at Word2Go and Coindoo.

Total Monthly Visits: 130k (cognitiveseo.com)

Best Organic Post: The Complete Google Easter Eggs List That Will Make You Go Wow (~ 10k visitors per month)

Most Shared Post: 22 Unique SEO Tips Backed by 22 Renowned SEO Experts (>800 Shares)

Eva Năstruț’s #1 Content Marketing Tip:

I believe a content marketer can’t succeed without the mad touch of originality. Not only your content but your words, phrases, the way you twist an idea has to be refreshing, authentic, sparkling.

Your words should define WHO you are, they should point out to you and say: “This is HOW she/he is”.

Let your words depict an interesting You.

Joe Lazauskas, Contently

Joe Lazauskas from Contently
Joe is a director of content strategy at Contently , a best-selling author (The Storytelling Edge), a keynote speaker, and a Fast Company contributor.

Total Monthly Visits: 750K (contently.com)

Best Organic Post: 8 Basic Tips for Writing an Amazing White Paper (~ 2.5k visitors per month)

Most Shared Post: This Surprising Reading Level Analysis Will Change the Way You Write (>9.5k Shares)

Joe Lazauskas’ #1 Content Marketing Tip:

Know your audience. Focus on their pain points and challenges, not what you want to talk about.

What you think is irrelevant if it doesn’t match up with what your audience is interested in.

Wade Harman, Convince & Convert


Wade is a content writer at Convince & Convert. In addition, he’s the content marketing director at Kats K-Shop and he’s a content writing consultant.

Total Monthly Visits: 250K (convinceandconvert.com)

Best Organic Post: The 11 Critical Podcast Statistics of 2017 (~ 1k visitors per month)

Most Shared Post: 105 Types of Content to Fill Up Your Content Calendar  (>2.3k Shares)

Wade Harman’s #1 Content Marketing Tip:

Content marketers need to extract themselves from the every day normalcy of writing. Instead of regurgitating the same old information as everyone else, your content should stand out.

You probably already understand this fact. However, what are you doing to come out from the crowd and establish your voice as a unique statue among a sea of great content marketers? This is the million dollar question and the few people who have answered it correctly are the marketers who enjoy engagement and action within their content.

One of the strongest ways you can stand out in your writing has nothing to do with writing at all. Instead of writing about what your business has or does, take it away from yourself and focus on your audience.

Start this process by creating two types of persona’s: A social media persona of your preferred audience (probably need about 3 – 5 depending on your market), and a content marketing persona (same number).

The social persona describes the audience you are after. If your business focuses on Facebook advertising with an expertise in video ads, then you want people who are interested in that. For example, one of your persona’s could be “John Smith” (you make these up). John is a solopreneur who needs to target specific people using video ads. John has trouble with the backend of the ad strategy.

In other words, you are creating people who have problems. When you begin your content strategy, you are solving these problems for these specific people. Granted, there will definitely be a “John Smith” out there who is having those exact troubles you are helping him with.

A content persona focuses on what your audience needs to work out with their business and what they want to do when they get to your content. What kind of content consumer are they? This is the type of content you give them.

In essence, an actionable strategy you can start doing today, has nothing to do with writing, and everything to do with creating an imaginary audience for yourself. The key idea behind this is someone DOES have those problems you are creating and solving later when you start your content writing in the future.

Jordan Loftis, CoSchedule

Jordan Loftis from CoSchedule
Jordan is a passionate content marketing strategist at CoSchedule. On top of that, he’s successfully ghostwritten 17 business books.

Total Monthly Visits: 1.58M (coschedule.com)

Best Organic Post: What 23 Studies Say About The Best Times To Post On Social Media (200K+ visitors per month)

Most Shared Post: Best Times To Post On Social Media According To 23 Studies (>4.1k Shares)

Jordan Loftis’ #1 Content Marketing tip:

Is your content so helpful people are shocked that it’s free?

That’s the measure of phenomenal content.

Does your content create new customers?

That’s the measure of content marketing.

