Everyone wants to get more done every day, and they don’t want to work more hours or waste time. Being more productive doesn’t mean doing more work, or drinking mass amounts of coffee. Rather, it means working in smart ways to be more efficient. If your marketing team’s productivity could use a boost, we’ve got some ideas!
The Source of Inefficiencies
In looking at improving the productivity of your marketing team, you have to start by examining where the inefficiencies reside. The foundation of marketing should include processes and procedures. A lack of these will certainly add to non-productivity fire.
Even if marketing operations are in good shape, you likely still have gaps. Those may include:
- Meetings and lots of back-and-forth on project status
- Content that gets held up due to a lack of resources
- Review cycles that aren’t effective for all parties
- Absence of a content strategy, which causes everyone to be on different pages
- Content collaboration hurdles
- Lack of technology to streamline and simplify content workflows
- Inability to pull reports on content analytics easily
- Too many manual processes
All these things add to the plate of your team members every day. Without repeatable processes and tools to support them, productivity will decline. In your initial assessment, you can pull at least five to 10 reasons your team can’t catch up or get ahead.
Here’s what you can do to fix productivity challenges.
1. Document Your Content Strategy and Stick to It
Most enterprise content teams have a content strategy. The latest B2B content marketing survey from CMI (Content Marketing Institute) reports that 40 percent of organizations have documented their strategy. Another 33 percent claim to have a strategy, but it’s undocumented.
Image Source: Content Marketing Institute
In support of productivity, documenting is non-negotiable. If you have one in “theory,” that doesn’t mean everyone follows or understands it. That brings chaos to processes and goals.
A content strategy is critical to productivity for all people on the team — creators, strategists, specialists, etc. Without a documented one, all these people will spend excess time producing content. Additionally, content will often need many revisions if everyone’s doing their own thing, setting you back even further.
2. Create an Asset Library
How much time do people spend weekly hunting for assets? If they don’t live in a centralized system and there’s taxonomies or metadata to help your team search for them, this eats into the time they should be focusing on other things. At a minimum, you should be using shared drives or other file-sharing systems.
What’s key is that everybody knows where this central repository is, and all parties adhere to the rules of storing assets. All this gets much easier when it’s a native part of your content marketing platform.
3. Enable Complete Visibility with a Content Calendar
Dynamic content calendars are one of the best tools for productivity. They are a core element of a content marketing platform. Dynamic means they are “living” pieces that automatically update when adding or completing tasks. They are also visible to all parties and reveal every project, its status, and the person responsible.
With a content calendar, all those status meetings and email threads disappear. Anyone can look at it and know what’s happening right now. Further, you can look at the data behind your projects and identify the roadblocks that keep your team from being productive.
4. Develop Workflows for Every Type of Project
Every content project includes numerous steps, from idea to publication to promotion. If these are all ad hoc and aren’t consistent, it will take more effort and time to finish them. Content workflows give you structure. They define every step with timelines to keep things on track.
You can also revise and change them as needed to enhance productivity. For example, if a workflow for a content campaign involves building emails or web pages but you omit the need for programming, the project stalls because no one’s accountable for the next step.
5. Set Clear Expectations on Throughput
Your content strategy defines the frequency at which you’ll create content. Maybe you came to that number based on history, or it could be a random number. To hit throughput, your marketing team has to be more productive. That’s a given; however, the pace and stress it puts on your people may be too much strain.
When people feel stressed, it can lead to burnout and disengagement, which will disrupt productivity. To avoid this, have open conversations about expectations and if they are realistic. Get feedback and make adjustments.
6. Foster Better Collaboration
Content creation doesn’t happen in silos (or at least it shouldn’t!). It involves lots of parties that need to work together. That’s often not as easy as it sounds. The modern workforce is remote or hybrid and may cross different time zones and regions.
While initial collaboration with an SME (subject matter expert) would involve a meeting, other kinds just need technology to support it. It has a lot to do with reviews and inputs that you can streamline through a content marketing platform. You can extend the workflow to include those outside your team, such as compliance, legal, or executives.
Additional interdepartmental collaboration is also made easier in such a solution. For example, writers and designers can share feedback and ideas in the system. That means they don’t have to write more emails or send more chats.
7. Aggregate Data into One Reporting Engine
Reviewing content analytics is crucial to understanding content performance. What you learn should inform what you do next. The reason it’s often a productivity zapper is that data lives in disparate systems. If you can stream all of it into one platform, reporting is easy. You can quickly review everything critical, from website traffic to social media engagement and more. In this approach, it doesn’t take hours to simply run a report.
Improving Marketing Teams’ Productivity Starts with DivvyHQ
If you want to achieve all these productivity boosts, you’ll need a solution with the right tools and features to make it happen. You’ll find all these and more with DivvyHQ. We designed it specifically for content marketers to help them work smarter. See what it can do for your team by starting a free trial.