CMOs say that building up content marketing is the second most important initiative, second only to measuring ROI. Yet most marketing organizations don’t have a culture that reveres content creation.
If you are questioning this statement, then do me a favor and answer these questions:
- How many people are on your marketing team?
- How many people are responsible for creating content?
- What is the ratio of marketing team members to content creators?
- How many pieces of content have these folks created this year?
The ratio is pretty dismal at many organizations. For example, I’ve seen marketing teams that had fifteen marketers, only one of whom was really responsible for creating content. Another company had seven marketers and none were responsible for creating content. Both of these companies stated content marketing was their core strategy, yet their structure seemed to say otherwise.
How to Make Content Marketing the #1 Priority
If you truly believe content is a critical aspect of your marketing strategy, then everyone on the team should be responsible for ensuring that you are producing a consistent funnel of content. Otherwise, it is too easy for those trying to create content to be distracted by meetings and fire drills.
The easiest way to do this is to block off the first hour of every morning for content creation. As I’ve said before, much like brushing our teeth is the first thing everyone does when we wake up, creating content should be the first thing everyone does when they come into work.
People follow by example and tend to prioritize the activities that are prioritized by their leadership. If the leadership of your organization doesn’t prioritize content creation, then the individual marketing team members aren’t likely to prioritize it either.
Everyone doesn’t have to write a white paper or blog post to help with content production. Today’s marketing requires teams to have technical people who simply may not be good or practiced at writing. It’s quite possible the marketing automation manager doesn’t have intimate knowledge of the company’s product or industry, but that doesn’t mean they can’t help with the content production process.
11 Super Valuable Ways Non-Writers Can Help With Content
Team members who may not be the best at writing could help conduct research for an infographic or interview an industry expert. Team members who are skilled in grammar but who are not necessarily the right people to be writing an eBook could proof during this time. Designers could create custom images for blog posts, infographics, or videos. It is paramount that you make a conscious decision to do your part to transform your marketing team’s culture to be truly content-creation focused.
Interviewing is the cornerstone of consistently creating high quality content. Many organizations either rely on their marketers to create the majority of content, or they rely on their internal thought leaders and experts.
Relying on just marketers tends to lead to fluffy, less valuable content. Relying on just internal thought leaders and experts tends to lead to rich content that isn’t necessarily optimized for headlines, readability, or call to actions. Plus, internal thought leaders and experts tend to take a long time to write because they are often busy and content creation isn’t their role’s first priority.
Teaming marketers with internal thought leaders and experts gives your content the best of both worlds. Your content will benefit from the deep expertise of your leaders combined with the efficient and intentional writing of your marketers.
The person conducting an interview doesn’t have to be the writer. Anyone on your team could conduct the interview and then send the audio to be transcribed. Then, your best writers could focus on turning the transcript into a valuable, marketable piece of content.
Great content takes research. The more statistics, quotes, and examples your content contains, the richer and more valuable it will be. Again, the person doing the research doesn’t have to be the writer. Anyone on your team could conduct the research and then your best writers could focus on turning the research into rich content.
As we just discussed, the more statistics, quotes, and examples your content has, the richer and more valuable it will be. A great way to get obtain this information is through surveys. You can ask someone on your team to send out a survey regarding your topic to support your content plans.
4) Editing & Proofing
Some people are more skilled at editing and proofing than they are at writing content from scratch, and your best writers may not necessarily be your best proofers. Streamline your content production by having people edit and proof content. Also, if you’re using interviews and transcripts, you could have people that are skilled editors do the first pass at the transcript.
5) Repurposing Content
Someone on your team could be put in charge of repurposing the content into other pieces. For example, they could turn a webinar into a slideshare presentation or an eBook into an infographic. There are countless ways you could be reusing your content.
Often the person creating content is also in charge of staging it, particularly when it comes to blog posts. Being responsible for both of these tasks can be a lot to keep up with, and as such, this individual can tend to run out of time to optimize the content. Having someone else stage the content will assure that it is optimized for the most clicks, shares, and conversions.
7) Headlines & Titles
As important as headlines and titles are, they are often just an afterthought. Someone on your team could be placed in charge of listing out the ten or so best titles. Listing out the best titles is more than just brainstorming ten titles. It takes a little research to see what titles and similar keywords are getting the most traffic and social shares. There are a lot of tools out there to help you do this, such as Google Adwords, Keyword Tool, and BuzzSumo.
If you are following the steps in this guide then you are already planning out your content themes and topics, but the words you use to describe a topic aren’t necessarily the words the majority of people are using on Google or social media. Just like with headlines and titles, you can do a little research to see what words are most popular.
9) Custom Images
Custom images get more clicks and shares than stock images, but most people use stock images often because they feel that they do not have the time or skill to create custom images. A few people on your team probably have the ability to create custom images fairly quickly. Having those individuals create custom images for your content will greatly increase your content’s quality and maximize results.
Much like images, someone on your team could be responsible for choosing, creating and staging the call to action for your content. Urging your customers to take action now and showing them exactly how to do so can yield great benefit.
Improving your content marketing takes much more than simply creating better content. You need to be tracking what’s working and what isn’t, as well as what is currently trending. The person best suited to do this analysis isn’t necessarily the person that does most of the writing or managing of the content marketing. Have your most analytical person use their content collaboration time analyzing your content.
Just imagine how much content you would create, how many leads you’d produce, and how much additional revenue you’d create if everyone on your team spent just one hour per day producing content. In contrast, would one hour really hinder their other projects? With just a little effort you could go from not producing enough content to having more high quality content than you know what to do with.
This article has covered one of the eight steps for creating a Lean B2B Content Marketing Strategy to enable you to do more with less. Check out the full guide below to learn about the other steps and start getting your team the best results from your content marketing.