Axonn Media's marketing director Karen Webber spoke at the Figaro Digital Conference as part of the Digital 21 series in April 2014 on The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Content Marketers.
According to the CMI, 52% of marketers rate their content marketing as ineffective. That means £2.1 billion of marketing budget is spent on activities that don't yield results - while we complain about lack of budget and resource.
The good news is that we can become effective at content marketing if we cultivate good habits.
Content marketing strategies must include dynamic buyer personas. Effective content marketers use personas to develop highly relevant content for these early stages.
Wearables are both a great challenge and opportunity in this regard. Effective content marketers will harness those to create highly relevant, personalised brand experiences through content.
Write down your content strategy. 56% of organisations don't have a documented content strategy, and I bet you marketers in those companies underperform. Without a written-down strategy, you won't be able to convey your mission, lead your team, get buy-in and budget, or measure success.
While buyers need to be at the centre of content strategies, this doesn't mean giving people exactly what they want all the time. Effective content marketers set their sights higher. They innovate in order to surprise and delight their audiences.
Look at your audience - observe how their behaviour changes, look critically at the message you're trying to convey and then ask yourself whether your strategy is still fit for purpose.
Effective content marketers aren't afraid to say no. They say no to bad ideas, to "content for the sake of content", or being on all social networks "because we have to be". They can be confidently decisive, because their choices are driven by a deep knowledge of their buyer personas and overall objectives.
They also select really good teams. No individual can be an expert at everything, so find the best people or service providers for each element of your content marketing.
Effective content marketers have money on the mind. They understand that in the end it's about ROI and that you have to be able to prove your value. It's about translating social shares and traffic into returns, about attributing value and explaining it in terms of contribution to overall company objectives.
By 2017, CMOs' tech spend will eclipse that of CIOs. It's a complex landscape to navigate, but if you want to be an effective content marketer you need to embrace technology.
No effective content marketer will claim marketing with content is a silver bullet. It's a long game - a marathon, not a sprint. So what we need to cultivate is good habits, and then we need to be relentless at sticking to them.