6 Content Marketing Ideas to Steal From the Awards Finalists of 2017

6 Content Marketing Ideas to Steal From the Awards Finalists of 2017

Great artists steal.” But do you know who said it? Tear down the gates – except when they provide value to the visitor Stolen from: Paul Horstmeier, Health Catalyst Most of us who’ve worked in B2B marketing have been there. Use pop-ups to offer reading suggestions Stolen from: Paul Horstmeier, Health Catalyst When you’re not pushing sign-ups, surprising things can happen. People are coming to the first meeting ready and prepared. Then, she and her team interviewed the people mentioned to learn their questions and needs. This tip isn’t so much about stealing an idea from Drew Bailey, it’s stealing the very idea of a Drew Bailey – a person who has project management expertise and not necessarily content experience. Get buy-in (with a timeline) for audience building Stolen from: Monica Norton, Zendesk You might wonder why buy-in shows up on this list of stolen ideas. Sometimes what the marketing leader hears as buy-in for audience building turns out to be buy-in for something closer to lead-gen campaigns. Pick the format that best suits the story Stolen from: Paolo Mottola, REI If you believe the surveys and statistics, everybody loves video and marketers are all planning to up the video content in their arsenals. Which ideas will you steal?

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stolen-content-marketing-ideas

You’ve almost certainly heard this quote: “Good artists copy. Great artists steal.” But do you know who said it?

Turns out, a lot of people. Steve Jobs attributed it to Pablo Picasso. A quick Google search shows variations attributed to many thinkers of varying levels of fame, including:

  • Igor Stravinsky – “A good composer does not imitate; he steals.”
  • William Faulkner – “Immature artists copy, great artists steal.”
  • T.S. Eliot – “The immature poet imitates and the mature poet plagiarizes.”

Clearly, you’ll be in good company if you “steal” the content marketing ideas in this column. In fact, it’s becoming a tradition (and some might say a stolen idea) for CMI to offer cool tips gathered from some of the hottest marketing talents in the business. This year we steal from the Content Marketer of the Year finalists.

Of course, keep in mind this explanation of what Jobs really meant as interpreted by Apple exec Phil Schiller:

Great people actually understand at a deeper level what makes something great and then … build something even more marvelous and take it further.

With a hat tip to Andrea Fryrear, who wrote the original articles profiling the CMY finalists, here are six stolen ideas to inspire you to build something marvelous – and uniquely your own.

Tear down the gates – except when they provide value to the visitor

Stolen from: Paul Horstmeier, Health Catalyst

Most of us who’ve worked in B2B marketing have been there. We design our content initiatives based on an audience-first approach. But organizational pressure to feed the lead-gen beast rises. Suddenly, the temptation (and push) to throw a lead-gen form on top of your best content becomes real.

Knowing his health-care audience is highly skeptical of anything that seems like marketing, though, Paul Horstmeier realized a traditional lead-gen approach wouldn’t work. Instead, he tore down every email gate except the ones that serve a helpful purpose for visitors.

I love this way of thinking about gated content – it simplifies the decision and puts the audience first. Paul and the team only gate content when registration enables Health Catalyst to provide something (other than the content piece) the audience would want. For example, a person registering for a webinar needs to receive reminders and sign-in instructions – entering an email address makes that possible. Similarly, trading an email address for one of Health Catalyst’s regularly updated e-books allows the reader to receive email notifications of the latest version.

Ask yourself: Does this gated content benefit our audience? (Hint: Sales outreach following a content download likely isn’t an audience benefit unless the person asked to be contacted.)

Use pop-ups to offer reading suggestions

Stolen from: Paul Horstmeier, Health Catalyst

When you’re not pushing sign-ups, surprising things can happen. This second idea stolen from Paul comes with a great payoff: Use the oft-derided pop-up to offer content suggestions rather than to gather email addresses.

health-catalyst

Health Catalyst content creators are required to list five existing content pieces related to the newly created content – it’s a step in the pre-publication workflow. That way, every new piece can point the audience to more content that may be useful.

Does it take longer to build an email list this way? Possibly. But when you get comments like this from your head of sales (as Paul did), you know you’re doing things right:

I don’t know what you’re doing, but something is different. People are coming to the first meeting ready and prepared. I’ve never seen anything like it.

Ask yourself: How can we help our visitors consuming their first piece of content find more information about what they’re interested in?

Make friends with your sales team to learn about your audience (including names and phone numbers)

Stolen from: Kira Mondrus, SecureWorks

This tip inspired by Kira Mondrus’ work is a two in one.

First, if you’re not collaborating with your sales team, you’re overlooking…

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