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How to Be an Amazing Mentor in 10 Ways, according to HubSpot Managers

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How to Be an Amazing Mentor in 10 Ways, according to HubSpot Managers


Take a minute to think about the best mentor you’ve ever had. It could be your manager, a colleague, a parent, a friend, a coach, a college professor.

Then, you reach a point in your life where you have the chance to do the same for someone else. It can be both exciting, and a little confusing.

In this article, you’ll get tips from both mentors and mentees on what it takes to foster this successful relationship.

What does it mean to be a mentor?

At its core, being a mentor is being a trusted advisor. It all boils down to making yourself available to support and advise someone when they need it, delivering that support in a way that makes sense to them, and always keeping that person’s best interests in mind.

So, what value does a mentor bring? It depends on who you ask.

For Vrnda LeValley, customer training manager at HubSpot, it’s a shift in perspective.

“My mentor provides a perspective that isn’t riddled with the same self-doubt and stereotype sensitivities that I desperately want to avoid and handicap me,” she says, “and a broader view of the implications of action versus inaction because they have a better vantage point from their upstream position within the company.”

She adds that her mentor has been able to step in and correct narratives that muddy her ability to make the most strategic decisions.

For Legal Specialist at HubSpot Jason Perry, one of the benefits of mentorship is the opportunity to extend your network.

“I most value the trust and confidence they extend to me by granting me access and recommending me to their broader networks,” he said.

Beyond that, there’s a certain freedom that comes with having a mentor.

“I think it allows for an open space to be vulnerable with someone who is more senior in their career but does not have direct control over your career growth,” said Chloe Washington, chief of staff to the CMO at HubSpot. “You can be more transparent and ask questions you may not feel comfortable asking your manager or another co-worker.”

With that said, the mentorship doesn’t just benefit the mentee, it’s a two-sided relationship.

“I am constantly inspired by what my mentees are doing, their ambition, and their goals,” Washington said. “It motivates me as I continue along my career journey. It also allows me to form relationships with people that I may have not otherwise been able to speak with as much or as often.”

1. Understand what you want out of the relationship.

As we’ve mentioned, mentorship isn’t a one-way relationship. This means that just like the mentee, you should know the type of relationship you’re seeking and what you want to gain.

Charlene Strain, marketing manager at HubSpot, serves as a mentor and suggests asking yourself these questions to get started:

  • Do you view it as a two-way street, player-coach relationship where you learn from them as much as they learn from you or something else?
  • How can you sharpen your area of expertise?
  • Do they have connections or gaps of knowledge for you as well?
  • How does taking on a mentorship role strengthen you as a leader in your personal and professional life?

Knowing these answers will help you frame your mentorship strategy and start with clear intentions.

2. Set expectations together in the very beginning.

Once you know what you want out of the relationship as a mentor, setting expectations is the next natural step.

Every mentor-mentee relationship is unique. So, when you first start out, discuss expectations with your mentee and determine if you’re ready for that commitment.

“Everyone works and receives feedback differently, so it’s important to understand if the relationship is a fit for both parties [based] on what they’re looking for,” said Strain.

Here’s what Strain recommends discussing:

  • Is there a time limit on when the mentorship ends?
  • How often should you meet, and why?
  • What resources can the mentor provide for the mentee to do some work on their own?
  • What metrics are being used to measure success?
  • How hands-on should the mentor be?

You should come to these answers as a duo and it’s OK if it takes a little bit to figure it out. The time you put in at the beginning will pay off in the long term.

Some expectations are pretty straightforward, Perry says: professionalism, punctuality, clear communication, and organization. However, some expectations will be shaped by the mentee.

“A mentee should be able to tell me as the mentor exactly what they’d like me to do for them, whether it ‘s to provide information, make an introduction, write a recommendation or provide advice,” says Perry. “The relationship is theirs to shape and build and that starts with a clear, direct ask of some sort.”

