the-thinker You've probably heard us say this before: in order to be successful with inbound marketing, marketers must think more like publishers than like traditional marketers. Because one of the core elements of inbound marketing strategy is content , inbound marketers must constantly be creating content, much like a publisher does.

Therefore, it makes complete sense that marketers could learn a lot from understanding how a publisher thinks.

But exactly hows does a publisher think, and how can you apply this thought process to inbound marketing? Below are some helpful tips to get you into the publisher's mindset.

8 Ways to Think Like a Publisher

1. Think Content: A publisher's job revolves around content, obviously. It's the basis of their entire job. This is exactly the emphasis inbound marketers should place on content. Without content, it's extremely difficult to be a successful inbound marketer. Make content creation top of mind, and always be on the lookout for ideas that could be used in or motivate topics for content .

2. Think Quantity: For publishers, content creation is a full-time job, considering they need to constantly produce enough of it to keep their publication up and running. For inbound marketers, quantity is also important. In our recent research report, " Lead Generation Lessons From 4,000 Businesses ," we found that businesses that blogged at least 20 times per month generated 5 times more traffic than those who blogged less than 4 times per month. In addition, those who blogged at least 20 times per month saw nearly 4 times more leads than those who didn’t blog at all. Enough said.

3. Think Quality: Why do you think the role of editor exists in the world of publishing? Because the quality of your content matters. We know quantity is important, but in the long-run, your site visitors will stop coming back if they realize your content stinks. To manage blog content from multiple contributors, it might help to create a new role on your marketing team -- the blog manager or an editor -- whose job is making sure content is the best it can be and fine-tuning others' content.

4. Think Profit: A display ad is to a publisher what a CTA is to an inbound marketer. The goal of any business is to turn a profit, but the main way publishers achieve this is through advertising. Similarly, a critical way marketers achieve sales goals is through lead generation, and creating content is the key to generating the traffic that can be converted into leads and, ultimately, sales. Marketers should make sure they place lead generation CTAs on all of their content offers -- on blog posts, in ebooks, on website pages -- to ensure they're getting the maximum benefit from their content creation efforts.

5. Think Relevance : Just as a publication focused on politics wouldn't publish an article about fashion, marketers must be mindful that the content they create needs align with their target customers. Does content address the needs of potential customers? If if you were a prospect, would you find the content relevant and useful?

6. Think Schedule: Publishers stick to a strict editorial calendar with tight deadlines, and there's no reason marketers shouldn't do the same. Create an editorial calendar for your blog , and stick to it to ensure you're staying on track and generating a steady stream of content. If you have multiple contributors, consider assigning them deadlines to ensure you have content when you need it.

7. Think Promotion: Publishers call it distribution, or getting their content read or seen by as many people who might be interested as possible. Similarly, all the time spent creating content for your business will be wasted if you're not also focusing on ways to distribute it. Are you promoting it in social media like on Twitter and Facebook? Are you making it easier for others to share your content, too? Are you promoting your content with email marketing? Is it optimized to get found in search? These are all important ways you can get more eyeballs on your content. And more eyeballs means better potential for more leads!

8. Think Reach: In the publishing world, publishers are concerned with the circulation or readership of their publication. They want to both attract more, new readers, as well as maintain their current readership. Marketers should have similar concerns: to expand their online reach so their content reaches more potential customers and to maintain their current readership or subscriber base. Focus some effort on increasing your following in social media such as Facebook fans or Twitter followers to extend the reach of your content.

  In what other ways can marketers think like a publisher? How has the publisher's mindset helped you create a steady flow of content to fuel your inbound marketing strategy ?

Photo Credit: Rodney

Originally published Jun 16, 2011 9:00:00 AM, updated October 20 2016


Content Marketing