Content Marketing, Website Optimization and Michael Bay’s “Armageddon”
If you’ve ever seen director Michael Bay’s 1998 blockbuster “Armageddon,” then you already understand one of the biggest problems that businesses managing their own content marketing run into today.
In the movie, NASA scientists discover a massive asteroid headed toward Earth, and determine that it must be destroyed. They have to drill a hole to the center of the asteroid, drop in a bomb, and blow it up before it collides with and destroys the planet.
The plan works. The asteroid explodes. Ben Affleck gets the girl. So what does all of this have to do with web marketing, again?
Drillers and Astronauts
The way that we approach destroying the asteroid in “Armageddon” is like the way that many businesses approach their web marketing—and while they ultimately succeed, it isn’t without considerable strife and some disastrous mistakes.
And it all comes down to drillers and astronauts.
In the movie, NASA trains a team of expert drillers to be astronauts, so they can fly into space and blow up the asteroid. They have a great deal of difficulty training them, though, and the team’s inexperience traveling away from terra firma results in a few close calls and some unfortunate losses.
Though NASA sent a couple of experienced astronauts with them as chaperones, the question remains: Why did they focus on training drillers to be astronauts, but didn’t train any astronauts to be drillers? Why not make it a collaborative effort, where everyone shares certain expertise?
Believe it or not, this is the same problem that comes up again and again with content-based website optimization.
In nearly 50 percent of all businesses with in-house marketing, content marketing is the sole responsibility of a single department. This means that every whitepaper, download, case study, web page, e-book, infographic, FAQ answer and more is coming from one place: The marketers. And while your web marketing and website copywriting team can learn a certain amount about everything that your company sells and does, you’re better off making content marketing a collaborative effort.
Teamwork in Web Marketing
The most successful content marketers don’t rely strictly on what a single department can come up with—they integrate the expertise of different departments to create an authoritative voice. Your marketing department understands marketing, sure, but does it understand every technical nuance of what your business provides as much as the people who actually provide it? Probably not.
Your web marketing analytics may show, for example, that your website gets heavy traffic from people looking for information about a certain type of computer processor—information that a highly trained professional could provide, but not necessarily a marketing writer.
When your web marketing team liaises with the right professionals within your organization, though, you give your site’s visitors the best of both worlds—in this case, content drafted by an engineer or a technician, then polished by the marketing department. The drillers and the astronauts combine their expertise, rather than putting the onus for content marketing strictly on one team or the other.
Create a Team Environment—and Monitor Your Web Marketing Analytics
So how do you bring the website copywriting team together with other departments, like design, web marketing analytics, sales, product development and more? Try setting goals that foster collaboration, like:
- Hold a regular content marketing meeting with representatives from every department, instead of just the marketing team. Encourage people to bring ideas based on relevant industry trends and common customer questions.
- Create an editorial flowchart for every piece. For example, you may have your sales team write a blog entry that is revised, edited and optimized by your website copywriting team. This makes content creation more efficient while maintaining consistency in branding and voice.
- Share your web marketing analytics with the team, so they can see which pieces of content marketing are most successful. Analyze what these pieces have in common.
The more you encourage your team to think of content marketing as a collaborative effort and not the responsibility of one department alone, the more high-quality content you can produce on a consistent basis—and after all, that’s how inbound marketing and ongoing website optimization work. It might not save the world, but it’ll make your job a whole lot easier.