When Washington works with mentees, her first session focuses on goal setting, setting up a meeting cadence, and discussing ground rules.

“For example, if there is a big topic to discuss, I request that they give me a heads up a few days before so that I can come fully prepared to discuss my point of view and not waste their time formulating my thoughts on the fly,” she said.

From there, she creates a running agenda doc to keep track of notes and have a place they can refer back to once the mentorship ends.

3. Take a genuine interest in your mentee as a person.

A mentor/mentee relationship is a very personal one.

You can give mediocre advice without really knowing a person, but to stand out as an amazing mentor, you’re really going to have to get to know your mentee on a personal level.

You probably have some of the more career-oriented questions down: what their working style is, their dream job, goals for their current job, and so on and so forth. But what about the stuff that makes them … them?

Getting to know your mentee on a deeper level will help you build a strong relationship, and it’ll also help you understand who they are as a person and how they interact with others, and so on.

One great way to get to know someone? Become an active listener. This is easier said than done: It means making a conscious effort to really, truly pay attention to what your mentee is saying, instead of thinking about what you’re going to say next.

“Two traits that are helpful for someone to be a successful mentor are good listening skills and the ability to connect like-minded people,” said Strain. “Our professional lives are not in a silo, they’re a web. So, anyway I can truly listen to a mentee’s goals, their journey, and where they see themselves will help me connect them with other people or businesses with the same mission.”

You might worry that you need to come up with something helpful right away, when in fact, the best thing you can do for your mentee is to listen closely to what they’re saying, ask open questions to dig deeper and act as a sounding board.

4. Build trust.

In the last section, we stressed the vulnerability that comes with mentorship. To continue fostering a safe environment in which your mentee can share their concerns and challenges, you need to build trust.

That can happen in a few different ways. For Solutions Engineer at HubSpot Jeremy Sagaille, it’s transparency.

“I feel like I can really be myself in front of my mentor and I don’t feel like I have to do the typical corporate political BS,” he said, “which is something that I’ve definitely had to tiptoe through in the past and haven’t done well with.”

For LeValley, it’s the ability to see beyond the circumstance to assess the core issues, challenges, and opportunities.

“Those can get cloudy when you are on the road to a destination you have never visited before,” she says. “It makes all the difference when avoiding pitfalls and finding solid shortcuts.”

She adds that truth-telling is another valuable trait in a mentor.

“Many people haven’t been given the hard messages required for growth, due to lack of investment or lack of courage from those around them,” she says. “Personally, the best thing my mentor told me was to check in with my growth mindset and read a book. Not what I wanted to hear but it was 100% what I needed to hear.”

Once you build trust with your mentee, your relationship will be able to go that much deeper.

5. Know when to give advice.

When you’re mentoring someone, you might feel pressured to give them advice straight away. But not all feedback is helpful feedback, and knowing the difference is key.

A good mentor knows when to hit ‘pause’ during a conversation, says Rebecca Corliss, former director of marketing at HubSpot.

“If you don’t have the right information, experience, or emotional state to react to a scenario properly, hit ‘pause,” she said. “That will give you a chance to get more information, talk to your resources, and come back with a clear and valuable response.”

Here’s what that might look like in a real conversation.

“Thanks for sharing this with me. I’m going to take some time and give this some serious thought before we continue. It’s important to me that I’m giving you the best possible solution. Why don’t we continue talking about it [tomorrow/next week/next time we meet]? I’ll book some time.”

6. Don’t assume anything about your mentee – ask.

Biases cloud our judgment whether we realize it or not. While we can work to uncover and dismantle them, some are so ingrained that they peak out without us realizing it.

To combat this issue with your mentee, breakthrough common assumptions by asking questions and digging deeper. This is especially important if you’re mentoring someone who’s in the early stages of their career

Say you’re mentoring someone who’s having trouble getting through to their manager. Instead of launching into a story about a time you had communication issues with a manager of yours, spend time asking questions that draw out the important details of their problem.

