In today’s ever-connected world, it can be confusing (to say the least) to know where to focus your marketing efforts.
Do I invest in SEO? What about TikTok or Instagram? Should we start a podcast? The answer is no — kind of.
In Greg McKeown’s book Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less he describes why most people never live up to their full potential as illustrated by this image.
It’s simple. We spend so much time focusing on 12 different things that we don’t have enough energy (or time) to make a significant impact on any of them. I’ve come to find that this approach is also true of 99% of companies we work with when it comes to content marketing.
Today, I’m going to pull back the curtain on how our team at Duft Watterson focuses on marketing essentials and provide a few easy steps for your team to follow as you create your own essential marketing playbook.
To develop an essentialist mindset for content marketing, you’re going to need to take a good look in the mirror. When you do, you’ll likely decide to run a detailed audit of how you’ve previously approached content marketing and what tradeoffs might be necessary to create the biggest impact.
A few questions to ask your team:
- What channels are we currently using for our content?
- Which channels are receiving the most engagement, viewership, etc.?
- Which channels are taking up the most time and bandwidth from our team?
- What content do we enjoy creating most and on which channels?
Now that you have the research in hand about which channels are driving the most engagement both internally and externally, it’s time to focus on the essentials. Only create content for the next 1-3 months that focuses on the highlighted channels found in the “essence” phase (previous step). This exploration should allow your team to focus on what is actually beneficial for your audience, as well as what you enjoy creating.
Here are a few important items to think about through the exploration phase:
- Are we seeing the engagement that we expected?
- Are we enjoying the content we’re creating, including the creation process?
- Do we have bandwidth?
- Is this content serving our audience or potential customers in the way that we hypothesized?
Next is elimination. It is very likely that your team will live in the exploration stage for quite some time as you test new content, explore the channels to focus on and ultimately learn what your team enjoys creating. Once you have established the best channels for your team currently, it’s time to eliminate the non-essentials.
Elimination should be fairly easy because you have the knowledge and research on where your brand’s content should live, how it should be created and what is ultimately serving your potential customers and audience.
Do not feel remorse for letting go of channels or allowing them to sit idle during this time because you are simply eliminating what isn’t useful. Know you can always come back to what you rejected in the future. This is a process that we recommend to our clients and we ensure business is reviewed bi-annually.
Congratulations—now you’ve discovered your essential content and eliminated the barriers to execute your content marketing strategy. Focus on creating content for your brand that speaks directly to your audience where they’re hanging out, while taking up less bandwidth from you and your marketing team.
As you move forward with executing content based on your integrated marketing plan, be sure to focus on the channels and specific topics within your content that are resonating most with your potential buyers, customers and audience.
This simple process can be implemented anytime your team is looking at a new channel for content marketing, debating if a current content channel is working and ultimately where to lead your content marketing strategy for the following year.
If you’re struggling with blank-page syndrome, check out our writing series, Words Matter, on the blog.