It’s fitting to start the first Pragmatic Content Marketing article of 2017 by reflecting on a trend we picked up on in the last months of 2016 that happens to be, well, very pragmatic! As 2016 wound down, we received a number of requests, ranging from a major Washington DC-based nonprofit to a nationwide insurance company, as well as a number of small businesses asking for what we think is best described as Content Marketing Coaching.
To elaborate, they weren’t necessarily looking for someone to create their content strategy, or to create content, or to build a website. And they weren’t just looking for the expert advice of a consultant. Rather, they were looking for someone to help them validate what they’re doing, to stay on track, and to be there to keep them emotionally vested in the work.
Here are some commonalities we saw, from the largest organization to the smallest business:
- They had spent time–in some cases years–pinballing from one failed attempt to another “to do content marketing,” or “to do social media”
- They had their own written content strategy (a great first step!), but then didn’t know what to do next or how to implement
- They had a need to get buy-in from others in the organization, or in the case of the small businesses, from partners
- They were seeking validation with work they’d already started, before investing more time and money into the project
In response to these inquiries, we found ourselves stepping more into a coaching role than anything else, and became naturally curious about what coaching truly means, as it pertains to content marketing.
Here’s what we’ve learned:
1. Accountability Means Meeting Commitments
Raise your hand if you find it hard to break a promise to yourself to get something done. Hmmm. You probably didn’t raise your hand. Now, raise your hand if you find it hard to break a promise to someone else. I’m betting you raised your hand. The universal truth is that we find it far harder to be accountable to ourselves, than to others. That’s why from sports to business, there’s a role for coaches.
Pragmatic Content Marketing…