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The content marketing conundrum

Content marketing: Everyone is talking about it. Everyone is selling it. Few are doing it. And even fewer are doing it well.

That's the content marketing conundrum we're faced with today, said Adam Kmiec, senior director of social media and content at Walgreens, at the iMedia Brand Summit in Coronado, CA. The best content isn't necessarily what's getting the most eyes or accolades.

To truly tap into the power of content marketing, organizations need to be wired correctly. At Walgreens, these are the six building blocks that have set the stage for success, Kmiec said:

1. Understand and define the scope of your content: Think in terms of paid, owned, and shared media, as well as the platforms and technologies that will comprise your content.

2. Set a bar from which you will not compromise: Don't go halfway and stop. You will have wasted your effort entirely. Focus on content that is linked, liquid (i.e., available across all screens), and -- the hardest part -- loved.

3. Develop filters for focus: Dig deep into your brand's DNA and discover what you do and what you do well. Let the reality and legacy of your brand inform every piece of content you create.

4. Rewire your organizational model: This doesn't mean you need to hire new people, Kmiec said. In fact, don't. Focus instead on how you can enable the people you have to serve the content needs of your organization.

5. Think in story arcs and content packages: Every piece of content should be adapted for each relevant platform. Don't let a single outlet dictate and limit the scope of content's reach.

6. Avoid the middle: Be small and scrappy. Or be big and epic. But don't get lost between those two paradigms, Kmiec says. Either focus on fast launches, small budgets, and KPIs related to learning, or plan for longer launch times, big budgets, and KPIs tied to ROI. Wallowing in the middle between the two models is a recipe for wasted effort.

"Hand drawing Content flow chart with white chalk on blackboard" image via shutterstock.

Lori Luechtefeld is principal of strategic content firm Wookit Media and an associate at WIT Strategy. In both roles, she works with a network of media and marketing professionals to devise and fulfill on content strategies that connect...

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