How much should content marketing cost? That’s a tricky question. You may think your content marketing costs are based solely on factors like labor, infrastructure, and tools. But what about process costs?
The process costs of content are often forgotten because they don’t necessarily show up as a budget line item. But they could be eating away at the ROI of your content marketing.
Finding the ROI of content marketing can be challenging as many elements and processes exist within the discipline. However, it’s still critical to determining its effectiveness. To improve the ROI of your content marketing, it’s necessary to dissect process costs.
What Are Process Costs?
Think about a typical day. How much time is your team spending on the manual minutiae of meetings, email correspondence or having to force feed clunky technology platforms?
- Was that status meeting necessary?
- Does anyone know where that image is stored?
- Did Becky just make revisions to an outdated version of that article?
How many hours are wasted that you could get back with purpose-built platforms, which would allow your team to focus more on the actual production of content?
Process costs, simply put, are anything related to the time and resources spent just working on the process of taking a project from idea to completion. Let’s explore this topic and how you can optimize it.
Duplication of Efforts
A BIG resource burner in many companies is the duplication of efforts. Even if you have professionals that have a defined role in your content marketing process, it doesn’t mean that there isn’t overlap. This overlap could be costing you substantially. Not only because you are paying for the tasks to be done twice but also the time wasted that could be attributed to other work.
Duplication of efforts is often the most problematic in three situations:
- Multiple teams/silos are tasked with doing similar things (ex: regional teams) and there’s a lack of visibility and coordination between them
- Collaborative planning and workflow processes haven’t been defined
- There’s no infrastructure that alerts your team that something has already been assigned or completed.
Using the “lack of defined workflow” situation as an example, let’s say that a creative brief needs to be developed for a project before it’s handed off to a writer or designer.
If you have more than one project manager, they may each do this task independently because it doesn’t live in a production workflow. Now, you have two creative briefs and confusion. This could delay things further. With a content planning tool, this could be resolved. Your process is streamlined and there are true cost savings. You eliminate labor costs and get the project moving faster.
Collaboration Falls Short without the Right Tools
How does your content team currently collaborate? Is it a lot of emails back and forth? Status update meetings that veer off topic and waste time? This type of communication is ineffective, wasting time and money. If your team spends eight hours a week in this time trappings, that’s eight hours of pay for each team member that isn’t going toward content creation. That could be thousands of dollars every week!
Instead, you need to use a content collaboration platform. Here’s why:
- Instantly know the status of any project or piece of content
- Consistently understand who is responsible for the next step and if there are any blockers to this
- Simplify collaboration with a central repository for ideas
- Receive real-time notifications to keep all stakeholders in the loop
- Manage teams and projects in one place to eliminate the need for constant meetings or emails
Using Automation to Eliminate Some Manual Tasks
Another area of process costs in content marketing that can be resolved is the removal of manual tasks with content automation. To understand what your costs are here, you’ll need to consider content marketing aspects that can be automated.
Content automation refers to the tasks that support content marketing, not the creating of the content itself. A lot of automation deals with the publishing of the content on your website and sharing it via social media channels. If you have team members that solely work to publish and are bogged down by process tasks, content automation can relieve them of this.
Those team members can then be realigned to work on more strategic approaches for how and when you publish. They can spend more time looking at data and optimizing, rather than being stuck in the trenches just doing the robotic tasks of publishing.
Process Costs of Inefficient Analytics
How many systems does your content analytics team have to source data from right now? Do you know how long it takes them to create reports for how your content is performing?
Depending on how many different channels and platforms you support, your team may be spending multiple hours just to pull the data. Then, they have to spend additional time analyzing it. You, of course, want to know about the ROI of your content marketing but there is a way to do it more efficiently.
Content analytics shouldn’t be so complicated. Look for a platform that delivers real-time dashboards and the option to get on-demand analytics for any project. With this type of tool, your team won’t need to aggregate data from multiple sources once it’s set up properly.
This type of system also allows sharing of reports easily with leadership. It’s no longer a “fire drill” when executives want to understand the performance of content marketing. It’s easily accessible, and you can go from data to information to insights.
Spending less time and resources on analytics enables your team to spend more time on the insights. They can then understand what your audience is responding to and why, and feed that information back to your project managers and creative for future planning.
Finding the Right Platform to Minimize Process Costs
There are lots of platforms for managing content marketing. They each vary in features, functionality, and scalability. What you should look for in a platform is one that understands the complete process of content marketing and resolves the challenges you have with process costs.
Ideally, a platform will:
- Eliminate the need for email and other communication tools—everything happens in the platform
- Increase process efficiency
- Offer real-time updates on every project
- Enable automation of time-consuming tasks
- Deliver all the analytical data needed to draw insights quickly
It’s time to take back the time and resources you are wasting on inefficient processes. You can do that with DivvyHQ, the content marketing platform that does all this and more. Learn more today by requesting a demo.