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What is Minimalist Content Marketing?

In today’s #ContentOnContent, we’re gonna be talking about what minimalist content marketing is, and why it’s such an important content marketing trend for you to embrace and just give a big old hug in 2019.

I spoke about this at HubSpot’s INBOUND conference earlier this year. And not to brag or anything (because it actually filled me with anxiety), but the presentation was completely booked about a week before the conference even started.

That told me, clearly this is something a lot of marketers need to learn more about. And people who didn’t attend the conference deserve to learn about it too. So let’s do it.

But before we dive into this minimalist content marketing approach, we first need to look at what most marketers are currently doing with content.

The Old Way: More Cowbell Content Marketing

The way most of us are used to doing content marketing is a very maximalist approach. I like to call it “More Cowbell Content Marketing.”

Remember that SNL sketch?

In the sketch, no matter what the question is, no matter what the problem, is or what the song was missing, the prescription is “more cowbell.”

It’s the same thing with content marketing and creation.

With More Cowbell Content Marketing, no matter what the problem or goal, the prescription is “more content.”

And that mindset and that approach might work when you’re first starting out with content marketing for your business. At that point, you don’t have existing content to work with, so you have no choice but to create stuff from scratch.

But once you’ve been using content marketing for a while, that just does not make sense anymore. Not at all.

The Problem With More Cowbell Content Marketing

Always remember that the goal of content marketing is not to create content. Even if your job title is technically “writer” or “content creator.”

Because even then, you don’t get rewarded by your boss or clients (or at least you shouldn’t) for how many words you write, how often you publish, or anything like that.

It’s not about creating content, it’s about getting results from that content.

Find customers, make money, freaking DO BUSINESS.

Content is just the mechanism that you’re using to do that.

How Minimalist Content Marketing is Different

Minimalist content marketing is about creating as little as possible to meet those marketing goals.

This is in stark contrast to the more cowbell approach, which wastes your time and energy and pulls you away from your big picture goals.

You’re too focused on keeping up with that content treadmill.

And I mentioned earlier that I’m a dancer, right? As a dancer, let me tell you:

A treadmill is one of the most boring forms of exercise. And it’s not a great content strategy, either.

Instead of running endlessly on the constant content treadmill, you need to step off every now and then to say, “how is this content performing? Is that actually getting results? What else can we do?” 🤔

If you caught the last #ContentOnContent, about Bruno Mars and Cardi B and Finesse, you know, I love me a good remix. It’s true for music, and it’s true for content marketing.

How Minimalist Content Marketing Saved My Own Butt

I like to say that I’m the perfect combination of smart, ambitious, and lazy. 💁🏻‍♀️

I set big goals and can create strategic plans to meet them. But still, at the end of the day, I am lazy af.

Through no fault of my own, I don’t have the energy to hustle — not with multiple mental and physical chronic illnesses.

At one point, I thought this would mean I’d need to end my career in content marketing.

To keep going, I HAD to get amazing at figuring out exactly how much work needs to be done…and then literally no more.

Because I need to be so careful with my energy (shout-out to spoon theory!), I’m *always* calculating how to meet new marketing goals with existing content.

So minimalist content marketing saved my own a$$ and career.

“But what does it mean? How do I do it?”

If you’re familiar with the minimalism movement, a big part of it is defining what “enough” is, and not going beyond that. Another part is making the most of what you already have.

That’s the energy we need to be bringing to our content marketing.

We need to define how much content it should reasonably take to meet our business goals, create that, then go use it. Get it into the hands of our customers (or potential customers).

Successful content marketing isn’t about like how big your marketing campaigns are, how often you publish, your watch time on YouTube, or whatever other vanity metric Forbes just published an article about.

It is about meeting your marketing goals. Using content.

And minimalist content marketing focuses on that, instead of just creating content for the hell of it.

The 3 Rules of Minimalist Content Marketing

As I explained at INBOUND, there are three basic rules of minimalist content marketing:

1. Focus on usage, not creation

First, focus on using content, not creating. Again, your job as a marketer isn’t to create content, even if it technically is. The reason your job exists is for that content to do something an be used.

And so when you create content with that in mind, you can create content that better meets your goals, and is put to work in more strategic ways.

2. Create just as much content as you need, then make it work

The second rule of minimalist content marketing is to create just as much content as you need. Because again, it’s not the focus that we all though it was, for the past so many years of content marketing.

Create what you need, just as much as you need, and then go off and do something with it.

Promote it. Distribute it. Repurpose it.

Keep putting it in front of your target customers (strategically, of course) until they’re your actual customers. At least, if your goal is lead gen and conversions.

For retention content, as another example, keep offering customers the right content until they’ve repurchased or resubscribed.

Whatever you’re using content for, create the content, then go use it. Don’t lose sight of that bigger picture while you’re drowning in blog post optimization.

3. Look to remixing and repurposing existing content before resorting to creating something new

If we’ve been friends for awhile, you know that I’m all about remixing and repurposing content, and any way to get more from your existing content.

Because if your company has been using content marketing for a while already, like most of the companies that I’ve worked for or with, you already have tons of blog posts to work with.

You don’t need more, you need better.

You can go back and make those old pieces of content work so much better instead of starting from scratch.

So focus on that.

If you already have a ton of foundational stuff to work from, you don’t need to create a new blog post every time you need a blog post.

Instead go pull something that could be better, or has some kind of hidden potential. Grab that and make it better, so it meets your current goals.

Once they have that foundation to work from, smart marketers use that instead of always starting from scratch.

