When I started working in digital marketing in 1984, the first online ad I created was in 40-column ASCII text format on my Commodore 64 computer. It was a simple promotion for the 300-baud bulletin board system (BBS) I owned and operated.
I created the text-only ad to post on other BBS systems, meant to drive traffic to my pre-website by listing the features my BBS offered and the basic information on how people could connect to it. Here’s an actual screen-shot from a few years later when I’d moved on to using a Commodore Amiga:
The ad worked well, successfully driving new sign-ups and helping to have my system named the best BBS in Colorado by the top list-making organization of the day. Back then, simply putting out a BBS ad was all it took to get found. But it also helped that I presented my content in a straightforward and easy-to-understand way, one best practice that has stood the test of time and is more important than ever today.
Of course, there are other examples of this. Certain tenets of digital marketing are enduring by nature and just as important and effective today as they were in the past. But what can digital marketers learn from listening to some of the enduring lessons from our profession’s past?
As it turns out, several best practices from the digital dark ages are still used with great success in today’s vastly different online landscape. In this piece, we bring some of those front and center.
Read on as we highlight some of the the industry’s top online marketing experts who’ve illuminated the enduring tactics and strategies that are still — and perhaps forever — relevant in today’s content marketing world.
The Content Marketing Experts
Carla Johnson, Chief Innovator at Type A Communications, considers top-caliber writing to be of utmost importance in any content marketing initiative.“Invest in great writing. If you don’t have great writing you can’t have great content.” — @CarlaJohnson Click To Tweet
“The size of the idea is so much more important than the size of the budget.” — @Mildenhall Click To Tweet
Jonathan Mildenhall, Co-Founder and Chief Executive at TwentyFirstCenturyBrand (and former Chief Marketing Officer at Airbnb), considers big ideas more enduring than huge marketing budgets.
Our own CEO, Lee Odden, puts inspiring and informative content high on the priority list for achieving enduring success.“The real secret to great content marketing is a focus on creating meaningful and mutually beneficial content that inspires, entertains and informs.” — @LeeOdden Click To Tweet
Finding joy in writing is a timeless truth in digital marketing, according to Ann Handley, Chief Content Officer at MarketingProfs.“The best content creators have fun! If you aren't having fun creating content, you aren't doing it right.” — @MarketingProfs Click To Tweet
Collaboration with talented people is a top enduring content tip from Amisha Gandhi, Vice President of Influencer Marketing at SAP.“Work with a community of top experts and thought leaders to co-create content that will increase amplification and engagement with your brand.” — @AmishaGandhi Click To Tweet
Being aware of distractions can help push us towards the content marketing practices that really matter, according to Deana Goldasich, Chief Executive at Well Planned Web.“Step away from the shiny dashboard and metrics and get down to brass tacks.” — @goldasich Click To Tweet
Keeping focus with a clear intent is another timeless marketing tactic recommended by Alex Rynne, Content Marketing Manager at LinkedIn.“Avoid producing random acts of content. Your content should be intentional and map back to business objectives.” — @amrynnie Click To Tweet
Waynette Tubbs, Senior Content Marketing Manager at SAS, sees customers and their stories as important marketing elements not to be overlooked.“Make your customer the hero. Tell your customers' stories about how they solve problems using your product.” — @WaynetteTubbs Click To Tweet
Having a system in place that allows for consistently writing good content is especially important for Heidi Cohen, Chief Content Officer at Actionable Marketing Guide.“To support your content creation engine, have an ongoing process within your organization to ensure you've got a constant flow of potential articles.” — @heidicohen Click To Tweet
Finally, drawing out powerful emotions using content marketing is a timeless and enduring marketing element recommended by author and keynote speaker Mark Schaefer.“Content that moves is power. Anyone has the opportunity to create influence and power through their content.” — @markwschaefer Click To Tweet
Enduring Tactics Are As Inspirational As Ever
Mark, Ann, Lee, and the rest of these top marketing influencers bring into focus the importance of writing relevant and inspiring content.
When you incorporate these tactics — great writing that includes big ideas along with meaningful, inspiring, and intentional content that tells your customers’ stories, you’ll be well on your way to achieving content marketing success that endures.
After creating that first ASCII promotion for my BBS nearly 35 years ago, astounding changes have taken place in the technology behind our content marketing and the methods we use to share them, however some tactics remain just as relevant now if we’re willing to seek them out, and for that I think today’s marketers can be thankful.
Ready to learn more? See Lee present the latest best-answer marketing strategies at an upcoming conference, including Content Marketing World on September 4 – 7 in Cleveland, Pubcon Las Vegas 2018 on October 16 – 18, and MarketingProfs’ B2B Marketing Forum in San Francisco on November 13 – 16.