Should we answer questions on Quora?
Should we start a Substack newsletter?
Should we republish content on Medium?
Should we create original content on LinkedIn Pulse?
Should we make a microsite to house editorial content?
These are all variations of the same core question: should we diverge from our planned strategy to try something new? It’s a legitimate question. Clay Christensen has written extensively about deliberate vs. emergent strategies. One on hand, you want to create a good plan and stick to it. That’s the best way to avoid wasting time on distractions. On the other, you don’t want to miss something new that could be really valuable. That, after all, is the entire premise of his theory on disruption—a business that gets entrenched in an outdated way of thinking eventually loses to upstart competitors.
We’re asking a smaller question within the same framework. Should we stick to the plan or try something new? (I’m assuming that there is a plan in place, of course!) The consequences of a wrong decision are pretty trivial, but it doesn’t feel that way when you see a competitor on every Quora answer or publishing new LinkedIn content every week. Content marketers are prone to feelings of inadequacy since they can see and analyze their competitors’ work. This means there is a near-constant temptation to try new things, even when the old things are working well.
Whenever this comes up—and I’ll bet it comes up often—use these questions to think more deeply about the right answer.