Content marketing has the power to redefine your brand. It generates leads, supports thought leadership, and engages stakeholders. But this practice can also be executed poorly. Too many companies are still approaching content with shotguns and spam cannons. There’s little-to-no strategy backing their content initiatives and they aren’t targeting content for specific audiences, segments or personas.
Occasionally, these companies walk through our front door. They’re producing enough content to necessitate a more robust content marketing process tool, but we recognize quickly that their strategy is lacking. So please forgive me when I say…
“Sorry (not sorry), we’re going to force you to do content marketing right.”
So, how do you do it right? Well for starters, all facets of the content marketing practice need to be developed and implemented. Those facets include:
Now don’t get me wrong here, there’s certainly no doubt that marketers are trying. Content Marketing Institute’s annual research on the progress of the content marketing practice shows clearly that marketing teams are maturing steadily and producing more content than ever before.
There are literally websites built to track the millions of blog posts published every day. But most of those posts don’t return the results brands hope for and desire. Those posts may be well-written and relevant to their audience. Yet they still don’t deliver leads and conversions.
What happens most often is that companies aren’t taking the necessary time to properly define (and document) their strategy and overall direction. If content is the fuel for your engine, but your destination is unknown, you won’t get anywhere.
Instead, companies must build a more solid foundation. That foundation begins with strategy, and then proceeds with implementation of a content marketing platform. A platform that infuses the best practices of content strategy becomes your operational backbone as you build your content strategy, establish goals, and develop processes. It also provides visibility to CMOs and executives, so they can see the progress of executing on that strategy.
In a nutshell, this journey to doing content marketing right begins with a strategic conversation and having the right technology to support it. Let’s look more closely at how a content marketing platform can enable you to execute content marketing seamlessly.
Where do all your content marketing documents reside now? Are you using multiple systems, spreadsheets and workarounds to facilitate content management?
In this case, your content marketing operations are neither efficient nor productive. These silos of planning, development, and creation mean it takes you more time to produce each piece of content than it should. You’re too busy in status meetings and working on disparate systems; you have less time to work on actual content.
When you use one system that is specifically built for the content process, you can manage content schedules, content workflows, and campaigns across the entire organization. This platform becomes the home for your content strategy and every tactic surrounding it.
The most important part of your platform that keeps you aligned is your content calendar. Consider it the holy grail of content marketing. For it to provide alignment, it must be dynamic. Spreadsheets and Google docs won’t suffice.
With an interactive calendar on your platform, it’s always up-to-date and visible. Tasks are quickly assigned, and with every update comes an automatic notification.
When your content plans aren’t organized, communication gets lost, collaboration is nearly impossible, and there are constant bottlenecks and unknowns around status.
Look for a content calendar that allows you to do these things:
What is the biggest hurdle you have to overcome when producing content? It may involve the lack of an efficient content collaboration process. Content creation may include a variety of different stakeholders who need to stay on top of the status of those projects.
You may constantly be hitting a wall with getting SMEs to provide context, or working on approvals from executives, legal, or compliance. With a content marketing platform, you have a real-time view of your master editorial calendar to see what’s due, what’s done and what your team is working on right now.
Those who need to review or approve assets can easily complete these tasks to keep projects moving. While at the beginning of the process, your writers can share ideas and ask for feedback from experts.
An idea repository is also a feature that enables better collaboration. With such a tool, anyone throughout an organization can suggest ideas. Those ideas can then be reviewed and developed into projects. And the entire process of ideation is documented.
Without the right tools, it’s hard to optimize your content process. Depending on spreadsheets, email chains, and unproductive status meetings may be the biggest area of inefficiency within your operation. You and your team will be much better served when you integrate your process into a centralized content marketing platform with configurable content workflows.
A streamlined process boosts content creation output and helps ensure consistency and quality. By being able to develop content workflows specific to your team and strategy, you’ll be on your way to optimizing your process.
A platform also enables you to store assets. When everything’s in one place, there’s no constant back-and-forth looking for assets among your myriad of archives. A robust content search function is another excellent feature to look for in a platform.
When you have a content process that’s more painful than practical, you’re probably caught up in being reactive instead of proactive. Break out of this pattern with a robust platform. Use software that includes best practices for content marketing.
Some features you’ll appreciate are content strategy audit and reporting tools, drag and drop scheduling, deadline reminders, and more. When the mechanics of your content management run well, you have more time to devote to creating higher-quality content.
Finally, to execute content marketing correctly, you must track and measure your content’s performance. With content analytics, you’ll be able to glean insights as to what your audience is responding to, from specific topics to channels to messaging.
Analytics can deliver meaningful information, but it will be tedious if you’re aggregating data from multiple systems. DivvyHQ Analytics offers you configurable dashboards so you can view all your marketing data in one space. It clearly defines the key metrics that will allow you to gain a deeper understanding of your content marketing performance.
With a dedicated content analytics platform, you’ll never have to create ad hoc reports from scratch. Real-time dashboards can be emailed to all stakeholders automatically versus you regularly producing reports manually. The right tools take content analytics from cumbersome to simple.
Besides providing the tech and a framework to help companies execute the best practices of content marketing, many of our clients have leveraged our platform as a catalyst for change within their marketing organization.
You may already know you need help with everything I’ve mentioned in this post (strategy, streamlining execution, measurement, etc.), but a software purchase and support from experts may just be the spark that your content engine needs to start firing on all cylinders.
If that’s the case, we’d love to chat. Why not schedule a quick convo and demo right now?