Connect with us

MARKETING

11 B2B Content Ideas to Fuel your Marketing (with Examples)

Published

on

11 B2B Content Ideas to Fuel your Marketing (with Examples)


You’ve probably read a million articles about content marketing by now, but with 88 percent of B2B marketers using the process every day and another 76 percent planning to in the future, you’d better start taking

In its 2022 state-of-the-industry report, the Content Marketing Institute calls content marketing ‘a sleeping giant’. As the giant stirs, you need to make sure your ideas for B2B content are on-point and ready to put your business ahead of the competition.

The marketing industry is in a state of flux. During the pandemic, as more traditional forms of marketing — such as in-person events and face-to-face selling — were shut down, the power of content marketing came to the fore. 

Companies found it harder to capture and hold their audience’s attention, and customers demanded a more empathetic tone. Only 14% of businesses say the challenges of Covid-19 haven’t impacted their content marketing strategy.

So, as we all begin to look to the future, exactly what should you be doing to get the most from your content? This article will offer 11 fresh ideas for B2B content plus answer your most common content FAQs.

Best B2B content ideas for smart marketers

It’s clear the way we strategize and develop content needs to pivot to meet the demands of a post-pandemic audience. Let’s look at 11 content ideas to attract potential customers and strengthen existing relationships.

1. Unconventional content formats

The pandemic encouraged us to get more creative than we’d been before. We needed to adapt to something novel, which unlocked some unconventional ideas. 

Mimic this approach by using content formats you haven’t tried before. This isn’t the time to play safe, so embrace something you haven’t tried before to keep ahead of your competitors. 

For example, this might be the time to branch out into video, or maybe you’re itching to create a podcast to cement your reputation as a thought leader in your industry. 

Podcasting is a growing format. 41% of Americans listened to podcasts regularly through 2021 compared to 37% in 2020.

For example, project management software ClickUp recently launched its new podcast, ‘When It Clicked’, featuring business leaders describing the lightbulb moments that led to their success.

 

Image Credit: ClickUp

The customer lifecycle is often longer in B2B than B2C, so you need to keep your content fresh and engaging. Incorporating a range of formats lets you reach people in different ways, which is important for helping prospects understand the more technical aspects of your product.

2. Content partnerships

Content partnerships — where brands work together to gain promotion through their content — can be an extremely useful tool in your B2B marketing. 

Content partnership expands the reach of your business by opening up another company’s audience to your product. Complementary partnerships mean less time qualifying your audience. 

For example, if you’re a project management platform and you partner with a business selling time tracking software, there is likely to be a lot of target audience crossover, boosting opportunities for conversion. 

This was the case for corporate events provider Team Building, who partnered with a leading HR services provider for a marketing campaign.

 

Image Credit: Team Building

The two companies share a target audience and, while Team Building created marketing materials, the HR services provider promoted those materials among its current contacts.

CEO of Team Building, Michael Alexis, said: “This is a simple example, but it led to client work, inbound links, and additional media opportunities for us.” In return, Team Building’s partner gained high-quality marketing materials.

Digital content produced through partnerships can also offer SEO benefits by increasing the visibility and credibility of your brand. This means your business ranks higher in search engines, driving more traffic to your website.

3. Content roundups on audience-relevant topics

As you’ve already seen, attracting and keeping your audience’s attention is growing ever more challenging. The way people consume information is changing, and your content needs to reflect this shift.

Providing content roundups on topics relevant to your audience makes you a one-stop shop for industry information. This builds your credibility and makes you top-of-mind when they’re ready to buy. 

Which is important. 32% of business buyers think reputation is a key attribute when looking to make a purchase.

Your audience will also appreciate not wasting time searching for information across multiple sites. Most people are consuming content on the go, filling dead time on their commute or while doing other routine tasks.

This means smaller chunks of information that are responsive across mobile devices are an important part of your content strategy.

As a time-saver, check whether your marketing software solution has access to industry-leading content that you can repackage. 

For example, in Welcome, you can source and publish world-class, fully licensed articles directly from the platform to supplement original content creation.

Image Credit: Welcome

4. Problem-solving blog content

Speaking of original content, your blog is key to reaching and engaging your audience. Marketers voted blogs the most important form of content for building brand awareness. 

But you can’t just put any old thing out there. It’s critical your blog content creates value for your subscribers or website visitors. 

