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Are You Over-Strategizing Your Content Marketing?

Are you so bogged down by your content marketing strategy that you’re struggling to publish content consistently? 
Having a smart strategy is an essential component of content marketing, but planning is only half the battle. If you never progress to executing your plan (read: developing and deploying your content), you’ll never get the traction you need.

Planning vs. Execution in Content Marketing

The planning stage of content marketing is all about nailing down the initial strategy and logistics. Developing a content strategy involves big-picture thinking and includes questions like: 

Who is the target audience? 

What is the posting frequency? 

Where will the content be promoted, and what are the cadences for sharing it via email, social media, or other channels?

Having a plan for how to deliver your content helps you narrow your focus, so you can stop trying to be everywhere and talking to everyone on the internet.

A content strategy also incorporates logistical aspects, like setting up social media channels, building an editorial calendar, and designing email templates. 

But creating profiles, calendars, and templates will only get you so far. The crucial next step is putting your content marketing plan into action.

Unfortunately, as many businesses come to learn, execution is much harder than planning

Are you letting your content strategy get in the way of building your brand? If so, you might be facing one of these common obstacles.

Overcoming Common Obstacles to Content Production

Obstacle #1: Trying to perfect the funnel

Content is an important part of a B2B sales funnel—the process that converts the general public into loyal audience members and, eventually, customers or clients. 

Businesses know they need content marketing to be competitive. A high-performing blog post can entice readers to subscribe to your email list, book a consultation, or even make a purchase.

The problem occurs when you try to overengineer your content funnel. This often looks like investing weeks or months on a roadmap to drive new readers to a set of carefully sequenced blog posts that lead to your desired outcome.

But there’s one factor that’s difficult to account for in all this planning: user behavior. 

An obliging reader might follow your sequence of calls to action (CTAs), taking every step you’ve planned for them in the “right” order. They might also jump from a blog post to your About page, check you out on LinkedIn, subscribe to your email, etc. 

Let’s be clear: if you have time to go through this exercise, and it’s not holding back your current content production, you should go for it. But if all this strategizing means you’re waiting (and waiting) to launch your blog, you’re wasting valuable time. The best way to know what users will do is to put your content out there and start testing it.

Obstacle #2: Getting hung up on planning content topics

Almost everyone who has a blog struggles with figuring out what to write. Besides the challenges of identifying engaging topics, publishing content can be intimidating. Writer’s block often stems from a fear of being visible. When you put your ideas “out there,” you expose yourself to public opinion—the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Many businesses delay publishing because they get hung up in the topic planning process. It’s all too easy to dwell in the theoretical space of wondering what content would be best to post instead of actually posting it.

Here’s the hard truth: you won’t know until you try. 

Instead of assigning so much weight to individual blog posts, remember that each one is a piece of a larger content marketing initiative. As you publish content, you’ll learn what your ideal audience responds to—what they like and what drives them to take action. 

You can iterate and refine your content topics, themes, and even writing style as you learn more about your audience. But you won’t have the data to inform your efforts until—you guessed it—you actually start getting content into the world.

Obstacle #3: Agonizing over deployment dates

An editorial calendar is a beautiful thing, but unless your business has a specific, seasonal sales cycle, deploying each piece of content on the “perfect” date is less important than posting consistently. 

Sure, if you’re a CPA, you’ll want to post about tax deadlines in February instead of September. If you own a landscaping business, you probably won’t post about frost and snow during the summer. But for most companies, most of their content is evergreen—it’s valid, helpful, and applicable all year long. 

Remember that once it’s posted, your content lives on the internet and is accessible at any time. Readers will find it when they need it—not necessarily when you publish it (although you can use email marketing to bring content to their attention at specific times).

One way to keep your content engine running smoothly is to consider which pieces are easiest to develop and publish given your current resources. Start there, and give yourself time to plan for and develop more complex topics. 

We love a good plan and celebrate strategy here at Every Little Word. But we know from experience that the real wins happen when you cross the bridge from planning to execution. 

If you want an expert to guide you through the content marketing process and even write your content for you—we’re here to help! Book a Discovery Call with our team today.

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Kristen Sweeney

We create content for industry experts and aspiring thought leaders. We use great writing to tell your story. Let’s work together to share your ideas with the world.

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