Content Strategy

Build a Content Village

Reaching the right audience with the right message takes a village. A content village.

Every member of your content team can do their job, to the letter. But if everyone’s operating independently, the message can be disjointed or misdirected.

Maybe the message is right for the target, but not for the people actually reading. Perhaps you’ve written the best darn how-to guide for polishing toothpicks, but your piece is now being promoted in a LinkedIn group for devotees of Q-tip polishing.

And maybe you have no idea what happens to your content after you hit “publish.”

The villagers of the Content Marketing Institute and SEMrush recently joined forces to study how different roles in the content creation process rate their most crushing challenges. They determined (not surprisingly) that “strategic content marketing is being primarily held back by a lack of shared access to data, and technology that unifies this analysis, and facilitates better internal communication.”


The study of 1,800+ marketers found that a lot of content villagers are working on their own, or with only part of the information they really need to do the job. While many organizations have all the right people working on their content team, they’re not necessarily working together, or even aligning to the same metrics. In fact, only 19% of content marketers rate their alignment of metrics and goals as “excellent” or “very good.”

Screen Shot 2018-04-06 at 12.04.11 PMWhile the study goes on to recommend technology, I’ve never worked in a place with a budget for a platform. The solution can be much simpler, in fact. Really, all these content villagers need to step away from their own screens and talk to each other.

Share the information. Meet together. Ensure SEM results and other metrics are front and center during the ideation and planning process. The CMI/SEMrush study cited balancing SEO needs with the creative element as one of the most difficult aspects of content marketing — but this gets significantly easier if the writers are working with SEO results and data upfront. Treat the creative process as a never-ending virtuous cycle, rather than a series of parallel, linear paths. Even if you don’t have a software platform to orchestrate it all.

But most importantly, come together as a village. Bring your skills, data, and perspectives — and truly collaborate.

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