Unlike some B2C marketing tactics, B2B is not about encouraging an impulse purchase based on wants. To establish long-term, fruitful B2B relationships, your product or service must meet the needs of your customers and help solve the issue they’re facing. 

Helping customers solve issues should act as a golden thread through all of your B2B marketing channels, which makes problem-solving blog articles important for maximizing your content marketing.

There’s a current trend toward longer-form content, so don’t be shy of using your blog as an opportunity to deep-dive into challenges your target audience faces. Exact target word counts differ by industry, but you won’t want to be less than around 1,000 words.

As a great example, consider this very article — if you’re interested in the numbers, it’s just under 3,000 words. And you’re no doubt reading it to better understand what content you should be producing in order to maximize your business’ success. 

And that’s a problem we care about solving.

5. LinkedIn content

If you think you already have a strong marketing strategy across your social media channels and don’t need to target LinkedIn, you couldn’t be more wrong. 

Over 80% of B2B leads are generated through LinkedIn, making the platform nearly 300% more effective than Facebook and Twitter for sourcing potential B2B customers.

Setting up a company profile on LinkedIn is simple and gets you access to nearly 800 million other users. But once you’re set up, what should you be posting? 

Posting relevant content recycled from your company’s blog is an easy way to get started. Share a few snippets and link to the full article on your website to encourage traffic. Plus, build your credibility by getting involved in discussion groups and sharing industry insights. 

LinkedIn voted recruiting firm Hays as having the ‘Best Company Page’ in 2017. Hays content is successful because it combines practical tips, industry research, and thought-leadership to deliver value to its audience. 

They use multiple format types, including podcasts, videos, and custom images, to help followers engage with the brand.

Image Credit: LinkedIn (Hays)

6. Video tutorials 

71% of B2B marketers used video content in the last year, which means if you’re not yet getting in front of the camera, you’re losing out to a sizable number of your competitors. 

Visual content can be incredibly valuable for B2B businesses, especially if your product is technically complex. It can be much easier to visually show and verbally explain the nuances of product features through video than written content. 

Plus, 60% of executives prefer video format to text, which is important to note given the more extensive decision-making process that’s often associated with B2B sales.

This is reflected by a strong return on investment for video content; 88% of marketers said it provides a positive ROI. 

Inviting industry influencers to guest on your videos can also improve your brand’s attractiveness and cement its credibility.

For example, Surfer SEO software uses its YouTube platform to create helpful tutorials that showcase the individual features of the platform and troubleshoot common issues. 

They also invite industry experts to join the channel and provide insight as to why pages aren’t ranking.

Image Credit: YouTube (Surfer)

7. Email-based courses

Email courses use a sequence of emails — say, daily for a week or weekly for a month — to educate an audience on a particular topic. 

They can be a great way to warm-up potential customers and move them closer to a sale. 

Typically, they work by supporting subscribers to generically solve an issue through actionable hints or tips. The final email of the course usually shows why the business’ product or service is the best way to solve their particular pain point. 

For example, freelancing expert Brennan Dunn runs this 9-lesson email course to help other freelancers qualify, pitch, and close potential projects. 

Image Credit: Double Your Freelancing

By providing this actionable solution to a common freelancing challenge, Brennan builds his credibility within that community. He can then piggyback off this credibility to increase sales of his other paid digital products.

8. Webinars

With face-to-face events out of the window, the use of webinars to engage and inform B2B customers was up 162% through 2020. And 99% of marketers say webinars are key to their future digital marketing strategy.

Like videos, recording webinars is a great way to showcase, explain, and troubleshoot the more technical elements of your product or service. 

However, webinars have one crucial advantage — lead capture. To attend a webinar, customers usually have to sign-up and provide their email address or other contact details. So they are an excellent way to build your marketing contact list. 

Plus, as attendees have actively signed up to attend, they are more likely further down the sales funnel than other prospects, which makes conversion easier too. 

Make sure you capitalize on that when hosting live webinars by offering attendees a promotion that encourages sales, such as a time-bound discount code, product demo, or a post-webinar consultation with a sales representative.

On-demand viewing time for webinars averaged 29 minutes, according to one industry report. So, don’t make your webinars too long. For live webinars, build engagement through interactivity, such as in-session polls and a Q&A.

