So your content team has pushed and succeeded in getting budget allocated to develop a content strategy! Congrats! What a difference this is going to make in your content workload and results. You sold it up, it wasn’t easy and now you’re on your way!
But. Yeah, I hate that word too, but there is a but here. There are some things that may render your efforts wasted. There are some enemies of content strategy. These things can lead to a Content Strategy Fail. Gasp heard throughout the world.
Without that content strategy it’s back to flying blind: not knowing if you are producing the right content, or if it is helping your goals, not knowing much about your content at all. Worse, not being able to defend your efforts or prove your need for resources.
But – in a good way this time – that doesn’t have to happen. You can succeed with your content strategy development. Just keep an eye out for these Villians of Content Strategy:
Villain #1: Silos
Despite decades of embraced ideology about the damage from silos, they still persist. Silos happen for a lot of reasons, and some of them are actually good: developing pockets of expertise is one of the true advantages when a group that silos off from the whole. But when it comes to content marketing for your organization, silos are thoroughly evil.
Who is creating content at your organization? You may have an editorial, marketing, education and membership department each creating content. Are they communicating with each other, are your content efforts aligned? If not, it is painful to consider the possibilities for redundancies and missed opportunities to support each other.
With the intense demand for content to fill all of your channels, you’re going to fall short if you don’t tap all possible resources. Not doing so leads to a culture and process that is very hard to undo. A culture where this happens:
- Redundant content
- Missed opportunity for content support
- Lack of pooling resources
- No one outside of your team has your back
- Loss of mindshare within the org
- Loss of innovation that could arise from a multi-focused team
Villian #2: Lack of Governance
Word docs filed in folders on various drives or servers is leaving a lot of potential for fully leveraging your content untapped. Even remarkably orderly file management is woefully inadequate for today’s content demands.
What you need is a Content Management System (CMS), or better, a CMS designed specifically for the unique cadence of content marketing and tying your content to measurable results. This type of system is called a lot of things – software providers seem to each have their own name for it as they are trying to lead the pack while redefining themselves in real-time in response to the shifting marketspace – but primarily they are called marketing automation platforms. Sometimes, Content Marketing Software.
Whatever you call wish to call it, a governance system will allow you to:
- Map and track your content
- Align your content teams
- Develop and easily adhere to an efficient process
- Perform diagnostics on your content
- Support your need for resources
- Prove your efficacy
- Strike when you hit a content homerun to magnify the gains
- Succeed in achieving top-level business goals using your content as your leading tool.
Villain #3: Outmoded Websites
Not all of your content will go on your website, but even so you are attracting your audience back to you. Your site must deliver and perform for your audience – and for you. Content creators need a site as a critical link in the content delivery process and yet the bulk of content teams may not be involved with the website development or management. As the one place that can inform you about what your audience is reading, how long they read, and what other behaviors are associated with high- or low-reading, you need access to how your content is performing. Wouldn’t you love to know what is the magic number of pages read that correlates with 100% renewed membership? With the right site and systems in place, it is possible to determine what is the magic formula that drives retention.
Content teams need a good site and access to analytics to inform and guide their content creation. This also makes another case for busting those silos. Content teams need to work rather closely with marketing and IT in order to create a closed-loop system for an informed content creation cycle.
Do you see any other Villains of Content Strategy?