In a world with over five billion people online, content is king. Users want instant access to information. That’s why content marketing is so important. But people’s attention spans are also becoming shorter.
This makes the job of the content marketer harder. How do you keep people engaged in a world where more than 20 seconds is considered too long for an online video? For success, you need a content marketing team that is capable of adapting to the ever-changing needs of online users.
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But what can you do to ensure your content fires on all cylinders? We’ll discuss how, by optimizing your content operations, you can have the best marketing strategy.
What are content operations?
Content operations are all the factors that combine to power your content marketing efforts. Think of your team, the processes they use, and your technology, as wheels in a larger marketing machine.
Content operations help to ensure that each time you release a new piece of content, you get closer to your goals. They help you outline a strategy going forward. For example, you might choose dynamic content for your email marketing, or focus on visual content for advertising.
You won’t just use content to promote products. It could also be used as a way of building engagement and brand awareness.
Think of it this way, your blog probably won’t sell many products. But by building a readership you can ensure your brand stays in people’s heads. A user might not buy an item when reading a blog post, but they may think of your products in the future.
But what can you do to boost your content operations? Here are four simple tips to set yourself on the right path.
1. Create a Style Guide
When creating content, cohesion is important. You want each piece of content to feel the same regardless of whether it’s for a blog post or for a social media post. This doesn’t just apply to consistent spelling or grammar (although this is, of course, important).
Your style guide should illustrate several key elements of your content. This includes:
- The character of your brand – Is your brand formal, laid-back, or quirky? A reader should be able to tell from your content.
- Your approach – Are there certain principles that your brand upholds? Where possible, make them clear within your content.
- Formatting guidelines – Be consistent. For example, will you write dates in full or abbreviations?
Once you’ve defined and documented your style guide, make sure your content writers are well-versed in it. Consistency is the first step to boosting your content operations. Make sure you and your team know how to e-sign a Word document. Your creators can sign your guide and reassure you that they have read the guide.
2. Create a Content Calendar
It’s easy to overload yourself with content production. Sharp deadlines won’t reduce the stress on your team. Nor will it provide much time to ensure content is of a high standard. Your content marketing team will have a much easier job if they have a clear content calendar. If they know exactly what content is needed and when it is to be released, they can create a backlog.
Exactly how you produce a calendar is up to you and the needs of your team. You could choose an Excel spreadsheet, or go with the traditional written calendar. Once a schedule is created, make sure you communicate with your team. Investing in a system that allows multiple calls on one phone line will help you to pass on information efficiently and easily answer any questions.
Your calendar should also be easily accessible to all team members.
3. Pick the Right Tech
When you boil it down to the core basics, creating content sounds simple. You sit down and film a video or create written content. But creating content successfully is much more involved.
If you want to sound like an authority on whatever topic you’re covering, you’ll need to do some research. Documents will need to be spell-checked and keywords included. If you’re creating a video, editing will be required. You might add graphics or animation.
These are just some of the factors that need to be considered when creating content. But each of these takes time. Wouldn’t it be better if you could minimize these tasks and focus on creating other pieces of content? The good news is that with the right tech, you can!
There are lots of different software packages to help make content creation easier. For example, Grammarly can help spell-check a document. This reduces the number of errors that crop up, meaning less time is needed for editing.
Just as an academic might use a thesis proposal template, a creator can make use of an outline. Programs such as Clearscope can aid with research, providing templates and a keyword list.
4. Track Performance
There’s no point in creating content and hoping for the best. If a certain piece isn’t landing, there’s no use creating similar content in the future. Instead, you need a way of tracking each piece that you release. Identify the most popular and use it as a template for future releases.
To a certain extent, you’re probably already doing this. For example, page views might seem like a useful indication of success. There’s no denying that this is true. Content with higher views is generally more successful.
But for a truer indication of success, you need to look deeper. If you’re creating a blog post, how long does a post hold a reader’s attention? Similarly, did the average user stick to watching a full video or leave after 5 seconds?
Take some time to decide which metrics are important to your goals, and measure them. To help you do that, it’s important to invest in the best content analytics systems for deeper insights.
Content Marketing Operations Should be Your Focus
At the heart of every successful piece of content marketing are content operations. Ensuring the best framework for your content, however, isn’t easy. You’ll be under the stress of constant deadlines, and each piece will need to be cohesive.
Luckily, the four simple suggestions listed here can make your life a lot easier. Start with a style guide, and know exactly what you want users to gain from your content. Create a calendar and choose the right tech to help reduce the stresses of content creation. Finally, identify the right metrics. How will you know whether your content is successful?
Integrate these steps into your content operations, and we promise you won’t look back.
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