Ariella Brown, Direct Marketing News

Ariella Brown from Direct Marketing News

Ariella is a content specialist and contributing writer at Direct Marketing News

Total Monthly Visits: 1.58M (dmnews.com)

Best Organic Post: Hoobly launches geographical search feature for its online classifieds (~ 2k visitors per month)

Most Shared Post: The Predictive Analytics Playbook (>600 Shares)

Ariella Brown’s #1 Content Marketing tip:

If I’d have to narrow the question of content marketing down to just one question, it would be this:

Why would someone want to watch/read this?

It has to have a clearly definitive quality, like helpful, interesting, or funny to attract your audience.

Sonja Jacob, Drift

Sonja Jacob from Drift
Sonja is a dynamic marketer and content strategist at Drift.

Total Monthly Visits: 50K (blog.drift.com)

Best Organic Post: What Is Product Marketing? (~ 1k visitors per month)

Most Shared Post: A Year Without Lead Forms: 5 Things We Learned Ungating Our Content  (>500 Shares)

Sonja Jacob’s #1 Content Marketing Tip:

No one ever built a disruptive, recognizable brand by maintaining the status quo. And the world certainly doesn’t need another “top 10 tips to drive growth” post.

If you want your B2B content to stand out, you’ve got to stop playing it safe and start differentiating with a real point of view and an authentic voice. Tackle the subjects no one has covered before, or address popular ones with a new lens.

This is the kind of content that engages people, makes them think–and ultimately–prompts them to come back for more.

Lindy Tolbert, Effective Experiments

Lindy Tolbert from Effective Experiments
Lindy is a blogger and content marketer for Effective Experiments.

Best Organic Post: Take Trello swim lanes to the next level with more comprehensive workflows

Lindy Tolbert’s #1 Content Marketing Tip:

My #1 content marketing advice is networking. Just getting a bunch of followers – cold – isn’t that easy. Making connections can allow for you and the other person to share audiences.

Make sure to help other people. Put feelers out in the industry. Hop on calls with people you admire professionally. Attend events targeted for your company’s demographic, and also ones for your professional peers. Use these events to be constantly learning strategy and as a litmus test for what others in your industry are doing. Networking has been my single greatest tool.

Maggie Aland, Fit Small Business

Maggie Alland from Fit Small Business
Maggie works as a content marketing specialist at Fit Small Business and The Close.

Total Monthly Visits: 2.56M (fitsmallbusiness.com)

Best Organic Post: What is Business Casual? Outfit Tips & Examples, 2018 (~ 20k visitors per month)

Maggie Aland’s #1 Content Marketing Tip:

To succeed with content marketing, you need to write articles that people actually want to read. Just because you think an article topic is interesting doesn’t mean it has mass appeal.

So my number one tip is – do your research. You can use tools like Buzzsumo to see which articles are getting the most shares on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Take inspiration from those articles, but add your own twist. No one like a complete copycat.

You can also use Google’s keyword planner to see what terms people are searching on Google. This gives you a great estimate of what topics people are curious about.

Monica Brown, Gartner

Monica Brown from Gartner
Monica has held several positions in Gartner’s marketing and sales divisions. She’s currently responsible for Gartner’s research content strategy and promotion programs.

Total Monthly Visits: 200K (blogs.gartner.com)

Best Organic Post: Office 2013 vs. Office 2010: Compare and Contrast (~ 500 visitors per month)

Most Shared Post: 10 Fearless Predictions for Tech Sales and Marketing in 2017  (>500 Shares)

Monica Brown’s #1 Content Marketing Tip:

To succeed in content marketing, you have to approach it from a position of generosity. You’re not looking for a quick sale, you’re looking to provide value, gain trust, and start the relationship between your company and the customer base your company serves.

It is really about creating and promoting valuable information that can elevate your reputation with the consumers of the information.

If you earn their trust, they will allow you into their customer journey.

Michal Leszczynski, GetResponse

Michal Leszczynski from GetResponse
Michal is a data-driven content marketing expert at GetResponse and he loves creating SEO-optimized and data-backed content.

