Content for Failure? Or, Content For Success?

Every organization wants to connect with its audience whether for its products, services, or information sharing. Content is central to your success at all stages of your business.

  • Content helps you refine your business idea and to validate it in market — product idea on canvas, customer interviews, user research
  • Content is key to the whole user experience as it gives directions for the product architecture — information architecture following ‘design for content’ practices
  • Content is central to your marketing strategy, leads, conversions, engagement, retention, and customer support
  • Content helps you pivot, to secure funding, and to scale your business to next level — Pitching, storytelling, investors-relationships

Content for Failure — Awareness Without Strategy

Organizations continue to struggle not because of lack of awareness but for lack of strategy. This awareness without strategy state creates a “Content for Failure” culture. This culture does not allow the decision makers to be proactive to go back to find the gaps. But there are signs:

  • Many businesses invest in identifying and then trying a publishing tool or a helpdesk tool, only to realize later that it is not what exactly they need.
  • In many organizations, marketers are positioning their product differently from how the customer support communicates the product value.
  • The voice at the corporate blog is broken or is completely different from the product positioning at an event sponsored by the organization.

Different roles are communicating with their respective audiences without a common content reference, with no or little common vocabulary, without a guide for consistent positioning, and with no definite process to align their roles with the business goals.

I continue seeing it so often because organizations consider content as ‘is also important, will see it tomorrow’. Note: I experienced it myself too for ContentHug, but I learnt quickly.

This continues because metrics, traction, and planning the next drip campaign take priority for startups. The organizations with mature processes often lack the flexibility and the urgency to make positive decisions.

They know it. Content is important, and it should be strategic. Signs of content awareness. But for Failure.

Content for Success

You need a big picture content vision to align content with your business goals for long term gains. Remember that all content is content strategy, as I spoke at the STC India Annual Conference 2015. Whether it is a White Paper, a technical procedure, blog posts, product reviews, FAQs, a drip campaign, social engagement, or an event promotion literature — all content is part of the content strategy. For the audience, all content belongs to the brand.

Content should be so planned that the content source is available regardless of who uses it in the organization, for what purpose, in what format, at what time, for what device, and for what segment of your audience.

One area where organizations struggle for their content processes is to separate content from its format and hence from publishing requirements and constraints. There are some challenges as Cruce Saunders talks about Intelligent Content Tools or Better Content Engineering although we see light such as when Michael Andrews talks about Atomic Content Fidelity.

The Content For Success step helps you identify the content gaps, and some directions for the process to connect the dots.

Guess the Gains

  • Structured content process for internal reference, less chaos, and more targeted operational success
  • All stakeholders have a common understanding of ‘why this content, for what purpose’
  • Consistent positioning of your brand and the product by all teams, for all audiences, every time, anywhere
  • Reduced cost, optimized customer experience

Hello World is one of the easiest thing to see on screen — whether in your first program or the first blog post. The challenge is to see the world responding back, saying Hello Steve, or Smith, or Lacy, or Mark, or Jonathon, or Eric, or Paula, or Rakeysh, or Javed. Let content step in.

The Gains and Goodies

The first important gain from your Content for Success experience is that you know what you need to do. It can be in the form of directions for processes, tools, workflow, or goals. By the time the deal ends, you have more clarity of thought and clarity of purpose.

Whether you need directions on information architecture, content strategy, storytelling, product knowledge base, or content’s other touch points such as for customer onboarding or customer support, I step in with a purpose.

In addition, I offer a few very useful goodies to help you in other areas too.

  • Fifty percent discount on the epic MailChimp course by none other than Paul Jarvis.
  • Free access to video interviews or courses by experts including Neil Patel, Joe Pulizzi, Leo Widrich, David Cancel and others, to learn how they have built their businesses, via Mixergy
  • Discount on using TMail, the next-generation communication and collaboration platform which is a strategic mix of Slack + EMail without the pain points of either.

Lets give due credit to Content. Content awareness when combines with content strategy leads to Content for Success culture in the organization. Today, it is a choice. Soon, it may not be.


PS: This post is a repurposed version of my email that I sent to my mailing list at my blog. To stay updated on all my posts, you can join me here.

Vinish Garg, @vingar

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