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Content Marketing is like Social Work 101 [guest post]

The following is a guest post from Pam Kozelka, Junta42’s Director of Operations.

My background is in social work.  I know that makes absolutely no sense, but as I got older and had kids I realized it wasn’t for me anymore (at least full time).  So now I dig content marketing and social media.

I just read a post from MediaPost called It’s about the Consumer Stupid and it really resonated with me.  Here’s why.

Lately a lot of the projects we have been getting at Junta42 are what we call content-only projects.  They are successful brands who know that they need good content to demonstrate thought leadership, or maybe to enhance their search engine rankings or social media, but these brands are not ready to take the leap to a full content strategy or a full turnkey project.

It’s the “time to go get the content” strategy.  That means someone realized at the 11th hour that content was needed, but it wasn’t part of the plan in the first place.

Why are we getting all these content-only projects? It’s not because these brands have in-depth content marketing plans and strategies and only need content.  Most of the marketers we talked to don’t. The answer is Social Work 101.

The first thing I learned as a social work professional is that you have to start where your client is.  No matter what, you can’t do anything more than they are willing to do or work on.  You can tell them they need to do something until you are blue in the face, but if they are not ready to accept it, it won’t take.

The same is true for content projects.  The content vendors (agencies or freelancers) may see that the client would benefit from a full content strategy or a better integration of content marketing into their marketing plan, but if the client is not there yet, there is nothing we can do but continue to educate and build trust in the hope that when they are ready, they will turn to us for their full turnkey project.

In social work, if we started where the client was, educated them and built trust we were able to help them grow and solve the issues that led them to the office in the first place.  I think the same holds true with content.  Start with where marketers are at, educate them and build trust, and they will (someday) see the value of the entire content strategy.

The good news is that there are A LOT of people at this stage right now.  The bad news is that, until marketers become more educated about content marketing, we’re going to see a tactical content that may not work very well.  At least for now.

P.S. If you have people in your company that just aren’t there yet, I highly recommend Joe’s book.