Multi-part webinar series help build a relationship with your prospective customers and provide a great platform for offering educational content that answers questions they might be pondering.

For example, we recently put together this 4-part series on the top priorities for today’s leaders when it comes to tech and the tools that can help them.

9. Creative press releases

Companies have used press releases to generate interest in the products and services for decades. Traditionally a short piece of information released to journalists, they were a key way to be featured in newspapers and other media outlets.

So, are they still relevant for B2B marketing? We certainly think so.

Announcing Product 2.0? Draft a quick note for multi-channel release and immediately share your launch with thousands. 

Changing up your image? Use a press release to share news of exciting partnerships, influencer collaborations, or corporate social responsibility initiatives.

Innovative marketing software, like Welcome, allows you to get creative with your press releases. 

Upload multi-format digital assets and use powerful editing tools to organize and optimize your releases for maximum engagement. Plus, integrations with your social channels and intuitive publishing widgets make distribution seamless.

10. Technical articles and white papers

The job of a good technical writer is to take a complicated topic and break it down into small, easy-to-understand concepts.

As we mentioned earlier, B2B marketing sometimes requires getting into the nitty-gritty details of your product or service, and technical articles or white papers are the perfect format. 

This type of content allows you to offer an in-depth study of a specific topic, educate business customers through the decision-making process, share technical knowledge, and publicize your product.

For example, data storage system provider Hitachi Vantara uses a technical paper to explore and explain the complex topic of content platform architecture.

Image Credit: Hitachi Vantara

A white paper can act as a great lead magnet, enticing your audience to opt-in to your mailing list in return for access to this valuable content. It can also feed other marketing channels, such as your social media or blogs.

11. Thought leadership style content

By definition, thought leadership content enhances your business’s credibility. To be viewed as a thought leader, you need deep expertise plus recognition by your peers of an ability to drive innovation in your industry. 

High levels of credibility help build trust, which is crucial for growing and sustaining B2B relationships. Plus, who doesn’t want to work with or buy from a company that other companies look to for inspiration?

As well as enhancing credibility, this style of content can increase audience engagement as, by its nature, it is novel, possibly even controversial, which sparks interest and discussion. 

Thought leadership content is often long-form and may include original research. It might be an opinion piece on new trends or a white paper on a complex topic. 

However, there is a place for short-form content, too, especially if you already have the reputation of an original thinker in your industry. Marketing guru Neil Patel uses videos, blog articles, and social media to inform, educate, and opine on all things marketing.

Image Credit: Neil Patel

FAQs on B2B content 

Now you’ve got a handle on the types of content you should be creating to support your B2B marketing, let’s clear up a few FAQs.

What’s different about B2B content?

When you’re creating content for a B2B audience, you need to consider what makes B2B unique. 

B2B often has a longer customer lifecycle, and the products may be more complex and technical in nature. You’re usually targeting a smaller audience, but there could be many more decision-makers in the buying process.

This means content needs to be focused on establishing trusting relationships. Proving your credibility is key, as is using multiple formats and channels to engage stakeholders in different ways.

How do I create a B2B content strategy?

When you’re creating a B2B content strategy, you need to decide what your goals are. 

Are you building brand awareness and attracting new customers, cementing your relationships with current ones, or moving prospects down the sales funnel? This knowledge will help you target your content more successfully. 

Once you’ve identified your audience, get to know them better. Figure out what problems they’re trying to solve so you can create relevant content that delivers real value.

Keep up with industry trends around content formats to figure out what’s working best and what your competitors are trying. Also, use platform analytics to work out which formats have been most successful in the past.

Pull all this information together into a single strategy, and don’t forget to share it with other relevant teams, such as sales and customer service, so your marketing messages are aligned and on-brand.

How do you write for a B2B audience?

Writing for a B2B audience doesn’t necessarily have to be different from B2C, but it may be. 

Content that’s written for a B2B audience may need to be more technical in nature as you work to engage decision-makers in the nuts and bolts of your product. 

Some content, such as thought-leadership pieces, may also need to be more academic to convince businesses of your credibility and industry-leading position.

Like all marketing, personalizing your content to the needs of your audience is vital for success.

Try new approaches to up your content game

The last two years have forced all of us to try novel approaches to getting things done. Your B2B content marketing strategy shouldn’t be any different. 

