Why most Marketing Professionals find Content Marketing hard – and three ways to make Content Marketing easier

Survey statistics from SmartInsights indicate that around 60% of organisations still don’t have a documented content marketing strategy that drives the marketing activity of their business.

Astounding when you consider the huge volume of effort businesses seem to put into marketing. Marketing without true focus that an entire team or business can rally behind.

We recently chatted to Geraint Holliman about content marketing strategy and asked him three big questions.

Q1: What is the most important component of content strategy that most people are missing?

Actually set a content strategy to begin with. Too many marketers claim to have a strategy but when pressed to show it, they don’t have a formalized, written strategy. If you don’t have a formalized strategy you have very little to guide you and measure your progress. A few spreadsheets is not a strategy.

Businesses that are successful when it comes to creating content that targets their customers’ needs build stronger brands and deliver better profits. Every organisation regardless of sector should, in 2022 be thinking of itself as a publisher, offering help and advice to an audience.

Content strategy needs an engine that takes the positioning of the organisation, who it serves, its products and services and turns this into an objective narrative that is focused on what they want and need, not what you want. In Build a Story Brand, Donald Miller calls this “.being the guide”

Q2: Once we’ve got a sense of actually having a strategy, what is the next most important component of content strategy that most people are missing?

Content Marketing is not a tactic, it’s a culture. Marketers are famous for ‘shiny bauble’ syndrome – always chasing the next new thing.

Content marketing is a fundamental approach designed to help you communicate better with customers by making it all about them. You have to go all-in and truly commit to it as an underlying approach not simply a tactic. Putting the needs of customers first in your business – not just your marketing – is a POWER move.

And thinking like a publisher means you can pull all the great stories from your company – how your people, products and services transform the lives of other customers – and make great content with it. Everything becomes content – because its cultural.

We help people and we share the results so we can help more people.

Thinking like a publisher starts with taking a base measure of what matters to customers, producing content that answers frequently asked questions. Setting publication milestones – whether its blog posts, an email newsletter, a podcast or social media injects some structure and urgency into peoples minds too.

Q3: How do you start putting a content marketing plan together?

The simple answer is by agreeing a set of content pillars and topics and turning them into a framework.

Too many content marketers don’t have a clear idea of what content they should be creating and why. This leads to wasteful, average content that ultimately fails to help position your business they way you want to the people that matter.

Identifying 3-4 key pillars and a set of topics you will consistently talk about helps customers learn to expect your content. Having key topics makes the brainstorming and prioritization of ideas easier to manage and traffic.

Do you have a written content marketing strategy? Do you have set themes and topics you stick to consistently?

Maybe, check out our Content Marketing masterclass series?

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