Joe Pulizzi, founder of The Content Marketing Institute, believes that marketers tend to overcomplicate the idea of content marketing. He says:
"There is still a belief that we need to be everywhere our customers are on the web. That we need to be on all social platforms (like it or not). That we need to be distributing our stories 11 different ways every day."
When Pulizzi takes the stage to encourage marketers to simplify their content marketing strategies, his audience often responds that they get pressured by management to be on every platform.
As a Social Marketing Manager myself, I've experienced this kind of pressure. One way to combat it, as Pulizzi suggests, is to document your content marketing strategy. To make it tangible, visible, shareable.
Sometimes all it takes to relieve that pressure is a simple document or discussion that proves that your approach is deliberate, customer-focused, and measurable.
But first, you need to make sure your approach actually is all of those things.
- Is your approach truly deliberate? Or are you, as they say, throwing spaghetti at the wall to see what sticks?
- Is your approach customer-focused? Here's how Pulizzi puts it: "The asset is the audience, and the content is what gets you to the asset."
- Is your approach measurable? What metrics are you tracking and using to determine the success of your efforts?
Going through the process of documenting your content marketing strategy will answer each of the above questions for you. In fact, the process itself consists of questions—35 of them—that will help you arrive at a one-page plan to present to your management team.
Click here to find Pulizzi's complete list of questions, broken down into five sections:
- Answer Big-Picture Questions
- Get More Specific
- Detail Your Audience
- Develop Your Content
- Distribute and Measure
Sound like a lot of work? It is. But it's far less time consuming than wasting your time producing content that's not working.
"If the information isn’t truly differentiated, with limited competition," Pulizzi says, "there is little chance you will break through and gather attention."