A Scenic Tour of the Online World

Big Thoughts on Making Content Marketing Work

Tuesday, May 13th, 2014

Today, a collection of quotes from big thinkers, including yours truly, on the value of content marketing, social media, email marketing and other things content marketing-related.

I’ve organized them in a way that I hope begins to paint a picture of how you should think about content marketing.

(All of these quotes appear elsewhere online, many of them in multiple places. Hence, no links below.)

The Process of Content Marketing
Maybe you’ll get it 100% right on your first try. But probably not. And even if you do, you couldn’t possibly know that unless you tested against other approaches. And even if you do that, the competitive landscape and audience expectations change rapidly. You have to experiment or you will fail.

Don’t be afraid to get creative and experiment with your marketing.  
Mike Volpe

Failure is an option.
Matthew Schwartz
PR News

The cost of being wrong is less than the cost of doing nothing.
Seth Godin

But What Will I Say?
Write about what you’re most passionate about. Write about the conversations you have over and over with clients – because that’s what they’re most passionate about. Any mention of yourself should be incidental, an anecdote in the bigger story about your audience, their concerns, and solutions for their concerns.

Stop Writing about Everything. So many brands create content and try to cover everything, instead of focusing on the core niche … Find your niche, and then go even more niche.
Joe Pulizzi
Content Marketing Institute

Your customers … don’t want to talk about you. They want to talk about themselves. So the key is to create content that isn’t based on what you do; rather, what you do for others.
Ann Handley

Good copy can’t be written … just for a living. You’ve got to believe in the product.
David Oglivy

And How Will I Say It?
Content marketing starts where “look at me” marketing ends and answers, information, and engagement begin. Traditional marketing is no longer effective because we’ve all be overexposed to overreaching. Everyone views everything with the skeptical eye that used to be reserved for the claims of late-night infomercials.

A good content curator knows the difference between being helpful and being a nuisance. Don’t share just to share. Make sure there’s context and relevance for your audience.
Jessica Ann
Jessica Ann Media

The only way to win at content marketing is for the reader to say, “This was written specifically for me.”
Jamie Turner
60 Second Marketer

The mantra should change from “Always Be Closing” to “Always He Helping.
David Hahn
(Note: I’ve also seen this attributed to Jonathan Lister of LinkedIn)

The best marketing doesn’t feel like marketing.
Tom Fishburne

Social Media, Content Distribution and Gaining Traction
Great content may very well be great, but it’s not great marketing if nobody reads it. You’ve got to get the word out, you’ve got to expand your reach, you’ve got to get people engaged.

What you do after you create your content is what truly counts.
Gary Vaynerchuk
Vayner Media

I see content as fire and social media as gasoline. Companies (and people) would be better off if they used social to draw attention to useful things that they have created, instead of simply using social to draw attention to themselves.”
Jay Baer
Convince and Convert

Great content will encourage loyalty – not from any individual piece, but rather from the sum of the total content experience – consistency, quality, originality – provided by the brand.
Joe Chernov

Does SEO Matter?
Yup, it does. But if you’re focused on SEO first and content second, you’ve got the tail wagging the dog.

Content is the reason search began in the first place.
Lee Odden
TopRank Marketing

Will This Really Make Me Money?
Yes, if you’re willing to be smart and systematic. You have to use channels appropriately. (Social media is great for engagement and expanding your audience. But they aren’t appropriate channels for selling.) You have to encourage further engagement. (Get people to your website. Engage them deeply enough that they are willing to invite you into their email inbox.) As you deepen and strengthen your relationship, you’ll see a strong return on your content marketing.


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