Of momentum and microwaved sausages

Posted by: Dan Fielder, managing editor, Sticky Content

Ill with cold this second day of the new year... leak leak sob sob. Just microwaved a sausage, and it looked like an exploded finger. (But ate it anyway and it tastes OK...)

Nadyne posted this as the first entry on her new blog one January 1... and then never posted again. It's one of the many small joys gathered together on the blog, One Post Wonder ‘a collection of amazing blogs that have one post'.

People often like to amaze us with stats about how a blog is started somewhere in the world every few seconds. We hear less about the much higher rate with which most of them are rapidly abandoned. ‘Several studies indicate that most blogs are abandoned soon after creation (with 60% to 80% abandoned within one month, depending on whose figures you choose to believe) and that few are regularly updated,' according to Caslon Analytics . ‘The "average blog" thus has the lifespan of a fruitfly.'

Over in the business world, the same problem crops up frequently too. The web is littered with ill-populated facebook pages, tumbleweed-ridden blogs and ‘news' sections that are several months out of date. To pick on one example almost at random, I turned to the blog of a US company which makes air compressor systems. The last blog was 6 months old... and that one was welcoming everyone back to the blog and apologising for not having posted for a year!

Let's do content marketing! Let's have a blog! Let's get social! New marketing initiatives can generate euphoria, but without strategy and process that initial enthusiasm can be short-lived. It's rather like the well-known phenomenon of post-training euphoria - everyone comes back from that time-management seminar with a burning desire to reorganise their entire lives... but within  a few days the excitement has faded and we're all back to our bad old ways. The blog is abandoned, the content bubble bursts.

To do content marketing at all effectively, you need momentum. It's relatively easy to have one good idea, or to have a great website on one day of one week. But the challenge - and this is where editorial teams and content agencies really come into their own - is to be able to deliver great content that's worth reading/sharing AND mapped to your business/marketing goals on an ongoing basis. To keep on keeping on - even when that early spike of interest has died down.

To create and maintain momentum, you need to be a publisher, an editor, a project manager, and a bit of a hustler. You need a plan, a calendar, a realistic process. You need to identify the subject-matter experts who can give you the insights and ideas to inform your content - and then find a way to deploy these people as an ongoing resource without doubling their workload. You need to have an eye for what can be salvaged from the content store cupboard - all those under-used articles and videos and white papers that are crying out to be repurposed for a wider market.  And you need to think of content ideas with legs - content series and formats that you can return to again and again across different platforms, with new twists on themes of recurring interest.  

That way, you might be able to prevent your content bubble bursting like a microwaved sausage.

Posted by: Dan Fielder, managing editor, Sticky Content 

Posted in CMA blog
4thDec 2012

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