Take notes. Finalists for the Content Marketer of the Year Award share what they’ve learned.

The content marketing field can span a very wide web and, to top it off, is constantly evolving. A good number of brands are putting more and more effort into it. In many cases, they end up being in a situation where the number of directions they could take is so large that it becomes hard to know where to head.

Luckily for everyone, others are taking these routes and reporting back every day.

The Content Marketing Institute has awarded, for some years now, a prize to the content marketer who has particularly shined in a content marketing project.

The 2014 finalists each shared a key lesson they learned this year. These are seven lessons that are especially relevant to marketers who are working in or diving into content marketing.

  1. Find new ways to collaborate with influencers.Invite them to your place, your properties, rather that asking them to publish on their own. You will end up with quality material and a refreshing take on your content.
  2. Don’t be afraid to experiment with new platforms. Be agile, make sure you have an approach and strategy that allows you to do quick tests and experiments. Vine, Hyperlapse or any other, allow yourself to try them out (to sometimes discover that the results are simply out of this world… or not at all).
  3. To tell a good story, turn to classics. The hero’s quest, a storytelling and scriptwriting approach is as old as it gets. And there’s a reason for that. When you want to tell a story, turn to time-tested methods. It will make your scriptwriting much easier.
  4. Make your consumers the heroes. User-generated content does not always turn up into great successes. That’s true. But when it works, the results can simply be magical. View your audience as heroes, stars, and make them shine.
  5. Even “boring” industries can have fun with content. Can B2B corporations benefit from content marketing? Of course! They can even have fun doing it! Even if you operate in a “dull” manufacturing field, you can always spice things up and make it fun.
  6. Your branding targets your employees as much as it targets your audience. If your content is inspiring, it will also be to your employees. Think about your employer brand, and then examine what the content you create brings to it and how you can leverage it to keep in touch with your employees.
  7. Consider artistic collaborations. Get out of the ordinary by inviting artistic collaborators to your projects. They will bring their own personal touch to your old habits.

I recommend you read this article, it describes each lesson in detail, with accompanying business cases.