What You Need to Succeed at Content Marketing (and What You Don't)

What You Need to Succeed at Content Marketing (and What You Don't)You've heard about it before, we're sure - Content marketing is where it's at!  Creating valuable content that people are liking, tweeting, and sharing is one of the top ways to develop a positive reputation as a company.

But how does one succeed at content marketing?  Here are 5 truths about what it actually takes to succeed in content marketing.

1. Helpful content equals happy consumers.

Drive your strategy by "being helpful" above all else.  As we've mentioned before, content that people find interesting and that they are able to use in some way to further their own lives is the number one way to get your customers to hit the "like" button.

What defines helpful content?  Helpful content is relevant, interesting, and directly targeted to your audience of prospective customers or clients.  Writing a diatribe on your blog about how difficult it is to do your job may be a satisfying write, but really serves to help no one.  Instead focus on sharing insights in your field that will be relevant to your perspective clients.  This means everything from:

  • "How to" articles
  • PowerPoint presentations
  • Infographics
  • Product lists
  • Reviews

2. Overly complex strategies get left on the shelf.

High intensity, step by step manuals are irrelevant when it comes to creating a content strategy, according to HubSpot.  When it really comes down to it, content creation is truly a creative and adaptive field that solidifies on a case-by-case (and company-by-company) basis.

Begin with a basic template.  List topics that you'd like to write about, and then commit to a frequency of getting these published - say, 7-9 blog articles a month - and a template for how you'll share your content on social media sites (here's a strategy for getting you started).

3. A glance is the only chance your content may get.

While some of the most robust essay-like blogs we've seen actually do have great content, they don't take off as well as content that is "scannable."  This begins with an enticing title to get your readers to your page in the first place.  Once they've gotten there, make your content appealing at first glance.  This means pictures, bullet points, numeric lists... visual categories and identifiers are more inviting to read than blocks of text.

4. "Great content stems not from passion, but from perseverance." (HubSpot)

Instant success is a thing of myth in the content world.  Don't get discouraged.  Maintain your consistency, above all else, with your content creation and content sharing strategies.

Feed your curiosity to learn and improve upon your preexisting knowledge base.  You don't have to be an expert in order to have the dynamite combination of a willingness to learn and sheer determination.  These skills alone will help you keep on keepin' on, and develop your content into a force needing to be reckoned with.

5. Unshared content is rendered useless.

Alongside every good content creation strategy is a good social media strategy,  Why spend all this time on developing good content if you're not putting it out there for people to see?

The basis of a good sharing strategy is quite simple - share content with appropriate frequency and variety across multiple social media communities.  We've written a couple of guides on this in the past (for beginners and an extensive step by step guide) to get you started.

The bottom line?

Maintaining and developing a successful content strategy is a full time job.  It takes the right combination of patience, perseverance, and willingness to adapt in order to build a successful strategy for your from the ground up.  If you decide to hire a company that specializes in content creation, look for these qualities.

Interested in what Geek | Chicago can do for your content strategy?  Unsure where to begin?  Don't hesitate to send us an email or give us a call.  We'll be happy to help!


Jason Finn

Founder & Chief Geek

Jason has nearly 20 years of consulting experience, predominantly in the technology space. Most recently he was the COO and Director of Technology for Rich Casto & Company, a national training and consulting organization in the real estate industry.
As a consultant for IBM, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, and Envision Consulting Group (now IMS Health), Jason has served clients of all sizes, including Big Pharma, Fortune 500, and Global 1000 companies:

  • Allstate Insurance Company
  • AOL (America Online)
  • Astellas Pharmaceuticals
  • Eli Lilly and Company
  • Ford Motor Credit
  • Wockhardt USA (formerly Morton Grove Pharmaceuticals)
  • Norwich Union
  • PNC Bank
  • Reynolds and Reynolds

Sarunas Budrikas

Creative Director

Sarunas is a web design and development expert with hundreds of successful projects in his portfolio. He is passionate about delivering extraordinary user experiences for every client and consistently goes above and beyond everyone’s expectations. As an SEO expert and strategist, he can optimize your website, or app, to get the most out of it, day in and day out. Sarunas holds a degree in Electrical Engineering from Kaunas Technology University, in Lithuania. Sarunas now lives in Chicago, and calls it home.

Alexandra Olsavsky

Client Experience Specialist

Alex specializes in content generation and social media promotion for Geek | Chicago clients, helping to solidify their presence in the online community. This includes blog writing, graphic design, co-ordination and design of weekly newsletters, and active engagement on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn. Outside of Geek, Alex is a classically-trained soprano who professionally performs around the city of Chicago (most recently with the Chicago Baroque Band, and with the Rolling Stones for their "50 and Counting" tour).