I know you are already pretty much sold on developing a strategic content marketing strategy. As a marketer, you’re probably spending hours formulating that perfect plan of attack via email marketing, social media and other content-led strategies, such as your blog, YouTube, webinars, etc. But are your plans getting in the way of your success?
I meet a lot of content marketers who really put a lot of effort into each individual piece of content. Often, each piece of marketing collateral is built up over a series of meetings, and as sales and marketing goalposts move, the content is edited, tweaked, pulled apart and reassembled to suit that week’s mood.
By the time the content is ready to be delivered, expectations are pretty high. When it fails to deliver, people are pretty disappointed, and fingers are pointed disapprovingly — although most of the time, because no objectives have been set, nobody actually knows what success or failure looks like.
So it’s back to the drawing board and time to develop some new plans. And when everyone is busy planning, your competition comes in and takes business that could well have been yours if only you’d been more proactive.
Are You a Planner or a Doer?
Too many marketers spend too much time planning and not enough time doing. I believe that if your content marketing plans are longer than a few bullet points on a single sheet of paper, you are in danger of becoming a planner rather than a marketer.
Content marketing by its very nature should be agile and conversational. You cannot plan a conversation from beginning to end, so why plan your content marketing efforts to the nth degree?
Note: I’m not telling you to abandon your plans. You still need to set out objectives and goals, but your creative resources should be much more fluid.
The Best Content-Led Strategies Adapt to Change
Successful content marketing doesn’t stick to rigid guidelines. It creates talking points around certain issues and topics, then guides clients and prospects into making informed decisions.
The best content marketers spend time listening to their audience and reacting accordingly. As marketers, we really hit gold when we are able to react to a problem. This is why I’m such a big fan of blogging. Within minutes of addressing a single client’s problem, I can write, publish and share a blog post and solve that very same problem for many more people.
So instead of carefully planning your next marketing move, react to the opportunities as and when they arrive and then create content accordingly.
The more opportunities you address, the more content you will produce. Some of this content will fall flat on its face. Some, however, will really shine and may even take you by surprise by going viral. This is the content you develop further.
Remember: A good blog post can form the basis of an email marketing or social media campaign, or perhaps even a more detailed content-led project such as a white paper, webinar or event.
Persistence Pays Off
Perfection is unattainable. Instead of constantly trying to produce the perfect campaign, just get the stuff out there. A persistent campaign of reasonable content will always perform better than a wall of silence erected during an extended period of planning.
Remember, good enough is good enough. If you take the time to test and analyze every campaign you send, you’ll quickly learn what works and what doesn’t.
So cancel that next creative meeting and just publish something. You might surprise yourself.
This post first appeared on the iContact Email Marketing Blog.