Many marketing professionals come up against the struggle of turning strategy into reality, but executing your content strategy doesn’t have to be so hard. If the response to our recent blog is any indication, most people are on board with the whole idea of the importance of a content strategy, but when it comes to execution, momentum can start to slow down. If you’re wondering how to execute your content strategy, we’ve got a few important elements to consider.
“You can come up with lists upon lists of what to write, record or design, but if you don’t DO it, there is no point to creating a strategy in the first place.”
How to Execute Your Content Strategy: 3 Crucial Elements
Content is rarely a one-man job. In a perfect world, the person in charge of content would be in charge of content, with all the expertise necessary out of her own head, and no other job functions to distract her. However, that’s pretty much never how it works. Especially at the corporate level, many moving parts have to come together to publish content on a regular basis.
A good content marketing strategy lays out the blueprint, but effective content production requires buy-in. Successful content marketing initiatives need three main elements:
- You have to get content creators invested in order to get the outcomes you desire.
- Once content creators are invested, help them help you.
- As content progresses, maintain consistency with proper content calendaring and project management processes.
Get Content Producers Invested in Your Content Strategy
When internal topic experts are invested in the outcome their content will help to produce, they are more likely to contribute. When marketing and sales are properly aligned, content marketing efforts produce a constant flow of leads for the sales team. Since salespeople and executives are often the most knowledgeable about customer pain points, and the solutions the enterprise provides, these are the natural content producers that have to become invested in the process.
When salespeople have leads, sales people are happy. When leads convert, executives are happy. As a content marketer, connecting inbound leads to specific content marketing efforts is an important step that can motivate these content producers to contribute.
Since the person in charge of gathering content in an enterprise company is often a junior marketing staffer (or an outside agency), someone with power at the executive level might need to step in to ensure content creators understand the importance of responding to requests for expertise. One of our clients incorporated content contribution into its points system for bonuses. Whatever the method, a content marketing initiative does not work if experts are not invested in creating the content.
Help Your Content Experts Help You
Once content creators are invested in executing the content strategy that’s been laid out, the next step is to help them help you. Whether you’re a marketing executive in charge of inbound, a junior marketer helping to coordinate content at your company, or an agency partner seeking to provide the best possible service to your clients, the most effective thing you can do to help your content marketing strategy become content marketing reality is push it as far as possible yourself before expecting expert contribution.
Do the preliminary research. Create an outline for the content. You can even go so far as to create a draft on your own and leave blanks for expert contribution, or identify specific questions that need answers. If you’re working with an agency, they can help you do this part. The point is to make it as easy as possible for expert contribution to happen. Help the content creators to help generate leads by making it really simple.
Maintain Consistency in Content: Publish or Perish
To borrow a common saying from the ivory tower, “publish or perish.” Great content in spurts is better than no content at all, but it doesn’t always create the momentum that makes content marketing work the way it should. As Moz explained in its wrap up of Zazzle’s State of Content Marketing Survey, big, complicated campaigns are great, but there must also be a flow of quicker content that fills the space between campaigns with a constant opportunity for learning, entertainment and value. You need both in your content marketing strategy.
Consistency in content creation is mostly achieved by implementing good processes. Content calendars should be planned around strategic business initiatives, valuable keywords and your products and services. There should be a mix of simpler items like straight-forward blog posts, and more involved items like product videos, or interactive content that are part of larger campaigns. The key is to effectively project manage planned content into published content on a consistent basis.
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