Dig deep into how your target audience prefers to consume content, and don’t be afraid to branch out into unconventional formats if you want to try something new.

Using an integrated marketing platform like Welcome makes it easy to create, optimize, and distribute high-quality content to your audience. 

Why not request a demo today and see what Welcome can bring to your business.



Source link

MARKETING

Five questions for our new CMO, Shafqat Islam

Published

on

Five questions for our new CMO, Shafqat Islam



Alex Atzberger: Now that you’ve stepped into the CMO role, what are you looking forward to?   

Shafqat Islam: It’s amazing to take on this role at both a category creator and leader. How many brands can be a leader in almost every category–think Experimentation and CMS–that we play in?  

And we have so much to look forward to and build on. We have an exceptional team of marketing leaders and practitioners. They are fiercely intelligent, optimistic, and care deeply about what our products can *do* for our customers. Not just for the people who will encounter the marketing, retail, and product experiences that we support, but for the people who build them. As somebody who has both built products and been deeply immersed in marketing, I love the perspective that our team has.  

Alex Atzberger: What makes Optimizely unique?   

Shafqat Islam: First off, we’re category creators in experimentation and content management, both CMS and CMP. Marketers know this, and analysts know it, as something like 7 major analyst reports will tell you.  

Martech is a crowded field, so it’s true that there are a lot of firms whose territory overlaps with some of ours. But show me another company that can handle the entire content lifecycle like we can. Or show me another company that can do both feature flagging and experimentation.  

We also have a legendary legacy in the martech world. Before I joined, I knew that A/B testing and Optimizely were synonymous, and that the company’s roots go all the way back to the origins of the practice. And that’s something that is like common folklore in marketing and technology.  

And more than anything, the 1500 people who work here are world-class. 

Alex Atzberger: Being a CMO talking to other CMOs and marketing leaders is an advantage. You know the customer. But you’ve also built tech products. How does that affect your work now?  

Shafqat Islam: I’ve spent the majority of my adult life building products for marketers. So I’ve been lucky to spend so much time talking to CMOs and marketers in almost every type of company all over the world. As the founder/CEO of Welcome, my approach was to solve marketer challenges by building products. But now as CMO, I get to use the products we build.  

We’re practitioners of all of our own solutions, so in addition to the natural empathy I have for marketers, I am also close to the job’s unique challenges every day. There’s nothing like that to keep you sharp and keep you close to the customer.  

As a product builder, I knew we must always speak to business outcomes. But as CMO, I love that we aren’t just talking about the solutions – we’re living them, too.  

Because I was an entrepreneur for so long, I also bring another unique view – my willingness to take smart risks. I love to try things, even if (especially if?) the results are sometimes surprising. When it comes to experimentation, there are no failures, only learnings. 

Alex Atzberger: What are the biggest challenges you’re hearing from our customers, current and future?  

Shafqat Islam: Growth, especially given how tough it is out there for so many industries. The stakes are very high when it comes to creating experiences that will win and retain customers. That’s what all of our customers–especially the retail heavyweights-are thinking about.  

And marketing and technology leaders need to do this with leaner budgets. Efficiency matters a lot right now, and that means not only reducing the costs you can see, like the price tag attached to software, but also the costs you can’t see right away, like how much time and money it takes to manage a set of solutions. With that said, in tough times, I think the strongest brands can not just survive but also thrive. I also think when others are fearful, that may be the time to invest aggressively. 

And in the background of all this, there is still the ever-expanding list of customer touchpoints. This is simultaneously an exciting challenge for marketers and an exciting opportunity. More data means more effective storytelling– if you can use it right.

I also hear marketers when they say there’s a need for a shared space for collaboration among us. The role of the marketer is expansive, and it’s only getting more complicated. Building a community where we can come together and appreciate our shared goals is difficult, but I’m optimistic that we’re moving in the right direction.  

Alex Atzberger: What is next in our space? What will marketing and technology leaders be talking about six months from now?  

Shafqat Islam: Looking around now, it’s clear that 2023 will be the year that AI-generated content goes mainstream. We’re just starting to see the uses and the consequences of this. There’s already buzz about ChatGPT and its capabilities, and platforms are already making space to integrate AI functionality into their offerings. It could be an exciting way for users to become better equipped to create and share high-quality content.  

