Where the Rubber Meets the Road: How to Put Your Content Marketing Strategy into Action

I’m amazed by how many marketers put tremendous amounts of time and effort (and, yes, money) into crafting the perfect content marketing strategy … only to stuff it into a drawer and let it sit untouched until another year rolls around.

Remember, a content marketing strategy is only as good as its execution. So once we’ve dotted all the i’s and crossed all the t’s in those killer strategies, we need to put them into action.

How do we do that? I’ll show you in this excerpt from Chapter 14 of The Content Marketing Coach: Everything You Need to Get in the Game … and WIN, now available for pre-order!

Okay, team, here’s where the rubber meets the road, where you spin your carefully crafted strategy into content marketing gold. Exciting, isn’t it?

Before we move forward, I encourage you to review all the background work you did in Chapters 9 through 13, especially if it took you a while to get through them. It’s quite possible you learned something in later chapters that has a bearing on your earlier work, or perhaps you’ve refined your perspective on your audience as you went along. So it’s worth a review to make sure everything’s in line before you buckle your seatbelt and get ready to take this honey for a spin.

And remember, that strategy we worked on in the last chapter isn’t set in stone. As military strategist Helmuth von Moltke the Elder noted, “No battle plan ever survives contact with the enemy,” and the same holds true with our content marketing plans. That’s why we put the “measure and revise” right in there alongside “execute,” so stay flexible and enjoy the learning experience.

Establish Your Workflows

If you’ve ever watched Formula One racing, you’ve no doubt observed the unmatched beauty and grace of the well-executed pit stop. Every member of each car’s pit crew has one job to do, and the team puts in a tremendous amount of rehearsal time to ensure that not one second is wasted. Their goal is to get the job done not only with uncompromising efficiency, but also according to the standards required to keep a $2 million machine humming along at 200+ miles per hour and to ensure that both car and driver cross the finish line in one piece.

Our content marketing teams are the pit crews that keep our content marketing machine in top race condition, and their work needs to be no less coordinated […] Establish a work flow for each segment of your content marketing program, including blog posts, social media posts, and emails as well as long-form content assets such as e-books and white papers.

Create Your Editorial Calendar

I’ve seen many a marketing pro blanch with fear when I mention the term “editorial calendar,” envisioning some grandiose plan that requires a PhD in journalism to understand, let alone create.

Relax. An editorial calendar is nothing more than a day-to-day plan that aligns your topics, your media, and your methods, so that you know exactly what’s being published on any given day. It can be as simple as a spreadsheet in Excel or Google Docs or as elaborate as … on second thought, let’s just decide to keep it simple, shall we? […]

Do the Work

Remember the first time you found yourself behind the wheel of a car? If you were anything like 15-year-old me, your inner monologue went something like this: “Okay, accelerator on the right, brake on the left, hands at 10:00 and 2:00, check rearview mirror, check side mirror … Oh, wait, the car in front of me is stopping … When do I start applying the brake? Okay, stop sign … Brake, look both ways, pause 2-3-4, gently accelerate …”

Exhausting, right? Fortunately, each time I got behind the wheel, the whole procedure became a bit more intuitive, the responses a bit more automatic, until the entire thought process became a part of me.

Something similar happens when your team begins to execute your content marketing strategy, every step requiring tremendous conscious effort and coordination. Just keep it up, stay consistent, and before you know it you’ll be cruising down the content marketing superhighway.