When people are developing a content strategy, sometimes they run into problems. That’s to be expected with any complex business process, of course. There are many places you could have trouble, but I’m thinking today about two big categories:
- Trouble with content
- Trouble with strategy
I’m focusing on this particular dichotomy because it leads to opposite problems: Too much content [strategy issue] and too little [content]. I’ll get you something in the next couple of days on the strategy side of this equation, but you can probably already guess where I’m headed there with spam, content farms and other unwanted content.
I don’t know if the content side is the harder problem or not, but it’s definitely a mental issue. How many times have you thought about your content situation and said, I just don’t know what to say…I’m not sure how to proceed…I don’t see how my information can make a difference…or the worst: Our customers already know everything they need to know?
I’ve yet to meet a business that didn’t need more valuable content. Sometimes we fall short on marketing, sometimes on customer support, sometimes on operations. But no matter what area of the business you touch, you need great content.
When you start a blog, and then stop, you’ve proved nothing. When you open a Twitter account, and don’t tweet, you’ve learned nothing. When you join a community, and don’t post, no one gains. When you add a help section on your site, but don’t actually give good instructions, you aren’t actually helping anyone.
How many times has your organization made a half-assed effort on content and then proclaimed it a failure?
I don’t ask that to judge — I’ve done the same myself. But we can’t expect great results from minimal effort. Great content takes expertise and hard work. Everyone’s got the capacity for both requirements, but it’s often a matter of getting them in the same place at the same time.
So it’s Friday afternoon where I am. It’s a great time to think about what you’re going to make happen next week. Plan now to throw some spaghetti on the wall next week, content-wise. I don’t mean that you should be haphazard about it — find a small project that you’ve been meaning to tackle, or a part of your product or marketing plan that needs a little love, and act on it. Get ready now so you can attack it Monday morning. Figure out now what it will take for you to judge the success of the project — and follow through step by step until you can say for sure whether it worked.