Organizations often ask us what they can do to increase their chances of success with content marketing.
Some answers are, of course, obvious: hire the right agency to execute for you. Write content people actually want to read. Create a plan and stick to it. Execute your content marketing strategy alongside other tactics that support it. Publish regularly.
They may be obvious, but those suggestions are all good ones. There’s another suggestion that can dramatically increase your chances of success that people don’t often think about: build buy-in before it comes time to execute your plan.
Building buy-in throughout the strategy development process, rather than waiting until the last minute and telling key stakeholders you’re launching a new content marketing campaign, is an important step towards not only getting your campaign started off on the right foot, but also towards ongoing success when the honeymoon period wears off.
Why? It’s simple. When a new project announcement–“We’re branching out our content marketing efforts and will be publishing more in the combing months”–is dropped on someone’s desk, they have little reason to care or contribute. What does branching out mean? How much more are we publishing? Why are we working on content marketing? What is content marketing, anyways?
Compare that to the alternative, which is involving key decision makers long before the plan is finalized. Using that method, you have time to show the people who matter why you’re making the decision. To show them what type of content you’re writing and publishing, and where the ideas are coming from. To show them why the project is worth their time and why they should care. To build consensus.
Building consensus and focusing on buy-in forces people (as much as one can) to care. It’s much easier to be concerned about the success of a project and to want to contribute when you saw it go from idea to fruition than it is when it’s plopped down on your desk as part of a weekly company-wide update.
If you truly want your content marketing efforts to be successful, focus on building buy-in long before it ever comes time to execute. It’s a longer path and takes a bit more effort, but the results are worth it in the long run.