Customers also have gotten very used to personalization. Every screen they see daily is personalized, whether it’s their Netflix account or social feeds. So, when I see a site that isn’t personalized, I kind of scratch my head and wonder, why? With personalization now the norm, expectations for digital creators are sky-high.

Read the official press release.


Source link

Continue Reading

MARKETING

What to Consider When Choosing a Brand Ambassador for Your Social Media Campaign

Published

on

What to Consider When Choosing a Brand Ambassador for Your Social Media Campaign

Want to maximize the potential of your social media campaign? Then you must ensure to choose the right brand ambassador for the job. Having a good ambassador will increase your social media reach and boost sales. But, selecting the best ambassador can be tricky.

This guide will show you the key steps to consider when selecting the perfect brand ambassador for your social media campaign. From assessing their influence to ensuring their content matches your brand’s mission. This guide will give you the insights you need to make the right decision.

Understanding the role of a brand ambassador

A brand ambassador acts as a company representative, promoting the brand’s products to a specific audience. They are selected for their influence and ability to communicate the brand’s message. Their primary goal is to increase brand awareness and engagement with the audience.

To achieve this, an ambassador shares the brand’s message and builds connections with the target audience. They help to establish trust and credibility for the brand by personally endorsing it through their own experiences. Also, they provide valuable feedback to the company, allowing for product improvements.

Tips for choosing the right ambassador for your social media campaign

1) Assess the credibility and influence of potential ambassadors.

One of the first steps is to ensure they have a very active social media presence. Make sure they have many followers and a high engagement rate. Check the number of followers they have and the type of posts they share. This will give you a good idea of the content they generate and let you know if they are a good fit for your campaign.

Make sure their posts are relevant and appropriate for your brand. If their content is not a good fit, you may want to reconsider hiring them for your campaign. This is important if your brand has a particular message you wish to convey to your audience. If their content is not in line with your brand’s values, it could have a negative effect on your brand’s image.

2) Analyze the compatibility between the ambassador’s content and your brand’s mission.

It’s common to think that a famous ambassador would be a good fit for your campaign. But if their content is not in line with your brand, they are not an option. You may want to go further and check the interaction between their posts and followers. If the interaction is very high and followers actively participate, this is a good indicator of the quality of the ambassador. This will show how much impact the ambassador has among their followers. The interaction of the followers with the ambassador’s posts is important, as it is a good way for them to get to know your brand better.

3) Make sure the ambassador is present on the right social networks.

If your brand uses more than one type of social media, you should ensure the ambassador is present on them. You can choose an ambassador who is active on most of the major social networks. But, you must ensure they have an appropriate presence on each platform.

For example, it may not be a good idea to select an ambassador who is primarily active on Instagram for a Facebook-centric campaign. Remember that followers on each platform are different, and it’s important to reach your desired audience. If the ambassador you choose is present on the right social media platform, it will be easier for them to reach your audience.

4) Set expectations and establish the terms of the partnership.

Once you have selected an ambassador and they have agreed to collaborate with your brand, set the terms of the collaboration. Set clear expectations and tell the ambassador precisely what you want them to do. This includes specifying the type of content that should be posted. It is also important to outline the kind of connection that should be fostered between their followers and your company.

Also, be sure to establish payment terms and any other essential partnership details. For example, if you want the ambassador to promote your brand at a specific event, let them know so they can prepare.

5) Consider brand ambassadors who have experience participating in events.

A brand ambassador with experience working at events and comfortable interacting with customers can be a valuable asset to your campaign. They will be able to promote your brand and products at events and help to build a positive image for your company.

Find a brand ambassador who is professional and comfortable in a high-energy environment. This will ensure they can effectively represent your brand and engage with customers at events. Hire an event staffing agency to ensure the event runs smoothly and let brand ambassadors focus on promoting the brand and connecting with the audience.

6) Complete the selection and onboarding process

Make sure you select an available ambassador with the right skills for your campaign. Verify that the ambassador’s availability matches your campaign schedule.

It’s a good idea to start interacting with the ambassador on social media. It will help you establish a strong relationship, making promoting your brand more accessible. Show the audience that they have rallied behind your brand and thank them for their support.

7) Follow-up and evaluation of the ambassador’s success

Once the campaign is over, follow up with the ambassador to test its success. Ask the ambassador if your promotion has been effective and get their feedback on the campaign. This is an excellent way to improve your campaign the next time you run it. It will also help you identify areas where you can improve your social media strategy.

