Content can increase revenues when a consistent and thoughtful message is presented in an understandable way for a specific audience on social media.  So why aren’t more brands executing on a deliberate content plan? What stops companies from capitalizing on content and social media distribution?   The answers relate to the biggest problems that most marketers face: a lack of time and resources.

While tools and agencies exist solely to help brands achieve content goals, there is no gravitational force holding them together. The management of platforms and writing talent is daunting. Throw in moving targets in product development and buyer personas and it is pretty much the perfect storm of mediocrity. We estimate that 80% of all content programs are abandoned inside the first 18 months.

The solution to the content problem doesn’t lie in supersized marcom budgets or creation of a social media department (alas, even some large brands who can afford these things still can’t make it work!). Instead, the solution lies in the integration of the piece-parts needed to make your content sell.

First, a strategy is worth every penny. Getting a strategy together that considers the current and future state of your products and services is critical to success. We routinely work with brands that are in a state of transformation. While the details can be confusing and overwhelming at times, we insist on getting our course properly set and then sticking to the plan unless the data starts to tell us otherwise.

Which brings us to the second critical task: measurement. Content can’t create revenue if no one is watching for it to do so. Weekly and monthly metrics that measure new sales, leads and sales trajectory should be correlated with shares and reach of social media content considering the which content performs best. This means the success of the medium (video, blog, whitepaper), the subject matter of the content and target audience engagement need to be measured. There are some trial and error here, but when closely measured the content mix can be tweaked for success

Finally, you cannot go it alone! No matter how much focus is placed on content marketing, marketers have other tasks and functions to attend to within the business. Find a partner who brings it all together. Never buy a social posting or content measurement tool that does not include the necessary professional services to ensure proper usage and timely reports. Having excellent copywriters is meaningless in a world where marketing and legal approvals take months to hash out. Letting ‘good’ be the enemy of ‘great’ has toppled many social media programs.

Content marketing using social media is cutting edge stuff. Not everything (including analytics) has been proven and perfected no matter what the vendors tell you. Go into content marketing with an open mind and the right amount of help to sustain for the long haul. If you do, you will see your content creating new revenues right before your very eyes.

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