55 Quotes to Inspire Content Marketing Greatness

March 28, 2016

The idea of content marketing has been around for over a century. But content marketing as a defined, strategic practice was just a gleam in Joe Pulizzi’s eye only a short decade ago. When content became the next big thing, marketers strived to create mountains of content and promote it on every platform.

Now it’s time for content marketing—that age-old, brand-new practice—to mature. We now know that strategy is just as important as creating quality content: strategy for conception, creation, and amplification.

To help you achieve greatness in the coming year, we collected content marketing quotes from some of the sharpest, most effective marketers in the business. Read on to get inspired, get motivated, and get started.

Knowing Your Audience

“The easiest way to turn off your community members is to broadcast the same message across multiple channels. Instead, determine the kind of content that interests the members of your community in a way that is useful to them.”

Joe Pulizzi, Founder, Content Marketing Institute

“Actually talk to your customers. Use the language that they use. Talk about the things they talk about. Never feed salad to a lion.”

Jay Acunzo, Vice President, NextView

“The reason we struggle with content marketing is because we haven’t started with ‘Why?’ Customers don’t care about your vanity metrics. Ask them, ‘How can I help?’”

Kristina Halvorson, CEO and Founder, Brain Traffic

“For those of you who think comedy won’t work for your brand, ask yourself: Will it work for your customers?”

Tim Washer, Writer/Producer, Cisco

“Visual content, more creative storytelling, and interactive content contribute to experiences that inform and create an emotional connection with buyers. Brands are still creating more content, but it's held to a higher standard by customers.”

Lee Odden, CEO, TopRank Marketing

“Great marketers have immense empathy for their audience. They can put themselves in their shoes, live their lives, feel what they feel, go where they go, and respond how they'd respond. That empathy comes out in content that resonates with your audience.”

Rand Fishkin, Wizard of Moz, Moz

“A good content marketer can empathize with their audience and can therefore understand what topics they should create content on, what tone of voice to use, and what channels to promote the content in.”

Pawan Deshpande, CEO, Curata

“Content marketing is like a first date. If all you do is talk about yourself, there won’t be a second date.”

David Beebe, Vice President, Global Creative + Content Marketing, Marriott International

Content Marketing Strategy

“There is no content strategy without measurement strategy. Before embarking on a content initiative, irrespective of medium or platform, it’s important to know what you want to achieve.”

Rebecca Lieb, Principal, Conglomotron LLC

I think the strategy, the commitment and the cadence are more important than the calendar.”

Michael Brenner, CEO, Marketing Insider Group

“It's democratic. Anyone, anywhere, with any budget can develop a valuable audience over time and make an impact. In other words, there are no excuses for not doing this well, as long as you have a plan and execute against that plan.”

Joe Pulizzi

“Curation is a natural and necessary extension of content creation. That is, as great as your content may be, your audience wants to learn from other experts and differing perspectives.”

Pawan Deshpande

“More content is not better. What’s the worst case scenario if we slow ourselves down and do some analysis?”

Kristina Halvorson

“In the future I see a democratization of content creation through content relationships with famous influencers (brandividuals) and niche influencers alike. There's upside to content co-creation for both brands and contributors. The influencers get exposure to the brand community and the brand gets exposure to better quality content shared with an entirely new audience.”

Lee Odden

“Content marketing is a commitment, not a campaign.”

Jon Buscall, CEO, Moondog Marketing & Media

“Pushing out content you want to publish is a lot different than executing a successful content marketing program that connects with customers by delivering meaningful experiences that are contextually relevant.”

Ardath Albee, CEO & B2B Marketing Strategist, Marketing Interactions

“The new era demands a focus on ignition, not just content, on trust, not just traffic, and on the elite people in your audience who are spreading and advocating your content.”

Mark Schaefer, Executive Director, Schaefer Marketing Solutions

“We need to create a business strategy for our content.  That means saying no to many channels and content types, and focus on where we can build an asset, an audience, over time.”

Joe Pulizzi

“Given that content marketing isn't just about producing content, but about earning traffic to it as well, SEO should be a cornerstone of any content marketer's repertoire.”

Rand Fishkin

Content Marketing Execution

“Eliminating distractions holds true for all marketers. Whatever it is you’re trying to do, make that a priority and find a way to block out everything else.”

Ann Handley, Chief Content Officer, Marketingprofs

“Content is the emotional and informational bridge between commerce and consumer.”

Jay Baer, President & Social Media and Content Marketing Strategist, Convince & Convert

“Content builds relationships. Relationships are built on trust. Trust drives revenue.”

Andrew Davis, Professional Speaker, Monumental Shift

“To stand out from the swell, we must quietly say only what is important. Briefly and with care.”

Brian Solis, Principal Analyst, Altimeter Group

Content Marketing Measurement

“If your website was a city, there would be a highway of visitors flowing through it. But if you don't know where that highway is, you don't know how to guide traffic. You don't know where to put the billboards.”

