In this content and coffee we need to talk about the latest B2B Content Marketing Report from the Content Marketing Institute. In particular, let’s focus on documenting strategies.

Seventy percent of marketers told the CMI they’re creating even more content than they were last year, but only one-third say they’re working with a documented strategy. While 14 percent cop to having no strategy, abouthalf of marketers say they have one, but it’s not documented. Let’s face it: That’s kind of the equivalent of saying I did my homework but the dog ate it.

In the fast-paced web (with hundreds of blogs published per minute), agile marketers are understandably quick to execute on good content ideas. But the data suggests this comes at the cost of writing the strategy down. It’s a dangerous slope from having a great game plan to getting disorganized and letting important campaign factors fall by the wayside.

Lists magically make things get done

Some of the top reasons to WRITE IT DOWN in a documented way for the full content team:

  • Each player understands the purpose of a particular asset, so consideration of results are baked into content creation.
  • Clear deadlines are outlined so all teammates are accountable.
  • It’s easier to repurpose resources and assets when a strategy for doing so is made clear to all relevant parties from the start.
  • New ideas can emerge at various stages of the progress if teammates have a sense of the ultimate strategy.
  • It holds the team accountable for metrics BEFORE a piece goes live to ensure ROI.

Email exchanges don’t count as a document strategy; it’s too easy to get lost in the filters or flooded inboxes. At Brafton, we document strategies through content calendars and quarterly outlines that start with the goals, list the pertinent formats and topics, and include metrics to be measured – even before the content goes live. It works for Brafton’s clients, and the CMI data suggests it works for most companies.

Documented strategies yield effectiveness

The CMI report showed aligning content with goals is a top focus area for marketing improvement in 2014, and documenting things is a step toward being goal-focused from the start. When asked how their content’s performing, 60 percent of marketers with a documented plan said its effective, but this shrunk down to just 32 percent who said their un-documented plan was effective.

No more strategies in you head – write it down. Life will be easier and the document is the skeleton to make results stronger.

Need help or don’t have a strategy yet? Contact me on Twitter or contact the Brafton team through our site for info on how to get started.

Thanks, and here’s to happy – smarter – content marketing.

Katherine Griwert is Brafton's Marketing Director. She's practiced content marketing, SEO and social marketing for over five years, and her enthusiasm for new media has even deeper roots. Katherine holds a degree in American Studies from Boston College, and her writing is featured in a number of web publications.