Companies who have seen great success in their content marketing efforts typically have two key traits: a commitment to the practice, and a content-first mindset. Being content-centric also means that your organization is customer-centric. The connection is that you are constructing content experiences based on your target market’s feedback, challenges, concerns, and interests.
When marketing leaders push this mindset and show a level of commitment through proper resource allocation, a new culture evolves, which can have a significant impact on the entire marketing organization (for better or worse, depending on your own mindset).
But cultivating a content marketing culture isn’t something that will happen overnight. You have to build a solid foundation first that ensures your content team is aligned with relevant goals and objectives. In this post, we’ll explore what a content marketing culture is and how to build one effectively.
What Is a Content Marketing Culture?
A content marketing culture centers around audience needs and information management. It’s a culture wherein content marketers obsess over buyer personas, stories that will engage those buyers, and content collaboration to execute and deliver relevant, compelling content to those audiences.
One key part of a content marketing culture is a content marketing platform—a place or hub for all content plans and activities. With the right technology, creating and executing on your content strategy is much more manageable.
Ensuring that you have an effective and efficient tool is crucial to evolving your culture and sustaining it. A platform offers many advantages from optimizing to content governance to developing deeper connections with your audience.
The more you can improve processes and deliver excellent content consistently; the more important content marketing becomes to your culture.
So, how can you establish and nurture a content marketing culture? Follow these steps.
7 Steps to Creating a Content Marketing Culture
1. A Content Marketing Culture Is NOT About Marketing
As a content marketer, you’re aware of the do’s and don’ts of content marketing. And many of those create a framework for your content marketing efforts, but you may be surprised to consider that a content marketing culture isn’t about marketing.
The culture is rather what extends beyond just the marketing department. There has to be collaboration across the enterprise. The culture consists of differing perspectives, subject matter expertise and content processes that impact many different functions.
Thus, you should expand your perception of the culture you want to nurture and realize it includes many different stakeholders. Your culture can’t grow without input from subject matter experts on topics or support from your IT department to ensure your technology is always supporting and feeding your culture.
2. Establish A Content Mission & Specific Objectives
Why is your company creating content? Seems like a pretty simple question, doesn’t it? Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for marketers to have a hard time articulating their content mission or purpose for the different content initiatives they may execute.
Without a clearly defined purpose that your team can embrace and rally behind, don’t expect a strong culture to form. Your content mission should breath life and heart into the day-to-day work, and steer your focus as you make day-to-day decisions on future content.
From this mission comes objectives. Simply said, the objective is whatever you need the content to accomplish—generate leads, increase search engine rankings, or be highly shareable on social media are a few possible objectives. Each piece of content your team develops should align with at least one of your content objectives and your content mission.
Don’t forget that content marketing objectives don’t live in a vacuum. They should be connected to business and audience objectives as well.
3. Build a Messaging Architecture
Have you defined the most important messages for your audience? Message consistency is crucial to developing a content marketing culture. It stands as a way to align all content creators and emphasize what’s important to your target buyer.
If you haven’t yet gone through a messaging architecture exercise, here’s a handy guide and messaging matrix template to follow.
4. Develop Clearly Defined Marketing Roles
No matter the size of your team, everybody needs defined roles. You are likely working with a group that has specific talents and attributes, and those should figure into their roles. However, those primary roles shouldn’t keep them from having other responsibilities.
You may have hybrid roles wherein a writer also plays the role of content strategist, while your designer also moonlights as your content planning meeting facilitator.
Having roles also increases accountability. Each role will have assignments on your content calendar. Having those visible to all parties can ensure that no one drops the ball.
5. Define Your Content Workflows
Content workflows organize and streamline your operations, which is why they are so crucial to culture building. Your workflows are much more than assigning a topic to be covered by a writer. They include all the necessary steps to go from idea to results. And when processes are defined, accountability is specified, and timelines are clear, roadblocks get eliminiated and deadlines are hit consistently. A harmonious process will foster a positive culture almost immediately.
If all this sounds too good to be true, note that you can improve content workflows with the right content marketing software, finding key functionality that enables your team to be more efficient. Look for features like content automation and the ability to aggregate data from multiple sources to a comprehensive content analytics dashboard.
6. Develop Content Rules
To ensure that your content team stays focused on executing the content strategy and delivering a consistent message, it’s a good idea to develop content rules. If you offer guidance on the development of each type of asset, this stands as support for your content marketing culture.
What type of rules should you create? That depends on many factors, but here are some suggestions:
- Keyword rules
- Internal linking specifications
- External source requirements
- Voice and tone guidelines
- CTA conditions
7. Track Your Results & Celebrate Wins (and Losses)
A culture of hard work, trust and accountability is forged in the trenches of content marketing. Understanding the results of all that effort (good or bad) should be a significant part of your culture. What you measure should be tied to your content objectives. There are numerous content marketing metrics, each with its own benefits. Ideally, you want to focus mainly on behaviors that align with your company’s KPIs.
Make measurement and tracking easy with a central hub that allows you to create reports and share them with stakeholders and your team.
Someone must measure and track results for you to learn whether what you’re doing is effective. What you measure must tie back to your content objectives (as described above).
Measuring and tracking is only the start of understanding results. You must properly analyze the raw data to have a holistic view of whether or not your content is contributing to revenue for your business. Being able to draw this line will boost your growing culture.
Evolving any culture takes time, but you will find there are many advantages to cultivating a content marketing culture. With such a culture in place, internal resources are aligned with the goal of developing content that meets your audience’s needs while also contributing to KPIs.
As discussed, one of the most important parts of a culture is the technology that supports it. Learn why the DivvyHQ platform should be the foundation for your content marketing culture.