When you’re building a content marketing strategy, you probably have big goals on your mind: you want to publish amazing infographics, blog every day, and build a rigorous editorial calendar. Then, with your plan in place, you dive into the day-to-day and realize that your strategy is much harder than your original plan anticipated.
Because content strategies are new to most organizations, there’s a tendency to struggle around execution. Big ideas rarely make their way out the door, and marketing leaders struggle to make the most out of their resources. As a marketing leader, how can you better align your content marketing strategy and plan?
Here are a few tips to guide you:
1. Invest More Time in Planning
Knowing that content is the bread and butter of marketing, many companies will want to jump into execution mode ASAP. But this desire to “just start publishing” may fail to ignore the intricacies of content marketing at an organization—by definition, you’re creating content that represents the ideas of an entire team, not just one person.
That’s why it’s important to invest more time in planning. Interview multiple stakeholders off-the-bat to collect their input. Avoid unnecessary, back/forth revisions by ensuring that your content ideas represent perspectives from across your company.
With these types of workflows, you’ll save time down the road. You can plan quarterly content topics in batches, avoid lengthy editorial cycles, and keep initiatives moving along.
Content marketing cycles are less agile than media publishing cycles. The reasons? A single piece of content at, say, a software company needs to fulfill more use cases than that of a newspaper. Software companies need to create resources that ensure an ROI and spark movement through a sales conversion funnel. Media companies may be creating similar funnels to appease their advertiser clients, but their ultimate goal is to create content that educates the public—and these pieces are faster to write.
Who says that your company needs to be blogging everyday, releasing videos, and creating inforgraphics? Don’t fall into the content ‘overkill’ trap. Chances are, your target audiences and customers will be happy to hear from your company a few times a month.
Focus on making the most out of your resources: to stand out from a sea of other content creators, be consistent in delivering the best quality of information. Commit to doing less with your content marketing, so you can do it better.
3. Optimize Engagement
If you measure the success of your content marketing from a pure revenue generation standpoint, you’ll risk missing the mark entirely: your target buyers will interact with your company at multiple touch points before making a purchase decision.
With content marketing, engagement is the ultimate measure of success. As you aim to build interest in your company and product, you’ll want to look at metrics such as time on site, pages viewed, and interest shown in your CTAs.
Down the line, these actions will translate into sales. But if you try to force the transaction too soon, you’ll achieve the opposite effect.
To align your content marketing strategy and plan, the key is to break down your strategy into clear, defined success milestones. Break down your long-term path into a series of shorter action items. By focusing on shorter wins, you’ll be in a strong position to iterate upon your approach and stay close to your long-term goals.