1. There is no one to carry the torch and lead your company into the publishing world. If this is the case you need to answer the following questions:
a. is it going to happen from my internal team?
b. Can I hire a new employee to delegate the charge?
c. Can I hire an agency to do it?
d. Am I going to do it?
You should be responding with at least one “yes,” and ideally 2, 3, or 4. So what the hell are you waiting for? If you’re reading this, you should take on the challenge. If you’re a leader within your company, there’s no question. Suck it up, it’s the difference between digital success and digital failure.
2. No insights make you, well, unoriginal and that can be a real motivation kill. If this is the case, answer these questions:
a. Have we stated a purpose for the content?
b. Is the content tied to accomplishing any goals?
c. What is your unique selling point?
d. Why are you a brand/company?
All these questions need to be answered but, answering any one is a big start. It’s funny how a company detached from its brand’s mission statement runs parallel a company that struggles to understand what to write about online. Our most successful clients in Search have a strong understanding of their mission and control of their brand’s voice. Start by answering why youare in existence. Move on to goals. Then do what you need to make it happen.
3. Your momentum is mud because you and the rest of your company have no victories to speak of in the content creating world. If this is the case you need to answer the following questions:
a. Do we have a content calendar?
b. Have we assigned writing responsibility?
c. Have you tried to support an event or promotion?
d. Is there one product to support?
To truly keep momentum and longevity in the movement, it is either paid for or it is part of the culture. No exceptions. Set micro-goals because they create small victories. Small victories create confidence. Confidence creates energy. Energy creates momentum. Sounds like a load of BS, but it is true. You can not fill up a blog in night or a week or even a month…well maybe some business could but it would be a major burden and probably not very good. Business that made a commitment two years ago are kicking most of their industry competitors in the ass. Any company that’s been pushing out content for more than two years is most likely kicking everyone square in the pants. It takes time and momentum.
4. Smartest person in the room doesn’t always have the best time at a party. Unless you want to speak to a very specific crowd in your industry, keep the jargon to a minimum. Know your audience and your purpose. This one should be easy, but it’s sometimes forgotten. Don’t let buzzwords do the talking or writing. Let the facts, figures, and ideas do it for you.
5. The digital maturity of a 3 year old seems to rule the bandwidth online and infiltrate marketing departments across the globe. What makes our information valuable? The solutions we provide or the things we have learned. If you can relate, you need to answer the following questions:
a. What benefits do I get from sharing our known solutions?
b. What would happen if my competitor shared this information first?
c. What process or insights make our product or service unique?
The simple reality is that in order to cut through the clutter, you have to be willing to do more. There are a lot of problem finders in this world; we have all worked for or with them. Guess what: itas multiplied online. So SHARING your solutions and the process to get there puts your company in the PROBLEM SOLVING group, which is far less cluttered. Think about why Apple is so successful. Their products are solution-based and so is their digital equity. Seomoz.org has built a company based on this very notion.
6. You tell and tell and tell some more, so eventually everyone stopped listening. You might be producing content on a regular basis, but not reaching goals. If this is the case you need to answer these questions:
a. How much time do I spend crafting this content?
b. Have I used my clients or myself as tangible examples to show?
c. Am I using multimedia content to bring this to life?
d. What would your boss say if you showed him or her the latest piece of content?
Users like researching online because of the education. It doesn’t mean everyone is going to become an expert and stop calling your company. That is not even possible. Like the license plates from Missouri say, aShow Me.a So give them visual proof. Show off the expertise. Make them understand the value of what you do.
7. The expected and accepted seem to be your forte. Living inside the box is what you consider daring. Does this sound normal? You need to answer these questions:
a. How different is the content on your site vs. the site of your competition?
b. Do you define your products, process, or purpose any differently than your competition?
c. Do you have any unique thoughts to enlighten your industry and its consumers?
Attention span and opportunity play a game of chicken every time a visitor lands on your website. Opinions are compelling. Try a few times a year to make a point and stand by it, you’d be the surprised.
8. Wouldn’t bust a grape in a fruit fight. Consumers have taken over the brand online or your competition is besting you. If this is the case, you’ve got 99 problems and content is just one.
a. How many 5 star reviews would it take to get your rating to a level you are comfortable with?
b. How many brand mentions do you have a day, week or month?
c. Is there an inferior product on the market that is selling more than your company?
Sometimes you have to stand up for what is right, and if you ARE RIGHT, consumers will love you for it. That applies if you need to balance the yelp pages or if your competitor is calling you out. If you ARE NOT RIGHT, take your entire marketing budget and go get it fixed and donat come back until you do. Dona’t ignore what you do best as a company because it’s probably parallel to a passion. That passion fuels leaders, insights, momentum, humility, longevity, advocacy, discovery, and stamina.