The Content Marketing Muse has reached out to 10 content marketing experts from across the globe who have shared their words of wisdom, top tips and advice for the year ahead, to help you nail your content marketing. Let 2016 be your year for creating epic content!

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Robert Rose, Chief Strategy Officer at Content Marketing Institute, Los Angeles: 

“In 2016,  a business’ use of content will truly define how successful it is in the coming years.  Content marketing doesn’t replace traditional marketing and advertising – but it should become an increasingly important approach WITHIN any marketing and advertising strategy.

“So, my biggest tip would be to stop treating content marketing as a project or a campaign. Get beyond that. Treat your content marketing initiatives (your blog, your newsletter, your magazine) as a content product that becomes operational. Invest in them, build them and promote them as you would any product – with the main goal of building an audience that provides multiple lines of value to the business.”

Joe Pulizzi, Founder at Content Marketing Institute, Cleveland:

“Even with all the social platform options to distribute content today, the best way to build a loyal audience over time is by focussing (primarily) on one content type (audio, video or textual), one primary platform (your blog or website, iTunes, YouTube), consistently deliver content (daily, weekly) over a long period of time (12+ months). This is the formula that has created some of the greatest media companies of our time and we still see this model working today.”

Mark Schaefer, author of five marketing books including The Content Code, Tennessee:

“Content marketing is an increasingly crowded space. The advice that worked 12 months ago does not work now. If you want to be successful in this space, you need to be prepared to adapt and adjust constantly. Being able to assess a situation and pivot quickly is a key skill set.”

Alex Mills, Content Marketing and Digital Campaign Specialist, Sydney:

“As content marketing continues to grow and more brands enter this space, we must never lose sight of the golden rule: focus on your audience and/or customers, not yourself.

“Whilst the content you create must naturally serve a purpose for your brand – such as influence customers’ behaviour patterns – it must ultimately serve a purpose for your audience and be genuinely useful/beneficial for them. Start with your customers and work backwards.

“If you can do this in a sincere, authentic manner, and remain true and consistent with your brand’s message and values, you will nail content marketing in 2016.”

Rachel Parker, CEO at Resonance Content Marketing, Houston:

“As we all struggle to stand out in the increasingly crowded, noisy online environment of 2016, we can no longer ignore what I call “the Q factor” – QUALITY. It’s no longer enough to “just get something out there,” to slap together a few paragraphs on the same old topics that every other company in our industry is talking about. We have to raise the bar for ourselves and start producing content that’s so damn good, people would gladly pay for it.”

Brianne Carlon Rush, Content Marketing Director at Kuno Creative, Cleveland:

“Quality over quantity has emerged as the industry standard in content marketing. But this year, we will reach another crossroad. We must now spend equal amounts of time on content creation and content distribution, something not much thought of before. Content marketers must think beyond the piece they are writing and think of how it will reach intended readers. Here is a good formula to follow: What is the story? Who is the audience? What is the channel? Only then should you begin writing.”

Eric Ingrand, Chief Content Officer at World Event Listings, Twickenham:

“Over that last couple years we have seen more and more small and big brands understanding that being honest and telling the complete story about the product they sell is more important than price point and the buy button design! Now that black hat SEO is dead, content strategy is no longer an option for any brands – it is crucial for them to be relevant, online or offline.

“Global brands in particular needs to rapidly understand how they can plug the data they collect everyday with relevant content. The battle for data driven content marketing will be fierce, and whoever wins will have a staggering competitive advantage! Ready, set, go!”

Andrea Lehr, Brand Relationship Specialist at Fractl, Florida:

“Consumers have more control than ever before of the conversation between themselves and a brand. From a marketing standpoint, this means that your target audience isn’t just asking for content – it’s demanding it. So how do you earn their attention and start a conversation? Embrace the role of content creator and offer something that is both valuable and highly engaging without being overly promotional – this is essential for the survival of any brand in today’s market.”

Elena Manighetti, Head of Content Marketing at theEword, Manchester:

“Try to find a PR hook for all your big campaigns. Whether you tie them in with an awareness month, or you launch them right before a new legislation is implemented, keep your campaigns PRable. This will help gain high quality coverage and a bigger exposure on social, as you’ll be able to pitch topical stories to editors and jump on trending hashtags.”

Andrew Canter, Chief Content Officer at Global Living Brands, London:

“There is often a temptation to over complicate things when it comes to planning branded content campaigns. Through our academic work and experience we have developed a method to ensure we maximise the impact of any branded content campaign.

“There is clear evidence of a temptation to go straight to ‘execution mode’ without first identifying the problem that branded content is solving. We believe by taking a step back and developing the strategic framework for the brand that is integrated across all activity, then this results in the most successful branded content campaigns.

“So once the strategy has been agreed and the core target audience has been identified, we then recommend the ABCDE method.

“Activate Branded Content Distribute Evaluate.”

Good luck for your content marketing journey in 2016, and if you have any words of wisdom, please share them with us!