Douglas Eldridge has worked in marketing/communications since 2003. As field and content marketing manager for Contentserv he is tasked with strategizing and implementing marketing efforts in the US, utilizing both inbound and outbound methods. He has worked for both global communication companies as well as start-up marketing agencies including Revenue River Marketing, PR Newswire and censhare.
Content marketing isn’t as easy as just writing a blog and pushing “publish,” yet it also isn’t as hard as many make it out to be.
What separates the throng of small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) that practice content marketing from enterprises companies that spend millions of dollars on marketing to countless channels is not the discipline itself, but the bureaucracy and use of improper tools to try to streamline the process.
SMBs and enterprises have different advantages and disadvantages when it comes to marketing, although you have to have worked on both sides to understand that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. The money that enterprises have to spend on marketing is merely a pipe dream to most SMB marketers, while SMB’s agility will likely make any enterprise marketer envious.
But, in today’s world, where a single post can go viral, agility and the ability to streamline processes has to be prioritized without compromising quality. And in an organization with dozens of marketers, processes and agility aren’t exactly bedfellows.
Agility Starts With Content
Content marketing has become emblematic to online marketing. However, it’s only because marketing is trending more online than traditional marketing is nowadays.
Are TV commercials or magazine ads not content? Of course they are, and you’re using that content to market. This is where the conundrum began two decades ago. For whatever reason people divvied up marketing into two buckets: traditional and digital. From there, the silos continued to fill with different technologies, agencies, departments, campaigns, and everything else that goes along with marketing.
By putting departments at the center of marketing rather than content, enterprise companies have been shackling themselves for years. And now that digital and traditional marketing are merging, agilely managing campaigns — let alone managing the big data that marketing campaigns should deliver — is next to impossible, which is why 60% of content goes unused and 73% of data is ignored in enterprise organizations.
With content at the forefront of marketing, you can build infrastructure to support its dissemination and merge your multiple teams into one single team. If you have the infrastructure to put content at the center of your marketing efforts, you can develop a content supply chain. Imagine an assembly line that begins with a piece of content — a blog post, an image, or whatever else — then sends it along to the proper marketers and eventually dissemination channels, with data flowing back seamlessly.
The Content to the Right Marketer at the Right Time
When enterprise-level companies can arm themselves with both agility and big budgets, marketing reaches a new level. For example, Oreo’s You Can Dunk in the Dark tweet, which happened during an electrical failure in the middle of the 2013 Super Bowl, was pulled off via a manual supply chain. They had the right people in the right place at the right time and were able to be creative and navigate the approval process in a matter of minutes.
Today’s marketing mantra is “the right content to the right audience at the right time,” but that mantra should begin long before the dissemination stage. The right content should be delivered to the right marketer long before (or in some cases shortly before) the content is sent to your audiences.
Omnichannel marketing is often the catalyst for slow processes in content marketing at enterprise organizations. With a content supply chain in place, the wheels of marketing can move forward. Infrastructure has to start somewhere, and likely a digital asset management (DAM) or, increasingly, a product information management (PIM) system (depending on need and vertical) will anchor a much broader platform. The platform should make services such as localization, translations, and even channel variances as easy as pushing a button to route the right content along the right workflows.
Content is slow to share with the public because the processes to ensure quality are inefficient. By not investing in the foundation to unsilo your marketing efforts, the grass on the agile SMB side will always look greener, no matter how big your marketing budget is.
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