What’s Trending: Developing Discipline

March 9, 2020

All of the exercise classes at your local gym — especially the really pricey ones — aren’t radically new ways of moving your body. People were riding bicycles for decades before Soulcycle or Peloton. People were lifting heavy things, quickly, long before Crossfit. Heck, yoga is a thousands-year-old tradition. 

What makes the difference between a casual activity and a million-dollar fitness craze? Discipline. It’s taking the core activity and developing rules, best practices, and routines. It’s measuring the results and refining the discipline over time. 

In the same way, content marketing is nothing new. The Michelin Guide for dining was created to sell tires. The Guinness Book of World Records was sponsored by the Guinness Brewery. Brands have been producing content since the dawn of branding. But what makes content marketing more successful today is that it’s a discipline. We’re strategically approaching our content creation, promotion, and measurement. We’re continually refining content as an intentional business practice.

I could go on: Account-based marketing is another activity that is finally becoming a discipline. Social media marketing is, too. But you get the point. Discipline is what turns random acts of marketing into a program that gets results.

This week’s roundup can help you apply more discipline to your marketing. Read on for tips on creating visual content at any budget, inspiration from amazing B2B campaigns, developing a stronger content strategy, and more.

What Marketers Were Reading and Sharing Most Last Week:

1. How to Do Visual Content with Low, Medium and High Budgets

This post from Dennis Shiao is a handy guide for everyone. Low-budget marketers will learn how to stretch their dollars for maximum impact. High-budget folks will learn where a little extra cash can make a big difference in the quality of the finished piece.

2. 5 Business Concepts All B2B Marketers Should Know

I’ll admit it: This post’s title had me imagining a cliché “know your audience” kind of post. Instead, Sam Bocetta gives us something different and new. It’s more about the philosophy of business, and what it means to be a B2B marketer. 

3. Actionable Insights Gleaned from the Best B2B Content Marketing Campaigns

Still not convinced that B2B content should be creative and fun? These case studies from Brock Stechman, featuring enterprise-level brands like Cisco and Glassdoor, should inspire you. 

4. The B2B Marketer’s Journey to Experiential Content

Learn how to create more immersive, engaging content with these key takeaways from Ryan Brown’s B2B Marketing Exchange presentation, brought to you by Joshua Nite.

5. How to Move from the Voice of the Customer to the Heart of the Customer

Emotions drive every decision we make — even B2B buying decisions. Michael Brenner shares his insight on making an emotional connection in the B2B world.

6. How to Shake Up Your Content Creation Strategy & Boost Engagement

Ready to take some calculated risks in your content marketing? These suggestions from Amanda Milligan go against conventional wisdom, but her results are undeniable.

7. Meet The Millennials: How Marketers Can Effectively Connect With The New B2B Buyer

In case you missed it, even the youngest millennials are in the workforce and influencing (or making) B2B buying decisions. Brian Fanzo shared his expertise on reaching this demographic at B2BMX, and Karen Axelton has the takeaways. 

8. How Long Should Blog Posts Be in 2020?

There’s no shortage of “best practice” blog posts telling you exactly how to craft the next big hit. Fortunately, this one from AJ Beltis features a mountain of HubSpot data to back it up. Quick answer to the title question: Longer than you think.

9. The Difference Between Content Marketing & Content Strategy (& Why You Need Both)

Strategy is what turns content into content marketing. Julia McCoy explains why content strategy is crucial, and identifies the essential elements of a useful strategy.

10. Measuring Content Marketing Performance with Google Analytics

If you’re relying on just time-on-page and traffic to inform your content marketing strategy, it’s time to dig deeper. Andy Crestodina shows us how to get into these advanced metrics in this brief video.

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