PR ON THE GO October 20, 2023

Content Marketing Essentials: Key Advice from Industry Pioneers

Content creation is an essential tool in the PR arsenal. We asked PR and growth experts: What advice would you give to someone just starting out in content marketing? Check out fifteen tips we gathered from seasoned professionals, including digital strategists and CEOs, for a wealth of insights on how to get started with your content marketing strategy.

From understanding your audience and topics through research to using analytics for effective content creation, this panel of experts offers advice and inspiration for those just starting out in content marketing.

  • Put Yourself In Your Audience's Shoes
  • Understand Your Audience's Pain Points and Interests
  • Be Thoughtful
  • Publish Early and Often
  • Remember Quality Over Quantity
  • Stay Agile to Capitalize on Trends
  • Emphasize Authenticity and Passion
  • Start with SEO Fundamentals
  • Let Data Guide Your Content Journey
  • Create a Swipe File
  • Foster a One-to-One Audience Connection
  • Immerse Yourself in the Market Before Keyword Research
  • Choose to Be Genuine Over Perfection
  • Combine Proficiency and Unique Experiences
  • Use Analytics for Effective Content Creation

1) Put Yourself In Your Audience's Shoes

Rakesh Bisht, Gleexa

"For newcomers in content marketing, a vital tip is to prioritize your audience's needs and interests. This means creating content tailored to your target demographic's preferences and concerns. Research their unique preferences and pain points to craft highly relevant and engaging content. This approach not only attracts the right audience but also increases meaningful engagement, helping you achieve your marketing goals. So, always put yourself in your audience's shoes, actively listen, and create tailored content."

2) Understand Your Audience's Pain Points and Interests

Emily Reynolds-Bergh, R Public Relations

"Focus on quality over quantity. Begin by understanding your audience's pain points and interests. Craft content that addresses these effectively, whether it's comprehensive blog posts, educational videos, or shareable infographics. Consistency matters; establish a content calendar and stick to it. Lastly, promote your content through social media, email marketing, and guest posting. Patience is key and results may take time, but valuable, well-crafted content pays off in the long run."

3) Be Thoughtful

Paige Arnof-Fenn, Mavens & Moguls

"Tailored content with messages and specific calls to action and product recommendations can be served to hyper-specific personality types based on specific context, giving marketing the power to affect behavior. To build trust brands need to get rid of irrelevant messaging, making navigation and communication easier, serving only content which is genuinely compelling and relevant, and ensuring that their process is transparent.

The most relevant and successful brands will be storytellers and content creators who find the right words and pictures to create interest for their products and services. I’d argue the real killer application will be authentic content. While your competition using AI generates robotic copy that sounds generic you can stand out and break through the sea of sameness with personalized thoughtful content serving their specific needs. So don’t get distracted by the latest shiny object, to win going forward authenticity is what people remember. Building emotional connections with your audience is more important now than ever!"

PR ON THE GO Media Lists: Carefully curated journalist contacts and verified email addresses.

4) Publish Early and Often

Robert Weller,

"My advice is to publish early and often because high-frequency allows for faster learning. There are times when a well-thought-out piece of long-form content is appropriate, but for someone just starting out, content is a great means to understand the needs of potential customers and learn the mechanics.
What topic is relevant? What type of content generates awareness? What messaging creates resonance? The more we publish, the faster we learn to create high-performing content for any platform."

5) Remember Quality Over Quantity

Jessica Shee, iBoysoft

"Focusing on quality rather than quantity is a crucial piece of advice for those just beginning with content marketing. It's easy to get caught up in producing a large quantity of content, but it's far more effective to produce content that genuinely resonates with your target audience.

Start by identifying the pain points, interests, and requirements of your audience. Develop a content strategy that effectively addresses these issues. Ensure that each piece of content, whether it's blog posts, videos, infographics, or podcasts, provides real value and is well-researched, well-written, or well-produced. Consistency is also essential. Establish a realistic publishing schedule that you can adhere to.

Over time, this consistency will assist you in establishing your brand as a reliable source of useful information. Finish by measuring your efforts. Monitor interaction, traffic, and conversions to identify strengths and weaknesses. Be ready to adjust your content marketing plan based on statistics."

6) Stay Agile to Capitalize on Trends

Kevin Hall, Webserv

"Starting out with content marketing can be both exhilarating and daunting. One invaluable piece of advice is to resist the urge to meticulously plan too far ahead. While AI tools make it tantalizingly easy to design exhaustive content calendars spanning months, there's an inherent risk in becoming too rigid.

