November 12, 2013

Is Being a Perfectionist Holding You Back from Content Marketing Success?

Content marketing isn’t going anywhere, and the numbers tell the story. Recent research suggests that business-to-business marketers with blogs generate 67 percent more leads than their non-blogging counterparts. Furthermore, 90 percent of customers indicate that they find custom content useful, while 78 percent of them agree that businesses that spend time creating custom content are interested in building and maintaining strong, mutually beneficial relationships.

While consensus has formed surrounding the importance of content marketing, the fact remains that marketers are still trying to develop best practices surrounding the groundbreaking integrated approach. With small businesses spending 42 percent of their marketing budgets on content marketing, and larger companies spending 24 percent, it’s important to ensure that the content created actually sees the light of day.

As a marketer, you only want to produce and disseminate the highest caliber content, meaning you often spend hours producing a single blog post. While it’s imperative to strive for only the best, perfectionism could be holding you back, impeding the progress of your content marketing program—and, without intention, wasting your company’s time and money. 

Let’s take a moment to look at three habits that could be holding your strategy back:

  • Writing, rewriting, rewriting, rewriting. . . Practice does make perfect, but when it comes to blog posts or news articles, it’s highly unlikely that any two writers, let alone an entire marketing team, would wholly agree on every word and phrase laid down on the page. While it’s vital that marketers do their due diligence in creating gold-standard content that’s thoroughly edited and well written, it’s also very important to make sure that progress is made. After all, you don’t want to be going back to the drawing board every few days because your team can’t agree on the message you’re trying to send. Content marketing is about disseminating information to your customers. That information should be released. It should not be held up in a conference room. If two people can’t come to a precise consensus on something, perhaps consider letting both of them write blog posts from their own perspectives. That way, you’ll have twice as much content produced in hopefully half as much time.
  • Creating a content marketing desert. . . You want your customers to find the content you create useful. Once that connection is made, you want to pique their interest in such a way that they’ll keep coming back for more. If they keep coming back for more and there’s no new content to be digested, you may very well squash that person’s budding interest. Make sure you maintain your blog and post content regularly. More importantly, keep content short and sweet. No one wants to read 2,000 words about why peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are better than peanut butter and fluff sandwiches. But plenty of people would read 300 to 700 words on the subject—especially the sandwich connoisseurs you’re targeting. If you can’t capture everything you want in a single blog post, consider an ongoing series.
  •  Regular irregularity. . . Congratulations! You’ve launched a new column that you publish every Thursday afternoon and the response from readers has been overwhelmingly positive. But after a few weeks, other aspects of your marketing program start to gain traction so you’re forced to pass off your weekly column to a coworker, who eventually places it on the backburner. Don’t abandon your loyal readers. It’s important to maintain any initiative that you start. After all, no one likes a company that makes promises and fails to deliver.

Creating quality content can often feel like a full-time job, however it’s important to remember that quantity, not an overload, but measureable amount of content, is just as important. Don’t let the pursuit of perfection and flawlessness impede your content marketing strategy. Instead, trust that you and your team know what’s best for your audience.

Edited by Brooke Neuman

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