Content marketing can be unbelievably powerful for businesses with a clear goal in mind. Whether your goal is to provide thought-leadership articles to an already-engaged agency or generate content as an SEO link baiting tactic, structure and process are critical to the success of the activity.
Platforms For A Content Marketing Strategy
I cannot stress the importance of employing processes as early as possible. It sounds like a no brainer, but I’ve seen so many marketers just write, edit and post, all without much thought to organization and time efficiency.
From my experience, most writers and marketers default onto Google Sheets for their platform of choice. This works somewhat well for smaller teams with the aim of producing relatively low counts of content. However, if you’re a larger organization constantly generating 50,000+ words of content per month, or have a larger content marketing project on the go, then you’ll struggle.
Here at Digital Next, we moved over to Asana for our content needs. With nearly 70 clients, most of which are very content based on strategy, as well as, on average half a dozen web projects on the go, we found Asana to be the best fit for our requirements.
Some of our clients are incredibly content focussed and required approximately 60,000 words of content per month. Depending on the placement and objective of content, most were produced in-house, but some were produced by contractors. This added another level of complexity that Asana handled quite well.
Teamwork Makes The Dreamwork
Building a team with the right blend of skills can make or break the success of a content marketing project or content marketing-focused business. Depending on the specific objectives of a team, things may be different from the below. But this is an insight into a typical and nicely blended content team.
Again, Asana was brilliant at helping teams stay organized and communicate with one another and keep records of the communication. Although lacking a messenger feature, leaving comments in individual tasks and projects enabled the team to keep on top of it!
In a content team, guess what, you need writers. The content writers should have a passion for the subject material, and ideally, previous experience working within the framework of more complex projects, or at least a willingness to learn. People who can really write are gold. Last-minute changes and flexibility with content go a long way.
Even on large projects, there is still a need to produce snippets, CTAs, Ads etc. Our client not only needed content marketing, but they also needed digital marketing. Having a copywriter as part of the team allowed the content writers to continue with the longer form and not get distracted with other tasks.
Content Strategist / SEO Expert
We were lucky to have a very skilled individual who was well-versed in both content strategy and SEO. Although the two can be very closely related, and in this case they were, it was imperative having somebody dictating keyword strategy, sourcing opportunities and doing a light bit of SEO editing.
You Buy Cheap You Buy Twice
Cheaper content can be an attractive proposition when producing on mass, but content is king and quality is queen, and as we all know behind every great man is a great woman. Previously we made the mistake of choosing the cheaper content option and not meeting our objectives, simply due to quality. This meant we had to pay again in money and pay in time!
Expertise is Everything
Creating an article should be a lot more than copy and pasting five different sections from five different websites and re-writing each part. A well-written article is an organic process driven by expertise and passion. Of course, there is always a need for research while writing, but that’s exactly what it should be, research, not re-writing. And to get to this point as a writer takes time. But every hour spent researching a subject area saves many more over the course of a large project.
Tone and Style
Creating a consistent tone and style to content is actually and very difficult task. Writing is naturally a reflection of writers’ personalities and honing each writer towards a brand’s preferred style takes work. Strategizing and agreeing upon a tone at the beginning of a project is absolutely critical to crafting a long-term content strategy.
Attempting to complete large content tasks well would be nearly impossible without a proper structure in place. Deciding on the frameworks you wish to work within early may ‘cost’ time upfront, but it will save countless hours during the process. Tools like Asana are generally all quite similar but also offer different features that may lend themselves to a specific type of project. All in all, take your time in the beginning, stick to the processed and you’ll reap the rewards!