Alanna’s Take on Documenting Your Content Strategy
Why document your content strategy? A well-documented content strategy helps to set and reach goals, provide guidance to your team, keep your team on message, establish accountability, track progress, identify new opportunities, keep costs down, and produce content that converts.
Do you ever feel like your approach to content creation is like being a hamster stuck on his wheel? You keep running and running — trying to get somewhere, but all you get is exhausted. You’re doing a lot of work but don’t seem to be getting anywhere. Unfortunately, a lot of companies are stuck on this hamster wheel when it comes to their B2B content marketing strategy.
So, why are so many companies working so hard on their content but not getting anywhere? It often boils down to this critical point: they don’t have a documented content marketing strategy.
Over the past several years, the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs have been providing information about their research on what best-in-class and laggard marketing organizations do when it comes to content strategy and content development. What they’ve found is those content teams with a documented content marketing strategy report higher levels of overall content marketing success. Merely having a verbal strategy is like having no content strategy at all
You’re probably thinking that more companies would have taken more care and time with developing a content strategy. After all, this yearly research shows the difference a strategy can make when it comes to managing content. Wrong! Of those surveyed in the B2B Content Marketing: 2018 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends–North America, 63 percent still don’t have a written strategy in place. Seriously?
So, why is it that so many companies seem to have a difficult time documenting their content strategy when, based on research, we know it will yield better results?
That’s a great question, and I’m glad you asked! Let’s take a look at the top excuses given by organizations
67% – small content team size
44% – not enough time
11% – not important
4% – not needed
27% – other
OK…so numbers three and four are the real kickers. With the available data proving the importance of documenting your strategy, it’s hard to believe some marketing leaders are still resistant.
Executive leaders must come to understand the critical role a well-thought-out content strategy plays in the success of the company. Then, it will be easier to put the excuses to the side and get it done.
I get it… creating and following a content strategy can be a challenge. It’s so easy to let the excuses pile up and cause you to neglect your content marketing strategy. To be honest, it can suck at times because it takes time and resources that you think you don’t have. Actually, it takes more time and resources to generate content without a strategy.
Still need convincing that you need to document your content plan? Let’s walk through some of the reasons you need a documented content marketing strategy. It helps you to:
Set and reach business goals – Without goals, it can be difficult to know what you need to be doing. Identifying goals will help your team know what they need to try and achieve.
Provide guidance to your team – Just willy-nilly creating content is chaotic. It’s frustrating to your team and there’s no goal in mind. Your team needs guidance to help them stay focused.
Keep your team on message – A documented strategy will help your team stay on target with your company’s message. It can be easy to get off message without a strategy. Plus, multiple messages can be confusing to your audience.
Establish accountability – Ensuring everyone knows their job and what the plan is will keep everyone on track and help you easily pick back up if you get derailed.
Track progress – Reviewing your progress throughout the strategy will help you identify what’s working and what’s not so you can make tweaks where needed.
Identify new opportunities – By sticking to your documented strategy, you may find that there are potential opportunities to improve or increase your inbound marketing efforts.
Keep costs down – By having a good handle on what’s needed for your content marketing efforts, you’ll be able to cut tools and/or resources you may find aren’t needed. And it can prevent you from getting sidetracked by new shiny toys that aren’t in your budget.
Produce content that converts – Conversions are key to your content marketing strategy. Providing direction will help your team produce content that moves your prospective buyers through each stage of the buyer’s journey.
Now is the time to start planning your content marketing strategy. Get your team all on the same page and get it documented. Go ahead and give it a shot because chances are what you’re doing now isn’t working. Check out The B2B Content Marketing Strategy Guide for Small Teams to help you get started.
Alanna is a client services and project management professional who understands the complexities of modern B2B marketing. She’s an adept leader who ensures the team consistently meets client expectations.