Content marketing has permanently carved out its spot in the digital marketing arena. Its importance and relevance is vital to the way we create, share, and consume content. The Content Marketing World Conference was held last month in Cleveland, Ohio. Since then, a lot of material has been shared involving content marketing tips from experts. Let’s look at some of the highlights from the conference and what we can do about it.

Give it your all.

Content Marketing Institute founder Joe Pulizzi had one strong message to everyone in the audience, “Go All In or Do Nothing.” A message that coincides with the battle cry of recently crowned NBA champions Cleveland CavaliersAll In. Interestingly, the conference was held in their hometown! Content marketing requires dedication and commitment to be successful much like the epic but arduous championship run by the Cavs. It takes laser-like focus combined with perseverance and ingenuity to make content marketing work.

Application: Research thoroughly, create original content, provide quality links, add content variety (i.e. videos, infographics, etc.), and distribute strategically. There are no shortcuts in creating high quality content. Develop a content marketing strategy that aligns with your long-term and short-term goals for your brand. Learn how to maximize distribution platforms. Pulizzi’s advice is extreme, all in or nothing. Don’t settle for rewrites and half-baked strategies. Be all in or nothing.

Aim for shareable content.

Orbit Media Studios co-founder Andy Crestodina said “Good content is amazing, bad content gets nothing at all.” No one wants to share low quality, shallow content. Crestolina said 50% of content doesn’t get shares and 75% of content doesn’t get external links. That’s a hard reality for content marketers who labor day in and day out just to churn out regular content. He also said, “You get what you give in content marketing. We are competing to be the most generous.” If you give valuable, insightful content then you will have wider distribution.

Facebook expert Mari Smith backed this up saying content marketers should aim for making their audience “look good” when they share their content. Go beyond brand awareness and think of the impression your audience will make when they share your content.

Application: Crestodina urged content marketers to focus on research and strong opinions. He said there are two questions that give way to a lot of sharesWhat do you think are the issues that most people disagree with? And, what are the questions that your industry is afraid to answer? Create content that directly answers these questions. Back it with research and let your readers engage in meaningful conversations.

Do not add to the noise

One stand out statistic from the conference is that there are 347 blogs published per second. Now that’s a lot! Renowned marketing speaker and bestselling author Andrew Davis advised content marketers to look for opportunities to contribute content gems. He said that you shouldn’t publish just because you have to. More importantly, your content shouldn’t add to the information overload that is already there.

Application: Find you niche. Address your audience’s pain points through helpful and high value content. Before writing anything, do a quick search first to see the kind of articles written about that topic. One way to know if a topic is getting a lot of searches is when you type a phrase in Google and the search engine makes recommendations to complete your sentence. For example, I tried “best content” just now and what Google recommended is “best content management system.” The results showed very few 2016 posts so it is good to write about this topic!

Pay for top performing organic content.

Wizard of Moz, Rand Fishkin, gave a powerful advise for content marketers on where you should invest your budget. He said, “Paid works best on content that amplifies well organically.” Before you click “boost post” in Facebook or pay other platforms to increase the reach of your content, check your article’s organic performance first. Did it get substantial comments or likes in the first 30 minutes or an hour after posting? If so, then it is worth it to give that content a boost.

Application: Go back to some of your most liked or shared organic posts and pay for them to gain more reach. Look at the topic you chose and create new content about it. Sometimes you’ve already written some content gems and it’s just a matter of making the most out of it. If it’s a blog, then create a video, podcast, or infographic out of it. Creating something new from a high-performing organic post increases the probability of getting high engagement for that new but related content.

Content marketing checklist

Content strategist and AHA Media Group founder, Ahava Leibtag shared a version 2.0 of her trademarked Creating Valuable Content Checklist, which was originally released in 2011. Leibtag said that checklists are important to ensure that our ideas are executed effectively. We need something concrete where we can plug in our creativity so that it comes out more polished. To create stellar content Leibtag said it needs to possess five things—findable, readable, understandable, actionable, and shareable.

Application: Make sure you put the corresponding tags to make your post findable. Use headers and bullets so that your article will be readable. Write using the inverted pyramid writing technique for easy reading, too. Create with your audience’s language and comprehension in mind to make sure your content understandable. Prompt your readers to engage by liking or commenting on your content, making it actionable. Give your audience reasons to spread the word, allowing your post to be shareable.

These are just some of the many insights from the Content Marketing World Conference. They are springboards that can make your content marketing year the best and most effective one yet. These tips are doable but it takes due diligence and hard work. So give it your all or none at all.