We interrupt your regularly scheduled marketing program to bring you this important news – if you don’t have a content marketing strategy, you’re doing it wrong.
There’s a lot to be said for the willy nilly approach to marketing, of course. It spares you from those boring meetings where you plan your marketing strategies, saves you from calculating returns on investment (ROI), and reduces unnecessary wear and tear on your sales team and bookkeepers.
The “just do whatever feels good at the time” approach to marketing is also popular – in recent Content Marketing Institute (CMI) surveys, 63 percent of business-to-businesses (B2B) and 62 percent of business-to-consumers (B2C) said they just make it up as they go along.
But just because an approach is popular, doesn’t mean it is an effective strategy. In fact, haphazard marketing can waste tremendous amounts of time, energy and money without providing a solid return on investment.
Look at it this way: content marketing is a vehicle that can transport your organization all the way to Profit Town, and a content marketing strategy is like the GPS that maps out the fastest, most efficient route there. Without the guidance of a strategy, your content marketing just wanders aimlessly down the information highway or, worse still, becomes stranded on the dusty wagon trail at the bottom of the fifth page of Google. Having a content strategy helps you reach your destination, and helps you get there faster and more efficiently.
CMI survey respondents have always said that having a documented content strategy helped them get where they were going, and the most successful marketers continue to reap the rewards of developing a content strategy. In the CMI surveys, 62 percent of successful B2Bs and 59 percent of successful B2Cs say they have a documented content marketing strategy. Furthermore, 72 percent of respondents said that merely developing or adjusting their content marketing strategy contributed to their organizations’ content marketing success in the prior year.
Developing a Content Marketing Strategy isn’t as Tough as it Sounds
A content marketing strategy sounds a lot more complicated than it really is. In simplest terms, you will define your marketing goals, determine the steps your organization will take to achieve these goals, and decide on how you will measure success. A documented content marketing strategy means you write everything down.
Content strategy is a holistic approach to marketing your organization; it shapes your content to influence how your potential customers view your brand. Having a content strategy helps keep content flowing too, by providing writers and other content creators with a list of predetermined topics.
Content strategists fit all the organization’s content together into a cohesive plan that creates a singular, recognizable voice that moves your customers further through the sales funnel with every post, blog, video or white paper.
If you are going to develop a content strategy, though, you had better hurry up. The news got out that having a strategy plan really works, and now 75 percent of the people in the CMI survey who didn’t have a plan intend to develop one in the upcoming 12 months. That means your competitors are probably going to finally do it right when it comes to content strategy this year, and you should too.
Now back to your regularly scheduled program, “Willy Nilly Marketing for Organizations with Time to Waste and Money to Burn,” already in progress.
Lynn H has been a professional writer, providing exceptional content online and offline, for nearly 20 years. In that time, she has penned thousands of articles for doctors, universities, researchers, small businesses, nursing organizations, sole proprietors and more. She writes everything from blogs to white papers; her specialty is putting complex scientific concepts in simple terms. She specializes in medical writing, creating informative and engaging content for professionals in medicine, dentistry, nursing, pharmacy, medical manufacturing, chiropractics, optometry, emergency care, plastic surgery and others.