Adria Saracino's Posts

Don’t Silo Me, Bro: Integrating Content Strategy Across Disciplines

Sometimes I resent the term “content strategy”.

The reason is it brings with it limitations. Humans are known to use labels as a way to make sense of the world, but this systematic bucketing comes with consequences. Essentially this “categorical perception” can make it difficult for us to understand, accept, and/or acknowledge when something falls outside the bounds of our carefully constructed labeling system.

A “content strategy” cannot and should not fit neatly into any one “marketing discipline” bucket. Rather it needs the support of other channels, such as social, email, advertising, and CRO. Unfortunately, our natural tendency to need defined boundaries makes it difficult for marketers to think of content strategy beyond a defined silo.

The first step to overcoming these limitations is knowing exactly what they are.

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Content Marketing DOs and DON’Ts

While everyone’s definition of content marketing is a little different, the execution side of this marketing channel has much more definitive best practices. Whether you are new to content marketing or just looking for validation that your program is running smoothly, here are some of the most important (and often overlooked) DOs and DON’Ts of content marketing.

Market Research Best Practices

DO: Create a road map with specific deadlines and deliverables. I would argue that content marketing is almost more about managing expectations than anything else in the beginning. When you’re first getting started, it can be easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of market research and drag out the process — which inevitably always pisses upper management off.

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Everything a Marketer Needs to Know Can Be Learned from Journalism

I became a marketer somewhat by accident.

I still remember filling out college applications, answering the fretful, “What do you plan on doing with your life?” question with that annoying confidence only a 17 year old can possess. I knew I would be in magazine journalism.

If that confidence wasn’t annoying enough, I went above and beyond applying to dual major programs: magazine journalism and marketing. Being forever indecisive I thought on the surface it made me look like an ambitious prospective student, while underneath I secretly hoped it would prove to be a smart “back-up plan”.

I got accepted into Syracuse, ended up transitioning my magazine journalism degree into a graphic design degree, kept working toward that back-up marketing degree, and added a psychology minor because why the hell not. I was convinced my marketing and psychology back-up plans would make me a better graphic designer. That’s all marketing ever was and would be – a back-up plan in case I failed miserably and needed a way out of a failed artistic career.

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Kill It In Content Creation By Knowing Your Customer Conversion Funnel

All online businesses want links. To get links using content, it seems like an easy equation: epic content = a lot of links. But what exactly does epic content mean?

Oftentimes the task of developing epic content is left to creative types; leaving them with little more than the goal of having it “go viral”. Sure, there are a lot of really great ideas out there that can be categorized as “epic”, but if the content doesn’t align with a specific goal, it’s epic content for entertainment. Not for business.

We are marketers, so content development should entail carefully calculated decisions with the use of available data. Mike Pantoliano explained it well to a client recently: “Your content ideas start with, ‘You know what would be cool?’ when they should start, ‘Our potential customers are looking for X, let’s give it to them.’”

In order to be strategic and develop a content plan using data, the first step is to understand your customers’ conversion funnel.

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Hiring Help: Characteristics of a Winning Link Builder

Not everyone can be a great link builder.

Sure, you can teach people the steps to take, but you can’t teach them how to have swagger. There are innate characteristics that are extremely difficult to teach – I mean, how can you teach creativity?

It’s survival of the fittest in the link building world, so if you want to stand out or create a winning Outreach Team, you need to consider these building blocks for success.

Why This, Why Now?

We recently ran a content poll on Distilled’s twitter page asking what you wanted to see more of on our blog. The overwhelming response was for link building tips – how to build sustainable, white hat links in a world of Pandas and Penguins.

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