For Halloween, our thoughts have turned to the insidious content strategy blindspots that hide the monsters killing your results. So in the spirit of the season, we thought we’d take a look at some common bugaboos that can creep into any company’s content operations. But never fear — we’re here with a bag of treats and just a few tricks you can use to take your content from scary to scary good. We’ll tell you how to recognize each of these monsters and, more importantly, what you can do to vanquish them in your battle for good content.
Has your content program become a parasite, sucking the life out of your organization? The content vampire has an insatiable thirst for budget and resources, draining the life out of the team responsible for keeping your content fresh. Drive a stake through the heart of this content creep by putting quality before quantity. Learn to ask “why” and to say “no.” If any given piece of content doesn’t bring your strategy, value proposition and brand promise to life, or if it feels like doing it well is beyond your means, don’t let it drive you batty or suck you dry.
Maybe your content plan is plodding along and your creators are just going through the motions, giving little to no thought to what’s right or wrong. You’re mindlessly mimicking your competitors. Or you’re just repeating the same things you’ve always done whether or not those things work anymore. Your content program might be dead, even if you don’t realize it yet. As a result, the content you create is unlikely to fill your audience’s brains with educational or inspiring ideas. Stop the zombie in its tracks. Brainstorm fresh, new content ideas and angles. Think of creative ways to meet audience information needs that nobody else in your market can. Run everything through two filters: will this surprise and delight my audience? Will this breathe new life into my content and my company?
It seemed like your content program was alive and well, when all of a sudden —poof! — the energy, activity and commitment around your content program disappeared. Your blog, podcast, video series or social media presences seemed to just fade away. Your website is as stale as the marshmallows in a box of Boo Berry. Looks like your content house is haunted by the Ghost of Content Poorly Planned. You can exorcise this ghost with better long range planning. Think in terms of series and subscriptions. Think beyond the next piece of content to a sustained and sustainable content approach. While you’re at it, make sure you have the right people, processes and prioritization to deliver on your content plan over the long term.
Maybe you hardly recognize your content anymore. The fresh-faced content strategy you started with has morphed into something far more sinister — a content monster that bears little resemblance to the plan you put together, has escaped your control, and is doing more harm than good. Looks like you have a shapeshifter on your hands — a content werewolf. You might have a strategy, but you’re not executing it. It’s time to slay the beast, and your original strategy is your silver bullet. Audit your content against a consistent set of strategic criteria then make some practical decisions about what to keep and what to kill. Check your voice, tone and style. Make sure your key messages are on point.
Is your content program pieced together from random parts that don’t fit together all that well? Or maybe content is nothing more than a bolt-on? Looks like you have yourself a Frankenstein — or a Frankenstein’s Monster to be more precise. You’ve put tactics before strategy. You may not have a strategy at all. Back to the lab, Good Doctor, it’s time to put some significant thought into your core content strategy. Time to ensure you’re doing the right things for the right reasons, and that everything works together as a seamless, strategic whole. While you’re at it, business content never goes as planned when it’s merely a means of expressing your brand’s own God-like authority. You’ve gotta keep the good of your community in mind.
THE INVISIBLE MAN
Your content is out there (you know it’s out there), but nobody can see it. Your content is the Invisible Man, hiding in plain sight. If you want more views to materialize before your very eyes, you need a distribution plan that ensures your content is revealed to the right people, in the right places and at the right times. Think: social sharing, publisher partnerships, paid promotion, and public relations to point people to your hidden content gems. Put the right promotion and syndication plan in place, then implement it consistently for every piece of content you create.
Did we leave out your favorite fright? Do you think there’s a classic monster making your content cringe-worthy? Drop us a note to tell us your content horror story.