Hidden Tricks Industry-Leading Content Marketers Keep Close to the Vest

shutterstock_131728910We’ve all been in the company of that individual—you know, the marketer who seems to be able to come up with witty slogans, awe-inspiring website copy and evocative white paper concepts on the fly. That individual who never seems scared or intimidated by behemoth marketing tasks.

He or she seems like a marketing superhero—even a magician—and, in truth, makes you feel wholly inadequate when it comes to your own marketing prowess.

But the fact is there are few superheroes in this world; rather there are just a swath of avant-garde marketers who boast incredible insight, mastery of the marketing landscape, a bit of luck and keen abilities to stay ahead of competitors—and they also has a few tricks up their sleeves.

The best content marketers understand that even the best of the best will be plagued by creative impasses, road blocks and dejection. But they also know how to course correct when mental anguish stands in the way of industry-leading marketing moments. Here are a few of the best tricks content marketers keep close to the vest:

  • They Make their Best Decisions Out of the Office: Treadmills, TV soap operas, dinners with friends… there is no telling where and when marketing genius will strike. In fact, that social media campaign he or she recently drafted may have actually been conceptualized when the individual hit the track after the long workday to log five miles. Creative mastery many times thrives outside the office walls. Best-in-class content marketers understand the importance of unknowingly “taking their work home with them.” They dream of their marketing campaigns (did you know the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine suggests that Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep enhances creative problem-solving?); they stumble upon a creative spark while listening to conversations in line at CVS. They understand that a work-life balance is much more than just keeping family in focus; it’s about fueling the creative marketing engine.
  • The First Draft is Often Ugly: When you read that final white paper or case study from that individual you fight the urge to utter: “Well I could never do that.” But behind the pretty layout and pointed verbiage lays a sea of drafts, red lines and cross outs. The best marketers understand that the first draft is seldom marketing gold. Conversely, bleeding-edge content marketing is a labor of love; it begins with an idea, involves ample conversations and drafts, and ends somewhere with a—hopefully!—amazing final version. That content marketing expert you envy understands the importance of creative dissonance, constructive feedback and amending on the fly. He or she is rarely happy with the first draft and implores others to pinpoint holes and identify areas needing straightening. So instead of being jealous of that impeccable white paper, learn from the best and understand that many of the most compelling pieces were spawned from weeks—and sometimes months—of anguish, stress and tracked changes.
  • They Trust Their Gut—Even When Others Question it: The path less traveled is the path preferred by industry-leading content marketers. After all, if something is not controversial, evocative and out-of-the-box, top marketers understand that it won’t make a ripple effect. As Hubspot CMO Mike Volpe puts so succinctly, “Don’t be afraid to get creative and experiment with your marketing.” The best marketers search to find comfort in an uncomfortable place. They yearn to be trailblazers. And they aren’t afraid to be the ones who disagree with all in a marketing meeting. Because at the end of the day, they trust their gut and their instincts and they rely on that innate ability to steer marketing strategy.

So the next time you find yourself in the room with that individual, stop glowering. Fight the mounting jealousy. Instead, ask them what their secret technique is; bounce ideas off of them; and never lose sight of the fact that their genius and acumen is not just inherent—it’s the result of incredible focus, hard work and dedication.