The Content Chat Bulletin: Your Content Strategy Alone Is Not Enough for Content Marketing Success

The Content Chat Bulletin: Your Content Strategy Alone Is Not Enough for Content Marketing Success

Happy Monday—or as every retailer seems to be calling it right now, Early Black Friday Day... ;)

Recently, I talked a prospect out of signing on to do a content strategy project with us. And no, it’s not the first time I’ve done that, either! But I’m getting ahead of myself.

The client was an amazing fit for our team, with a mission and subject matter that everyone we’d assembled was eager to work on. The project would also have been an opportunity to work with an extended team of content and social media pros I enjoy collaborating with.

While the client had been active on social and creating content for several years, they’d been doing so without a strategy. Instead, they published content sporadically when someone had time. So it’s no wonder their sales pipeline wasn’t primed for when they had the bandwidth to work with new clients.

They’d worked with marketing agencies who’d made big promises and failed to deliver in the past. So they were a bit wary about investing in something less tangible than content creation or Google Adwords.

We put together a solid pitch deck that detailed where we saw opportunities for content and social strategy work to set them on a path for sustained, long-term growth. We walked the founder through the deck and shared examples of the strategic outputs and documentation to give them a sense of the concrete deliverables they were paying for.

After we walked through our presentation, the founder shared they’d be more comfortable investing in the proposed project if there were a guarantee of the results they’d receive.

I paused for a second and then said, “As with your business, there isn’t any way we can give you a guarantee that our content strategy will deliver a specific ROI. Its success will ultimately come down to whether or not you execute the strategy or if it sits in a file drive and gathers dust. If you are not sure you can commit to ongoing content creation to support the plan—whether we do it or someone else does—I wouldn’t go forward with this project.”

Our proposal included a quote for baseline one-time content creation projects (email marketing nurture streams and a 30-day challenge) plus ongoing monthly blog and social media content. The strategy work would inevitably also result in additional content creation recommendations.

A week after our final email exchange about the pitch, the prospect let us know they were not going to move forward with our project but might be in touch in the future. They also let us know it was what I’d said above that helped them make this decision.

Although we were all excited about this potential project, I’m happy with how this turned out. It’s incredibly disappointing to me when my team and I craft a content strategy and its supporting elements and watch it start gaining traction but falter when a client stops following the recommendations.

That’s why, for the past few years, in every new client pitch, I have made sure to mention having a client who didn’t execute the strategy we crafted. And it’s been a factor in several clients deciding not to move forward with us. And that’s great!

A content strategy is not a magic bullet that will save your business. And it’s not a three-month campaign that will result in a significant, immediate sales increase. Instead, it will give you a path to follow to build relationships with your ideal customers and be top of mind for them when they are ready to make a purchase. But that's only going to happen if you commit to it.

Content Chat is my weekly Twitter (and soon to be LInkedIn audio) chat focused on sharing expertise and ideas amongst the content marketing community. Join the conversation on Mondays at noon Pacific / 3 p.m. Eastern. Be sure to mark your calendar to join me and the #ContentChat community for these upcoming guests:

Want #ContentChat on your calendar? Use this link to follow our calendar, so you never miss a chat.

Be our guest! Are you interested in being a guest for an upcoming edition of #ContentChat? We’d love to see your topic pitch via our Content Chat guest submission form.

​Senior Content Marketing Manager, PlayPlay.​PlayPlay is a video creation platform used by 2,000+ large and mid-sized companies worldwide. Its team is looking for a senior content marketing manager to grow its U.S. marketing team, define the North American market content plan, create thought leadership content, and oversee the brand's social channels.

​Content Marketing Manager, Float.​Float is a smart corporate card and spend management solution serving Canadian businesses. The rapidly growing company is hiring a content marketing manager to build and scale its content marketing efforts. Responsibilities include creating web content, emails, sales collateral, and video script copy, overseeing the blog content strategy, and managing a team of freelance writers and videographers.

