Will my blood, sweat and tears about your lack of a content marketing strategy go up in smoke?

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Will my blood, sweat and tears about your lack of a content marketing strategy go up in smoke?

On my first Mother’s Day, nearly 11 years ago, my husband, our nine-month-old daughter, and my 89-year-old Grandma spent the good part of a road trip downstate making a list of all the idioms we knew. We came up with about 70. I was reminded of that trip recently when I read an article by Joe Pulizzi, “B2B Manufacturers Stuck When It Comes to Content Marketing,” in which he led with “at the risk of sounding like a broken record” and ended with his bio that described him as a “poster boy for content marketing”.

So, how do these two events connect? Well, you see I just love idioms. And Pulizzi used them well. I love how idioms so appropriately articulate the extreme – absolute absurdity and promise of anything. Reading Pulizzi’s article possessed me with my idea for this post, but first let me share a couple of important points from the results from the manufacturing marketing research:

• 18% of business-to-business manufacturing marketers say their organizations are effective at content marketing – down from the 26% in 2015

• 18% of survey respondents had a documented marketing strategy

One can surmise that 82% then are not effective at content marketing and/or lack a documented marketing strategy. There is a boatload of great information in the research, and I encourage you to download the report. At the risk of you leaving me, I will leave the link until the end, because I don’t want you to jump ship just yet. Let me thank Pulizzi for the great research and data points that inspired me and tapped into my deep down love of idioms that helped fuel this post and make a go of this topic, which – make no bones about it – is not exclusive to B2B manufacturers.

Creating content with NO strategy is a lost cause where you chase your tail expecting that whole bag of tricks you threw at it to deliver the goods; it’s an exercise in futility. Content is king for many reasons, including credibility, thought leadership, storytelling, and customer engagement. In other words, customers want to know that you are worth your salt, their time is money and if they believe that your product passes the acid test, then they can stop exploring all avenues, get their ducks in a row and get the show on the road with buying into your product or service.

Building a content strategy is not rocket science requiring you to eat, sleep and breathe it nor your blood, sweat and tears. But if you want to sail through it, then develop a content strategy that strikes the right chord, is delivered through the correct channel, engenders confidence from current customers, and engages new ones. The end result will be obvious that you did your homework and reviewed your content with a fine tooth comb and quickly learned that some things worked like a charm and others were dead wood.

So buckle down and mean business. And not like General Electric, a great example which Pulizzi used in his article, which successfully engaged tens of thousands of people and then abandoned ship, followers bereft in radio silence. Being strategic means being agile and keeping your fingers on the pulse of the customer. You need to think on your feet and never let grass grow under them. When you see that something works well, don’t let it slip through your fingers – fast track it and you’ll never miss the boat. Content requires constancy – which is why the strategy is imperative.

Now, certainly no one reading this will be the first out of the gate, but when your content strategy is executed with thought, purpose and clear intention your customers will know that you are both raring to go and are going places.

But, if the idea of content marketing makes your flesh crawl, leaves you with a lump in your throat and makes you feel like a fish out of water; if it’s just something that you can neither fling yourself at or sink your teeth into, well there are no worries that it’s a punch above your weight, just look on the bright side because I assure you are not up a creek without a paddle. Because, content strategy is on our brain all day, it’s the bee in our bonnet, we show up with bells on and deliver a fever pitch where we will pull out all the stops to engage your customers, grow your client base, and improve your reputation. We assure every client they are not a wooden spoon, but a top dog with the world at its tail. It is quite rewarding to hit the ground running and when we make headway, to watch our clients and their customers go bananas for our strategy and tactics. Admittedly while not every tactic is a smash hit, I assure you we have a great track record for finding your place in the sun.

As someone whose career is rooted in the efficacy of communication that markets and brands organizations, I do hope that this post spoke volumes about our ability at Harris Media Services to take a very important topic – one that’s critical to your business – and made you think:

• Are you doing this, doing it well and do you need help?

• Referring back to Pulizzi – are you part of the 18% or 82%?

I do hope that both questions and answers were accompanied by a silly smile in appreciation for an effort that I thoroughly enjoyed and am semi-confident will neither blow up in my face or go up in smoke! If curiosity is going to kill the cat, and you need to know how many idioms I used, then fathom a guess and contact me. I will gladly reply with the answer, and an assurance that the winner will be my faithful idiom pal for life.

Thanks for reading! Now if you’d like to read all the results from the manufacturing marketing research, download B2B Manufacturing Content Marketing 2016: Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends—North America, produced by Content Marketing Institute and sponsored by Lionbridge.

Karen Craven is an associate with Harris Media Services, based in Chicago, IL.