It's easy to operate under the illusion that you're doing everything well when your company is growing. However, it's also a hindrance that prevents you from reaching your full potential. You can overlook things that aren't urgent and feel good about it--the sea is calm, and the winds at your back. Be cautious of this mentality: It can prevent from you developing a strategy focused on long-term success.
With rapid change happening in your organization, you might lose sight of what's most important in your content marketing efforts or hit a wall and need to revamp with more efficient processes. To stay focused on your end goals, always point back to these four principles:
1. Align Your Strategy
When publishing external articles, targeted blog content, and gated content, a common thread should tie everything together: your goals. Whether you want to establish trust, build brand awareness, or do something else, your results will be much more visible when every effort is working toward a shared objective.
With a growing team, your content marketing strategy might not seem important or relevant to new hires in departments like accounting or IT. But every employee, regardless of her role, needs to understand how your content works together and which company goals are driving each article, blog post, or whitepaper. When everyone is on the same page, you can speak as a unified voice and convey your brand authentically.
2. Involve the Right People
Everyone from sales to account services to the executive team has a stake in your content strategy. Although content creation and distribution might seem like tasks reserved for the marketing team, your employees have value to add. Their knowledge and ideas could pour life into stale content and help your company appeal to a wider audience. Encourage your staff to contribute content and share company content with their networks to maximize its reach and rally your team around these company goals.
3. Own Up to Shortcomings
As a scrappy entrepreneur, you were always looking for ways to stretch every dollar. I was the same way. But as my company grew, I realized that I couldn't execute effectively on every area; I needed to invest fully in those actions that drove the business forward. The same concept applies to content marketing. If you want to accomplish the goals you've set, you need to produce dynamic content consistently or seek help if you can't do it on your own.
4. Prioritize Trust Over Sales
We recently surveyed more than 150 editors about the content they prefer, as well as the audience they address. The biggest problem they pointed out was that companies are being too promotional, and this type of content doesn't engage their audience. According to a study conducted by Contently, 54 percent of readers don't trust sponsored content. While native advertising and sponsored stories can work, your content has to deliver clear value to your audience, no matter how you present it. If readers jump in, only to find a glorified account of your company, they'll feel deceived. Sharing authentic messages your audience can connect to will breed brand supporters and ignite shares.
Just as each team member plays a distinct role in company growth, your external and internal content marketing efforts need to share the same objectives to truly move the needle.
As you take on more employees, clients, and revenue, don't let these distractions blind you from what matters most to your business: preserving relationships with your audience. Your content marketing is not only a way to continue the education process with existing customers, but it also enables you to establish new, meaningful relationships that will take your company into the next phase of growth.