Content marketing fuels the engine

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The best content marketing strategy can be undermined by misguided execution.

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Content marketing is en vogue in 2014, yet it’s unclear if leaders understand the commitment needed to achieve success.

In conversations with other marketers, it’s clear that the process and value of content marketing is still a mystery. They have also noticed some related trends:

  • Many organizations and marketing teams still remain highly siloed;
  • There is still an unhealthy fixation on channels and tactics (versus strategies);
  • Social Media’s ROI is still being questioned (i.e. how does it directly drive sales); and
  • There isn’t discipline to follow through on well-developed content marketing strategies.

As the accompanying Content Marketing Cycle graphic outlines, content marketing needs to start with a high-level view of a brand and its audiences. Content then needs to be developed cohesively for all platforms before it is distributed to all channels.

Social media, in particular, is a channel that gets an inordinate amount of attention but is most often disconnected from a broader content strategy. It isn’t as simple as: 1. Set up a  brand page; 2. Fill it with promotional posts; and 3. See users come in droves.

It is instead well established that brands which only sell on social channels drive away users. More to the point of this post, though, is that social media is just one channel of distribution for content marketing efforts. That’s the larger goal to keep in mind.

If content marketing efforts don’t start with strategically creating original, engaging, shareable content, they will fail. It’s like trying to run an engine without gas in the tank. We all know how that turns out – you get stuck at the start and passed by others.

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