The rules of the game have changed indeed. It’s not about knowing the customer. Nope! It’s about predicting what they would like in the future.
You’ve spent so much time gathering intelligence and all your information and tracking metrics are in place. Your dashboards give you real-time access, which makes you the ‘go-to guy’ in your company. There’s stuff you know and what’s more, you have platforms to showcase thought leadership. Yet, for some reason, your content marketing efforts don’t seem to be bearing fruit. Here’s what could be going wrong.
One of the biggest reasons why content marketing strategies tend to fail is because the starting point is – for lack of a better work – ‘off track’. Business strategies need to be fortified, confirmed and planned well before content marketing has to start. Not the other way around. It’s also not about ‘let’s just get started because we have to’. Start with long-term business goals (3+ years) and break it into, where you see the company/brand in say 1000 days from today. Then, work backward. Don’t feel bad about changing the content strategy if the business outlook changes. But at all times, let this be the guiding principle.
Copy – Paste – Copy?
Look! It’s on Scoop Whoop and Storypick. Must be good! Let’s share this. But, it’s not relevant. We are a manufacturing company. So what? It’s trending! Plus, our competition seems to be doing it. Guess what? Wrong approach. Even if you are in the same sector/field, what works for the competition, may or may not work for you. Why? Look at point #1. Plus, pasting the exact same update, image and text on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn just does not work. Audiences might reject this approach totally and that means a lot of marketing moolah down the drain. As for 'popular viral websites', they copy paste too.
Where’s the Content?
You have your strategy in place but then, you pay little or lesser attention to the one thing that people consume - content. Imagine something that is relevant, theme based, platform-specific and aligned to business goals in a #tweet. Twice or thrice a day. You don’t need someone who can post. You have tools for that. The real effort comes when you have to think and post. How? From tone and voice to keywords, start by putting a content guideline together. Next step? Invest in the creation of content with a buffer of at least a month. That’s a start.
Tactics sans Strategy
Last, but from no angle, the least, don’t deter from the plan. If your business relies on seasonality and tactical work, let it be so. Then, let your content plan have a provision for tactical material. But if you’ve planned a brand campaign, don’t just jump the gun on priorities the minute a tactical opportunity comes along. Staying your path will actually help.
This article first appeared on the Social Media Week Blog and features Yellow Seed | The Content Company Social Media Week is a leading news platform and worldwide conference that curates and shares the best ideas and insights into social media and technology's impact on business, society, and culture.