How an a**-backwards approach may be killing your content initiative
Azbackwardia Contentus (azz-back-ward-ya content-us)
Latin for “Ass-Backwards Content”
The biggest cause of Azbackwardia Contentus is failing to create a strategic plan for content marketing.
According to the Content Marketing Institute’s B2B Content Marketing: 2016 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends — North America report, only 30% of marketers have a documented content marketing strategy. That sobering statistic means as many as 2 out of every 3 marketers may be afflicted with Azbackwardia Contentus.
Victims of Azbackwardia Contentus tend to feverishly jump into the production of content, without doing the foundational work of:
- Customer research to identify needs and pain points.
- Formulating customer personas that bring this data to life
- Visualizing a customer journey map, which shows how a typical customer moves from first recognizing a need to purchasing your product – and beyond.
- Mapping the audience’s content needs to key points along the customer journey, which drives the development of content targeted to meet those needs
As a result, the content that the marketer creates in isolation doesn’t usually resonate with its target audience. Therefore, it doesn’t create the impact the marketer requires.
- Projectile vomiting of content, which gets ignored by your target audience and becomes part of the background noise of the web.
- Poor engagement with content. Little or no response to social media promotion.
- Hallucinations that “scaling” the production of content will improve your engagement
- Ulcers and/or migraines, by-products of stress caused by explaining to the CMO why your content is getting little or no engagement.
- Your content initiative may die or may require life support, due to lack of tangible results.
- Your reputation may be tarnished by this unsuccessful initiative.
WARNING: Prolonged exposure to Azbackwardia Contentus can sometimes be deadly. You could lose your job over it.
The only known cure for Azbackwardia Contentus is a complete strategic planning regimen for content marketing.
One recommended method is the Content Marketing Building Blocks model developed by Cultivate Communications, summarized in the diagram (right). The foundational levels are especially important, because they drive and focus the tactics that will be used to carry out the content initiative.
Before you create any content, you must formulate a strategic plan that specifies:
- Who the target audience is.
What you know about them, based on feedback from your company’s salespeople, customer support, surveys and focus groups and in-person observations of customer behavior.
- Detailed personas for each audience segment.
Customer journeys that map the audience’s progress, from initial need to purchase and ownership.
- An editorial calendar that lays out a schedule for the distribution of the content that will be created as part of this plan.
- An agreement on the metrics that will be used to measure the impact of this content initiative. This data will also be used to incrementally improve the performance of your content initiative.
Possible side effects
(These are all positive outcomes, based on developing and executing your content initiative based upon a well thought out strategic plan)
- Impressive results you can show to your boss and senior management
- Euphoria and spontaneous high-fives with your teammates
- Praise from your boss
- Permission to expand your content initiative and your responsibilities
- Kick-a** projects you can add to your LinkedIn profile
- Career advancement
Act now to save yourself
Inoculate yourself against content marketing failure today.
Contact Bob Wendt at 262-373-4000 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your needs.
Please help us eliminate the scourge of Azbackwardia Contentus once and for all!