Does your content strategy look like an empty fridge?

By Kathi Kruse 

One of the common pain points companies suffer from is that, while a solid content strategy is integral to their revenue goals, creating and publishing quality content, with any kind of consistency, continues to be elusive.

The frustration has reached a fever-pitch and it’s something I like to call “The Empty Fridge Syndrome.”

You know that feeling. It’s 8 p.m. on a Sunday. You’re chillin’ on the couch and you get the urge for something interesting to eat but you know from your earlier visit that there’s not much in the fridge.

Undeterred, you walk over, open it up, hoping against hope that there’s something you missed the last time, something that’ll catch your eye this time that will satisfy your craving.

Then, the disappointed, defeatist, downright dejected part of you scowls back at the fridge and you slam the door as if you’ve just learned that you missed tonight’s Lotto by one lousy number.

Content strategy (or the lack of it) can feel very much the same. Your website and social channels are your fridge and your content strategy is what gives you the power to fill it up with interesting, lead-generating content!

Chances are, as you walk over to the fridge, it’s not really the food you’re craving … it’s something to replace the boredom. If your website and social channels are lacking excitement, there’s a 100-percent chance your customers are bored, too!

Don’t get caught up in the vicious cycle of having nothing to write about on your blog or post on social media. Give yourself the opportunity to come up with solutions you can use at these times…instead of scrambling for inspiration and feeling defeated.

1.  Learn Your Cues

The secret here is to practice observing yourself, the people around you and the events that cause you to end up clamoring for content ideas.

Quality content (the kind your customers need and appreciate) doesn’t just happen out of thin air. It takes a concerted effort to publish solid, original content. The more quickly you’re able to recognize what needs to happen (and what needs to nothappen) in order for you to achieve your goals, the more effective your marketing will be.

2. Replace Bad Habits

It’s Friday at 3 p.m. You’re due to go home for the weekend and you haven’t come up with anything to post on your blog next week. You haven’t figured out what exactly you want to post on Facebook.

Time management is a social media manager’s best friend. It’s time to impart the 90-Minute Rule.

Content strategy is a creative process (contrary to what all the “tools vendors” tell you). Creativity needs breathing room. One of the reasons you feel overwhelmed or tapped out is because you haven’t designated a space, with no distractions, to focus on what matters most.

THE 90-MINUTE RULE:

Choose each next day’s most important task the evening before.
Silence your phone, close all windows on your computer and put voicemail on do-not-disturb.
Begin your work day focusing uninterrupted for 90 minutes on that one task.
Routine is vital so commit to at least 21 days of practice.

Typically, you’ll get more work done during those 90 minutes, and feel more satisfied with your output, than you do for any comparable period of time the rest of the day.

3. Take a walk

We often think that taking a break is sinful. Quite the contrary, doing something physical for 20 minutes can not only break the pattern of boredom and worry but when you return, you’ll have fresh eyes to complete your task.

4. Brainstorm

There is power in the crowd!

Another common occurrence with content strategy and creation is that our head will say, “You got this.” Now, in some cases, that’s completely true but when you hit a creative wall – and you will – you need support.

When this happens, you may think, “Well, I can figure this out later.” and that will guarantee you a spot staring into the fridge expecting something to pop out that’s delicious.

Set yourself up for success by asking a few skillful, savvy, well-positioned co-workers to brainstorm content ideas with you. The ideas that arise will be greater than the sum of your individual contributions.

5. Prepare for resistance

Resistance to change is a human event. We are programmed to seek pleasure and avoid pain. It’s much easier to go back to your comfort zone but that will secure you a spot in front of the fridge.

Making changes, even small ones, is challenging. Be prepared when things seem to be reverting back to your old habits. Your first clue is defending your position and spending time on other tasks.

Bypass the empty fridge with a solid content strategy plan

It’s no secret: planning and strategy make for a winning team. Attracting and engaging today’s modern, hyper-connected buyers requires your A-Game.

The effort you put into building your content strategy and process shows in your success. Don’t get to the point of frustration. Walk away from the fridge, set up your strategies and meet your challenges head on with a routine that energizes you.

This column was published first on . ​