“Fifteen days to slow the spread,” they said. But it’s been over a year and a half now of remote working in content marketing, and still, here we are, madly typing our next blog post at the kitchen table with no one but our four-legged friends to share the latest bit of office gossip with.
But then there’s the upside. Belly rubs for Fido, working in sweatshirts and yoga pants, and reducing your carbon footprint (and transportation expenses).
That’s just for you. Your CEO will love the fact that company-wide, productivity from remote workers rises anywhere from 35% to 40%.
For these reasons and more, remote working is “going from an occasional perk to the norm,” as Neil Patel points out. So, let’s settle in and learn a few tips for managing the new normal for the long haul.
Use Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) for Security and Accuracy
Most large content teams need to access confidential or proprietary data to plan, collaborate on, and create their content. Whether it’s a deep dive into a major customer’s needs with an account-based marketing campaign or an analysis of patient data for a blog post on the health benefits of exercise, they need a secure environment to work.
With a VPN, your team will have that environment, even from home. They’re especially handy if you’re overseas on a business trip and need to access a social media site that the government has shut down within its borders.
Conversely, if you need to conduct competitor research or search for local results in another country or region, a VPN provider can mask your actual location and allow you to browse as if you were actually in that country or region.
Use Time Zones to Your Advantage
If your company is like most larger companies, you have branches in other time zones, perhaps all around the world. Stagger content creation and editing tasks so that your Australian editing teams can check the work of your US-based content teams while your US team is sleeping – and vice-versa.
Handle assignments similarly. Post assignments for your US team at the beginning of your day, but wait until the end of the day to task your Aussie team with their new assignments. That way, they’ll see their new tasks the moment they log in to your content marketing platform.
Use Video and Audio Chats to Build Camaraderie
Team building used to depend on the after-work drink, the lunch with work buddies, or the gossip around the water cooler. That informal camaraderie deepened the personal ties among your teams – and forged connections with people from other departments.
While content collaboration can (and should!) occur right inside your content platform, those personal interactions, for the most part, do not. Video chats and phone calls can take the place of these get-togethers.
If you’re using collaborative platforms like Slack or Microsoft Teams, create a virtual water cooler channel where your teams can share stories about their dog’s new trick, their kid’s perfect report card, or their husband’s new promotion.
If you do have team members who live in the same area, encourage them to meet up in person for lunch, drinks, or to attend a ball game or concert together. You’ll find that the more personal trust they build with each other, the more likely they’ll open up and share their thoughts during collaboration sessions.
Create Dedicated Collaboration Channels for Various Tasks
In a large company, conversations about a given topic often get lost in the flow of communication. Creating dedicated channels for various tasks – such as between your content writing and graphic design teams, editors and writers, and content creators and customer-facing teams – helps reduce the time people spend searching for past threads and keeps conversations focused on the task at hand.
Document Your Content Strategy, Goals, and Style Guide
Aligning your teams’ work with your content strategy and your corporate goals is an essential ingredient in content marketing success. Keep your most recent iteration of these documents right on your content platform so that your teams can refer to them during the ideation, collaboration, and creation processes.
Even though long-time content team members probably have memorized your style guide, your newer employees and outsourced teams will appreciate having it at their fingertips. After all, they can’t walk across the hall to ask a more experienced employee a question. Make sure it’s easy for new hires and freelancers to understand.
Consider Flexible Schedules for Remote Work in Content Marketing
According to research conducted by UK voucher company VoucherCloud, employees are only productive for about three hours a day. Encourage your content teams to experiment with working at various times during the day to identify their most productive times so that they make the most of those three hours – and the rest of their day.
Then, allow your remote teams to tailor their working hours around their peak times. Allowing them to work during those times will help them be more engaged in their work, elevating their productivity even more, according to a Gallup study.
Use Customer Data to Drive Your Content Planning
When you’re working remotely, data becomes even more critical to come up with topics that speak to your target audience during the content planning process. Use your social media and content analytics to create customer personas that help your teams visualize your customer base up close and personal.
Armed with those personas, your remote teams can plan and create content for each customer segment that reaches them at every step along their buyers’ journey. Then, go back into your analytics to see which content best reached each segment. Tweak and repeat.
Give Virtual Pats on the Back with Each Win
In a brick-and-mortar setting, you celebrated each victory in person. Whether it’s recognizing the writer of a killer blog post that drove more conversions than ever before or throwing a party for the whole marketing department after the quarterly numbers showed a huge increase in ROI, you recognized outstanding performance.
Recreate those positive vibes virtually in online meetings by recognizing top performance in front of other team members. Doing so will motivate your top performers to keep the pace going and inspire others to reach even greater heights.
When your content teams are working remotely, it’s even more essential for them to have a single place where they can plan, schedule, collaborate on, create, and distribute your content – and then analyze how each piece performs. DivvyHQ is all that and more.
Even better, you can try it for 14 days, absolutely free. Start your free trial today!