“Your job is to facilitate advancement and movement, not just chat,” says LeValley. “Your words can change their lives so you must choose them carefully.”

Only once you’ve gotten an honest background on a problem can you share helpful, relevant feedback – without making decisions for your mentee.

7. Share your journey.

Being open to sharing your own mistakes and failures is one of the best gifts a mentor can give.

Not only is it helpful information for problem-solving purposes, but it also builds trust and strengthens the relationship.

“Junior employees don’t always feel comfortable owning up to a mistake or admitting that they’re struggling in a certain area,” says former Managing Director at HubSpot Emma Brudner. “If you cop to your failures and struggles, you make it OK for them to chime in and help them share with you.”

Sagaille says that before his mentor, he often thought the struggles he faced were unique. However, he was reassured by his mentor, who had experience in his exact role.

“I’m just excited that I have a window into the future a little bit because she’s dealt with similar issues and she’s had some setbacks because of those issues,” he says, “so, she’s able to steer me in the direction so I can avoid those pitfalls.”

Leslie Ye, content designer at HubSpot, suggests reflecting on the roadblocks you faced when you were in your mentee’s stage in life or career.

“Hearing how someone else approached a challenge is always helpful for someone going through it for the first time,” she says. “Even if you don’t solve problems the same way as your mentee, it’s always useful to hear multiple perspectives.”

Perry echoes this sentiment.

“Take time to tap into your own story,” he says, “Especially for Black mentors, it’s important to relate and establish an interpersonal bond that fosters real talk – be a true resource in all facets.”

He adds that adversity of any kind our response to them is a foundational way to create relatability. Strain agrees, pointing to her non-traditional tech background before transitioning to the B2B Saas space.

“I’m extremely transparent about my own journey with a mentee. As I climb up the ladder as a Black woman in tech, it’s important for me to continue reaching back down and helping others up as well,” she says. “If it wasn’t for some of my own incredible mentors throughout my career, I wouldn’t be a mentor now as well.”

8. Celebrate their achievements.

Because people often look for or call upon a mentor to help them with tough situations, many mentorship conversations revolve around the stressful stuff.

When you take the time to highlight and even celebrate your mentee’s successes and achievements, you’re also building your mentee’s confidence and keeping them motivated.

“I’ve worked in a lot of places in the past that were very reserved with positive feedback and very lavish with constructive or negative feedback,” said Sagaille. “So I think that’s something my mentor does really, really well – it’s a nice balance.”

Some mentees also seek approval from their mentors. Acknowledging their success is a way to satisfy that psychological need for recognition.

If you’re wondering how to celebrate their achievements, consider asking them what their love languages are. Those aren’t just helpful for personal relationships, they also work for professional ones as well.

For instance, you may want to congratulate your mentee on a win by sending them a gift. However, if they value words of affirmation more, that’s the better way to go.

9. Seek out resources to help your mentee grow.

Great mentors look for situations – and some even create situations – to help their mentees get closer to their goals.

It can be anything from connecting them with someone with experience in their dream job to recommending a conference they might be interested in. Take note of the areas in which your mentee wants to grow, and always be looking for opportunities to point them in the right direction.

If you work at the same company as your mentee and have some involvement in their experience, Corliss suggests introducing new projects to them over time as a way to build a strong foundation.

“First, start with something that gives context. This could be something that requires research and is genuinely valuable,” she says. “Then, handoff something small that you normally do for your intern or mentee to own. This will help your mentee learn how to develop ownership over something, including how to execute and reach a goal on his or her own. Then, build upon that foundation.”

10. Be sure you have the bandwidth.

LeValley believes mentorship is best when it’s approached as a calling instead of a task. With that in mind, it’s important to consider if you have the bandwidth to take it on.

“Be honest with yourself about what extent you are willing to give of your time and expertise,” Strain says. “This will help you manage your own workload and personal life easier without guilt or stretching yourself too thin.”

