How to Build a Stand-Out Content Strategy with Jay Acunzo

content strategy“In our increasingly noisy world, the right content can break through all the clutter.”

Do you find this statement impactful? If not, don’t worry. This very sentence has been written (again and again) by virtually every marketer out there; so if you’re not captivated, you’re not alone.

Consider this: Maybe it’s not our noisy world that’s the problem. After all, every piece of content, whether it’s valuable or not, contributes to the noise.

Break Out of Your Content Marketing Rut

According to Jay Acunzo, award-winning podcaster, and dynamic speaker, the problems marketers face today stem from a reliance on sameness.

As a former digital media strategist at Google and head of content at HubSpot, Jay’s built content marketing strategies from scratch for leading startups and produced attention-grabbing documentaries for brands.

In this quick Q&A, we ask Jay to explain how marketers can break up with the same old, same old, “best practices” and adopt an exceptionally different content process.

Question One: How can modern marketers do something different?

Zoominfo: You’ve been quoted as saying, “noise is not the problem, sameness is.” But doing something different is easier said than done, right? How can we incorporate the idea of committing to something novel to our day-to-day content development process?

Acunzo: Here’s the thing, you need to be mindful of those everyday content “best practices” preached by so-called “experts.” In a world overflowing with gurus claiming to know the answer, we can’t just lapse into following their advice. Today, these “words of the wise” are already commodity information. Everyone has access to it, and it’s so easy to find — and so people find and follow the prevailing wisdom. But if you want to get noticed and, better yet, STAY noticed…then you better be an exception.

How? For starters, you can use what makes you an exception. If you want to be exceptional, after all, you’ll have to act like an exception. The good news is, almost by default, every individual has the ability to be an exception. It’s called your intuition. Trust it.

Question Two: How can marketers infuse more creativity into their writing process?

ZoomInfo: When it comes to the writing process, the skeleton of our creativity, how can we apply intuition to write something different, something meaningful? How can we infuse our routine workflows with creativity?

Acunzo: The writing process is – and should be – unique for every individual creating the content. That’s what’s so great about writing. Interestingly, the Latin definition of intuition means knowledge from within or an ongoing process of thinking for yourself, so it all goes back to what works best for you. For some writers, overthinking the process (test, measure, improve, repeat) can be a roadblock to creativity. Think back to when you were a kid reading children’s books, the writing there was so simple, and the end product just made sense. The writing was enjoyed, not analyzed. Rolling this back to our jobs, if you’re writing to optimize conversions, you can become overly focused on the details (the commas, dashes, colons, etc.) so much so that something special in your writing gets lost.

Conversely, for other writers, it’s the process that feeds their creativity. For these writers, creativity flows better when they’re documenting their steps. The process allows this type of writer to see what needs to change, making all the difference in his or her writing. To the point, the writing process can never be separate from the individual. So create your writing your own, personalize it, and then make it work. Your audience will appreciate it.

Question Three: What is valuable content?

ZoomInfo: When something is valuable, it’s real. It’s measurable. In your mind, what makes for seriously valuable content?

Acunzo: Content is kind of like the Tupperware of the internet. It’s not descriptive of anything so much as a container. It’s a blog post, a video, a podcast. These are all delivery vehicles of actual value. And it’s the actual value that other people are after. They don’t care so much about the container; they want the stuff inside.

For brands and businesses to be successful, they need to focus more on the stuff inside (the stuff that matters!), and less on say the distribution, or the number of pieces of content, or the channels, or the technology. In a world teeming with average content marketing, the path to do more exceptional work is to trust what makes you an exception. In other words, it goes back to trusting your intuition. So, some advice – have something to say in a voice and format that you know will emotionally resonate with your audience. Provide the best possible experience in your product and content.

Do the unthinkable.

Key Takeaways

Want to learn how to ditch marketing sameness and become exceptional in a world of average? Come see Jay Acunzo at ZoomInfo’s 2017 Growth Acceleration Summit on Sept. 13-14 in Boston, where we’ll be covering best practices, growth strategies, and the future of data.

Jay’s session, Be the Exception: How Brilliant Marketers Find and Follow What Makes Their Stories Different in a World Full of Average Content, will show you how to make the leap from average to exceptional;  you’ll realize the best way forward doesn’t require any “guru” or “growth hack.” Are you ready to be the exception? Use promo code BLOG2017 for a 10% discount.

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