You can test the success of your social media campaign by looking at three main factors: reach, engagement, and conversions. By considering these factors, you can determine the success of your social media campaign. Also, you can identify any areas that need improvement.

Conclusion

Brands use brand ambassadors to increase engagement and sales of their products. An ambassador has a large following and regularly interacts with your audience. When selecting an ambassador, consider factors such as their social media presence and the ability to communicate your brand’s message. Taking the time to choose the proper brand ambassador will ensure the success of your social media campaign.

Source link

Continue Reading

MARKETING

Content Operations Framework: How To Build One

Published

on

Content Operations Framework: How To Build One

More and more marketers of all ilk – inbound, outbound, social, digital, content, brand – are asked to add content operations to their list of responsibilities.

You must get your arms around:

  • Who is involved (and, I mean, every who) in content creation
  • How content is created
  • What content is created by whom
  • Where content is conceived, created, and stored
  • When and how long it takes for content to happen
  • Why content is created (the driving forces behind content creation)
  • What kinds of content does the audience want
  • How to build a framework to bring order and structure to all of this

The evolving expectations mean content marketers can no longer focus only on the output of their efforts. They must now also consider, construct, implement, and administer the framework for content operations within their organizations.

#Content marketers can no longer focus solely on the output. It’s time to add content ops to the mix, says @CathyMcKnight via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

What exactly are content operations?

Content operations are the big-picture view of everything content-related within your organization, from strategy to creation, governance to effectiveness measurement, and ideation to content management. All too frequently at the companies – large and small – we consult with at The Content Advisory, content operations are left to evolve/happen in an organic fashion.

Teams say formal content operations aren’t necessary because “things are working just fine.”

Translation: Nobody wants the task of getting everyone aligned. No one wants to deal with multiple teams’ rationale for why the way they do things is the right/best/only way to do it. So, content teams just go on saying everything is fine.

News flash – it’s not.

It’s not just about who does what when with content.

Done right, content operations enable efficacy and efficiency of processes, people, technologies, and cost. Content ops are essential for strategic planning, creation, management, and analysis for all content types across all channels (paid, earned, owned) and across the enterprise from ideation to archive.

A formal, documented, enforced content operation framework powers and empowers a brand’s ability to deliver the best possible customer experiences throughout the audiences’ journeys.

A documented, enforced #ContentOperations framework powers a brand’s ability to deliver the best possible experiences, says @CathyMcKnight via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

It doesn’t have to be as daunting as it sounds.

What holds many content, administrative, and marketing teams back from embracing a formal content operations strategy and framework is one of the biggest, most challenging questions for anything new: “Where do we start?”

Here’s some help in high-level, easy-to-follow steps.

1. Articulate the purpose of content

Purpose is why the team does what it does. It’s the raison d’etre and inspiration for everything that follows. In terms of content, it drives all content efforts and should be the first question asked every time content is created or updated. Think of it as the guiding star for all content efforts.

In Start With Why, author Simon Sinek says it succinctly: “All organizations start with WHY, but only the great ones keep their WHY clear year after year.”

All organizations start with WHY, but only the great ones keep their WHY clear year after year, says @SimonSinek via @CathyMcKnight and @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

2. Define the content mission

Once the purpose of the teams’ content efforts is clear (and approved), it’s time to define your content mission. Is your content’s mission to attract recruits? Build brand advocacy? Deepen relationships with customers? Do you have buy-in from the organization, particularly the C-suite? This is not about identifying what assets will be created.

Can you talk about your mission with clarity? Have you created a unique voice or value proposition? Does it align with or directly support a higher, corporate-level objective and/or message? Hint: It should.

Answering all those questions solidifies your content mission.


ADVERTISEMENT

The marketer’s field manual to content operations

A hands-on primer for marketers to upgrade their content production process – by completing a self-audit and following our step-by-step best practices. Get the e-book.


3. Set and monitor a few core objectives and key results

Once your content mission is in place, it is time to set out how to determine success.

Content assets are called assets for a reason; they possess real value and contribute to the profitability of your business. Accordingly, you need to measure their efficacy. One of the best ways is to set OKRs – objectives and key results. OKRs are an effective goal-setting and leadership tool for communicating objectives and milestones to achieve them.

