But our opinions are not born of arrogance—they come from experience. As a content marketing agency, here are a few things we think are important, and we try to bring to each engagement:

1. Nobody cares about your product or service.

That’s not always true, but if you start with that mindset when developing most content, you’ll do a better job. Your customers and prospects have their own issues and challenges. You’ve got to start with their interests or pain points foremost, then pivot appropriately to your product or solution.

2. Media is mostly free, which puts more of a premium on ideas.

It used to be that businesses could buy attention by buying media. Place an ad on the inside flap of the trade publication and no matter what you said, it had to be important. Today, media is almost free. That means it’s all about the idea.

3. Try to think iconoclastically when it comes to content development.  Dare to be different.

Most content is bland and expected–and most organizations are doing the same thing. Try other engaging formats or approaches. For example, everybody wants to do a success story. How about a disaster story? You can make the same points but possibly in a more engaging manner.

4. Create with alacrity.

Don’t waste time changing “which” to “that,” and don’t spend three months in layout and production. Those days are over. Create content quickly and get it out there. Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good.