There is now tacit acceptance that most organizations can no longer avoid content marketing, with marketers looking to leverage it to deliver value and cut through the noise from their competitors. Yet as marketers embark on the content creation journey, they are also finding it a challenge to efficiently produce the requisite content with the volume and pace to make it work.
There are a few reasons for this, starting the fact that marketers have a lot more on their plates these days. Marketing budgets are shrinking, while CMOs are being called upon to justify literally every cent that is spent, or asked to deliver leads higher up the sales funnel than in the past.
Importantly, the reality is that not all marketers are well-versed or comfortable producing the huge amount of content necessary to make content marketing work. Some may have come from a background as a designer or business development. Moreover, content marketing calls for cutting out most of the fluff, which can be an additional barrier in industries that are highly technical for marketers not actually trained or qualified in those areas.
With this in mind, we look at some strategies in which they can embark on the content marketing journey in the most efficient manner.
Adopt a long term mindset
Speak to any marathon running and you will quickly realize that the tactics and strategies that they employ for running long distance is very different from what you would expect of a sprinter where its “now or never”.
Similarly, it is critical that marketers understand that content marketing is for the long haul, and they need to loosen up, as well as to set up the necessary processes to get things going on the many content pieces that will be required for the next few weeks and months.
While content creation could be a “create first, sign off later” process in the past, the new reality requires marketers to involve the experts from the get-go. This may include the sales managers, product specialists, and even engineers, for their up-to-date knowledge of what customer wants, in-depth product knowledge, and hands-on technical experience respectively.
Just as importantly, stakeholders must realize that there is no possibility of every content piece will be a completely unique, award-winning piece – not if you are churning out anything from one to six or eight pieces per fortnight, that is. Some overlaps will be inevitable, but which can be harnessed to your advantage with the right references and linking to increase the time that they spend on your site.
Review existing content
Marketers looking at quickly generating a large pool of existing content may want to review their existing collaterals in the form of white papers, brochures and existing marketing copy to form the bulk of their initial marketing push. A surprisingly portion may yield evergreen content that are still as relevant today, and even outdated content can be refreshed and updated more quickly than starting from a completely clean slate.
And as highlighted above, remember to dice and slice up certain popular content or more technical topics into multiple content pieces. Lengthy white papers can also be broken down into more than one articles as appropriate.
Engage an external agency
Finally, rather than attempting to do everything in-house, marketers may want to consider engaging an external agency to help with the content creation efforts. Be sure to do due diligence in terms of the technical competency and credentials of the writers, especially for highly technical topics.
After all, it would do your brand no justice – and probably save you no time either – if the agency has difficulty in understanding the technology. In addition, a breed of integrated agency is now gaining in popularity, covering both content creation, social media marketing, and SEO and placing of online ads. We recently interviewed one of them, and will feature them in the next few days. Stay tuned!
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Written by: Paul Mah