Every Friday since the pandemic shut things down last March (here in the U.S.), we’ve highlighted communicators and marketers who at first were trying to figure out which part of the sky just fell on them in My Hot Mess. Then we shifted to those who are crushing the pandemic with Survive & ThriveNow it’s time to get back to business, even if it’s not totally normal. We’re going to do that with an Ask Me Anything series—an elevation of our previous Spin Sucks Question series.

Welcome back to another Ask Me Anything, which is a new series where we talk to our friends, our viewers, and our community. about what they would like to know. The whole point is to stump me. If I don’t know the answer, I will ask one of my smart friends to join me.

Let’s take a look at the mailbag.

Today’s question comes from Jakrapong:

How can I convince my clients to create content? They said their digital newsroom is dry. No one reads it.

As I answer that, I do something new. I do a bit of multitasking as I answer the questions. This past year of homeschooling on top of running a business and working with clients has been rough. I need more time in the day! So why not get some of my chores done while I help you learn?

I hope you don’t mind…

Two Ways to Take Content from Dry to High

Today’s question comes from a Prezly livestream I did with Laura Sutherland last week.

As I answer that, I also trim my bangs because, as I look at myself constantly on video (as we all do), I think, “Man, your forehead is wide. It’s so big, the sun is reflecting off of it! Can you not smile so you don’t have any wrinkles? Do something about that forehead!”

I can’t take it any longer so I am going to multi-task!

But back to the question at hand.

First of all, if their newsroom is dry and no one reads it, that’s a problem.

You want people to read the content you publish on your website, right?

If they’re not reading, watching, or listening to it, you’re likely not solving their problems. And if it’s dry, that’s an issue, as well.

You have two things you need to do:

  1. Find content producers who are great at their jobs–and let them be creative. That will take away the dry content issue.
  2. Then ask your customers and prospects what their biggest challenges are.

In some cases, you’ll know this by directly asking them (and listening and asking more probing questions). You’ll also need to work with sales and customer service teams (if you have them) to find out what types of problems they’re solving. And you can use social media and good old fashioned Google to fill out the rest.

As you think about how to convince your clients or leadership team to invest in content, have these answers at the ready.

For instance, I’m currently serving as the interim chief content officer for a client and we just finished a beta launch of our content marketing program. We spent four months crafting, creating, testing, tweaking, and taking a bit of risk.

Now we have enough data to know what works—and where we were decidedly wrong.

The 2021 content plan takes all of this into account. We also looked at what the competition is doing, where there are any content gaps (I used Ahrefs to get that information), and what questions the clients and prospects have that we haven’t yet answered.

How to Convince Leadership to Create Content

As for convincing clients or leadership that content is important, my answer is probably not going to surprise you.

If you are implementing a PESO Model program, owned media (content) is where most of you will start.

Consider this: two weeks ago, Facebook and Twitter banned Trump from their platforms. He used social media to connect with his fans and communicate with his base.

Look at content from that perspective. If you used social media to connect with prospects and communicate with your customers and they suddenly went away, what would you do?

The easiest way to convince anyone to invest in content is to approach it that way. Your efforts should always begin with something you own and have complete control over.

To boot, without content, you don’t have anything to distribute on social, nothing to amplify with paid, and nothing to get rubber-stamped by a journalist, blogger, or influencer.

It’s no longer a nice-to-have. In 2021, it’s a necessity. It must be interesting (not dry), solve a specific problem for your customers and prospects, and follow a buyer’s journey.

If that doesn’t convince them, they’re going to struggle unnecessarily. See what you can do to help!

Have a Question For Us?

If you have a question for a future AMA, you can drop it in the comments here or join us in the (free) Spin Sucks Community.

Ask it there, drop ideas for multitasking I can do while answering your questions, engage with your fellow marketers, have some fun. I hope to see you there!

Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich is the founder, CEO, and author of Spin Sucks, host of the Spin Sucks podcast, and author of Spin Sucks (the book). She is the creator of the PESO Model and has crafted a certification for it in partnership with Syracuse University. She has run and grown an agency for the past 15 years. She is co-author of Marketing in the Round, co-host of Inside PR, and co-host of The Agency Leadership podcast.

View all posts by Gini Dietrich