Total Monthly Visits: 200K (blog.getresponse.com)

Best Organic Post: Top 10 Books on Persuasion Every Solopreneur Should Read (~ 500 visitors per month)

Most Shared Post: Best Time To Send Email [INFOGRAPHIC]  (>250 Shares)

Michal Leszczynski’s #1 Content Marketing Tip:

Don’t neglect data, when developing content.

Remember that content marketing isn’t just about sitting down and writing copy.

It’s about finding out what your audience is interested in and what you want them to achieve. What actions you want them to take.

Familiarize yourself with Google Analytics, Google Search Console, and at least learn some basics of SEO if you want your content to answer your audience’s needs and rank high in SERPs.

This way your content will be less about writing whatever comes to your mind and more about reaching your business objectives. And you’ll avoid making mistakes, such as giving away link juice to other sites with the keywords you’re trying to rank for.

Louis Grenier, Hotjar

Louis Grenier from Hotjar
Louis hates marketing BS, yet he’s the content lead at Hotjar.

Total Monthly Visits: 13.9M (hotjar.com)

Best Organic Post: 8 Trello Keyboard Shortcuts You Must Learn Today To Plan And Collaborate More Efficiently

Most Shared Post: Death by ‘Best Practices’: Why They Can Kill Your Business (>3.3k Shares)

Louis Grenier’s #1 Content Marketing Tip:

Kieran Flanagan, HubSpot

Kieran Flanagan from HubSpot
In addition to being the VP of Marketing/Growth at HubSpot, Kieran is an author, startup advisor and mentor.

Total Monthly Visits: 10.5M (blog.hubspot.com)

Best Organic Post: How To Download and Save YouTube Videos (~ 200k visitors per month)

Most Shared Post: Here’s Your Go-To Social Media Image Size Cheat Sheet [Bookmarkable] (>7k Shares)

Kieran Flanagan’s #1 Content Marketing Tip:

The popularity of content marketing has grown substantially over the past five years, but so has the costs (https://www.profitwell.com/blog/content-marketing-customer-acquisition-cost).

Companies are investing more of their marketing dollars into content, and that means the competition for readers is growing.

There is still a lot of potential upside from investing in content, but you need to be better. Content that might have been successful five years ago won’t make the grade today.

The most actionable advice for those just getting started with content is to find topics that people are searching for in your space, look to see what content ranks in Google for those topics, identify areas you could improve upon, and create something better.

Once launched dedicate time to building out a proper promotion plan for each piece of content.

Focus less on frequency, more on quality and promotion. If you’re correctly mapping that content back to topics that people are searching for, this is a sure way to gain some early traction for your efforts.

Once you’ve gained some early traction for your content, you can start to layer in more advanced tactics.

Jessica Day, IdeaScale

Jessica Day from Ideascale
Jessica co-founded IdeaScale. As VP of Marketing & Communications, she took the company from a US-centric SaaS start-up to a global platform with 4.5 million end users

Total Monthly Visits: 190K (ideascale.com)

Jessica Day’s #1 Content Marketing Tip:

Explore Your Data
Research begins with what you know about yourself. Things that might seem self-evident to you could be enriching or enlightening to someone else, but articulating that knowledge in data makes it that much easier for someone else to share and understand.

For example, one of our most downloaded resources is our annual report on crowdsourced innovation. Now, not everyone needs to know about crowdsourced innovation, but for those that are interested in that topic, we have some phenomenal frontline data that it would be hard for them to get anywhere else. Find the hidden corners of your data and share them.

Annie Sullivan, John Wiley and Sons

Annie Sullivan from John Wiley and Sons
Annie is a content marketer and copy specialist at John Wiley and Sons and she’s also a young adult author.

Total Monthly Visits: 53M (wiley.com)

Annie Sullivan’s #1 Content Marketing Tip:

Make sure you have a story to tell.
Consumers connect with a brand that draws them in emotionally. Use relevant examples—case studies, testimonials, reviews—to show how you can help your customer solve their problem using your product or company. Consistently proving that your business solves the biggest pain point of the target customer shows a consistent story of success.

