Is Content Paralysis Sabotaging Your Marketing Growth?

Is Content Paralysis Sabotaging Your Marketing Growth?

Is Content Paralysis Sabotaging Your Marketing Growth?

Start by answering these questions:

  • Are you a content writer’s red-pen wielding buzz kill? Do you spend your evenings and weekends meticulously revising and editing every whitepaper, ebook, blog post, press release, or email that your content writers produce?
  • Do you have good content sitting around that never gets published?
  • Are you a social-media hovercraft, someone that insists on reviewing and approving every single social media post?

If you answered yes to any of the above, you’re burning through time and money and causing yourself (not to mention your marketing staff) a whole lot of undue aggravation. Look, I get it. You don’t want to publish crap that reflects poorly on your brand. But while you dither on getting content out the door, your target audience is reading your competitors’ content. Basically, you’re not showing up on time for your interview with your target audience.

Content paralysis goes hand in hand with campaign failure. According to Emma Stratton, Founder and Chief Strategist at Punchy, “the reason most campaigns fail is because of a weak or non-existent positioning and messaging strategy behind it.” Fix your positioning and messaging, and you’ll fix most of what’s getting in the way of an efficient content process.

How to fix content paralysis with a positioning statement and value messaging strategy:

Create a Positioning and Value Messaging Strategy

Positioning and messaging are the building blocks of all marketing and sales. Emma Stratton reminds us that a positioning statement tells prospects what your product or service is, who needs it, and the value it offers that competitor solutions don’t. Here’s an example that positions a fictitious product:

Digital Stunt Writer is an easy-to-use freelance writer’s software that takes notes, transcribes, and edits interviews in real-time.

Messaging goes one step further to clearly explain the value of your product or service in a language your ideal customer speaks. Value messaging focuses on how your product or service will change your ideal customer’s life. As Stratton says, your messaging must “turn pains into benefits.” Notice these Digital Stunt Writer value statements answer the question: “How does this benefit freelance writers?”

Craft great copy with less tedious groundwork.

Earn more and spend less time on each writing project.

Next, Get Rid of Old Habits that Paralyze Content

Once your organization is aligned around a goal and strategy and everyone is clear on your brand’s positioning and value, make sure your old habits don’t creep in and wreck the progress you’ve made. (I’m talking to you in the premium seats.)

Give clear direction on content objectives. Have a process that keeps your messaging strategy updated and at your writers’ fingertips. When was the last time you dusted off your brand messaging guidelines? Or do you even have such a document? If not, work with your marketing team to develop one. You’ll save time and money while keeping your content on brand.

Develop a revision and editing process that gets content out the door. 

Revision is the big picture review. Is the content on brand? Does it support your goal, positioning, and messaging strategy? Is the piece written in a language your target market speaks? Is it optimized for search engines (SEO) with easy-to-follow organization that utilizes H1, H2 headers and keywords? Remember, the more you front-load writers with big goals and outlining, the less revising you’ll have to do.

Edit—check facts, make sure sentences flow in an active voice.

Final proofread catches little grammar, punctuation, and spelling mistakes.

Give up being a social-media hovercraft. If your leadership team or any management-level staffer is still reviewing and approving every single social media post…you’re not there yet. This micromanaging wastes leadership time and throws a wrench in timely and authentic “social” social media. Plus, it makes for a toxic environment. Make sure you train your staff and clearly communicate your social media voice, boundaries, and expectations. Get everyone focused on your marketing goal, messaging, and value, and then get out of their way.

Make sure you and your leadership visibly lead in media. Folding yourself into the stage curtains is usually fear taking over. And what recovering perfectionist doesn’t grapple now and then with fear? When your team leaders do this, it could mean they don’t feel empowered and encouraged by you and/or marketing to publicly step up. This can be easily solved with a little TLC, direction, and some solid on-brand talking points.

Open communication channels and demand transparency. Leadership needs to fully participate in growing not only your marketing success, but your organizations’ communication channels. That’s how you harness the talent you already have. Communication isn’t a one-and-done endeavor. Create a culture of cross-department feedback and engagement. Sales VPs and directors, for example, are an amazing source of information on what pitches are resonating with prospects.

Cindy Skach

Cindy Skach brings more than 20 years of delivering measurable results through strategic marketing to clients. Her sales experience allows her to appreciate the value of digital marketing and build a team accordingly, while her marketing experience enables her to understand and relate to a sales team’s needs. Collaborating with many agencies over the years equipped Cindy with the insight and business savvy to launch Skach Marketing Group.