Washington echoes this sentiment and adds that it’s OK to bow out if you realize you don’t have the bandwidth.

“The relationship needs to be mutually beneficial and if you feel like you would be burdened by taking on the relationship, then be respectful to your prospective mentee and tell them that you’re not able to take on the relationship,” she says. “It’s better to be upfront than to waste anyone’s time.”

At the end of the day, being a great mentor takes practice and patience. The more you work with a given mentee, the more you’ll learn a lot about them: their communication style, how they process feedback, how they go about pursuing their goals.

The best part? It will likely be as rewarding an experience for you as it will be for your mentees.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in Jan. 2016 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

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A Digital Practioner’s Guide to Starting the New Year Right

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A Digital Practioner’s Guide to Starting the New Year Right



It’s that time of year again – the holiday excitement has faded as we fall back into the workweek. With a year’s worth of work stretched in front of us, there can be both a sense of opportunity and overwhelmedness 

Because transitioning back into the swing of things can be daunting, We’ve gathered key takeaways from the previous year, global Opticon Tour, and how we can successfully apply those learnings in 2023.  

1. “Work about work” is holding teams back. Take this chance to declutter.  

Consider the reality of what most digital teams are up against. When it comes to managing the content lifecycle, draft documents that are stored in separate places and disparate tools that don’t work together are the norm for many. With no centralized point of communication and cumbersome workflows, it can take forever for teams to create and approve content, and work is often duplicated or unused.  

After work is completed, it can be easy to dismiss the headaches caused by inefficient, siloed workflows and processes. But the long-term effects of inefficient and bulky collaboration can be detrimental to a brand’s digital experience – and bottom line. (Those who joined us in San Diego at Opticon might recall this concept played out via ). 

Digital teams with unwieldy content lifecycles can take back control using , saving countless hours and frustration over the year.  

2. Change is constant. Set your team up to be adaptive. 

We all know how difficult it is to create amazing customer experiences these days. The world is moving faster than ever, and change is constant and chaotic with uncertainty on nearly every level: economic upheaval, rapid cultural change, ever-escalating customer expectations (thanks, Amazon), and a tight talent market.  

To not only stay the course but to also grow in this unpredictable environment, it’s important that teams constantly stay on the lookout for new ways to drive more sales and increase loyalty. In other words, consistently deliver modern, relevant, and personalized commerce experiences.  

But keeping pace doesn’t necessarily mean working harder. Optimizely’s Monetize solutions, teams can drive sales and loyalty with fewer costs and efforts.  

3. Data fuels a great customer experience. Test and optimize every touchpoint. 

As practitioners, we all know that the best customer experience wins.  

When teams don’t clearly understand what’s happening and when, they miss the mark. With little patience and high expectations, today’s customers will simply switch to a competitor that better understands them and provides a more personalized experience.  

But when teams work together to inject data across silos, they have the insight needed to make the right decisions and create with confidence.  

For instance, take the marketing team: with access to a slew of customer touchpoints and experimentation data, marketers should be a critical resource for understanding customers’ wants and needs. Developers, product teams, and beyond should utilize this data to remove the guesswork and inform strategies, priorities, roadmaps, and decisions.  

With customer-centricity at the heart of any great digital experience, the best experiences are fueled by data uncovered by high-velocity experimentation. Consider the power that Optimizely’s Experimentation products can have on your entire team’s ability to unlock personalized insights and better connect with customers.  

Hopefully, your new year is off to a great start – but if you’re feeling a little off track, contact Optimizely today to learn more about our DXP can impact your business and set you up for a successful and productive year.  

A special thanks to our sponsors at Opticon London – Microsoft, Google Cloud, Valtech, and Siteimprove – and Opticon Stockholm – Microsoft, Google Cloud, Valtech, and Contentsquare. 