Come across as personable.
Getting customers invested in you, your product, and your story starts with not only knowing your customers paint points, but addressing those in a way where you don’t come across as a faceless corporation. Have some personality. Create interactive content (quizzes, polls, questionnaires) so customers get to know you. The more they interact with you, the more loyal they will feel. Furthermore, they’ll feel like a valued customer instead of name on your marketing email blast list.   

Be consistent in your branding and approach so customers know it’s you when they see a piece of content.
Using consistent fonts, colors, backgrounds, and themes are an easy way to signal to customers that this piece is coming from your company. And as long as you’re putting out top quality content, they’ll see those consistent branding cues and stop to read.

Don’t overthink things.
At the end of the day, we’re all customers and we know what experiences excite and engage us most, so go with your gut and create those experience for others.

Chad Reid, JotForm

Chad Reid from JotForm
Chad is director of communications at JotForm, so he’s used to wearing a lot of different marketing and communications hats.

Total Monthly Visits: 8M (jotform.com)

Best Organic Post: How to Make a Great Volunteer Application Form (~ 150 visitors per month)

Most Shared Post: JotForm Celebrates 3 Million Users! (>9.6k Shares)

Chad Reid’s #1 Content Marketing Tip:

I’ve found the best way to think of content marketing is telling a good story. It doesn’t matter who your audience is, the content has to be compelling, interesting, and oftentimes nonpromotional.

When you think about the best content marketing out there today, none of it directly promotes a brand. So if you’re just getting started in content marketing, first you should really learn who your audience is.

Once you understand that intricately, you can create content you know they’d be interested in. Create guides, tips, rankings, and whatever else applies to your specific audience. They’ll learn to trust your content, and in turn, trust your brand.

Yuval Maoz, Klear

Yuval has been a journalist, blogger, and editor and he’s currently the marketing leader at Klear.

Total Monthly Visits: 950K (klear.com)

Most Shared Post: 9 Free Instagram Analytics Tools To Try In 2018 (~ 300 visitors per month)

Most Shared Post: First Steps For Healthy Influencer Relationships (>500 Shares)

Yuval Maoz’ #1 Content Marketing Tip:

The real struggle with content is to get it noticed. Even great content get be overlooked. The best way to overcome this hurdle is to integrate the channels of distribution within the content itself. What works best for getting the first push of distribution is to get people involved in the content, even before it is published.

How can you do that?

Seek influential people on the topic you’re discussing. Ask them to share their take on the matter. Later they would love to share the article itself.

In addition, find writers who already wrote about the topic, and ask them what do they think about your piece. Get them involved in the comments and on social. If it’s relevant, take a quote from their article and thank them for the insight. Everybody likes to be quoted (and a link to their blog post!).

Integrating the channels of distribution into the content is crucial for content marketing. Use it to push your content and make it noticeable as possible.

Madeline Blasberg, Leadpages

Madeline is a content marketer at Leadpages.

Total Monthly Visits: 3M (leadpages.net)

Best Organic Post: The 10 Types of Popular Blogs: Which One Is Yours? (~ 600 visitors per month)

Most Shared Post: What I Learned from 1 Million Site Visitors (+ 40,000 Insurance Leads) (>500 Shares)

Madeline Blasberg’s #1 Content Marketing Tip:

My #1 Content Marketing Tip is to slice, dice, and dole out your ‘hero’ content across different channels.

One of the biggest challenges in content marketing is to find the resources (time, money, art, copy) to produce volumes of content and scale your efforts. Most small business marketers can’t spend days at the drawing board. Once you’ve got a ‘big idea’ for a piece of content – challenge yourself to find 4 different applications (before you ever move into production!). For example, you want to give your audience Facebook ad examples. Great idea – everyone is looking for inspiration these days. Here’s what you can do:

 

  • Write a blog post
  • Offer a content upgrade (or lead magnet download in the form of an eBook)
  • Post a Slideshare
  • Feature your existing customers and email them to ask them to help you promote

Think of your ‘big idea’ for a single piece of content is like a cake. You spend lots of time in the kitchen measuring ingredients and getting it to come out perfectly delicious. Make the most of your time (and maximize your impact) by planning out all the different slices and delivery methods for how you can send that cake out into the world. Hows that for a delicious analogy?