Why? Because of the dynamic nature of trends. Being among the first to capitalize on trending keywords can skyrocket your visibility. While having a foundational content calendar is crucial, leaving room for agility ensures you don't miss out on golden opportunities. Dedicate daily time to trend-spotting and reap the rewards of timely, relevant content."

7) Emphasize Authenticity and Passion

Gert Kulla, Batlinks

"I'd say the most important thing is to be authentic. You have to be yourself, and you have to speak about things you're passionate about. If you don't care about what you're writing, how can anyone else?

I think many people get into content marketing because they want to make money, but if you're not passionate about what you're writing about or who you are as a writer, it's going to be hard for people to connect with what you're saying. I know it can be hard when there are so many other writers out there trying to do the same thing as you—but if you give readers something real, they'll remember it and come back for more!"

8) Start with SEO Fundamentals

Derek Flint, Ten Speed

"I highly recommend starting with the fundamentals of SEO, like intent-matching and internal linking. This will give you an excellent foundation for understanding how people search for information, how much and which specific information they want as a value-add, and how to plan and create hubs of content for your users' next natural questions or interests."

9) Let Data Guide Your Content Journey

Neil Hodgson Coyle, PRLab

"While crafting quality content is vital, its real value surfaces when visitors transform into customers. Monitor and analyze performance metrics to discern what resonates and what requires recalibration.

It's not just about traffic; conversion rates often tell a richer story. Recognizing patterns, like which platforms or topics yield better results, allows you to invest effort where it truly counts.

Always let data guide your content journey."

10) Create a Swipe File

Chris Stott, Seven Marketing

"One piece of advice for someone new to content marketing is to create a "swipe file" of effective content examples, headlines, and marketing materials. Whenever compelling content is encountered, it should be added to the swipe file for future reference. This collection serves as a reservoir of inspiration and best practices, aiding in crafting high-quality content.

For beginners, this swipe file can be an invaluable tool for understanding what resonates with audiences, how to structure content, and what types of headlines grab attention. Over time, the swipe file will become a personalized playbook for content marketing efforts."

11) Foster a One-to-One Audience Connection

Nitin Bajaj, Stratosphere

"In the digital age, it's easy to get lost in mass content production. However, creating content that speaks directly to an individual, addressing their unique pain points or aspirations, can be a game-changer. Tailor your content as if you're speaking to one person.

This personal touch creates a deeper connection and resonates far more powerfully than generic messaging. By treating each piece of content as a conversation with a single, valued audience member, you not only foster trust but also inspire loyalty. It's a strategy that not only sets you apart but also lays the foundation for enduring relationships in the content marketing world."

12) Immerse Yourself in the Market Before Keyword Research

Temmo Kinoshita, Lindenwood Marketing

"Immerse yourself in your market before conducting keyword research and producing any content. There's no substitute for true insider knowledge. Having a feel for how people in your target market think and talk about the relevant products, services, and challenges that face them is crucial.

Producing content that is optimized to reach your audience is only one piece of the puzzle. This content needs to actually speak to the right people and lead to engagement and conversions. There's no better way to achieve this than by truly understanding your target market and customers."

13) Choose to Be Genuine Over Perfection

Rehana Aslam, Instantly API

"My advice for people just starting out with content marketing is to focus on being genuine rather than obsessing over perfect content. Audiences often relate better to real stories and relatable experiences. Embrace imperfections and share your authentic journey. This authenticity can create stronger connections with your audience and make your content more engaging. Remember, it's okay to be real."

14) Combine Proficiency and Unique Experiences

Domenico Trimboli,

"In the realm of content marketing, many newcomers believe they must be absolute experts in a topic to discuss it, but that's a misconception. My key piece of advice for those starting out is that you don't need to be the best at something to provide value to your audience.

Remember, it's the combination of a certain degree of proficiency, your personal experiences, and your unique way of conveying that information that sets your content apart."

15) Use Analytics for Effective Content Creation

Matias Rodsevich, PRHive

"Starting with content marketing? My top tip is to pay attention to analytics. Simply put, it's about seeing what your audience likes and what they don’t. This way, you can make content they really enjoy.

But it's not just about counting clicks or views. It's about understanding what those numbers tell you and adjusting your content based on that. Think of it as a tool to help you create better content and connect with your audience more effectively."


This expert panel was published in collaboration with Featured.

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