Get off the treadmill and on board with minimalist content marketing

If you’re ready to make your content marketing strategy a little bit more minimalist in 2019, go ahead and check out my video from last week.

And let me know in the comments if you’re onboard with minimalist marketing.

Finally, remember there is nothing, NOTHING, wrong with being lazy as long as you are smart and strategic about it.

By: Brittany Berger

 

Source: What is Minimalist Content Marketing? – Brittany Berger

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    Can You Get a Degree in Content Marketing? Top Classes for Skill-Hungry Students of All Ages

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    Before I co-founded my company, Masthead Media in 2012, the practice of content marketing was very much experimental. Very few people outside of the still-nascent industry had even heard the term before, and it was virtually impossible to find a single class–let alone a full certificate program–that focused on content marketing.

    Today, content has become an essential way that brands connect with audiences and its a compelling career field with ever-growing income opportunities.  Because there’s so much interest among would-be students, several companies (and at least two universities) have begun offering courses designed to prep the next generation of content marketers.

    If you’re looking to make a career transition, or simply want to expand your skills as a marketer, here are six programs you should definitely consider.

    While I wasn’t able to find a university that offers a full-degree program in content marketing (I predict that time will come soon!), NYU’s School of Professional Studies does serve up this eight-session in-person course that focuses on the strategic planning side of content.

    In addition to traditional lectures taught by an instructor, you’ll hear from real-world speakers who are actively working within the content industry and break out into smaller groups to work on projects.

    During the course, you’ll learn how to align a brand’s goals with specific kinds of multimedia content, repurpose content to maximize its value, and use analytics to tell if your efforts are working. One hidden benefit to attending this course (where I’ve a been a speaker) is networking opps: many students already work for major brands and are in class to sharpen their skills.

    Cost: $900

    The T Brand Studio (the branded content unit The New York Times) is renowned for executing groundbreaking campaigns with major advertisers such as Delta, Netflix, Adobe, BMW, and GE. Together along with the School of the New York Times, T-Brand is sharing its extensive knowledge of content marketing with students through this five-course online certificate program.

    This beautifully shot digital program details the specific tools the T-Brand Studio uses to create high-quality native advertising (a specific element of content marketing) on behalf of brands. Taught by current and former T-Brand Studio staffers, the courses include “Story Mining and Strategy,” “How to Tell Brand Stories with Video,” and “Thinking About the Other Side?” a video geared toward journalists looking to make the switch to from journalism to branded content.

    Cost: $1,450

    I’ve been turning to HubSpot for years for well-written, insightful articles teaching every aspect of inbound marketing and customer relationship management. Considering the emphasis that the inbound marketing company puts on education, I’m not surprised they developed an 11-course, 32-video series design to teach students the fundamentals of content marketing. What’s amazing is that you can watch the courses online in a single afternoon: It takes just 4 hours to view them all (the related quizzes will take you a little longer)

    The Hubspot course will help you learn a basic framework for producing goal-oriented content on a consistent basis, and to create (and repurpose) content designed to please both people and search engines. It’s a great way to learn or brush up on the fundamentals of content marketing before creating and executing your own strategy.

    Cost: Free

    Even if you’re getting into content marketing because you’re passionate about words, it’s critical to understand how to use the numbers to help you tell a better story. No platform is more widely used to do exactly that than Google Analytics. Most major brands use GA to track how customers are interacting with their content–but content teams don’t always know how to interpret the numbers and use them to make strategic changes.

    If you want to make use of all of that incredible data, take full advantage of Google Analytics Certificate program. The course is the gateway to learning how to set up analytics on a website, customizing the numbers and information that you’re viewing, and staying on top of changes Google is making to the program. The videos and quizzes are super short–and you can come back to where you left off during your last lunch break viewing.  For those looking to transition careers, having a GA certification on your content marketing-focused resume is a major win.

    Cost: Free

    Okay, I’m officially obsessed with LinkedIn Learning (formerly Lynda.com), which I originally begin using to amp up my skills as an amateur photographer. Now I know it has a lot to teach me about content marketing, too.

    The site (and related app) offer thousands of individual videos and full courses focused on every aspect of content marketing, from SEO Keyword Strategies to Marketing on Instagram to Becoming a Thought Leader.

    Because I watch these videos and courses on my commute (and can’t stream content while underground on the subway) I love that I can download and watch them offline. It’s also really nice to see comments and rating from other LinkedIn users which gives me a good sense of whether any individual class or course will be worth my time.

    Cost: Starting at $25/month or free with LinkedIn premium memberships

    SEO is one of the trickiest aspects of content marketing to master–but doing so is crucial to ensure the content you spend hours and hours perfecting will actually be discoverable by a wide audience.

    Udemy offers an easy beginners course (2.5 hours of video, 7 hours of audio), to help you learn how to add valuable keywords, tags, and search engine vocab into your brand’s or clients’ content. You’ll also get a stronger understanding of how to write content with search engines in mind, and check out SEO case studies from the AARP and Southwest Airlines.

    Udemy offers plenty of other content marketing courses, which, like LinkedIn Learning, feature ratings and comments to help you hone in on the course that’s right for you.

    Cost: SEO training is free; most courses starting at $11 

     

    Are we missing any other great Content Marketing courses or degree programs? Please let us know on social @mastheadmedia.com

    By: Amanda Pressner Kreuser Co-founder and managing partner, Masthead Media@mastheadmedia

     

    Source: https://www.inc.com/amanda-pressner-kreuser/can-you-get-a-degree-in-content-marketing

     

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