Averi Melcher, Neil Patel Digital

Averi Melcher from Neil Patel Digital
Averi loves all internet-related things and she’s a professional writer and marketer at Neil Patel Digital.

Total Monthly Visits: 4.6M (neilpatel.com)

Best Organic Post: 13 Amazing Google Chrome Extensions That’ll Improve Your Marketing (~ 13K visitors per month)

Most Shared Post: 82 Content Marketing Tools to Make Your Life Easier (>1.7K Shares)

Averi Melcher’s #1 Content Marketing Tip:

Content marketers often only think about the creative side of content creation, but there is an awesome world of science and numbers and psychology hiding behind those words that will point you in the direction of what to create next.

Start by looking at what others in your space are doing well, understand who you are speaking to, why they should even care and how they found your content in the first place (via a Google query, email list, Facebook?).

If you can’t clearly paint a picture of the person who would read and benefit from that blog post, you need to go back to the drawing board

Lisa Paoletti Bonanno, Network for Good

Lisa Paoletti Bonanno from Network for Good
Lisa is VP of Digital Marketing at Network for Good. She’s had 20 years of experience building and scaling marketing strategies for successful B2B organizations.

Total Monthly Visits: 500K (networkforgood.com)

Best Organic Post: How To Get Donations? 14 Reasons Why People Donate (~ 450 visitors per month)

Most Shared Post: How To Get Donations, 14 Reasons Why People Donate (>200 Shares)

Lisa Paoletti Bonanno’s #1 Content Marketing Tip:

My #1 advice is to integrate your content with the rest of your marketing programs – your blog, digital assets should complement your other programming such as webinar or podcast topics, homepage features and even sales promotions.

Ryan Robinson, ryrob.com

Ryan Robinsom from ryrob.com
Ryan is a content marketing consultant (ryrob.com), contributor at Forbes and Fast Company and a mentor at 500 Startups.

Total Monthly Visits: 330K (ryrob.com)

Best Organic Post: 65 Genius Ways to Legitimately Make Money Online (on the Side) in 2018 (~ 45K visitors per month)

Most Shared Post: 01 Best Side Business Ideas to Start While Working a Full-Time Job (>11K Shares)

Ryan Robinson’s #1 Content Marketing Tip:

So many content marketers focus on volume of output as a primary metric—how many articles are being published each day, week, month. And that’s often done at the expense of quality, which has hugely negative downstream effects on the viability of your content marketing efforts.

By choosing to instead shift your focus over to depth and providing transformational value in everything that you publish to your blog, you’ll become more concerned with reader outcomes than just the number of articles you publish.

When you’re truly writing with the goal of building your reader’s tangible take-home benefit, the content becomes drastically different—suddenly you’re publishing way less frequently, but the level of depth, quality, and granular detail extends your articles well into the thousands of words in length. You begin building meaningful relationships with your readers that transcend the transactional nature most marketers never rise above. And THAT… is where the magic starts to happen.

Bas van den Beld, State of Digital

Bas van den Beld from State of Digital
Bas is a digital marketing consultant who founded State of Digital and Speak with Persuasion.

Total Monthly Visits: 13.9M (stateofdigital.com)

Best Organic Post: How to See Private Instagram Photos without an Account (~ 9.5K visitors per month)

Most Shared Post: How to recognize Twitter bots: 7 signals to look out for (>500 Shares)

Bas van den Beld’s #1 Content Marketing Tip:

Succeeding at content marketing means you need to make an effort to help your audience.

In a fast expanding digital world, the only way to stand out, is to be the one that helps the audience answer their questions and help them take the next step.

A great content marketer in 2018 is a helper

Eric Enge, Stone Temple

Eric Enge from Stone Temple
Eric is a contributor to Forbes and Copybloger who founded the digital marketing agency Stone Temple.

Eric Enge’s #1 Content Marketing Tip:

Add Value. Add Unique Value. Add Unique Value that will cause a material number of users to be passionate about your content.

