There is an interesting fight happening in marketing departments around the globe: Where does content marketing belong?
Does it belong to the PR pros because they are natural storytellers and are trained to craft a great story? Does it belong to advertisers because, without distribution, your content goes nowhere? Does it belong to marketers because it helps generate leads? Does it belong to a new role—the content marketer—so it can apply a very specific skill set?
The problem with this kind of thinking, of course, is it creates silos. Silos, by their very nature, are harmful to an organization and weigh it down when it really needs to be flexible to the constant change of technology. Silos also create fiefdoms that prevent colleagues from talking to one another. A concept discussed in great detail in Marketing in the Round, digital communications must exist to break those silos down and let content marketing belong to the entire organization.
The other problem is a good majority of organizations want to give content marketing a role instead of hiring for skill. That’s why there is the “Where does it belong?” argument.
The content marketing role should be defined on skill set and not on department. Once you find where people have strengths around the myriad content roles (planning, creation, distribution, engagement), you begin to get the entire organization involved in its success. Which leads to the Golden Ticket so many can’t seem to find.
By sheer necessity, smaller organizations have this process down already. Everyone in the organization is responsible for content marketing because there aren’t resources for departments, let alone departments to fight about it. Larger organizations can learn a thing or two from the Davids in their industries.
A 10-person software-as-a-service company in Pennsylvania serves the education market. Their focus for business development and client retention is on content marketing.
In the past three years, the results they’ve seen from having everyone involved in the content marketing process is astounding:
As they continue to work together to improve the content marketing process, their results continue to increase.
Just like any other business initiative, you have to plan your content marketing process.
To start, if you already have an accountability chart for everyone in your organization, start there. If you don’t, create a quick spreadsheet and fill in the strengths of each team member. In some cases, you’ll want to ask every employee to fill it in—and tell you what they really love to do. In other cases, you’ll want supervisors to provide this data. However you get it, it’s important to determine where people’s skills lie and then build the content marketing process around them.
Now it’s time to start working with everyone in the organization to break down the silos and make content marketing part of the job of all.
Create a content marketing plan that follows the decision-making funnel by offering top-, middle- and bottom-of-the-funnel content:
Every employee should be responsible for content at each level. This will create a flexible organization that can be fluid with technology changes, break down silos and improve culture because people will feel like they’re all in the organization’s success together.
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