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Top 6 SEO Tips for Bloggers that Will Skyrocket Google Rankings

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Top 6 SEO Tips for Bloggers that Will Skyrocket Google Rankings

The majority of blogs rely heavily on search engines to drive traffic. On the other hand, there is a misunderstanding that creating “SEO-optimized content” entails stuffing keywords into paragraphs and headers, which leads to barely readable blog articles.

But that’s not what SEO is all about. In this article, you’ll discover the top 6 SEO strategies and how crucial they are for improving your blog posts rank in Google search results.

How Important Are Google Rankings For Your Blog?

Search engine traffic is essential if you’re blogging in hopes of growing your business. After all, what’s the point in writing content if no one is going to see it? The higher your blog post ranks in Google search results, the more likely people will find and read it.

And the more people who read your blog post, the more likely someone will take the desired action, whether signing up for your email list, buying one of your products, or hiring you as a coach or consultant. So, it is essential to have SEO optimized blog.

How To Incorporate SEO Into Your Blogs?

It would help if you started putting these six pieces of constructive SEO advice for bloggers into practice immediately:

1. Write For Your Readers

The standard of blog writing started significantly declining when “SEO content” became a buzzword. Instead of writing for people, they began to write mainly for robots in search engines. Unfortunately, some bloggers still express themselves in this way nowadays.  

But luckily, things have greatly improved, especially since the Hummingbird update and the rise of voice searches. The Hummingbird update was developed to assist Google in comprehending the purpose of searches.  

For instance, Google would understand that you are seeking nearby restaurants if you Googled “places to buy burgers.” It influences SEO because search engines are now more geared toward providing answers to queries and supporting semantic search rather than merely focusing on keywords.

You typically utilize Google, Bing, YouTube, or even Siri to find answers to questions. Take that idea and use it to improve your blog. Your writing should address the concerns of your intended audience in detail.

Your blog shouldn’t exist solely to help you rank for a particular keyword. Instead of concentrating on keywords, shift your attention to creating content that addresses the issues of your target audience.

2. Link to High-Authority websites

Don’t be scared to use external links when you construct your blog content. In addition to giving blog visitors more resources to read and learn from, linking to reputable websites demonstrates to search engines that you have done your research.

Research-based statistics from reputable websites are the best way to support blog content. Using compelling statistics will help you create a stronger, more specific argument that will help you win your readers’ trust.

3. Design a link building Strategy

Your search ranking is significantly impacted by link building. Why? Consider search results a contest where the people who receive the most votes win.

Google considers every website that links back to you as a vote for your website, elevating your content’s credibility. You will move up in ranking as a result. Here are some starter ideas for your link-building:

  • Communicate to other bloggers in your niche and offer to guest post on their website. Include a link back to your blog in your guest post.
  • Participate in online and offline community events related to your niche. For example, if you blog about fitness, you could attend a trade show related to fitness or health.
  • Create helpful resources that other bloggers in your niche find valuable, such as an eBook, cheat sheet or template. Include a link back to your blog on these resources.
  • Leverage social media to get your content in front of as many people as possible.

4. Learn About Google Webmaster Tools

Do you remember getting a warning from your teacher when you did anything incorrectly in elementary school? Your opportunity to clean up your act and get back on track to avoid punishment was given to you with that warning. In a way, Google Webmaster Tools serves that purpose for your blog.

Google Webmaster Tools will warn you when something suspicious is happening with your blog by giving you diagnostics, tools, and data to keep your site in good condition.

What you can observe in the Webmaster Tools Search Console is:

  • The percentage of your pages that Google has indexed
  • If your website is having issues with Google’s bots indexing it
  • If your website was hacked
  • How search engine bots see your website
  • Links to your site
  • If Google penalized your website manually

The great thing about Webmaster Tools is that it informs you what’s wrong with your website and how to fix it. To resolve any difficulties Google discovers with your blog, you can utilize a vast knowledge base of articles and a forum.