Now, to explain that a bit more. Many like to speculate about how Google is using machine learning to improve search. I believe they way they are using it to improve how they evaluate content relevance and quality. Part of that is a significant  improvement in recognizing what content is getting the most meaningful attention online. You can listen to a short video clip of a discussion about online mentions and SEO that I had with Google’s Gary Illyes.

To earn those mentions, to get prominent media links, you need to be creating something of high material value on a topic that  people care deeply about. It’s hard work, but it’s the only way to be truly successful at content marketing.

Chris von Wilpert, Sumo

Chris von Wilpert from Sumo
Chris is the copy chief at Sumo and the owner of Rocketship Agency, a content agency.

Total Monthly Visits: 1.56M (sumo.com)

Best Organic Post: 401+ Ridiculously Useful Power Words to Increase Conversions (~ 7K visitors per month)

Most Shared Post: Sumo Growth Study: How Tony Robbins Generates 1,000,000 Website Visitors Per Month (>3.7K Shares)

Chris von Wilpert’s #1 Content Marketing Tip:

Getting organic traffic is quite important, and it needs to be part of your content marketing strategy. But to boost your reach as well, consider running ads. Suitable prospects click on your banners, and you can start building a retargeting list to keep nurturing the potential customers.

Paid-content advertising is the future of digital marketing.

Here’s the reason: The content supply is continuously growing. But the demand for content stays more or less the same. So you need to find new ways to target your audience. PPC will be one of these ways.

Carla Marshall, Tubular Labs

Carla Marshall from Tubular Labs
Carla is a content marketing manager and editor in chief at Tubular Labs.

Total Monthly Visits: 350K (tubularlabs.com)

Most Shared Post: Find Your Own Best Practices for Online (>40 Shares)

Carla Marshall’s #1 Content Marketing Tip:

My #1 tip for successful content marketing is to think about the story from the customer’s point of view – not yours.

You may think your product or service is the best thing since sliced bread, but if you can’t answer a real need that your potential customer base has it’s going to be an uphill battle to convince them to buy into your brand.

Great content marketing can craft a story they can relate to.

Julio Camarena, Vertical Response

Julio Camarena from Vertical Response
Julio is a digital marketing specialist at Vertical Response.

Total Monthly Visits: 1M (verticalresponse.com)

Best Organic Post: The top 20 places your business needs to be listed online (~ 4K visitors per month)

Most Shared Post: Copywriting Cheat Sheet: Email vs. Social vs. Web | VR Marketing Blog (>6.1K Shares)

Julio Camarena’s #1 Content Marketing Tip:

My number one advice would be to start small. If you are going to make a mistake, make it cheap.

Start with very specific niches expand until good cost/conversion starts.

Hannah Cameron, Vidyard

Hannah Cameron from Vidyard
As a content marketing manager at Vidyard, Hannah loves to create content that connects with people.

Total Monthly Visits: 1M (vidyard.com)

Best Organic Post: Distribution Checklist: Where to Share Your Videos for Maximum Reach (~ 1K visitors per month)

Most Shared Post: 2017 Video in Business Benchmark Report (>1.3K Shares)

Hannah Cameron’s #1 Content Marketing Tip:

Content marketers should let their personality shine through their content! You need to stand out even if it goes against the way our industry says to do things.

Sure it’s risky, but the greater risk is becoming generic and impersonal. Your message is one small part of the story – the way in which you deliver it completes the experience.

James Scherer, Wishpond

James Scherer from Wishpond
James is a content editor at Wishpond who’s passionate about content and merit-based marketing.

Total Monthly Visits: 800K (blog.wishpond.com)

Best Organic Post: Should You Buy Facebook Likes? (~ 4.200 visitors per month)

Most Shared Post: 30 Amazing Examples of Branded Facebook Contests Done Right (>450 Shares)

James Scherer’s #1 Content Marketing Tip:

Succeeding in content marketing is like succeeding with e-commerce. Ultimately, you need to offer something which isn’t provided by the big brand names who dominate the market. The Amazon and Walmart equivalents within your content world are likely already offering the information your audience wants to know, even before you publish and with more resources behind them.

