I need to do more content marketing.
Why content marketing? Because it’s a major driver of revenue in the current B2B landscape (Forrester), it’s the top and most persistent challenge regularly cited by B2B marketers (Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs), and has become the fuel of modern marketing.
But with so much content being produced these days, it needs to be engaging, effective and relevant.
MarketingProfs Writing Workshop
To get started, I attended a
MarketingProfs writing workshop based on chief content officer
Ann Handley’s book Everybody Writes.
Before the course took place, we worked through a series of short online classes to set the ground rules and learn core principles from the book, such as customer-centric marketing and
the 12-step writing GPS. And who knew there were so many cool writing tools? To manage, inspire, organize, edit, and more-- such as Grammarly, Plagium, OneNote and Stayfocused.
Near Mission Bay UCSF, MarketingProfs educator
Kelly Gorgone (@KerryGorgone) led the day-long workshop for about 25 of us content marketers, product managers, demand gen managers, and small business owners, representing various tech, healthcare and non-profit organizations. Writing exercises, workshop workbook, step-by-step writing job aid, and post-course learning reinforcements made sure the new knowledge stuck.
Q&A with Ann Handley
Ann couldn’t be there in person, but she joined us live and streaming for the Q&A session.
Here are some questions posed to Ann, along with her answers.
What content pieces would be best for further down funnel?
Evergreen items, like a price list or
How can we coach our execs to adopt a customer-centric rather than a sender-centric approach?
Start by showing them small wins, with data such as subscription rates or open rates. Then, apply that to content pieces that your customers would thank you for.
How do you tell a good story?
Start with an experience you had that’s specific enough to be believable, but universal enough to be understood.
How do you get started writing?
Don’t start too broadly. It’s your take on it that makes it unique.
Any advice on how to write a good headline?
Headlines are tough! Try using a number, a lively verb. Address the reader and use less than 70 characters. Make sure the body copy pulls people in; use photos to illustrate. Also try testing it out on Twitter to see what gets more clicks.
What are you seeing as trends in content marketing?
What’s cool are companies using visual tools combined with copy to tell a story; also live video streaming apps like Periscope and Meerkat are cool.
Want more insights on content marketing? View Dennis Shiao's on-demand webinar, “Why You Can't Do Content Marketing Without a CMS” - Dennis leads content marketing at DNN.