5. Include Keywords in your Meta Description

Does your post include meta descriptions? If not, you’re probably not providing your content with the best chance of being seen. Google also analyzes meta-descriptions to determine search results. The one- to three-sentence summaries beneath a result’s title is known as meta descriptions.

Use meta descriptions to briefly summarize the subject of your post, and keep in mind to:

  1. Make it brief.
  2. Use between one and two keywords.
  3. Since there will likely be other postings that are identical to yours, you should make your description stand out from the competition.

6. Establish Linkable Assets

A linkable asset is a unique, instrumental piece of content that’s so valuable people can’t resist linking to it. It’s similar to dining at a fantastic restaurant and a merely adequate one. You’ll go out of your way to tell everyone about the excellent restaurant, but if someone asks if you’ve been there, you’ll probably only mention the merely adequate one.

The ProBlogger job board is an excellent example of a linkable asset. For independent bloggers looking for compensated writing opportunities, it’s a terrific resource. The page is constantly linked in blog posts on monetizing your blog or websites that pay you to write for them. Why? Because it is rare and costly.

You can build the following linkable assets for your blog:

  • Free software or apps
  • Ultimate guide posts
  • Huge lists
  • Infographics
  • Online guide
  • Influencer tally reports
  • Quizzes
  • A case studies
  • Industry studies or surveys

Final Thoughts

By following these six SEO tips for bloggers, you’ll be well on your journey to improving your blog’s Google ranking. Remember that SEO is an ongoing process, so don’t get discouraged if you don’t see results immediately. The key is to be patient and consistent in your efforts, and soon you’ll start reaping the rewards of your hard work!

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B2C Marketers Treat Content Marketing as a Project; That’s a Mistake [New Research]

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B2C Marketers Treat Content Marketing as a Project; That’s a Mistake [New Research]

In The End of Competitive Advantage, Rita Gunther McGrath illustrates all competitive advantages are transient. She contends everybody understands that. So why hasn’t basic strategy practice changed?

As Rita writes:

Most executives, even when they realize that competitive advantages are going to be ephemeral, are still using strategy frameworks and tools designed for achieving a sustainable competitive advantage, not for quickly exploiting and moving in and out of advantages.

That last part resonates after working with hundreds of enterprise brands over the last 10 years. Most businesses think about how they can change content to fit marketing’s purpose, not how they might change marketing to fit content’s purpose.

Guess what? Your content will never be a sustainable competitive advantage or differentiator – all content assets are easily replicable and, at best, only transient in differentiated value.

In the newly released Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs B2C Content Marketing Benchmark, Budgets, and Trends – Insights for 2023, I see it’s time to feed the content giant that awakened last year. But be careful not to get so distracted by the food you fail to cook consistently over time. All too often, content marketers get wrapped up in content creation rather than in the ability to lead the capabilities to create consistently.

Content should be a strategic activity

Look at content operations as the catalyst that can change everything for your content marketing challenges. You should recognize the activities you perform are a competitive advantage. Success hinges on the ability of a team (of one or 100) to be dynamic and fluid – moving in and out of “arenas” (as Rita calls them in her book) of content and creating temporary advantages.

Here’s the real takeaway: Ask everyone in your business – including your CEO – if they believe compelling, engaging, useful, and dynamic content-driven experiences will move the business forward.

If the answer is yes, then the strategic value lies in your ability to evolve and coordinate all the activities to create those content-driven experiences repeatedly. It does not lie in the content or the distribution plans. Your team’s job is not to be good at content; your job is to enable the business to be good at content.

#ContentMarketing’s strategic value lies in the ability to repeatedly deliver content-driven experiences, not the content itself, says @Robert_Rose via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

Consider some highlights from this year’s research.

Struggle is real for content marketing strategy

Content marketing remains important.

Seventy percent of B2C marketers told us that content marketing has become more important to their organization over the last year. (Only 4% say it’s less important.)

