We’ve Reached Content Marketing Critical Mass

I think we’re at a point where everyone from big businesses to small entrepreneurs has bought into the idea of content marketing.

Everyone gets it, but when it comes to execution there’s still some ground to cover.

Not everyone understands how to create great content in a repeatable way. Businesses want content to reach their customers at every point in their funnels, and it’s a big challenge.

The companies who’ve been crushing it in the market are doing so because they’ve created systems behind their content. In an ideal world every CEO would be a fulltime content creator, but unfortunately it’s not the reality for most people.

We spend a lot of time coaching companies on developing these strategies so they can have both quality and volume.

Part of our solution is about tapping into a talent network that can bring you in touch with the right creators who can match the voice and tone of your business.

We encourage our clients to find these people and bring them onto the marketing team. They might be writers, editors, designers, or videographers and animators.

You can work with these people as contractors or, if you have the resources, bring them in-house. In order for creative people to be at their best, you want them to have the freedom to exercise their talent.

There’s a savvy consumer base out there, and they can tell what’s valuable content and what’s not.

When you talk to creatives they really want to give you their best work, but sometimes they can’t do that in an 8-5 job environment.

What you really want is to set up a business agreement that allows them to maximize their value to your company. If you can master that and build out that team, you’ll be on your way.

There’s also a great need for a content manager, someone in-house to can oversee all these contractors and keep the content schedule intact.

This person needs to make sure the brand voice is kept consistent across your content.

Your content managers have to become the stewards of your brand and embody the mission and voice of what you’re putting out into the world.

Companies will typically document their vision and their mission, or maybe they document some personas of their buyers.

You also need to define your brand do’s and don’ts, which outline how to speak about the brand as well as how to specifically not speak about the brand.

The brand voice doesn’t have to be documented, but it needs to be clearly implied from the other pieces of brand architecture. Your vision and mission are important of course, and you need to make sure your content teams understand each one.

They are different! Your mission is your purpose, while your vision is how you describe what it looks like when your mission is being fulfilled.

Creating a larger framework for your teams to understand these concepts will set them on the right course as they dedicate themselves to producing high-quality content.

None of these needs to be perfect on day one.

They’re meant to evolve over time. And having something down on paper is better than nothing at all. I’ve seen companies hold back on their content until they felt self-realized enough to move forward.

Don’t do that. Just get started. That’s phase one.

Phase two is building out a strategy, albeit an imperfect one, and phase three is when your strategy becomes more sophisticated.

It’s also important to pay attention to the learning curve of your team. Even in the gig economy, you want to be building long-term relationships and not view what your team’s producing as merely transactional.

They’re a real business partnership. So be ready to invest appropriately!


Action Steps

  1. Find the creative talent team who will be producing your content.
  2. Hire a content manager to oversee all of your creatives. Make them in-house if possible.
  3. Define your brand architecture, including vision, mission, values, do’s and don’ts, and voice.
  4. Give your team the freedom to create great high-quality content.
  5. Just go ahead and create content. Don’t wait. Improve as you go.


Result You Will Achieve

Stronger content by building relationships with freelance creatives and dedicated content managers who can instill your brand voice, mission, and vision throughout your content.

Mentor: Joe Griffin

Co-Founder of Clear Voice. He has served in executive roles at Web.com and iCrossing and has co-founded multiple companies, including Submitawebsite.com and iAcquire. Joe was named one of Arizona’s top “35 Under 35″ entrepreneurs by The Arizona Republic in 2013.

This article is based on an EHQ interview with the mentor.