Creating content is hard. Marketing is hard. When you put these two words side-by-side, it’s extra hard.

I wrote a book about Global Content Marketing back in 2014 and have been a content marketing speaker for years.

In the book, I discussed the 4P’s of any successful content marketing framework:

  • Plan: Set up strategy before execution
  • Produce: Create content that matters
  • Promote: Distribute content across marketing channels
  • Perfect: Measure and optimize to understand impact

10 years have passed. The framework still works, but some of my points of view about content marketing (as well as digital marketing) have shifted.

As a content marketer and content marketing speaker, I am older and (hopefully) wiser. Here are the 6 biggest lessons I’ve learned over the past decade about content marketing.

One size does not fit all

10 years ago, I preached about creating one format of content to be promoted to all social media channels.

Well, it turns out that I don’t believe that anymore. When you create a video for YouTube as part of your video marketing, you need to have different formats and lengths for Instagram, Facebook, or even TikTok. Otherwise, your content may look strange or out of place.

In addition, while some content is relevant for one channel, it may not be well-suited for other channels.

For example, I am very cognizant that my LinkedIn content focuses on B2B marketing, while my TikTok content is more on life and fictional writing in general.

I selectively share some TikTok content on LikedIn, but it’s always very intentional.

Lesson learned: Select the right channels for your content or vice versa.

Content promotion is more important than content creation

In my book, I made it clear that marketers need to spend more time promoting content than creating content. That statement still holds true today.

When you promote your content (paid or organic), it’s almost no exception that you’ll see upticks in your website traffic. Content promotion = website upticks.

Promoting content is as much work as creating content.

Allocate content promotion budget in addition to content creation budget.

Lesson learned: Don’t skimp on your content promotion budget as part of your digital marketing planning process.

Understand why you’re creating your content

For the first several years as an independent consultant, I didn’t articulate my offerings well. My content pieces were all over the place.

I only started getting my content topics on track when I was finally able to articulate my offerings and services.

Then, I would create content based on my offerings and services.

For example, I offer marketing coaching as a service. I often share the reasons why you need marketing coaching, but I also share DIY tips on how to get coaching on your own.

It’s educational content with a little sales flair sprinkled in.

Lesson learned: Don’t be afraid to showcase your services, but offer helpful tips and tricks so that your audience can benefit independently if they so choose.

Content organization and classification is a must

Once you’ve been creating content for a long time, you typically find that you’ve built up a solid content library. It’s important to go back and evaluate and update your content regularly.

It’s almost like spring cleaning. You do it every year to declutter your house, so you should do the same for your ever-growing content inventory.

This is especially true for blog and video content, but maybe less so when it comes to podcast episodes.

It’s easier to go back and rewrite/refresh your own blogs, but you can also take down the old videos or podcast episodes if they’re no longer relevant.

However, many of us tend to leave videos and podcasts intact while updating and refreshing blog posts whenever necessary.

I refresh my blog content every two years, which usually results in retiring some posts and updating others.

Lesson learned: Update and refresh your blog content. Retire any old content to keep things current and evergreen.

Optimize content for SEO, but don’t force it

Unless you are an expert in SEO (Search Engine Optimization), many marketers, myself included, struggle with figuring out how to better maximize SEO for content creation. Ugh. So frustrating.

Doing SEO well requires marketers to fully understand:

  • Your products and your product offerings
  • Your audience search behaviors

After years of workshops and sessions and soul searching, I finally got a list of keywords down for SEO and SEM (Search Engine Marketing)

But I don’t let that completely dictate my writing. I write what I think it’s relevant to my audience, but that doesn’t always fall under the umbrella of the most trendy or popular topics.

With that, I do take a hit on website traffic; I made peace with it.

Lesson learned: You need to establish a list of keywords and determine the type of content you want to create. It’s a whole journey, but necessary and worth it.

Measuring content ROI is only possible as a function of marketing channels

In my book, I stated that you can’t measure content ROI. Content is content, it doesn’t mean anything unless it’s part of the marketing channels that you promote or your demand generation campaigns.

You can measure downloads and views, but these metrics don’t have a direct correlation with revenue. Your executives won’t care about these metrics unless you can “show them the money.”

If you work with a content marketing services company, educate them on how you want to measure content success.

Understanding each channel’s dashboard and being able to tie your content performance to these dashboards.

Articulating content’s contribution to the MQL to SQL conversion is also an option.

Another way to measure content success is sales usage. If sales share content with prospects and customers, make sure you are aware of it and take credit for that.

Lesson learned: You should know how sales use your content.

In summary…

I create content I believe is useful for marketers. Many of my readers may never convert due to budget, resources, or whatever the case may be. That’s perfectly okay with me.

I want to see many marketers succeed, whether or not they are not my customers. That’s my ultimate content marketing goal!

So, whether you’re using this specific post as a resource or would like to get in touch to tap into my services, I hope you’ve gained some valuable insights; feel free to reach out anytime!

What can Pam Didner do for you?

Being in the corporate world for 20+ years and having held various positions from accounting and supply chain management, and marketing to sales enablement, she knows how corporations work. She can make you and your team a rock star by identifying areas to shine and do better. She does that through private coaching, keynote speaking, workshop training, and hands-on consulting. Contact her or find her on LinkedIn and Twitter. A quick note: Check out her new 90-Day Revenue Reboot, if you are struggling with marketing.