We can’t think of anything worse than getting up at 5am to train for a marathon, but if you pause for a second you realize that creating a marketing strategy is just like training for a marathon. Content marketing is like training for a marathon because it’s all about a grueling journey that feels like it never ends.

The one way marathon training is different is that the marathon eventually comes to an end. Your marketing strategy will last as long as you are in business.

Are You Making a Commitment?

The only way you are going to successfully train for any marathon is to make a commitment to it. It’s hard to get out on a cold winter’s morning when you don’t really want to be there. The same thing applies to crafting and improving your digital marketing strategy, if you don’t really want to do it and you’re not serious then you won’t.

Make a solid commitment to your marketing strategy and, like a marathon, you will actually go out of your way to do it.

A Goal

The goal and the objective is important for both marathon runners and digital marketing experts. The first thing we do whenever we’re trying to come up with a digital marketing strategy is decide what we want to achieve. Once we have that, we can work from there.

The digital marketing goal you set will decide everything. If you wanted to run a marathon in under five hours, your training plan would differ from someone who wanted to run it in under eight hours.

Figure out your goal. Write it down in big letters. Stick to it.

Do You Have a Road Map?

When you train for a marathon you don’t just go outside and run. If you do this, you will likely break down in a heap after a mile or two. You need to gradually become used to the strain you’re putting on your body. When it comes to your marketing strategy, you need a solid plan as well.

This road map will dictate exactly where you go and what you do to get there. Without a solid strategy, you’re essentially wandering around lost.

An Idea of Resources

Before you can craft a strategy, you need to know about the resources you have available. In this case, it’s time and money. These two resources are what will drive the engine of your digital marketing campaign, and global media spending is expected to go up by 5.1% annually in the next five years. And this is the same principle as training for a marathon.

Your resources will determine exactly what you can do and what you are likely to accomplish with those resources. For example, if you only had two weeks to train for a marathon you’d likely downgrade to the half-marathon instead.

Before you start thinking about what you want to do and what you expect to get back from your campaign, consider what you have to play with. Come up with a rough budget, a goal, and a timescale for completing the campaign.

Coming Up Against Challenges

Content marketing and marathon running is all about the strategy. But if you think that you’re going to come up with a strategy and then stick with it until the bitter end you have another thing coming. Business digital marketing challenges are always going to pop up. You are going to come up against unexpected obstacles all the time.

That’s why any strategy you come up with has to be fluid. You should review it every so often and be willing to change. Don’t wait until the end of the campaign because by that time you could have wasted thousands of dollars and lots of time with nothing to show for it.

And that’s the same thing marathon runners have to keep in mind. They may be training for a marathon only to be hit by heavy snowfall. They would have to change their training plan because they can no longer run outside safely. It may mean that they have to train at a gym or use a stationary bike at home.

The most successful companies are those that can adapt and pivot quickly. If you can’t overcome the challenges you are about to face, you are going to struggle.

Last Word – It Never Ends

As a marketer, we know how it feels to have a marketing strategy that never seems to end. You need to adapt to the idea that you have to be constantly updating and changing your strategy. It’s the marathon that never ends.

How will you create a solid marketing plan today?