​Freelance Editor, Crowd Content.​Crowd Content is a marketplace connecting agencies, e-commerce companies, publishers, and brands with 2,000+ professional writers. Its platform is looking for editors to work on various content types, including blog posts, ebooks, SEO content, and technical writing.

​Content Lead, Reddit. ​Leading community-based social network Reddit is hiring a content lead to join its content operations team as a contractor. The role involves finding and promoting relevant content on Reddit, owning the operational processes for updating, managing, and validating all local programmable and editorial surfaces, and improving content quality.

If you have a content marketing contract position, full-time job, or freelancer opportunity, reply to this email and let us know. We are always happy to share jobs with the community free of charge.

​How To Use Social Media To Boost Your Content Marketing Results.​Many teams are reassessing how they can use social media to engage their communities (and whether they need to jump ship from any channels). As you plan your 2023 social media strategy, read through our new post about using social media to boost your content marketing results. We explain how to start your brand social media strategy and share eight tips to maximize your results. Thank you to Shruti Deshpande and Cazi James for lending their expert insights for the post!

​What Is Mastodon, the Red-Hot Open Source Twitter Rival?​Many marketers have turned to Mastadon as a new platform in place of Twitter, but is it the right choice for you? This article explains Mastodon's purpose and how to get started. Are you on Mastodon? Reply to this email and tell me how you use the site. P.S. You can find me on Mastodon at

​Why You’ll Never Create Customer-Centric Content Unless You Focus on This.​Your buyers’ expectations are significantly different than pre-pandemic, and people want to support brands with deep empathy for their customers and communities—but how can you showcase this empathy through your content? In this CMI Content article, Sydni Craig-Hart shares her framework for inclusive, empathetic content marketing, including six straightforward ways to become more customer-centric.

​How to Use Surveys to Fuel Your Content Marketing Strategy.​All you need is one survey to give your marketing team enough insights to plan a year’s worth of content—want to learn how? Michele Linn recently joined #ContentChat to explain why survey-based research is valuable for marketing teams, how to write questions that will help you tell stories, and mistakes to avoid along the way. Get all of her and the community’s insights in this chat recap.

​How to Choose the Right Platform for Your Social Media Marketing.​There are more than ten major social media platforms—do you need help picking the right ones for your brand? This post provides a helpful overview of the most popular social media platforms and their demographics, plus seven steps to optimize your social media marketing strategy.

​Google's 'Helpful Content Update': Five SEO Mistakes to Avoid.​Are you still wondering how to improve your content strategy following Google’s ‘Helpful Content Update?’ Learn about five mistakes to avoid in this MarketingProfs article, including why longer content isn’t always better content and keyword volume should not drive your content strategy.

​How Content Marketers Can Build Trust With Their Content. Your brand can’t just claim it’s the best option for your customers—you’ve got to prove it. Content marketing teams play a key role in reinforcing a brand’s claims and earning the trust of its communities. In this #ContentChat recap, Melanie Deziel and the community discuss what types of marketing claims need evidence, how content can help you earn and nurture your community’s trust, and examples of brands that have earned our trust.

​Benefit Cosmetics Shares 10 Tips for a Lucrative Influencer Event. ​Are influencer events worth it for marketers? Of course, they can be, provided they are more than just a launch announcement or new product overview with cocktails. Get inspired with this case study from Benefit Cosmetics, which included giving influencers 1:1 networking time.

​6 Things Brands Really Want Content Creators To Do In Their Partnerships.​If you’re a content entrepreneur, brand partnerships can be an incredibly effective way to attract new opportunities and boost your revenue. However, competition is tight for top brands. And making even the slightest mistake can extinguish the partnership before it meets its full potential. This post on The Tilt explains six things brands want when partnering with a content creator to help you put your best foot forward.

​Gartner Survey: Marketers Leverage 42% of Their Martech Stack’s Capabilities.​Before you add another tool to your martech stack, read through these new Gartner findings about how teams can achieve the full potential of their investments, including new types of technology that can support innovation.

Until next time, stay safe and be well!

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