Importance of B2C Content Marketing in the Last Year

With an increase in importance comes a need for more resources. When asked what they would change about content marketing in their organization, they say they want more staff, more budget, and better access to subject matter experts.

70% of #B2C marketers say #ContentMarketing is more important in their organization than last year according to @CMIContent #research via @Robert_Rose. Click To Tweet

Yes, content marketing is more important, but content marketers struggle to keep up with the demand.

Why?

Because so many businesses treat content marketing as a campaign-, project-focused effort that requires different “assets.” Content marketers are so busy churning out projects of content that they haven’t figured out how to make it a repeatable, consistent, and scalable process.

As far as their biggest challenges in content marketing, 57% of B2C marketers say creating content that appeals to different target audiences. Rounding out the top three: developing consistency with measurement (44%) and differentiating our products/services from the competition (40%).

B2C Organizations' Current Content Marketing Challenges

57% of #B2C marketers say they are challenged to create #content that appeals to different target audiences according to @CMIContent #research via @Robert_Rose. Click To Tweet

Solving all three of these challenges centers around strategic content operations – setting a consistent long-term strategy to differentiate, developing a measurement plan that stands the test of time, and scaling to meet the needs of different audiences. But most marketers aren’t planning to acquire the help to tackle those challenges. Among the resources they plan to hire or contract in the coming year, almost half (45%) say they will look to grow writers, designers, photographers, and videographers.

It’s like trying to design a bigger house by simply adding more bricks.

45% of #B2C marketers plan to hire content creators in the coming year. @Robert_Rose says that’s like designing a bigger house by adding more bricks via @CMIContent #research. Click To Tweet

But B2C content marketing is working

Despite their challenges, talented practitioners find success. Overall, 81% of B2C marketers rate their success as either moderately, very, or extremely successful. Only 2% say they were “not at all” successful.

How B2C Marketers Rate Their Organization's Overall Level of Content Marketing Success in Last 12 Months

And 86% say content marketing provides a “meaningful/purposeful career path.”

These results align with the research discovered in CMI’s Content Marketing Career & Salary 2023 Outlook (registration required). We found though content marketers are generally happy in their current roles, they would be happier if their organizations prioritized content marketing, backed it with strategies and resources, and invested in technologies to help them do their jobs faster and more efficiently.

The final bit of good news? Almost three-quarters (73%) of content marketers expect their organization’s investment in the practice will increase or remain the same this year. Only 3% believe it will decrease.

Different activities, not more efficient ones

The B2C research presents some interesting insights into the priorities for 2023:

  • Businesses must increasingly stop organizing and scaling new marketing teams based on platforms, technologies, or inside-looking-out views of the customer journey. The format and placement of those experiences on multiple channels will always be temporal. Success happens when the business becomes skilled and integrated at operating and managing all manners of content-driven experiences.
  • Businesses must stop looking at content from a container-first perspective – designed solely to support marketing tactics or initiatives. Success happens when the business recognizes content operations as a function, supporting the fluid use of content to fuel better customer experiences.
  • Businesses must not say, “That’s the way we’ve always done it,” when one experience no longer works. Success happens when the business can healthily disengage and dismantle experiences that aren’t working. They can constantly reconfigure their activities and manage portfolios of content-driven experiences.

Starting with the wrong premise

Often the first sign of trouble in any content marketing approach is when you hear, “How do we get more efficient at content?”

Efficiency involves changes to a process to remove friction. The question often assumes a working, standard operation providing value already exists. But if there is no repeatable standard operation, efficiency ends up meaning producing the same or more content with the same resources.

That rarely works out to be better for the business.

The more difficult task for content marketers is to determine the different activities necessary to create or augment the processes and identify the activities to undertake differently.

The content you create provides no sustainable competitive business advantage. But a strategic content operation just might.

Get the latest Content Marketing Institute research reports while they’re hot – subscribe to the newsletter. 

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Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute



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