Content: King or Dictator?

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Content is king…but content production is the evil dictator of your content marketing process.

Like a great leader, compelling content can inspire the masses to take action. That’s the upside of great content.

Like an evil, oppressive dictator, your content production process can stifle creativity and bring despair to the people of your organization.

It starts with enthusiasm and a democracy of shared ideas, but it can quickly devolve into the dark pits of departmental politics, compliance issues, draft approvals (or denials) and bad input from people who just don’t get it. Any of these can derail the process.

It sounds extreme, but it happens to businesses of all types and sizes.

So how do you overthrow the dictator?

You can only deal with oppressive content production conditions for so long before you have to revolt. Here are the general guidelines to help you overthrow your content production dictator and make your content the beloved king it deserves to be:

  1. Set the objective: Establish it before creating any content so everyone understands the “why”.
  2. Seek inspiration: Curate all those fabulous ideas* everyone has and make sure they support the campaign objective. If they do, proceed. If they don’t, move onto the next.
  3. Make a plan and work as a team: Identify the roles (don’t lump all the work onto one person), assign the tasks and get to work!
  4. Stick to a process: Contrary to popular belief, not everyone is a writer, designer or social media expert. Involve the right people at the right time and let them do what they do best.
  5. Execute your plan: Let it do what it was designed to do.
  6. Prove (or disprove) what works and what doesn’t: Track as many aspects of the campaign as possible so you know what it did.
  7. Learn something: Once you have data, learn from it, no matter how good or bad it was.

*You never want to stop the flow of ideas, even the “bad” ones. Harness the ideas from the people who are closest to your audience and keep the flow of ideas wide open. Good communication between different teams/departments is essential because it keeps people involved in the business and working towards the same goals.

Well executed campaigns can fail. A great idea can be poorly executed. Your target audience may not care. The point is that you’ll likely need multiple attempts and lots of tweaking before you nail it. Keep your high-level objectives in mind and always look at what you can learn from the process. In other words, consider content marketing an experiment in understanding your target audience’s wants and needs at a given time.

The only way for your content to rule (in a good way) is to overthrow the forces of evil that suppress its production. And remember, if you need help on your journey to overthrow the forces of content production evil, you can always enlist Johnny Website to fight for your side!

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