Content marketing: Telling Meaningful Stories

Why do great content marketing strategies fail in implementation?

Christoph Trappe

November 11, 2017


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That of course is the $1 million question. But seriously: I read and have read a lot of strategic documents that are fantastic content marketing plans.

They use all the right words, seemingly correct goals and even mention why something needs to be done.

Wow, I think this is a really good plan. So i grab the plan and take it over to the content marketing strategists and ask how the implementation has been going. Or I might just look at the digital properties and see how it’s been going.

And then unfortunately I often run across dead digital properties that haven’t shared any content at all-leave alone content that was so flowery described in the strategic document.

What happened?

The answers can range from that somebody has left to that budget was slashed to the simple truth that implementing the content strategy is much harder than theoretically writing down how to do it.

I would even go as far as saying that this has been a trend in recent years where I’m reading fantastic strategic documents that are just awesomely written and put together but then don’t go anywhere. What’s the point? And what a waste of money.

So how do we actually implement our strategic vision? Here is the process that I would follow.

Move as fast as you can from the strategic document to the implementation. I’ve seen teams do this in the matter of days. On Tuesday the document was finalized and on Thursday they were at it to implement it.

Many content marketing strategies can indeed run at that kind of speed. It’s not rocket science and that doesn’t mean it all has to be perfect on Day 1 one and chances are it won’t be perfect on Day 49 but the way to make content marketing work is to have a plan and then execute it relentlessly.

The trick is to involve the right people at the right time when the strategies are put together so they can actually go and implement it. The problem can arise when one group puts the strategy together and then never talks to the implementers until it’s almost too late to implement.

That doesn’t mean the implementers get a full seat at the table when the strategies are put together but at least it sets them up to implement quickly and at all.

Another problem I’ve seen with content marketing strategies is when they are too in-depth. I don’t mind in-depth and I don’t mind complexity of projects but the problem with ongoing content marketing projects and strategies that are long is that people can hardly remember what’s in them. So keep it short-2 to 3 pages-and implement from there.

In fact, I’ve seen content marketing strategies perform the best when they are more of a guiding higher level document versus the nitty-gritty getting into the tactics kind of document. That doesn’t mean we don’t need to plan for what tactics to use but the overarching strategy should be at a higher level.

Include over arching business goals, the unique value proposition, the topical focus areas and who our target audiences are. From there, the implementation team can figure out what other currently best tactics to use to reach those audiences.

So planning and theory are important but what’s even more important is the actual implementation.

Disclaimers: The information provided in articles is for informational purposes only and not personalized advice. It's accurate to the best of my knowledge at the time it's published. Enjoy and best of luck telling the best stories in your organization and life!

Christoph Trappe

Hello and thanks for stopping by. I’m Christoph Trappe.

I’ve written two books, speak at conferences around the globe and blog frequently on here. I love sharing my stories and helping organizations share theirs.

If you need help, just visit the Contact Me page in the navigation and drop me a note. I’m always happy to chat!

Thanks for reading!

– Christoph

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