If you work alone, inspiration may be sufficient for dictating the course of a new content project. That shower eureka, that sudden impulse when mowing the lawn or doing the dishes, may be enough to direct action; alone, that action can be easily managed within one’s schedule on one’s own terms.
But add just one other person…
And in most organizations, there are far more persons to be added. With scale comes complexity: the original inspiration must be tested with colleagues, the idea molded by their input, the execution fulfilled within a larger context of projects and priorities.
Like it or not, if your organization is going to create content, it will have to create a content process as well. At its core, this process (whose ultimate design will be determined by the particulars of your company) with have at least three major parts:
- Gathering and identifying ideas: You’ll need a system for finding and evaluating ideas, stories, practices, etc. Who has something interesting to say? What can your organization talk about? Where are the provocative ideas, the inspirational success stories? Against which marketing/communications objectives will they be assessed? And how will they be evaluated, weighed, and approved for execution?
- Creating the content itself: What form should the content take? A written document (ebook, white paper, case study, etc.)? A video or podcast? An application or game? Who will create it? What talent (writing, design, production) will be required? Who will manage the project? And who will review and approve the end results?
- Distributing the content: Ah, the big afterthought. The default position is to just, you know, stick it up on the website somewhere – and let it gather the digital equivalent of dust. If you want it read, you need a plan. Do you have a social media network of followers and influencers willing (or even eager) to share your content? A media strategy for stirring interest? An SEO and/or banner ad campaign plan to offer your content? There are lots of ways of getting your content out there, but if you do nothing, expect comparable results: none.
A helpful hint:
Make friends and build alliances now, even before you have a single content project in the pipeline or even in mind. Crashing the social media party as a stranger – even if your content is excellent – will almost certainly ensure rejection. It’s this simple: you don’t what to be “that guy”: “Hey everybody, look at this cool white paper we’re giving away. Here’s the link.” Yeah, and here’s the door – don’t let it hit you on the way out.
Discover better content practices through my in-house content strategy workshops.