So, you need to stand out in the same way a great e-commerce company does: offer something which the big guys can’t: personality, niche topics, case study content, a super-engaged community, etc. Get creative.

And beneath that “content edge”, you need to have a foundation of grammatical and editorial perfection alongside a blog and article design which looks great. Only from that foundation will you compete, and only once you compete can you start adding your own unique flavor.

Jenny Mudarri, Wistia

Jenny Mudarri from Wistia
Jenny is a content marketing manager at Wistia and leads the content strategy for all social media channels and blog properties.

Total Monthly Visits: 4.5M (wistia.com)

Best Organic Post: Why You Should Buy the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens (~ 2.000 visitors per month)

Most Shared Post: 6 Ways to Promote Your Videos on a Budget (>8.1K Shares)

Jenny Mudarri’s #1 Content Marketing Tip:

Be proactive and reactive. Keep your eye on what’s currently trending, and be the first to get out an amazing blog post or piece of content about that topic.

You’ll likely see a pulse indicator of success upfront in the form of comments or shares, and if it’s the right topic, you’ll see some long term benefits as well from an SEO perspective.

Always read and consume content from your industry so you’re in the know of the latest trends—and then capitalize on them.

Elisa Gabbert, Wordstream

Elisa Gabbert from Wordstream
Elisa is senior manager of SEO and content marketing at Wordstream and she’s responsible for content development and management.

Total Monthly Visits: 3.5M (wordstream.com)

Best Organic Post: Top 10: Best Video Editing Software for Beginners (~ 50.000 visitors per month)

Most Shared Post: The 25 Most Expensive Keywords in AdWords (> 1.5K Shares)

Elisa Gabbert’s #1 Content Marketing Tip:

My best advice for aspiring content marketers is to use a keyword tool like SEMRush or Ahrefs that shows you both search volume and competition level.

When prioritizing your content creation, always start with keywords that are a) relevant to your business, b) relatively high-volume and c) relatively low-competition.

You’ll be able to rank faster and see results faster too. Just make sure that the content you create is truly high-quality and meets the intent of the query, otherwise, you won’t be able to rank!

Yam Regev, Zest.is

Yam Regev from Zest.is
Yam co-founded Zest.is and he’s a marketing entrepreneur with over 10 years of experience

Total Monthly Visits: 140K (zest.is)

Yam Regev’s #1 Content Marketing Tip:

My actionable content marketing tip is to create a content marketing growth engine.

How you do that?

First, define your user persona and understand where they hang out online.

Create a list of all relevant blogs and publications that you know your users might be reading, score them by relevancy, SimilarWeb rank and amount of subscribers they have (if it’s publically known) and sort your results from the lowest scored blogs to the highest ones.

Now you have a blog-base (just like user-base) that you can tackle just like you tackle any kind of funnel:

Start reaching out to the blogs that got the lowest score as most chances that they will respond to you quite quickly and offer them to write an article (by themselves or that you will provide them with the content) that mentions your product or service.

You will see that in time you’ll be able to create what I call an External Editorial Calendar. It means that if done right, and in a mid-level scale, there will be 2-15 articles published each week that your product or service will be mentioned in.

Also, in time, you’ll be able to create more business relationship with higher authority blogs and create the same activity with them.

All the blogs that will mention you in their articles, will share it on their social media accounts and send the articles on their newsletter as well.

If you defined your user persona precisely, your targeted audience will not stop hearing about you from authoritative resources.

Your brand awareness will increase, your SEO will get strengthened and you’ll create a solid lead gen funnel of well-educated users who are already engaged with your messages and propositions.

Conclusion

Succeeding in content marketing is hard but not impossible. This list of inspiring content marketers and their #1 content marketing tips should provide you with fresh ideas and different perspectives on content marketing.

Of course, you won’t be able to apply all of these content marketing tips to your content processes. Nevertheless, use them to reflect your own efforts and boost your content marketing results.

Have I missed an important content marketer? Or do you have an additional content marketing tip that we need to add to this list? Feel free to leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you!

Max is a SaaS enthusiast and loves actionable content that provides direct value.

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