Content Means Business
Banishing Boredom From Business Communication
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Our Content ... in Our Own Words

"Content in Context"

THE TEN COMMANDMENTS OF EFFECTIVE CONTENT CREATION

  1. Make it mean something. EVERY piece of content you produce needs to mean something to the people who read it. AND it needs to advance the interests of your business. Fail on the first point and they won’t read it. Fail on the second and - very best case - you’ll just be doing them the favour of growing their knowledge, instead of growing your business too.
  2. Make them want to read it. In an age of hyper-sophisticated content tracking metrics, measuring where it goes can end up eclipsing how well written it is. Badly written doesn’t get read. On any platform.
  3. Make it work equally hard wherever it appears. A White Paper doesn’t work so well as a tweet. Plan for all the platforms you want your content to appear on before you start to produce it.
  4. Make the effort to follow it up. There’s no point expecting ‘followers’ in cyber space if you don’t make the space in the schedule to keep an eye on the progress of your content once it’s released.
  5. Make sure your own people know what’s going on. The single most important audience for any content-led marketing you will ever produce is your own internal team. They can’t champion it, or benefit from it in any way, if they don’t know it exists.
  6. Make sure your own people understand what’s going on. Having your people knowing about the existence of your content marketing is vital but still only half the battle. They also need to understand your message, otherwise they can’t meaningfully engage in the market conversations it should be designed to inspire.
  7. Make sure your own people can see the point. Your team deserves to know what you are aiming to achieve with your content production. That’s a basic courtesy. It’s also indispensable if you want to count on their support.
  8. Make sure everything you produce has an owner. Every piece of content needs an internal sponsor, preferably a senior one who has high expectations from it. This way, things will happen. The alternative is an ownerless vacuum: fatal to the effectiveness of content.
  9. Make sure you measure what matters. Intricate metrics from shiny measurement programmes will detail traffic. But it’s outcomes that really matter. If a White Paper goes to one well-chosen prospect who reads it, likes it, meets you and engages with you, that’s a triumph. The rest is ‘stuff’.
  10. Make sure you set meaningful targets. Make your content distribution programmes outcomes driven not volume based. Your market isn’t a wall. And your content isn’t mud.
Mari Vardanyan
“Content out of Context”

THE TEN BROKEN COMMANDMENTS OF CONTENT CREATION

  1. No strategic linkage. What companies are writing, blogging, tweeting and emailing about doesn’t relate to what the market wants, or  to their own growth strategy.
  2. No appeal to the reader. The content isn’t compelling. So people don’t read it and the effort taken to create it is wasted.
  3. No ability to work on different platforms. The content is produced with a single format in mind. So it is difficult and time consuming to make it ‘fit’ multiple delivery platforms.
  4. No follow-up. As soon as content is ‘out there’, nobody takes specific responsibility for following it up.
  5. Nobody knows what’s going on. People on the inside of the organisation don’t know enough, or anything, about the programme of content that’s being produced for them.
  6. Nobody understands the material. People on the inside are not familiar enough with the messages and the background of the content that’s being produced.
  7. Nobody can see any point. Success stories of the positive impact of content are not captured or communicated through the organisation.
  8. No ownership. Content stays as ‘stuff’ that Marketing does, often in isolation. Leadership and senior people don’t have a real stake in it. Or, after they have invested time and effort in helping to produce it, there's no outcome and they feel cheated.
  9. Nobody measures what really matters. Metrics technology is sophisticated. But it measures ‘traffic’ rather than impact.
  10. Nobody sets meaningful targets. Content distribution targets are typically volume based rather than outcomes driven. 
Mari Vardanyan