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freedigitalphotos.net / Stuart Miles

In a recent eBook, Kapost reports that 91% of marketers use content marketing, but only 42% say they’re using it effectively. Yikes!

The Complete Guide to Building Your Content Marketing Workflow explores this performance gap, and then presses marketing teams to determine and document their content purpose, themes and topics, resources, and schedule. To help marketers avoid biting off more than they can chew when it comes to creating and maintaining an effective content schedule, Kapost walks them through the value and mechanics of content marketing workflows – “… sequence[s] of processes that govern the tactical elements of your campaigns … and provide the framework for getting it done.” Some workflows include more than 15 processes!

I love the discipline proposed by Kapost’s workflows, but I wonder if they’re best suited for large organizations, which typically have larger marketing staffs and function in silos.

Many biotech and pharma companies have the luxury of size. But there are many more life sciences organizations that don’t, and we’ve worked with a bunch of them. They’re start-ups and they’re small, but they have big ideas – which can be huge differentiators if they’re concisely and compellingly communicated. Small organizations typically have limited budgets, personnel, priority, or time to devote to any kind of marketing, let alone a well-crafted content strategy.

For life science marketers whose time is short, whose budgets are lean, and whose content dreams are lofty, I think these are the best takeaways:

Start with strategy. Why are you creating content? If your response has nothing to do with your customers’ interests, needs, or goals, erase your answer and try again.

Pick a theme, or a bunch of them. What are your business goals, your customers’ needs (again), and the industry trends that are important to them? To that end, are there trends about which your customers are unaware – and about which they should be made aware? These will become major topics (also called content themes) to support with content.

Repurpose, re-create, and re-imagine. Kapost talks about content Pillars and Assets – the tactics used to distribute content – with the Pillar being the foundation on which other Assets are built. So your webinar about optimizing clinical trials, whether it’s well-attended or not (your Pillar) could take new shape as a topic in your online video archive, an eBook, an infographic, and a LinkedIn update that links to all of them (your Assets).

Spread the wealth. Use your themes to identify thought leaders in your organization who can either help create content or drive its development. If your thought leader(s) are great thinkers but lousy writers, appoint a great writer to interview them and ghost-write on their behalf.

Mark your calendar. Now comes the really tough part. Kapost says scheduling content is a daunting task and one of the biggest struggles for marketers. I couldn’t agree more, and I’m often a worst offender. The key to an effective content marketing program isn’t length, topic, perfection, or a constant stream of earth-shattering ideas. It’s consistency.

Set a schedule that’s sustainable and stick to it. Setting out to host a monthly webinar is a worthy goal, but if it’s overly ambitious, it could backfire. Start conservatively and increase your frequency and range of assets as you build momentum and experience.

Now go make your mark in The 42 Percent Club.