Marketers know that the need to create great content will only increase in 2017. Doing things the usual way—the way everyone else does it—may help you tick the quantity box, but you'll only fall short on quality... and that won't drive your results.

For agencies and marketing departments, 2017 must be the year to change the way content creation happens.

Use these five content creation tips to break away from the crowd and deliver results that go beyond simply being on time and on budget.

1. Focus on your best idea

It's tempting to pad out the presentation of your strongest idea with additional suggestions.

Some agencies, for example, believe it helps clients appreciate the agency's value when they can see how much effort and thought the agency has put in. But Nathan Bobik, creative director at video agency Shot Cut Entertainment, thinks that's a mistake: "We prefer not to pitch five ideas and ask the client to pick their favorite. Instead we focus on the one idea that we think is going to be successful. If they don't like it, we'll use their feedback to develop the idea into something that works for us both."

2. Forget the rules: Do what's right for your story

There are lots of supposed best-practices for what makes visual content successful, such as using faces in images or considering 30 seconds as the optimal length of a video.

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image of Deborah Holstein

Deborah Holstein is CMO at EverString, provider of predictive marketing software and sales development solutions. She has 15+ years' experience in technology marketing leadership roles focused on B2B and B2C SaaS businesses.

LinkedIn: Deborah Holstein

Twitter: @dholstein