Have you heard of the phrase ‘analysis paralysis’? It’s where looking too hard at a set of options, plans or strategies instead of taking action means you end up not doing anything at all. You’re too preoccupied with the detail to see the bigger picture, and end up doing nothing.
It can happen in business, in life choices and even in deciding which film or TV series to watch on Netflix. I’ve lost many an hour scrolling through titles deciding what to watch, and ending up not actually making a decision.
The phrase ‘procrastination is the enemy of success’ is another well-known saying, and has been used by business coaches, growth experts and authors alike for many years. Its purpose is to make people aware that they need to take action, rather than simply strategise every minute detail, if they want to get ahead.
However, the notion of scrutinising instead of taking action applies tenfold when it comes to online marketing.
The world of search, and especially social media, moves incredibly quickly. News breaks on social media before it reaches news websites. Only then does it hit radio and television. Once something has reached the newspaper, it is already yesterday’s news – at best.
Therefore, in order to stay relevant, in order to stay topical and in order to stay ahead of the curve, you need to be using many different channels and publishing your content immediately to coincide with events and trends.
There’s no time for meetings, there’s no time to ‘run things past the MD’, and there’s no time for a committee to decide on the next plan of action. You either ‘get it’ or you don’t.
This means you need to make decisions ahead of time, and decide that you’re ready to trust your social media team, your content team, your webmaster, your SEO company – whoever it is that updates your online channels. You need to trust them to make the right choices and do the right thing, and you need empower them to have the confidence to act immediately.
All too often have I seen opportunities missed because someone wanted to run a piece of content, or an idea, past someone else before going ahead with it. I’ve seen articles wasted, blogs never published, landing pages abandoned, videos unused and even infographics unshared. All of this was because someone didn’t want to allow decisions to be made without everyone having their input.
The internet works too fast for this sort of micromanagement to occur. While you’re reviewing ideas with the MD, your competitors are making sales from the strength of the content they shared last week.
Do newspapers sit on breaking stories for a few days while they work out the best angle? Do magazines hold back reviews because the reviewer wants to watch the movie, the play or listen to the album a few more times just to be sure? No, content needs to be out immediately, otherwise it’s yesterday’s news and just another blip in the white noise of online media.
I’m not saying you should put out content that isn’t right, or content that doesn’t work for you. Of course not. But you can ensure it’s correct in advance by crafting a profile of your target audience, and creating a brief for the sort of content that is to be aimed at that audience. By doing this, you can allow the people creating your content the freedom to actually create, which in turn helps you and the goals of your website.