A Pile of Content Is Not the Answer

“Can you just create some compelling content that everyone will love?” Ever hear that? Well, that’s not how a content marketing strategy works: There is no magic fairy dust to sprinkle over the content creators to make them generate more, fabulous content. (Trust me, I wish it was that simple.)

Raise your hand if you’ve heard this, or some approximation of this:

Compelling Content MemeAnd how many times did you cringe and make this face/gesture before quietly retreating?

Firefly Mal gifThat’s not how a content marketing strategy works: There is no magic fairy dust to sprinkle over the content creators to make them generate more, fabulous content. (Trust me, that would come in really handy during busy weeks).

And to piggyback off of that, no one should be patting themselves on the back for producing a bucket full of content assets … “Hey CMO, look at me … in six months my team has created 48 blog posts, 25 whitepapers, 12 webinars and a partridge in a pear tree!” The question in response to that should be, “And how do they all work together to deliver a customer experience?” Usually the answer is the faint thrum of crickets.

But Wait, There’s Hope!

If Joe Pulizzi is the Godfather of Content Marketing, then Robert Rose is The Consigliere … or if we want to take a step away from organized crime references, he’s the REALLY smart uncle who knows just as much as the Godfather, and honestly, why isn’t he … okay, getting off track.

So. Robert Rose. Super cool guy, super smart guy, and I got to meet him last year at Content Marketing World. When the editorial team got together in the spring to pitch session ideas for our Integrated Marketing Virtual Conference this year, I suggested the topic of repurposing content (very hot), and then said, “Hey, what if we ask Robert?”

Flash forward to now, a handful of days after the virtual show, and yes, Robert was able to join us, yes he delivered a fantastic session titled “The Content Show That Never Ends: Repurposing Like a Media Company,” and yes I created the following meme about 10 minutes after the session wrapped (priorities, folks):

Hey Frank memeSo in those 30 dazzling minutes what did we learn?

  • In every great content-driven experience you hear people raving about, it’s the collection of assets, not any one, that provides value.
  • A reusable content plan that can be measured in multiple ways over time can only help your marketing strategy.
  • More common than not, marketers have a disconnected pile of assets, and they’re unable to measure the efficacy of a program because it’s not program. Instead, it’s tactical support of a campaign. Or as Robert quipped, “You have assets coming out of assets.”
  • You can build a better content marketing strategy if you start at the end.

RRIMV_slideNow, this is just a mere taste of what Robert shared with IMV attendees, and I don’t want to share any more than this because you’re doing yourself a disservice if you don’t listen to the man himself.

Good news for you: If you missed the show on Thursday, it’s on-demand until Sept. 27! Register, if you haven’t already, and check out Robert’s presentation (and then stick around for a few of the others to get other aspects of your marketing in order).

It’ll get you thinking about how you can smartly repurpose content, but better yet, it’ll help you reframe how you look at content and the customer experience.


Author: Melissa Ward

Melissa Ward is the managing editor for Target Marketing, and she has opinions! More importantly, she's a nerd for great copy and design, a disciple of authenticity, and really loves it when marketers get it right.

3 thoughts on “A Pile of Content Is Not the Answer”

  1. Hi Melissa,
    I’ve heard these suggestions — or variations of them — repeatedly. But, as a solopreneur myself, and as one who teaches and coaches solo operators, what do you suggest for “the rest of us” that don’t have teams (who create those “assets” you mention in your article)? Solos frequently don’t have deep pockets to outsource either… It’s “just us” doing it all! So, does this mean that solos shouldn’t even try to compete in the Content Marketing arena? Sure hope not, because it is effective, but it is also frustrating most of the “tips” have to do with teams and collaboration…

    1. Hey Karen, thanks for taking the time to read and comment!

      First, definitely register for the free virtual show and watch Robert’s presentation (if you haven’t already), mainly because I REALLY simplified things.

      One of his main things is to NOT create a ton of disconnected content, which takes a lot of time and energy. That’s applicable to a team of 1 or 100! Instead, it’s coming up with a program to repurpose well and creatively, building off assets, and making sure there is a connection that ends up in a valuable content program for your audience 🙂

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