Make your content work for you with these five strategies for streamlining your workflow.
More often than not, the success of a marketing campaign comes down to planning, strategizing, and maintaining a rhythm. You could have the greatest campaign idea of all time, but without an established workflow to keep you in check, success might elude you nonetheless.
To maximize the impact of your content, articles and graphics should be delivered with timeliness and efficiency, so that they remain relevant until the minute they’re published (and hopefully, long after).
Here are our tips for consistently delivering content with a punch:
Before you start churning out content, devise a comprehensive plan of attack. Establishing a firm strategy ahead of time will leave you more energized to tackle all the moving parts and unexpected hiccups that arise once you’ve set your plan into motion.
Your content methodology should involve dedicated periods of creation, refinement, and optimization, effectively breaking projects down into digestible chunks of work. Things to consider: the total volume of content to be created (including articles, posts, tweets, and Instagram posts); what channels content needs to be published on; who will compose each piece; and a workflow for editing, approval, and uploading of final content.
Of course, the most important element of your content methodology is flexibility. Periodically evaluate and reconfigure your strategy, taking external feedback into account.
Know Your Team
Your content plan should also take the strengths and capacity of your team members into account. Does one writer or group take longer than others? Do some people get stuck when they work on a certain type of project? Do you have a resident expert for one of your editorial beats?
With these considerations in mind, devise realistic editorial and design calendars, and be direct about communicating your expectations for each project. By anticipating the needs and capabilities of your team, you’ll have a better sense of how to distribute and schedule assignments and thereby keep your projects on track.
Research Far and Wide
As many times as we’ve heard this advice, it bears repeating: gather story ideas and data from as many sources as you can. As Aaron Agius says, “While writers can be an excellent source of content ideas, collaborating with various stakeholders throughout your organization will often result in topics based on timely, real-world customer needs.”
Ask questions that don’t have simple answers, and don’t let your marketing content get stuck in a rut just because it’s been performing “OK” so far.
Divide and Conquer
Remember working on group projects in school? Inevitably, there would be that one person: “No worries guys, I’ll write the cover page.” Um, yeah… we all know that’s not really fair on the rest of the team, especially if the person doing all the primary research has to get their work done in the same amount of time as cover page guy.
From the get-go, clearly delineate who will be responsible for each aspect of a project, from brainstorming, to SEO strategy, to the actual creation of content. Only after you’ve mapped tasks out for the entire project should you delegate them among team members, allowing a realistic amount of time to complete each leg of the project. By setting realistic expectations and fairly dividing responsibilities, you will be much more likely to hit your deadlines on schedule and ensure that everyone is pulling their weight.
Self-Assess and Optimize
At the end of the day, the most important part of developing a successful content marketing strategy is allowing ample space for reflection and adjustment.
Monitor engagement on social media based on concrete indicators like clickthrough rates, shares, and reposts. Compare traffic to your site against your past content and your competitors’ publications. Measure your content’s performance against your original objectives and established KPIs to determine its overall success — and don’t be afraid to change your performance indicators themselves if need be. Change is the only constant, and taking this adage to heart is key to helping your content soar year after year.
Longneck and Thunderfoot offer content marketing services and strategies to transform your company blog into an authoritative trade publication. Click to learn more about how to produce great content and prove ROI on your marketing efforts.