Now that content marketing has started to demonstrate some rather disappointing (but not surprising) results, the snake oil is flowing hot and heavy. And what’s causing content marketing’s bell curve to descend harrowingly? That’s right: Lack of strategy.

Here’s what one expert had to say:

The most-effective marketers are more likely than less-effective marketers to document their content marketing strategy, have a documented editorial mission statement, and hold regular meetings. In fact, 61% of the most-effective B2B marketers meet daily or weekly with their content marketing team either virtually or in person. Furthermore, those who meet daily or weekly find the meetings to be more valuable (70%) than those who meet biweekly or monthly (49%).

Got that? If you haven’t documented your content marketing strategy and your editorial mission statement — and if you’re not meeting regularly to talk about both of them — you’re missing the boat. The Catch 22 is that, if you are doing those things, you don’t have time to produce content or to market. I hate to be the skunk at this lawn party, but meetings don’t produce effective content. Good writers do. Everything else is a waste of time.

And from another source, we get this:

As we near the end of this year and forecast for the future of 2016, you’ll fall behind if you don’t start thinking about your content strategy now … When you think about content strategy, a lot of times people put it on other people. It starts off with you. There are so many different ways to actually start contributing to your own content.

Two questions leap to mind here:

  1. What exactly is the future of 2016? (Presumably, it’s something, or some time, other than 2016.)
  2. Have we gone completely crazy?

I have no idea how documented strategies and mission statements, routine meetings, forecasting for the future of any year, trying to hand off your responsibilities to someone else, or contributing to your own content is going to make content marketing any more effective. I am, however, absolutely certain of two things:

  • This is effective content: “All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.” (Ernest Hemingway)
  • This is not: “Our mission is to continually utilize best practices in generating effective marketing content that will revolutionize the value-added potential of our world-class products and services.”

If we spent as much time on content as we do worrying about content marketing, our content might be worth consuming.