Just A Little Too Little? Not For Content Marketing!

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This week I had the privilege of participating in a webinar with BtoB Magazine and Eloqua on “Modern Marketing”. As part of a 4 person panel I shared how marketing analytics can contribute to effective marketing content development. One webinar attendee posed a question I hear often. How can small organizations with few resources keep up with content demand? Great question.

It was later in the week that I watched as my kids played at a park. This particular park has a horrific climbing apparatus made of rope and wire. It’s the type of activity that beckons kids, and terrifies parents. For 2 years my 4 year-old has attempted to climb this mountain, never getting far and often needing rescue assistance. On this particular afternoon I watched as he studied the other more experienced climbers. He circled the contraption, tested the tautness of the ropes, and measured the initial reach necessary to get from one level to the next. Then he began to climb.

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Of course I quickly darted over to discourage another climb I was certain would end in failure. He reassured me he could do it. That kid was so determined. He very quickly climbed 3 levels to a resting spot. He sat down and raised his hands in victory. I caught my breath, congratulated him, and suggested he return to safer ground. No such luck. He wanted to reach the top. With a bit more caution but a heck of a lot of ambition he reached the summit.

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Developing a content strategy can be a very daunting task. You watch as larger more experienced companies nimbly climb their way to the top. Honestly, they started out just like smaller organizations. Content marketing as we know it is a relatively new practice. There’s no need to be discouraged. With the right discipline and planning any organization can develop effective content. Below are 6 content tips for smaller organizations.

1. Know what climbing equipment you have at your disposal. Look beyond webpages, collateral, and blog posts. Document saved emails with customers, sales presentations, and notes from both internal and external meetings. Interview those on your sales teams, pre and post sales teams, customer service representatives, and even HR.

2. Test the ropes. Identify a strong support system. Content development is not something that has to be tackled by a single individual. Explain the “why” of content marketing to your organization. Smaller companies and more agile teams typically have an easier time gaining buy-in. Split up the content work and identify potential thought leaders. Learn from your customers. They will be your greatest source of content.

3. Measure the reach. With a small team you need to understand where you should focus your efforts. Understand your buy-cycle and what content is needed at each phase. Where are the gaps in content and where is your sales funnel leaking?

4. Practice makes perfect. Not every content initiative will be a success. Develop, but also test your content. What can you derive from content performance? Why do you think it performed the way it did? What changes can you make to enhance performance? With a nimble team, you can make decisions and implement changes fast. Act smart, and act quickly, based on what the data says.

4. Commit and Execute. You’ll never make it to the top if you don’t try. Define your objectives and how content will help you achieve them. Create a plan. Set content milestones, define work effort, identify resources needed, and put dates to everything. With a smaller team you need to set realistic expectations of what can be delivered, and when.

5. There’s no such thing as “too small”. It’s not the size of the organization or the number of resources available that equates to success. With the right people involved, you can execute an outstanding content strategy. Identify the skills needed for your content development team and recruit people that have them. Don’t forget, if you feed quality revenue opportunity to your organization, it will grow.

6. Celebrate your success. Baseline your current content performance. Any incremental improvement should be communicated and celebrated. Understand why it performed well, and with what audience it resonated. Learn from the failures but leap forward with the successes.

With few resources, how do you keep up with content demand?

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Marilyn Cox

Marilyn Cox is the Director of Marketing for Second City Works - the B2B division of the famed Second City.

You know the buzzwords; inbound, outbound, content, demand gen, lead gen, martech, social media, account-based, advocacy, customer success, sales enablement, and analytics.She studies it, plans it, executes it, experiments with it, and loves it.

Through discovery, creation, and innovation she's learned to say "Yes, And".Like business, her career is one big improvisational act.

She leads all aspects of the brand and culture, developing and executing a clearly defined, integrated marketing communications strategy.Marilyn is responsible for planning, organizing, staffing, training, and managing all marketing functions to achieve objectives of growth, awareness, customer success and making work better.

Marilyn exists to empower sales and support the customer. When not geeking out over marketing analytics, she can be found daydreaming about her unrealized dream as a professional wrestler with the WWE.
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