The majority of businesses have no documented strategy.
A recent study by the Content Marketing Institute (CMI) and MarketingProfs reveals that 70% of B2B companies expect to create more content in 2017 versus 2016. Shockingly, only 37% of those businesses have a documented content strategy. What are the other 63% hoping will happen with their content?
Why do I need a content strategy?
As Yogi Berra said, “If you don’t know where you are going, you might wind up someplace else.” Just as you need a documented business plan, you need a documented content strategy. Consider the following:
- A strategy includes goals (see below), and goals need to be measured.
- The days of producing content merely for the sake of having content (or just for “engagement”) are over. If it hasn’t happened already, your CMO or CFO is going to ask for proof that these investments are generating returns. Your content must produce revenue–or at the very least trace a path to income. (Check out my recent talk at a Gartner/CEB conference. More on the content marketing evolution at the 5:18 mark.)
- A documented content strategy can be shared easily with the appropriate people outside of marketing. The sales department needs to understand your content program so it can put it into use. In addition, sales can be a big contributor to content. Of course, the more your content creators–internal or external–know about the strategy, the more they can focus on the direction you’ve outlined.
What goes into a content strategy?
Here are the bigger items:
- Your content mission (hint: it is about the audience)
- Goals of your content programs
- Editorial calendar and frequency
- Content distribution and promotion
For more detail on creating a content strategy, check out this post from the Content Marketing Institute.
More statistics to illustrate the point.
Consider these, also from CMI and MarketingProfs:
- When asked if it was clear what an effective or successful content marketing program looks like, only 41% of B2B marketers answered “Yes”. Thirty percent (30%!) answered “No”, and another 29% weren’t sure. That means 59% don’t even know what success looks like! This is despite an overwhelming 93% of those same companies being at least “Somewhat Committed” to content marketing.
- A full 49% cite their stagnant success compared to the previous year as coming from “Strategy Issues”–which includes lack of or poorly developed strategy.
- Of those B2B companies that consider their organization’s content marketing approach as most successful, 61% have a documented content marketing strategy, while only 1% of the least successful have a documented strategy in place. Success follows a clearly defined strategy.
Finally, consider this… within the past two weeks, we told two prospective clients that we will not entertain producing content for them if there is no strategy in place.
Let us help you develop a content strategy/CTA.