content andy

Andy Crestodina, Strategic Director of OrbitMedia joined us a few weeks back on #BizHeroes to discuss Content Marketing.The chat was a huge success and our community was asking for more, so we asked Andy to follow up with some of the most Frequently Asked Questions he sees in OrbitMedia. 

Below you will find 10 proven tips for a better content marketing strategy.

Where should companies start with content marketing?

Start with a mission. If you state the purpose of your marketing, you’ll be more focussed in your activity. It’s a good way to keep from getting distracted by shiny new tools and social networks. This mission statement can be very simple. This template may help…

Our site is where (what audience) gets (what info) for (what benefit)

If the “what audience” part isn’t clear, take a minute to sharpen your focus there. If you haven’t yet, take a minute to think about them. Kevin Cain has some questions that will help.

If You’re Targeting B2B Buyers

  • Who are your buyers?
  • Where do they work and what are their titles?
  • What do they need?
  • What’s going to motivate them to make a purchase?
  • What are their pain points and what concerns do they
  • have that could potentially prevent them from buying?
  • Are they the ultimate decision-maker?
  • Are they an economic buyer or a technical buyer?
  • Who influences them in terms of their buying decisions?

If You’re Targeting B2C Buyers

  • Who are your buyers?
  • How old are they and where do they live?
  • What do they need?
  • What are their personal tastes and preferences?
  • What are their pain points and what concerns do they
  • have that could potentially prevent them from buying?
  • Are they the ultimate decision-maker?
  • What is their lifestyle like and how does that impact
  • their buying decisions?
  • Who influences them in terms of their buying decisions?

Remember, empathy is the ultimate marketing skill!

Next you can find the topics that will connect with these people. This is where we decide “what content” and “what benefit” we offer that audience. Every topic should meet one or more of these three main benefits:




  • Informative posts answer the top questions your audience asks.
  • Useful posts explain how to do things that your audience needs help with
  • Entertaining posts are often fun to read lists and sharable visuals

Once you’ve got your audience and topics, picks your keyphrases and align those with your topics. Also, find some people who are influential in your industry and build relationships. Later, you can co-create content with them. Put everything into a publishing calendar and get to work!

Click on the image to watch a quick, 3-minute video that summarizes this process.


Read the full post on content strategy here.

What are the most common mistakes you see on websites?

There’s a lot of low hanging fruit on most websites…

  • Lots of website have big, visually prominent social media icons. If you’ve got a blue website with a big red Pinterest button, keep in mind that it’s going to grab a lot of attention. Ask yourself if you really want your visitors to leave your website and go to Pinterest.
  • Many websites don’t have goals setup in Analytics, making it harder to get smarter!
  • Some sites have an email address, rather than a form, on their contact page. This makes it hard to measure lead generation in Analytics. If you’re not sending visitors to a thank you page, you can’t easily measure success.
  • Way too many website have navigation that isn’t descriptive. This makes it harder for both search engines and visitors to see what you do at a glance. If your navigation looks like this…   About  |  Services  |  Blog  |  Contact  …ask yourself how this communicates to your audience and indicates your relevance to Google. If at all possible, put the labels for your services into your main navigation.

Simple changes often make a big difference. See this post for a comprehensive look at lead generation best practices.

What content is most effective at driving results?

Beyond the useful, helpful, entertaining content, there’s one more piece of content that everyone should publish: the story of you.

This usually goes on your “About” page and it explains why you love what you do. This is your “passion story” and answers the “Why” question. Here’s where you connect with your visitors on a human level. Make sure you include a picture of yourself, your team or your place of business.

What are your best tips for curation?

I use Twitter lists to watch certain accounts. I have a list called “Radar” and it includes some of the influencers that I’m hoping to eventually partner with. Watching this list makes it easy for me to see what they’re up to. Sharing their content gradually puts me on their radar, which makes future collaboration more likely.

I also put certain blogs into Feedly and every morning, I get up early, scan through the latest, read the good stuff and share the best stuff.

Of course, I use! My paper is the home page on one of my browsers. It automatically curates the good stuff for me including my “Radar” list. I like to read my paper with a cup of coffee. Sugar, no cream.

What’s the best frequency for publishing?

I strongly believe that your frequency should depend on your market. If the sales cycle and buying interval in your industry is long, you don’t need to publish daily.

In my industry (web design) people need our services only once every 4-5 years (long buying interval). Deciding which company to hire often takes a month or more (long sales cycle). So publishing bi-weekly is plenty often to stay top of mind.

Ask yourself: How long does it take for a prospect to meet, fall in love with and hire a competitor? You should be publishing more often than that. We actually just published something on this last week: How often should I blog? Guidelines for blogging frequency.

Bottom line: Consistency and quality are more important than frequency. Most companies I talk to should publish higher quality content at a lower frequency. I truly believe this.



Andy Crestodina
Andy Crestodina is the Strategic Director of Orbit Media, a web design company in Chicago. He’s also the author of Content Chemistry, An Illustrated Guide to Content Marketing You are welcome to connect with Andy on Google+ and Twitter.

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