An effective enterprise content marketing strategy means finding ways to get out of your own way. If you can find a way to do that, you’ll almost always win.
Here at Siege, we help great enterprise brands grow with SEO. We’ve worked with dozens of Fortune 1000 companies over the years, all with their own unique challenges and inefficiencies.
In this post, we’ll break down the strategies we use to get things done within larger organizations, help you identify potential red flags that can derail your programs and also identify when it makes sense to raise the white flag.
Create a Home Your Team Can Own
In enterprise organizations, website ownership gets broken down into smaller teams. This means getting things done comes down to fighting for change on areas of the website where teams have their own motivators.
In order to truly have an (almost) uninterrupted path forward, building a unique section of the site dedicated to your effort often makes sense.
Of course, it needs to make sense for your content strategy, but if you were on the fence about, say, building a learning center for your company before, enterprise dynamics might really make you lean into doing that.
This is a common playbook for SEO teams where a blog may have several brand and creative owners who don’t like seeing that kind of content conflict with their specific goals and messaging.
An Easy-to-Use CMS is Critical
You have enough red tape at a big company — don’t make your content management system (CMS) have another layer of it.
It’s not uncommon for enterprise organizations to have custom content management systems, and unfortunately it’s also not uncommon for those systems to be unwieldy and hard to use.
For a fast-moving content marketing strategy, defer to simplicity. If you’re lucky enough to be able to carve out a unique section of the website, deploying a WordPress install on just that section can be beneficial for the most flexibility and user-friendliness moving forward.
We see many startups defer to the sexy CMS of the moment. Many of these come in waves of popularity, but in our experience WordPress continues to be the most consistent preference for flexibility, time to value and universal understanding by content marketers of the world.
Content Requires Several Roles
At a startup, you may be able to write and edit a post end-to-end yourself.
In an enterprise organization, you have to have several layers of quality assurance. This increases costs and time required, but also solidifies the brand that got the organization to where it is today. Those dependencies are:
- Professional editors
- Art Directors (a design editor)
These two editing roles are needed for content, whether contract or full-time. If you proceed without them, your content will eventually get flagged internally by creative teams. You’d rather be prepared to meet brand requirements out of the gate rather than wake up to bigger issues once your content starts getting attention.
Links Are Best Generated Passively
Links matter, and they will continue to matter. That being said, generating them through manual outreach at the enterprise level as a content marketer rarely makes sense. There’s a few reasons for that:
- PR teams own reporter relationships.
- There is more brand red tape around what you can or can’t say, making on-brand linkable assets more difficult to create.
- Enterprise website authority means you can actually generate a ton of links through ranking for top-funnel assets.
The last bullet is the most important element of this. As a bigger company, you can typically rank pretty easily once you can actually get the content live. This means you can create a link building engine simply by ranking for strong top-funnel terms, especially if you lean into topics with strong link-to-view ratios.
View our video above for more tips about how to do this for your company.
Don’t Accept Lack of Early Accountability
Something we see with frequency at bigger companies is that they start a content marketing campaign earnestly, often rarely caring about bottom-funnel sales metrics at the first phase of the effort. Brand awareness is a thing many large companies accept as a positive goal.
This may be justifiable for a time, but it’s rarely sustainable. Even if leadership accepts traffic growth as an early indicator of success, you as a content marketer should be leaning into sales as a goal immediately.
This will inevitably lead to better sustainability for your campaign and longer-term budget increases for your department.
Account for Existing Content
Bryan Casey, Director of Digital Marketing at IBM, rolled out a successful content program that started slow. He realized that old content on the site (the green line) was actually weighing down perceived growth of the program, as he fought against the downtrend with new content (the blue line).
His team re-focused efforts on updates to fight that downtrend while still building this new content. It helped him push the numbers back up in the subsequent year.
The lesson here? At big companies, existing content debt can hold back the perceived impact of your new content. Content updates have to be a big part of your strategy, even if that content wasn’t something you inherited coming in.
If you want to hear more about how Bryan implemented a successful enterprise content marketing strategy, check out our full podcast with him below.
Agencies May Have Extra Value
Let’s immediately state that we’re biased, as this article is being written by an agency. That said, it’s still definitely the case that there’s a reason why agencies tend to get used even more often by bigger companies.
- Many public companies are held to revenue per employee metrics which makes hiring agencies attractive, given that increasing internal headcount is difficult.
- The larger a company gets the more meetings tend to happen, making getting things done difficult. Often, outsourcing helps break this trend.
- Large companies have established internal DNA. Finding experts in a new area is often easier than building a new muscle at a mature stage.
If you decide to go this route, we suggest appointing a dedicated person to own the agency relationship, who also has time carved out to make the relationship productive.
We’ve seen large companies go with feedback by committee, and this further breaks down productivity and ownership in most instances.
Death Star Strategy
The goal of enterprise content marketing is to be the equivalent of a Death Star in your industry. It’s hard to get moving, but when you finally figure things out your organic traffic graphs often look like this.
Need help unlocking your strategy? Head on over to our sales page to learn more about our enterprise content marketing services.