It’s time to get past the frustration and get real.
I get it. You’re busy. You have product people clamoring for materials for the upcoming trade show and meanwhile you haven’t done a blog post in months while your website redesign has been dragging along in the sitemap stage for-ever.
If it makes you feel any better, I see it all the time, especially in the transportation and logistics world: marketers unable to keep up with the demands of steady content creation on top of just keeping up with regular marketing materials.
Let’s face it, we are always in a state of flux. No one will ever reach zero to-do list. Ever. There’s a term for thinking you can do everything, all the time forever: workaholism.
I think what most companies should be focusing on is the essential, the achievable and the sustainable.
Enough with thinking you’re going to produce a weekly blog post AND regular e-blasts AND social posts, not to mention the occasional gated content piece PLUS all the PowerPoints, webinars, campaigns and collateral your team is hounding you for.
You do need to do something, of course, both to draw prospects to your site and direct them to the next step in your marketing funnel. (You do have a marketing funnel, right? If not, we should talk.)
That means content: blog posts, case studies, white papers, podcasts, how to guides, explainers, etc.—things that appeal to prospects at every stage of the funnel and are there to move them closer and closer to a sale with every view and visit.
But how do you do that? We’ve already established you have no time.
My suggestion for how to prioritize is this: start with the basics, aim for evergreen pieces, be consistent, and augment as best you can along the way.
At the risk of being really obvious, start by looking at your call-to-action on your website. Is it crystal clear what you want a prospect to do. Schedule a demo? Meet with a rep? Provide their email in order to download your guide? If not, fix that. It is priority one.
As for the basics, ask yourself what prospects need at each stage of the marketing funnel.
Do they need how-to information? Then write a post that explains your service category to a newbie.
Are they at the point where they’re figuring out their options and asking questions like, “If I was to do this myself, what would I…?” or “Are there companies out there that do X for companies like mine?” Write a post that lays out the possible paths a prospect in these shoes might take. (And of course be sure and include your service in the list.)
Are they at the point where they know what they want and are narrowing down their list of potential partners? Give them information that helps them in their decision. Avoid giving an outright sales pitch that might creep them out. Opt instead for topics like:
- “7 mistakes companies make in choosing an X provider.”
- “When is the best time to invest in Y Service.”
- “10 things to look for in a Y provider.”
Are they at the decision point and looking for clear and compelling reasons to choose you—or not? A post that presents your unique selling proposition with the voice of authority is a great call. Case studies too. Client lists and testimonials are valued by these prospects as well.
Cover these basics. And be sure and choose evergreen topics, in other words, posts that will be useful for a year (or more.)
In all, we’re talking three or four blogs, here. Post them according to a schedule you can achieve, like say one every three weeks or once a month.
Look at that, you’ve got your bases covered. The trick now is to determine what is achievable for you in terms of augmenting these posts so that you are building a richer and richer experience for visitors in each of your funnel stages. A couple of tips for this task: Be strategic; don’t post just to post or to stick to your schedule. Prioritize: Target your highest value prospects first and write to the hot button-topics those readers want to know about.
The important thing is not to be stifled. Need a sure source of inspiration? Content Marketing Institute is chock full of suggestions. And if you need someone to help you hammer-out your content calendar and get posting, I’m here (you know, firstname.lastname@example.org).
P.S. I am the classic cobbler’s kid. I am somewhat ashamed to admit that I, too, have not posted in months. What can I say? I really, really like working on other people’s stuff and not my own. So I really do get it. I feel your pain. And that’s not the end of it. Very ironically I admit, my call-to-action is off, as in my contact page is totally off-line at this time. (GoDaddy assures me they are on it.)