Dear Content People: Offer More than Just Execution

For content creators, execution is where we fly. A plan is in place and acting on each necessary step is a thrill unto itself. But here’s the thing: if you don’t bring anything more to the table than great writing/editing or brilliant audio-visual “outputtery,” then you’ll forever be relegated to the last step of the content process.

I’m assuming here that you don’t like being the last in line to get a new product ready or to unleash a brand new website/collateral/landing page/fill-in-the-blank. If this indeed is the case and you WANT to provide more input on how best to implement and execute on a content plan then here are three ways to become a more strategic content creator in your workplace.

  1. Demand to be in the Kickoff Meeting

    Yes. I said “demand.” You have a right to know what’s being planned before you’re given the 2-day deadline. You also have a right to be part of the brainstorming process because you know the strategies that work. My point is: if you want to be involved in the planning, then you need to be in at the start of the project not at the tail end.

  2. Offer Suggestions on Strategy

    Speak up! Tell them the best channels to get the message out. Tell them the best time for the updated website to go live. Or the best day to send that email blast. You already know this stuff from facing it day in and day out. You have the most knowledge about what types of content work best with the target market. You know the best subject lines to use. You have links to the funniest YouTube videos in the blogosphere. Oh wait. Scratch that last one.

    As part of offering suggestions on strategy, learn to question the tactics that other people want. Especially if there’s no solid reasoning behind it. Ask: “Why a white paper? And why not a webinar?” Or “Why a forum? Why not a Facebook Fan Page?” If they have no explanation for the tactic other than “it’s the cool thing right now,” then you can jump in and share your in-depth knowledge about the content consumption habits of your target market. (Which you SHOULD know by now if you’ve been working at it for more than a few months.) Questioning the tactic will save you from having to sign up for every new shiny social media platform or online application.

  3. Read up on your role as content creator

    An ignorant content person does not deserve to be more strategic. Therefore, get the knowledge that’s out there. Most of it is free anyway. Subscribe to blogs of content marketing experts. Not sure where to start? Check out my Netvibes page (entitled Content-ed) for a list of content strategy and copywriting feeds which I follow: http://ow.ly/1udOm

    There are many more resources out there: ebooks, webinars, teleseminars, podcasts and even actual printed books. If you’re not sure which printed books to buy, Shelly Bowen has a good list.

How about you? What tips do you have for content people to step up their game, and contribute more to strategy than execution? Hit the comments below.

Photo credits:Edward Simpson. “Execution.” https://flic.kr/p/6L9ArF / CC BY 2.0

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