Content marketing is a cornerstone of modern brand promotion. In fact, a 2016 study found that it costs 62 percent less than traditional forms and generates about three times as many leads. With numbers like this, it seems like every business is working tirelessly to create captivating messaging that will springboard into the mainstream.
As great as the concept sounds, getting into a rhythm of producing high-engagement brand messaging is not as easy as it looks. Even further, once you reach a certain level of quality, the last thing you want to do is backslide.
Once a company begins to gain more traction in the marketplace, a team will be needed to meet demand. This is a time when it’s VERY easy for a strategy to crumble. The more minds you have working, the harder it is to keep everyone’s visions in line.
Keeping this in mind, the entire entity of content marketing requires a superb level of coordination to remain competitive. Let’s discuss some foundational practices for keeping your team working towards the same goals as a single, efficient unit.
Involve everyone in the planning stage
As a manager, your job is to take ownership of projects. However, in order for a team to work as a fine-tuned machine, everyone needs to be present during the planning process and contributing to the big picture.
The truth is that the workplace is a much different environment than it was 30-40 years ago. The top-down dictatorship style of planning projects isn’t nearly as effective as it once was. Employees today need to feel valued in order to stick around. Remember, people leave bosses, not companies.
A good manager is one that works to bring out the very best in each and every member of the team. This process all starts in the planning stage. Be sure everyone has a voice, and ideas are shared freely.
Now, as great as this concept is, it can sometimes turn out to be a difficult task being that many companies these days allow employees to work remote. When this is the case, it’s wise to invest in interactive platforms like GoToMeeting:
Tools like this help ensure everyone is on the same page – whether they are physically present for the planning stage or not.
Promote transparency in task delegation
Once a solid plan is nailed down and the overarching goals are understood, the time will come when tasks need to delegated appropriately.
For example, let’s say one of your goals is to increase revenue by improving your customer service process. In this case, you will need information and data on some of the common issues and roadblocks of that department.
This would likely require someone to scour the web and pinpoint trending concerns most people are having when interacting with brands. With this knowledge, you would then need your creators to craft appealing content addressing these issues in accordance with brand messaging.
In order to get tasks done well, you and your team must embrace transparency in the workplace. If not, certain details can easily slip through the cracks.
For this purpose, it’s strongly recommended to implement a campaign management system. Tools like Workzone are built with a task-driven mindset with transparency being foundational aspect:
For instance, everyone involved in a project or campaign is able to look at the main dashboard and see exactly which projects are on the table, who is working on them, and where they stand in terms of progress.
This dashboard is ideal for small marketing or creative teams, and remains so all the way up to enterprise departments. With clear statuses on campaign goals, Workzone goes beyond simplistic to-do lists like Trello while steering clear of complex ICT project management tools like JIRA.
Transparency in delegation is much easier said than done. Do yourself a favor and look into a software that tackles this challenge for you.
Find a communication alternative to email
As great as email is for external communication, the same cannot be said for in-house interactions.
For one, people tend to get bogged down with more emails than they know what to do with. Therefore, it is all too easy for correspondence between coworkers to get lost in the shuffle.
Content marketing is very much a group effort. As all good leaders will tell you, communication is the key to a high-performing team. To make sure crucial messages don’t get overlooked, companies are wise to look into a form of communication exclusively for employees.
Consider introducing an instant messaging app; the wildly popular Slack:
This tool is well-known for being easy to use in businesses of all sizes. It’s designed for quick group messaging, cross-department communications, file sharing, and integrates with a lot of other popular apps like Google Drive, HubSpot and even Giphy.
Prioritizing emails and organizing an inbox is a task in itself. Keeping in-house correspondence separate is crucial for getting your team to accomplish goals without unnecessary delays.
Encourage teamwork and collaboration
One of the most important ingredients to successful content is consistency. For this concept to become a reality, you must create a strong culture of teamwork and collaboration.
Your content team should share the same vision and be walking on the same path to get there. If you are producing material in vastly different tones with divergent messaging, this is a big red flag your squad is not working as a unit, but a group of individuals.
The best way to create a motivating environment is to keep members in the loop while openly discussing certain issues or concerns related to goals. Programs like Yammer are great for team building and learning more about the visions of everyone involved:
Yammer is essentially a private social networking site you can set up for your company. This interface currently has over 7 million users from more than 200,000 different companies. It’s designed for people to stay updated on all aspects of the company and collaborate on projects across the board.
An open platform like this is perfect for content teams to continuously develop their unified approach. Good, consistent work is a direct product of sharing a collective pool of knowledge.
Managing a content team can be one of the most complicated tasks in the business world. You are dealing with a plethora of different creative and analytical personalities needing to work towards one collective vision.
Success in content marketing depends heavily on the systems and tools you employ. The common successful theme is based around a culture of open sharing and tight-knit communication. Producing compelling brand material is all about finding the perfect balance of these concepts.