What’s Trending: Aim for Excellence

February 24, 2020

“Perfect is the enemy of the good.” 

Voltaire’s words of wisdom are a lifeline to anyone struggling with feelings of inadequacy. Don’t wait until you can create a flawless, transcendent masterpiece — create the best thing you can, right now. The ‘good’ thing that actually exists is better than that perfect ideal that may never see the light of day.

It’s great advice, but it’s incomplete. Let’s add this corollary:

“But don’t let ‘good enough’ keep you from pursuing excellence.”

Yes, let go of the need to be perfect. Get your minimum viable product out there, flawed though it may be. But don’t stop there. Keep learning, keep improving, keep revising and optimizing. Don’t insist on perfection, but aim for excellence.

This week’s roundup has a wealth of resources to help you on the journey. It starts with a philosophical piece from Ann Handley on rising above mediocrity, and continues with actionable tips, tools, and skills marketers can develop to continue the journey of experimentation and improvement.

What Marketers Were Reading and Sharing Most Last Week:

1. How to Rise Above Marketing Mediocrity

Do you have “pathological empathy” for your customer? Best-selling author and marketer extraordinaire Ann Handley explains what the term means, and why it matters, in this interview with Stormie Andrews.

2. 17 Actionable Content Marketing Tips for More Traffic

That title isn’t clickbait; this is a deep-dive article with plenty of ideas for marketers at every level of sophistication. Brian Dean covers everything from email to video to social media and beyond.

3. Account Based Marketing with a 2020 Vision

Chris Finch offers a substantive primer for ABM, including the what, why, and what to watch out for, in this article published on LinkedIn.

4. The Future of B2B Marketing: Critical Skills to Master

Modern marketing requires a new set of talents, both creative and technical. Kara Jensen explores five areas of focus, including soft skills like time management and rapport-building.

5. Six Things You Should Stop Doing to Content

When bad strategy happens to good content, Aaron Agius is here to set things right. Not only does he set these new content commandments, he also recommends tools you can use to follow them.

6. It’s Time to Put the ‘Marketing’ Back in Content Marketing

There’s more to content than jockeying for search engine rankings, says Credo CEO John Doherty. He details the four principles that turn content into content marketing, designed to drive business outcomes.

7. How to Replicate the Success of the Best Brands in Content Marketing

We often talk about Lego and Red Bull as content marketing role models, but hardly any organization has the resources to do what they do. This piece from Michael Brenner is far more grounded and practical for B2B marketers.

8. The 5 Key Traits of the Best B2B Influencers

B2B influencer marketing isn’t about pop stars and Instagram photo shoots. It’s about finding the people who are influential and credible to a specific, niche audience. Lee Odden explains the five ‘P’s of B2B influence in this article.

9. How to Increase Your LinkedIn Engagement: 4 Tips

These tips from Biron Clark are equally applicable to your personal profile and your company’s LinkedIn Page. Most valuable: Four posting templates that can boost engagement and spark conversation.

 10. Telling Stories that Earn an Audience

Collaboration and revision are essential for B2B storytelling. In this excerpt from her Content Marketing World 2019 presentation, Michelle Park Lazette offers a real-life content case study, from first draft to publication.

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