Five Principles to Successful Content Marketing

Business Context

Traditional distribution channels like television, PR, and radio have been on the decline for years. Since the COVID-19 lockdowns, the replacement of these channels to cordless distribution like YouTube, LinkedIn, and podcasts has only accelerated.

It's not just younger generations. Buyers who have traditionally trusted large, established media institutions (Forbes, BI, Yahoo Finance, PR Newswire) to get their business news are now seeking micro-influencers on social media and YouTube to deliver insights that are more niche and therefore feel closer and more relevant to their day to day (Stratechery, Lenny's Newsletter, Chris Walker, Patrick McKenzie).

With the proliferation of platform reach, customers are now able to consume hyper-relevant information, in real-time. Almost all content is also on-demand. The only problem is for customers to actually discover it.

This is a major opportunity for content-savvy GTM teams to take advantage of untapped distribution, build brand, and grow pipeline. In 2024, many early-stage technology companies are starting to post content on social media, but few are doing it effectively. Here are key principles I've learned while working with startups across data, APIs, and cloud computing to perform content marketing effectively.

Key Ideas to Successful Content Marketing

  1. Brand building vs social media. 
    1. Some call it demand generation 
    2. I think of it as depositing into the social capital bank 
    3. You deposit into the bank when you teach and educate. You withdraw when you sell. Always leave more in the bank than what you take out.
  2. Measuring success
    1. Attribution software doesn’t tell the whole picture 
    2. Content influenced revenue 
    3. LinkedIn as a sales channel 
    4. Discipline
      • How did you hear about us on sales calls (use Grain/Gong)
      • Self reported attribution 
      • UTM parameters (least effective)
  3. Pairing marketing with sales is extremely important 
    1. Use LinkedIn to connect with people who engage with your posts
    2. Proactively DM prospects and learn what they're up to
  4. Use video and repurpose
  5. The enemy of content is resource constraints
    1. Budget for: project manager, content researcher, editor