I’ve blazed past month 3 here in startup land. A place where priorities shift, timelines change, and each day is a new opportunity to push the boulder up the hill one more inch. I keep a wide stance to make sure I don’t lose my grip and it flattens me like the stack of pancakes I enjoy on Sunday mornings.
I always take a side of adaptability with my pot of coffee in the morning. That’s one of the only few requirements for walking into an arena of uncertainty every day and being effective.
You like yours black, served at 185 degrees, in a glazed ceramic glass that says, “World’s Best Content Marketer” on it?
I did too and then I joined a startup.
I’m happy with a paper cup of lukewarm mud that couldn't be saved in between the writing, podcasting, Slack interactions, and Zoom meetings.
This is what I signed up for and adapting to the situation is what I’ll continue to do until we make it to the SaaS big leagues and we’ve got baristas on every floor serving up my Joe made to order.
Black. 185 degrees. Ceramic glass.
Being rigid is the death of production in start up land.
Set in your ways working for a pre-launch company?
Better get your ass out of the kitchen quickly or you will be burned.
I promise it won’t be from the coffee either.
I open up with these glaring visuals of my 2021 work life and am happy to admit that I love it.
No days are the same and my time is split into the following 4 buckets:
- Creating content
- Meeting with the market
- Working on strategic projects
- Communicating internally
There’s something invigorating about being a content marketer at a company that is building a product for content marketers. I decided early that we need to be great at creating content. I knew this wasn’t going to happen without putting in the effort of meeting with the market. Ultimately, if I was able to do this right then I’d have the ability to work on strategic projects centered around content that could help push our brand forward in the early days.
Is it working out?
I think so. It’s nearly impossible to be 100% certain working on anything for a quarter. Things are changing and feedback is flowing. I can tell you for certain that we are all working tirelessly trying to figure it out and the energy directed at problem solving is infectious.
What about communicating internally?
I almost forgot the last bullet and the one that I’d say is missed by most marketers.
We’ve created nearly 80 pieces of content in 3 months, (who’s counting?) which has involved dozens of conversations with content marketers and I can report that internal marketing is one of the lowest priorities on everyone’s list.
I don’t think so. I think we operate in an environment in B2B SaaS where output is the catalyst that measures success.
We are in the volume marketing game. Many of us are brought up in B2B marketing learning that we need to create content consistently to make sure the machines are happy with us so we place within the algorithms.
I’m not here to knock SEO. I know it works.
I do think that as content marketers we have a tremendous opportunity to shift some of the time from communicating with machines to communicating with people.
To be more specific, our people.
Most content marketers talk about the content that they are creating, producing, and distributing, but few are discussing strategies for marketing their stuff internally.
Have you ever heard of marketing from the inside out?
I picked this up from Terminus CEO, Tim Kopp while working in his organization when he was CMO at ExactTarget. If you can’t get your people excited about what you are working on then how is the rest of the market supposed to feel?
Makes you think, doesn’t it?
Companies with great brands these days stand out because they not only believe in their message, but communicate it outwardly on their personal channels. That’s when you know you’ve got a great brand.
Need an example?
I remember waking up, jumping on LinkedIn, and seeing the Drift team takeover my feed.
It was a masterclass of orchestration and is still something I think about today.
How do you get this to happen?
Content marketers are in a unique position. This role sits in the intersection of brand and demand. Anyone who is in a content marketing role has the opportunity to be the catalyst for change in B2B marketing. This role and career progression of the content marketer is still forming.
There are no hard and fast rules.
This creates opportunities and I believe the biggest opportunity for content marketers is to start owning internal marketing and communications.
It doesn’t need to be an HR thing. It should be a marketing thing.
Showcase your message. Create an internal show and tell series so you can provide the why behind the content that you are creating.
Get people to understand the why. This will cause people to do more sharing.
You’ll see sharing on social. Hear successes about sharing with future customers. You’ll start getting Slack messages about your content.
This is where the rubber meets the road with content and brand.
It’s enabling your people.
Create content for your market and never stop enabling your team on why it’s important.
You already spend time consistently making sure Google’s algorithms like your stuff.
Now be consistent with sharing your content and the reasons that it is important with your team.
If you keep this up you’ll get to a place where you’ve got coffee, anyway you want it, made to order to keep your content engine fueled.
If you enjoy what we are doing we’d love for you to do a couple things: