Kelly Wrather, column writer for SearchEngineWatch.com provides an interesting approach how content marketing is like running in a relay race.
1. Start With a Training Program
Simply put, one does not typically up and run any type of race without doing some training. The same preparation is required to execute effective content marketing.
Successful content is born out of a well-planned strategy. Map out your future content through an editorial calendar and note the key milestones for your projects. Having a goal in sight will keep you and your team focused on the tasks at hand. But remember, if you’re not seeing results you want with your content, take a step back and review your plans and processes.
2. Coordination is Key
With a relay race team, having meetings and discussions before race day to sync up on logistics and calculating pacing times and handoffs to make sure the experience runs as smooth as possible is great idea to prepare.
Content marketing has many moving parts that need to be synchronized in order to properly execute. To ensure your execution is not hindered by workflow barriers, assign roles for each project
Identify one person to act as the primary lead and have him/her develop a plan with critical checkpoints to connect and inform the other stakeholders: the contributors, reviewers, and approvers. Spreadsheets are an easy way to organize workflows, but as your content marketing program grows, you may want to invest in a tool to improve organization and help you manage the steps of your program.
3. Rally Around the Team and Community
A relay race calls for trust and teamwork — runners must have faith that their team will be waiting at the next stop, ready to receive the baton. Within content marketing, have confidence that your team members can deliver their pieces on time and meet quality standards. Set clear expectations up front and develop standards for new contributers. If enlisting new bloggers, provide clear guidelines on tone/voice and style so they have a framework to reference.
When you feel overwhelmed and unsure of what to write content about, turn to your community for inspiration. Scan social media to see what topics influencers are talking about.
4. You Can’t Prepare for Everything
As much as you’ve prepared for your race, don’t expect to be able to control everything. In days leading up to the event, someone can be injured.
Sometimes, things don’t turn out as planned. Last minute roadblocks may come up that impact the delivery — this could be anything from internal hold-ups on approval to external factors such as influential breaking news.
Although the hiccups may be minor and you have a solid plan and process in place so the impact in minimal. Other times, you may need to revisit your message to adjust to these unexpected changes.
5. Every Role in the Process is Valuable
There are many people involved in relay race events besides just the runners. There are numerous volunteers and coordinators providing important services for the race to run accordingly.
Stations are set up to take care of injuries. Local organizations provided water and snacks. The runners may have been the focus, but the event could not have happened without everyone involved.
Just because someone doesn’t have “content marketing” in their title, it doesn’t mean they can’t provide valuable perspective. Tap into other team members who are subject matter experts and are eager to contribute.
6. Enjoy the Ride
At the end of the day, the race is all about the experience — the journey, rather than the destination. Content marketing is the same.
Don’t become too overwhelmed or obsessed over the final content type. It shouldn’t matter too much if the delivery mechanism is a blog post, infographic, report, or video. What matters is the story being told.
7. Finish Strong
Making sure you’re pacing yourself during the race is essential in order to have enough fuel left in the tank to finish the race. On the content marketing side, it’s common to fall into the trap of putting a lot of time and effort into content creation, but don’t forget to same some energy to take a piece across the finish line.
Promotion and distribution are big parts of the equation. The race isn’t really over even after you’ve crossed the finish line. Be sure to continually evaluate your content to understand how it’s performing, if it’s hitting your metric benchmarks, and if it needs updating.
At Five Technology, we’re here to help your business with its content marketing strategy needs. Let’s get started!
Read the full article by Kelly Wrather.