You are probably under tremendous pressure to invest in content marketing.
But, smart CMOs understand that popularity polls don’t set marketing strategy. Sure Seth Godin says “Content Marketing is the Only Marketing Left.” but Seth Godin isn’t briefing the CEO. You are. Provocative soundbites work for SlideShare presentations, but they aren’t the building blocks of a sound marketing strategy.
Today we’ll discuss the 5Ps Content Marketing Framework we use to determine if a business should use content marketing.
The 5Ps of Content Marketing
Be careful to not confuse content marketing strategy with the corporate and marketing strategy. The CEO creates the corporate strategy and uses it to guide the CMO’s marketing strategy. The content marketing strategy is the plan for achieving marketing goals with useful, entertaining, and relevant information. You will spend too much for too little if your content marketing strategy is deployed in a strategic vacuum.
Do you have a written marketing strategy? Is the marketing strategy built to support the overall business strategy?
We look for two things:
1. Does the company have a product?
It’s difficult to get a someone excited about a product that doesn’t exist. Content marketing is a versatile discipline, but it can’t sell “vaporware.”
2. Has the business achieved “product to market fit”?
Eric Ries and Steve Blank have done outstanding work showing the effectiveness of achieving “Product to market fit.” This means that you’ve proven that your product solves a problem for a group of customers who have the motivation and money to buy it.
Content marketing works best when the information is intimately and immediately relevant to the reader. Successful marketers look for the use cases their products satisfy and build content around those situations. Essentially content marketing is used to deliver the reasons why a future customer is a fit for the product.
Content marketing is labor intensive. You will need content creation specialists to build, edit, publish and promote your content.
Do you have access to content creators? Can your agency supply them? Do you have the budget to hire them or outsource?
If you are the content creator, look at your typical work week and add up the number of productive hours you can devote to creating content. We’ve learned that 5 hours per week is the minimum time needed to execute a bare-bones plan. Do you have the time?
Content marketing is equal parts inspiration (the creative stuff), perspiration (good old hard work), and coordination (producing quality content at scale). The coordination part relies on well-defined processes that guide each part of the content creation process. Here is a sample of the processes we use:
- Content Creation
- Content Optimization
- Content Promotion
- Influencer Identification
- Writer Scouting
- Editorial Review
We have a person on our team dedicated to streamlining these processes so they are both efficient (time and money yields more content) and effective (resources invested leads to better quality subscribers and prospects).
Is your content marketing leader a process-driven doer? Are you?
In this case, we are talking about your customer’s passion.
At its core, content marketing works because it satisfies a prospect’s “itch” for more information. Hobbies, expensive products/services, and complicated products appeal to information-hungry customers who are passionate about finding the best solution. Content marketing works brilliantly in these situations.
On the other hand, simple impulse-driven products usually aren’t good content marketing candidates. For example, I’m not looking for information to inform my toothpaste choice.
Do I Need All of the 5Ps to Be Successful?
Do you need all six P’s before you can use Content Marketing? Before I answer, let’s see what happens when you ignore a factor:
No Purpose: Lack of resources, unrealistic objectives, and frustrated team members.
No Product: Low traffic and minimal engagement with your content. Readers are confused because they can’t see a direct link between their need and a solution.
No People: Inconsistently published and poorly crafted content.
No Process: Reinventing the content production process leads to wasted time and money.
No Passion: Sputtering to non-existent traffic.
So, do you need all five? Absolutely. Of course, there will be areas that are stronger than others but successful marketing leaders put a plan in place to steadily improve weak points and leverage the strong ones.
Your Next Step
You probably are too close to the situation to conduct a comprehensive review of your organization’s content marketing readiness.
You have two options here:
1) Ask a small internal team to conduct an assessment. Look for someone outside the marketing department to improve objectivity.
2) Talk with Us. We can apply the 6Ps to your organization and provide you with a comprehensive assessment and recommendations tailor-made made for your business. Regardless of the option you choose, get started immediately so you can make a decision while you have time to create and deploy your content marketing strategy.
Head on over to our LinkedIn Group to discuss how to apply the 6Ps to your business.