Content marketing: Content is king—and we are his servants

Rod Griffith

By Rod Griffith
March 4, 2014

It’s an accurate, if somewhat corny, analogy: Content is king—and we are his servants.

Content really is the king. Whether you’re employing a marketing automation system or simply managing content and distribution yourself, it’s still up to you to develop the right content and synchronize that content for delivery to your target audiences.

Content marketing is critical

In fact, in a 2013 study by the LinkedIn B2B Technology Marketing Group, more than 82% of marketers indicated their plans to increase content production over the next 12 months—with virtually no marketers planning to reduce content production.

And we really are content’s servants. As marketers, it is our responsibility to serve the right content to the right audiences at the right time using the right marketing vehicles. Failure to do so is often caused by a lack of good content and resources (and commitment) to plan, manage, and maintain that content within our marketing initiatives (or within our marketing automation system, if applicable).

When servants fail the king, they are often imprisoned or beheaded. While the consequences of our failure to deliver the right content to the right audiences at the right time may not be quite so violent, they can still be quite catastrophic.

Barriers to success

In the same LinkedIn B2B Content Marketing Report referred to earlier, the top five challenges that thwarted content marketing efforts included:

  • The time and bandwidth to create content (55%)
  • Producing truly engaging content (49%)
  • Producing enough content variety (39%)
  • Talent to produce content (35%)
  • Getting content delivered to the right audiences (31%)

Perhaps these most critical obstacles can be more quickly summarized as mostly resources (people and time) and expertise.

Success factors

While there are many factors involved, the reality is that achieving success in content marketing can be improved with a strong focus on three factors:

  1. The applicable expertise to understand your target audiences—their challenges, fears, processes and goals—and know when, where and how often to best reach them
  2. The available resources to create effective, engaging content—with enough variety to maintain the active interest of your target audiences
  3. The discipline and commitment to fully implement and track (measure) your content marketing initiatives with particular attention to consistency, timeliness, and follow-through.

Long live King Content—may you serve him well

There is no perfect formula to ensure success. However, if you follow these three success factors, you can go a long way toward serving King Content and improving the chances of keeping your head out of the guillotine of marketing failure.

(I warned you it was a corny analogy.)

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