“How are we going to produce that much content? We don’t have enough writers or designers to publish all that. There’s no freaking way.”
These represent the array of responses Launch Marketing has often heard over the years working with clients to develop marketing plans that feature a consistent cadence of content development and distribution.
When one looks at the details of a plan that calls for 70 blog posts, 8 unique webinars, 12 newsletters, 4 eBooks, 5 white papers plus a dizzying number of supportive emails, social media posts, PR elements and countless one-off content needs (phew!) it’s easy to get overwhelmed.
Now, we’re not going to tell you it’s easy to accomplish content marketing objectives like these. But we are going to tell you it’s not nearly as hard as many make it out to be. With planning, consistency and a pragmatic view of your in-house expertise and content development capabilities, there’s no reason you can’t deliver on a marketing plan that effectively supports a content marketing strategy.
Here are five things to think about throughout your content development efforts:
Know your strengths and gaps
If you want 700+ words on technology trends in 2019, for example, you wouldn’t reach out to your finance department for content ideas. Someone else on the team though – such as someone from IT or a developer – may be fully versed in that space and can help generate content for you with ease. In the same vein, if you want to develop content that resonates with your audience, you should be reaching out to your sales team to determine your customers’ pain points and interests.
If you identify knowledge gaps far enough in advance during the planning phase, these can serve as great development opportunities for individual team members to learn (and then write or speak) about the topics they learn about. The key is to understand your team’s relative strengths and weaknesses and the content development gaps you need to address.
Take a “one-to-many” production approach
An obvious but overlooked secret of delivering on content streams is that you don’t have to start from scratch for every piece of content. For example, use the slide deck or transcript from a recent webinar to get a head start on a similarly focused white paper or vice versa. Another idea to consider is expanding on one of the sections of a great eBook from last quarter to use as fuel for your next blog post.
Because audiences have different content consumption preferences, using existing assets to produce similar content in other formats – such as text, visuals and videos – can be a powerful lever for amplifying your content development capabilities.
Find the right medium
Few of us are equally as advanced in writing, speaking and related skills such as being compelling on camera. Let’s acknowledge that but not use “I’m just not a good writer” or “I freeze up when trying to speak to an audience” as an excuse for why we can’t support content development efforts.
For example, if you’re a solid speaker you can record your thoughts on the subject at hand via your phone and have another team member form that into a written narrative. Another option is to have a team member interview you or another subject matter expert on a topic.
Find whatever medium works for you and your content stakeholders and then leverage the strengths of others to get content over the finish line.
Leverage external help (intelligently)
Sometimes we simply don’t have every required content resource in-house and that’s okay. What’s not okay is accepting that as a reason for not supporting your content marketing strategy at all.
Determine the specific areas where you need assistance and set about securing it. It may be up front help in crafting an overall content marketing strategy and plan, assistance on the editorial side forming thought leaders’ ideas and insights into the content narratives you need or in distributing your content to the right audiences once its produced.
The good news is that you don’t have to do everything yourself.
Understand that “done is better than perfect”
We hate to break it you, but in most cases your content may not be viewed in the same light as the next Pulitzer-winning novel. Yes, it still needs to be compelling, offer valuable information and presented in the proper voice and format, but obsessing over every word choice and grammatical detail can lead to paralysis by analysis.
Focus on delivering value-added content that resonates with your audience and you’ll be on your way to an effective content strategy.
We hope we’ve helped calm your content development nerves at least a little. Delivering on a comprehensive content marketing plan is something that be initially daunting for sure, but proactive planning and an honest assessment of your current capabilities will enable you to fill any gaps needed to succeed in your content marketing efforts.