Start with why. That’s Simon Sinek’s branding advice, and it’s damn good advice for any business initiative. Understanding the purpose and being able to make other people on your team understand it is a critical foundation for success.
So, figuring out why you should pursue a content marketing initiative probably is not your biggest challenge.Your biggest challenge probably isn’t even who? (although if it is, give us a shout). If your organization is having success, odds are that there are some smart people there whose thinking you can lean on for smart insights.
Meeting with a client last week, he chastised me a couple of times for getting bogged down in what he called “the tyranny of how.” That is an awesome phrase and a concept that all entrepreneurs and leaders need to aware of and not get bogged down in.
But, as I said to Mr. Client, I’m just trying to bring your dreams to life. At some point we have to talk about how we’re going to accomplish things. Yes, you have to dream big dreams and not get bogged down in the details too soon in the ideation process. But, ultimately, execution will determine your success.
According to the Content Marketing Institute/Marketing Profs 2015 B2B Content Marketing survey, well over half of B2B marketers don’t consider their content marketing to be effective. While close to a third of those surveyed say that finding trained content creators is a problem, the far bigger problem seems to be a lack of a written strategy. Organizations are committing to the concept of content marketing, but they are setting out on the journey before creating a roadmap.
And they get lost.
They don’t know how they’re going to reach their destination.
Setting your strategy must include determining work flows. If you have a lot of smart SMEs in your company but they don’t have time to create content, how are you going to pull that information out of them? Interview them? Have them leave you voice memos?
If you have a culture of content, there’s always a way.
However, in order to succeed, you have to figure out the how before you launch your content marketing initiative. This demands that you get down into the weeds and determine the details of how you’re going to create content. Who’s responsible? Who’s accountable? Where will the big ideas come from, and how will you turn them into something consumable for the audience?
At Scribewise, we view this as a journalistic exercise. Typically, these are the skills that journalists possess; they’ve been trained their entire professional lives to come up with story ideas, conduct research and interview thought leaders, and transform it into a compelling story. That may or may not be the right who for your organization, but either way you need to figure out how those tasks are going to get done.
So, by all means start with why. And once you’re convinced of why content marketing is a good path forward for your organization, think about how.
Your success depends on it.