Andy Crestodina, Cofounder & Strategic Director, Orbit Media Studios

“Too many marketers cobble together marketing tactics because of shiny object syndrome, chasing competitors, or simply acting on intuition. If data about your buyers reveals their preference to use search for top of funnel discovery and then forums to flush out solution ideas, then it makes sense to use SEO and social media to be where your customers are. If they like white papers, create them. If they prefer events, then host them.”

Lee Odden

“How quickly is your content accelerating the funnel or shortening the buying cycle? If your leads are coming in by way of your content and they are much closer to purchasing your product, that’s a clear sign of success.”

Jason Miller

Creativity in Content Marketing

“In a sea of mediocre content, a brave tone can be a big differentiator.”

Ann Handley

“Just as your content needs to target customers at every step of their journey with you, it also needs to appeal to their rational and emotional sides. Every customer needs to have their interest piqued, engagement provoked and confidence built.”

Mark Wilson, Senior Vice President of Marketing, Blackberry

“Creative writing and visuals are essential for the human side of SEO, because they attract links, shares and engage visitors to become buyers.”

Lee Odden

“If you don’t have anything interesting to say as a brand, you’re just a product.”

Spencer Baim, Chief Strategic Officer, Vice Media

“B2B marketers obsess about the rational at the expense of the emotional.

The best stuff combines both.”

Doug Kessler, Creative Director & Co-Founder, Velocity Partners Ltd

“If you can take your personality and inject it into the message you share, you’ll be one step ahead in the content marketing game.”

Jason Miller, Global Content Marketing Leader, LinkedIn

Storytelling and Content Marketing

“I don’t make unconventional stories; I don’t make non-linear stories. I like linear storytelling a lot.”

Steven Spielberg, Filmmaker

“Even when the body goes to sleep, the mind stays up all night, telling itself stories.”

Jonathan Gottschall, Author, The Storytelling Animal

“The world has changed. Most content stinks. Attract people through stories they love.”

Michael Brenner

“At the strategy level, marketers are the keepers of the brand and the stories of the organization. Leaders of the marketing organization should be infusing the organization’s stories into each piece of content.”

Nancy Duarte, Principal, Duarte, Inc.

“Maybe stories are just data with a soul.”

Brené Brown, Founder & CEO, COURAGEworks

Content Marketing with Personas

“Create a proof of concept program that you can benchmark against your content marketing programs that are not persona-driven. Prove the value, refine your approach, and then iterate to include additional personas.”

Ardath Albee

“Understand the difference between a profile and a persona. A Profile is the kind of person who would buy your stuff. Persona is insight on how buyers make decisions.”

Adele Revella, CEO, Buyer Persona Institute

Creating Quality Content

“Behind every piece of great content is a marketer, publisher, author who passionately and empathetically sought to help his or her audience. But how do you teach empathy to an executive who has none? The answer is fear. You have to show them that if you don't create the best answer to your customers' questions, someone else will.”

Michael Brenner

“Content that builds trust is human, personal, relevant, it isn’t greedy, and it doesn’t trick people. If the recipient knew what the sender knows, would she still be happy? If the answer to that question is yes, then it’s likely it’s going to build trust.”

Seth Godin

“Content that understands its audience will be good content. Content that doesn’t, can’t be.”

Doug Kessler

“And remember: If it’s not relevant, it’s just noise.”

Jason Miller

Content Promotion

“We need to produce content that naturally earns links and content that's likely to earn links once we do the right kinds of outreach.”

Rand Fishkin

“People don’t find content by mistake, or by accident. Every content plan needs a complementary promotion plan that combines paid, owned, and earned media.”

Matthew Gratt, Digital Marketing Manager, Continuum Analytics

“Influencer marketing at its core is about developing real relationship to ultimately champion your influencers to market with you.”

Amanda Maksymiw, Senior Content Marketing Manager, Lattice Engines

Content Marketing and Technology

“Technology may change the way we communicate, but the relationship building truths will always stay the same. Stay true to them, in life and in marketing.”

Ekaterina Walter, Global Evangelist, Sprinklr

“Tools are great, but content marketing success is about the wizard, not the wand.”

Jay Baer

“Never bring an opinion to a data fight.”

Andy Crestodina

“Marketing is art and science. For a while we over-indexed on art. Now we risk over-indexing on science.”

Alicia Dietsch, Vice President of Marketing Communications & Operations, AT&T

“Marketing and IT have to move beyond just understanding each other’s acronyms and actually develop a cohesive strategy that actually DOES facilitate the buyer’s journey with great content-driven experiences. Sadly, this is mostly still done in silos.”

Robert Rose, Chief Strategy Officer, Content Marketing Institute

Content Marketing Inspiration

“Real content marketing isn’t repurposed advertising, it is making something worth talking about.”

Seth Godin

There are no mistakes. Only gifts.”

Tim Washer

“Too often, feeling intimidated becomes our excuse not to be awesome.”

Scott Stratten, President, UnMarketing

“You can increase the bottom line while, at the same time, help your customers live better lives or get better jobs.  Content marketing is the only kind of marketing that provides ongoing value, whether you purchase the product or not.”

Joe Pulizzi

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