The Ultimate Content Strategist Playbook No. 1: Evangelizing a Content Marketing Program

By Joe Lazauskas March 3rd, 2015

Marriott’s first foray into content is the stuff of marketing legend.

Seven years ago, Kathleen Matthews, the hotel giant’s EVP of communications, walked into Bill Marriott’s office with an idea. After 25 years as a reporter and news anchor for an ABC News affiliate in Washington D.C., she knew the power of a good story—especially when it came from a compelling figure. So, naturally, she wanted Marriott to have a blog, and she wanted Bill Marriott to write it.

Matthews quickly convinced Marriott he was the best person to tell the company’s story, even though he didn’t use a computer. And for the past seven years, he’s been telling that story—one weekly “On the Move” blog post at a time. Meanwhile, Marriott has expanded his content operation, building a 65-employee studio to power their far-reaching content operation, which is led by former ABC executive David Beebe. The hotel giant only started building their content studio in the fall of 2014, but the early results have been extremely impressive: a successful TV show, “The Navigator Live”; a touching short film series, “Year of Surprises”; a personalized online travel magazine; and even exciting forays into virtual reality with Oculus Rift.

For most brands, however, content marketing doesn’t go this smoothly. Just as most millennials can’t walk right up to the boss and ask for a job like their grandfathers once did, most marketers can’t walk into the CEO’s office and pitch the idea of building a small media company within a large corporation. Instead, most content marketers are faced with a task of persistently evangelizing the practice of content marketing while creating a strategic roadmap that will ensure success once they start executing.

This isn’t easy. In fact, it’s incredibly difficult, and while there are thousands of bits of advice out there about how to “do content marketing” effectively, there’s no comprehensive guide for getting started.

That’s why we’ve decided to create The Ultimate Content Strategist Playbook, a five-part guide to evangelizing a content marketing program, creating a roadmap to success, and executing and optimizing your content program over the long haul. We’ll be revealing our own secrets to success at Contently, and we’ve also tapped the smartest and most successful content marketers on Earth to share their insights.

Download the first guide in our series, The Ultimate Content Strategist Playbook: Evangelizing Content and Setting Yourself Up for Success, below.

Image by Kyle Fewell