Congratulations! You have officially entered the world of content marketing—a world rife with editorial calendars, social media platforms, inbound/outbound marketing campaigns, SEO metrics, demand generation… or have you? For starters, do you even know how to define “demand generation?” Do you even have a documented content strategy in place?
The reality is that while many top-level marketers claim to “walk the walk and talk the talk” when it comes to content marketing, a vast majority are merely only wading in the content marketing pool—rather than diving in head first. Need proof? While 93 percent of B2B marketers and 90 percent of B2C marketers are leveraging content marketing tactics, only 42 percent and 34 percent, respectively, feel their strategies are effective.
So what does the true day-to-day life of a content marketer look like? Let’s take a look…
- Consult your “To-Do” list for the week to see what’s on tap for today (like that blog post you never had the chance to write yesterday or the final white paper layout needed from your in-house design team to finalize your latest asset).
- Last minute prep work for any meetings on the horizon this week—such as meetings to discuss editorial calendars; quarterly objectives; and competitive research.
- Quick one-off items that need to get done like checking in with your Social Media Manager to see if she appropriately responded to that negative tweet that came in late last night; canvassing your newsfeed to see when the latest entry posted; and giving feedback to your newest hire that the PR he created has not quite hit the mark.
- Tackle the big-ticket items such as: evaluating your latest metrics to determine whether site traffic increased this month; asking each department for reports that demonstrate the ROI of their efforts; and slating time to meet with the sales and marketing departments to determine what assets need to be created to help both departments and foster alignment.
- Hone in on the next “big” innovation for your company. Perhaps that means launching a webinar series. Maybe it means reconstructing your website to account for your new SEO strategy and to stand a fighting chance against Google’s Hummingbird update. Whatever your newest project is, iron out the details, assign the doers and agree upon deadlines and delivery dates.
- Check up on projects that have gotten swept under the rug. Remember that podcast series with your CEO that you wanted to start a month ago? What about that customer-centric email marketing campaign that was supposed to have launched Q4 of last year? Now’s the time to determine which projects can still be propelled further and which will never come to fruition.
- With the fire that is left in your belly at the end of the day, now is the time to plan ahead. Use the quiet time at the end of the day to conceptualize where your content marketing efforts need to be one week, one month and one year from now. Putting the pen to paper enables you to constantly grade yourself on how close you have come to reaching these goals.
- Schedule those meetings you have been putting off (you know… the one with your CMO to talk about the best-in-class outbound marketing campaign you want to launch and the one with your editorial colleagues to talk about the importance of attribution in blog copy). An effective content marketing strategy is one that relies on input from all members of your company’s A-team.
- Dream about your work. The job of a content marketer unfortunately never ends. Dream about strategy, explore a world of marketing possibilities with your sub-conscious and solve problems during REM. Often our best moments of clarities come when we are asleep.
Phew… did we miss anything? Does this ring true to your typical day? Or are you left feeling like “Wow, I don’t worry about any of this right now.” If the later is true, just remember the following: anyone can say he or she is in content marketing but very few have the spirit, drive and experience to live up to the real expectations for content marketers.