Content Strategy and the Dying Art of Execution
Content strategy is critical, but execution is king for content marketing.
Don’t get me wrong, content marketing strategy is critical to the success of a content marketing project. Not having a content strategy is like playing baseball without the bases (envision people running everywhere…not a pretty sight).
That said, I’ve seen a multitude of content strategies die for the following reasons:
■ Lack of support from the executive team. They fail to understand why they can’t talk about themselves all the time. They don’t "get" the idea of content marketing. The brand ends up producing mediocre content without real organization and continues to think that content marketing doesn’t work.
■ Lack of setting success criteria. This happens more often that you think. Ever hear the "we want to do a blog" request? The response to that request is "Why?" Understanding why you are creating and curating content seems like a "yeah, duh," but you’d be surprised how many times corporate content creators have no idea of the strategy behind their content execution. Result: the execution fails.
■ Lack of talent. Content marketing takes new skills. Combine a content strategist, a journalist and a marketer, a salesperson, a touch of Walt Whitman and you’re halfway there. Just because we can doesn’t mean we should with the talent we have. Hire more journalists.
■ Lack of consistency. Creating a content marketing plan is a promise to your customers that you are going to deliver information that helps them solve their pain points. Starting the plan, and then stopping it is like sewing up a wound halfway. Painful. Marketing agencies around the world have blogs where the most recent posts are from March. Ouch!
■ Lack of integration. There is no such thing as just a blog, just a custom magazine or just a webinar. These things work as part of a content marketing system, which works inside of your entire marketing program. Do me a favor…take the content creators out of the basement and get them talking with your marketing team. If content indeed is the center of your marketing strategy, you need to act like it and show your employees (and C-level) that it matters.
■ Lack of promotion. No, if you create information on your Web site in the form of a blog, article or e-book, people won’t just come naturally and neither with Kevin Costner (Field of Dreams reference). You have to work it.
■ Lack of effective outsourcing. Outsource effectively or be effectively outsource. The majority of brands outsource portions of their content marketing. Outside expertise is mandatory for truly great content. We need people on the outside that don’t have OUR brand or sales hats on. Find them, use them, make them part of your team.
■ Lack of a call to action. What do you want people to do when they engage with your content? If you don’t know, how do you know what success looks like?
Yes, content strategy is critical, but execution is king for content marketing. Frankly, you need both.
Where is your "lack of"?
[EDITOR’S NOTE: You can read more of Joe at his blog.]