OKRs typically identify the objective – an overall business goal to achieve – and three to five key quantifiable, objective, measurable outcomes. Finally, establish checkpoints to ensure the ultimate objective is reached.

Let’s say you set an objective to implement an enterprise content calendar and collaboration tool. Key results to track might include:

  • Documenting user and technical requirements
  • Researching, demonstrating, and selecting a tool
  • Implementing and rolling out the tool.

You would keep tabs on elements/initiatives, such as securing budget and approvals, defining requirements, working through procurement, and so on.

One more thing: Make sure OKRs are verifiable by defining the source and metric that will provide the quantifiable, measurable result.

Make sure objectives and key results are verifiable by defining source and metric, says @CathyMcKnight via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

4. Organize your content operations team

With the OKRs set, you need people to get the work done. What does the structure look like? Who reports to whom?

Will you use a centralized command-and-control approach, a decentralized but-supported structure, or something in between? The team structure and organization must work within the construct and culture of the larger organization.

Here’s a sample organizational chart we at TCA developed for a Fortune 50 firm. At the top is the content function before it diverges into two paths – one for brand communications and one for a content center of excellence.

Under brand communications is each brand or line of business followed by these jointly connected teams: content – marcom, social/digital content development and management, center of excellence content – creative leader, center of excellence PR/media relations, customer relationship management, and social advertising.

Under the content center of excellence is the director of content strategy, manager of content traffic, projects, and planning, digital asset operations manager, audience manager, social channel and content specialist, creative manager, content performance and agility specialist, and program specialist.

Click to enlarge

5. Formalize a governance model

No matter how the operational framework is built, you need a governance model. Governance ensures your content operations follow agreed-upon goals, objectives, and standards.

Get a senior-management advocate – ideally someone from the C-suite – to preside over setting up your governance structure. That’s the only way to get recognition and budget.

To stay connected to the organization and its content needs, you should have an editorial advisory group – also called an editorial board, content committee, or keeper of the content keys. This group should include representatives from all the functional groups in the business that use the content as well as those intricately involved in delivering the content. The group should provide input and oversight and act as touchpoints to the rest of the organization.

Pointing to Simon Sinek again for wisdom here: “Passion alone can’t cut it. For passion to survive, it needs structure. A why without how has little probability of success.”

6. Create efficient processes and workflows

Adherence to the governance model requires a line of sight into all content processes.

How is content generated from start to finish? You may find 27 ways of doing it today. Ideally, your goal would be to have the majority (70% or more) of your content – infographic, advertisement, speech for the CEO, etc. – created the same or in a similar way.

You may need to do some leg work to understand how many ways content is created and published today, including:

  • Who is involved (internal and external resources)
  • How progress is tracked
  • Who the doers and approvers are
  • What happens to the content after it’s completed

Once documented, you can streamline and align these processes into a core workflow, with allowances for outlier and ad-hoc content needs and requests.

This example of a simple approval process for social content (developed for a global, multi-brand CPG company) includes three tiers. The first tier covers the process for a social content request. Tier two shows the process for producing and scheduling the content, and tier three shows the storage and success measurement for that content:

Click to enlarge

7. Deploy the best-fit technology stack

How many tools are you using? Many organizations grow through acquisitions, so they inherit duplicate or overlapping functionality within their content stacks. There might be two or three content management systems (CMS) and several marketing automation platforms.

Do a technology audit, eliminate redundancies, and simplify where possible. Use the inherent capabilities within the content stack to automate where you can. For example, if you run a campaign on the first Monday of every month, deploy technology to automate that process.

The technology to support your content operations framework doesn’t have to be fancy. An Excel spreadsheet is an acceptable starting place and can be one of your most important tools.

The goal is to simplify how content happens. What that looks like can vary greatly between organizations or even between teams within an organization.

Adopting a robust content operations framework requires cultural, technological, and organizational changes. It requires sponsorship from the very top of the organization and adherence to corporate goals at all levels of the organization.

None of it is easy – but the payoff is more than worth it.

Updated from a November 2021 post.

Want more content marketing tips, insights, and examples? Subscribe to workday or weekly emails from CMI.

HANDPICKED RELATED CONTENT:

Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute



Source link

Continue Reading

Trending

en_USEnglish