I recently met a company leader who spends nearly a third of his time focused on content. For him, writing blogs and articles for his website and company magazine is a priority. But he also has a background in publishing, and loves writing, making him the exception rather than the rule.
The truth is: Most leaders don’t and can’t make time in their schedule for writing. As much as they intend to, they’re probably never going to get around to penning that piece. They are pulled in multiple directions every day. It’s just not a priority.
And that’s OK. It really is. We frequently hear the same from managers at all levels of organizations, from the CEO on down to the marketing team.
It’s time that companies stop beating themselves up over not having the content they know they should have today and start viewing writing and content strategy for what they are: professional skills that are developed over years. It shouldn’t be something you expect everyone to be able to do. And in fact, while companies do need to solicit ideas and expertise from everyone on their team to develop great content that resonates with customers, those team members should not also be expected to draft that on their own.
It’s like asking me, an average driver, to take my driving skills to the NASCAR track. Yes, I will make it around the track in my mommy-mobile, but it’s going to take me a lot longer and I will not do so with nearly as much skill as the professional who just lapped me for the 20th time. While I know how to drive, my skills are a far cry from Jeff Gordon’s.
That said, there’s no reason to give up on content just because you might perpetually feel like you’re falling behind. Here are three things you need to ensure you consistently produce the marketing content you need to attract and engage customers, and grow your business:
A champion. Ideally, this is someone on your marketing team, but if you have team members who have writing talent that is not being tapped, they might be a good fit to drive any content initiative forward. This doesn’t mean they have to write everything. But if you don’t have someone championing consistent content development within your organization, the task will probably always be trumped by the day-to-day. The champion should be responsible for driving a plan around marketing content, including finding qualified writers and editors that can support content development in line with your growth goals.
A plan. Too many companies move forward with blogs, social media and email marketing without a long-term plan that is aligned with marketing strategy. One of the greatest things a plan does is give you a calendar – and with that, accountability. Here’s where we start when building out a content plan.
Lower expectations. I don’t mean lower quality. I mean don’t expect to write eight blogs a month. Start small. If you start too big, and fall short, chances are you’ll eventually give up. Instead, get one high-quality piece drafted a month to start, and build from there. Quality is the new black. Most experts today say that it’s better to do one or two high-quality, meaningful and relevant pieces each month than it is to post something every day.
Want to know how we approach writing for the experts that don’t have time to write on their own? Read more in How We Write Blogs for Our Clients (So They Don’t Have To).