How the Content Authoring Experience Can Make or Break the Success of your Content Strategy
These days, if you’re in marketing, there’s a single word that drowns out all the others, content. Every digital marketing initiative revolves around it. Marketers lose sleep over whether they’re creating enough to compete, and how they can make it more relevant, more targeted and personalized. If there’s any doubt to its ubiquity, just look to Google Trends where you’ll find a steady upward trajectory over the past five years for the search term “content marketing.”
And there’s documented research that supports it’s more than overblown hoopla:
According to DemandMetric, content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing and generates about 3 times as many leads.
69% of marketers say content is superior to direct mail and PR. (Source: The Content Council).
78% of CMOs believe custom content is the future of marketing. (Source: DemandMetric)
So it’s no surprise that an enormous amount of time and resources are devoted to capturing prospects and connecting with customers through the use of content. Marketers painstakingly develop personas and map buyer journeys, tweaking them endlessly to inform their content strategies.
While entirely justified, there’s another area all too often ignored by senior management that directly impacts the success of your content marketing. I’m referring to the content authoring environment, and its role in meeting the goals of any content strategy.
Today, both midsize and Fortune 1,000 companies are increasingly dependent on digital channels to reach their customers and prospects. Their websites are the most high-profile and critical representation of their brands, and in many cases the primary customer touchpoint for their products and services.
These companies invest heavily in creating leading edge experiences to evoke powerful emotions from customers and prospects leading them to consider and hopefully buy products and services.
But when we think about producing engaging digital experiences, it’s at the origin of where those experiences are created that deserve closer examination. Specifically, how empowered the team of people are that shoulder the daily responsibility of managing those experiences. These are your content authors – the team you expect to write and publish content at breakneck speed in order to keep up with market demand.
In our experience, not enough directors or C-level folks are asking the right questions though: What is the experience of content authors when it comes to loading and publishing content to your website or websites? Can they do it themselves with relative ease, or does it require an IT ticket that's submitted and then sits in a queue?
Does the authoring experience promote or stifle your team’s ability to deliver on their objectives?
The content authoring environment matters if we expect our marketers to create and manage high-frequency, high-quality content. Yet all too often, there’s a push from above to produce and publish mass amounts of content as quickly as possible (routed for approval, of course), without an honest assessment of whether you’ve put your content authors in a position to be as powerful as they’re capable of being.
It’s safe to assume that for most companies, creating content is as important as it has ever been and shows no signs of waning. When that critical link in the chain (the content author) is broken or compromised, your digital experiences can’t live up to their potential, no matter how much time your agency spent designing them.
So the next time you’re pushing your content team to produce more and publish it faster, make sure you’ve armed them with the right tools they need to meet your expectations.