Something isn’t working.
Your marketing strategy is built on producing, repurposing, and promoting high-quality content. This content is responsible for generating sales-qualified leads and your sales team is getting antsy. The end of the month is approaching and your carefully constructed editorial calendar still lacks finished content.
Simply – your content marketing leader isn’t getting the job done.
You need to fix the problem before Q1 irritations turn into Q3 Panic and Q4 Disaster. We’ve seen this problem in a wide variety of organizations and learned that the root causes are the same.
Why Your Content Leader Is Struggling
The Content Marketing Lead is a new position on the organization chart.
Many organizations are asking their current marketing director to assume this role. This is a mistake. The skills, experience, and time requirements are too high for multitasking. Invest in filling this role with a dedicated resource.
Bad Marketing Strategy
Simply saying “Build and deploy a content marketing plan” isn’t enough.
Your marketing strategy should allocate the proper resources to executing the content marketing plan. Effective marketing strategies align internal resources, vendors, and budget to give the Content Marketing Leader the ingredients they need to execute their plan.
Missing or Vague Role Charter
Does your Content Marketing Lead understand their role, how they will be evaluated, and what they are empowered to do?
Successful content leaders work from a clear charter that clearly outlines their job duties and expectations. This Charter is the blueprint used by leadership to evaluate performance. The Content Leader also uses the charter to evaluate their team and guide vendor deliverables.
Poor Evaluation Metrics
“What gets measured gets managed” is a truism you can rely on. It’s just as important to pick the right behavior to measure. I encourage my client’s to measure content performance using a combination of measures:
- Content Shipped: You don’t have a content plan if you can’t consistently ship quality content.
- Conversions: Define what your content needs to deliver. My favorite conversion is qualified sales-ready leads.
- Reach: How much attention and awareness did your content generate? For example, one link from a super-influencer could generate thousands of high quality visits to your website which could be converted to sales. Reach can be measured by total number of social shares or inbound 3rd party links.
Tweak these metrics to fit your organization. Walk through them with your Content Leader so everyone is on the same page about expectations.
Poor Coaching and/or Management
Successful leaders aggressively manage their team. Have you set-up regular and mandatory status meetings with your Content Leader?
If not, put a time on the calendar now. Review performance metrics at each meeting. Ask questions to see how you can help your leader achieve their goals.
Content Marketing is a long-term tactic. It takes time to build the content creation infrastructure, configure metrics, and build critical mass social media audiences. Don’t expect your content leader to save this month’s sales goals with a few blog posts.
An effective content marketing efforts needs a budget to handle:
- Content creation: Writers, videographers, audio editing, infographic research and creation.
- Tools: Social media tracking, project management, audio hosting, email marketing, and CRM.
- Project Management: Freelance or part-time help managing the day-to-day operations
Ignoring or opting for DIY/Cheap alternatives will slow down, even cripple, your content plan’s success. Don’t make content marketing a priority if you can’t allocate the resource (money, time, staff) to win.
This post has direct applications for medium-sized and enterprise-scale businesses. But, these performance questions apply to the solopreneur as well. Remember that time is not on your side. Tackle these issues right away while the year is young and you still have options.