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How to Start an Ecommerce Business in 2022 [Steps + Must-Follow Tips]

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How to Start an Ecommerce Business in 2022 [Steps + Must-Follow Tips]


In June 2021, over 440,000 businesses were launched, making it a record high since the start of the pandemic in March 2020.

Many are focusing on ecommerce businesses, as they offer an easier point of entry. There’s no physical space to scope out, rent to pay, or permits to obtain. However, that doesn’t mean starting an online business is a piece of cake.

Learn what it takes to start an ecommerce business and the steps to start one today.

Tips for Starting an Online Business

1. Design your website with intention.

Your website is your storefront – you don’t want potential customers arriving, looking around, and walking right out.

Think of your website title and meta description as your window display. You want the description to be enticing enough to beat out the competition and get users to click on your website.

Your homepage is the first thing visitors see when they land (or walk in). What will you present to make them keep scrolling? Maybe it’s your latest offer or a striking image from your latest campaign, or perhaps it’s a simple but compelling CTA that will invite curiosity.

Users should be able to navigate your site seamlessly with little friction. That requires a lot of planning, designing, and iterating.

Just as you would take time to curate every section of your store, be sure to give that same care with your website. Every section should have a clear goal and lead users to your desired action.

A first impression can last and can be hard to change – so make sure it’s a good one.

2. Don’t skimp on your creative assets.

We’ve already mentioned the importance of designing your website with care and intention.

Now, let’s get into the elements that will make up your website: your copy and visual elements, such as images and videos.

Your creative assets can make or break your brand perception. Don’t believe me? Look at insurance company The General.

The company recently rebranded and revamped its entire marketing strategy because the public doubted the brand’s credibility due to its perceived low-budget ads. They even addressed it in a commercial.

All this to say that it’s vital that you invest in high-quality visuals as they will be a representation of your brand.

As for your copy, this is important to ensure every message you are putting out is driving the action you want. Otherwise, you may get visitors to your site but not get them to convert. If you don’t feel equipped to take this on yourself, hire a copywriter who specializes in your industry.

For your visual assets, you can:

  • Outsource the work to a marketing or branding agency, or work directly with professionals on a contract basis.
  • Leverage sites like Pexels and Unsplash to get some high-quality stock product photos and videos that are free for commercial use.
  • Use sites like Canva to create beautiful visuals that fit within your brand identity.

3. Social media will be key to your success.

Think of social media as a high-traffic area you want your store to be in.

Social media is one of the biggest discovery points for ecommerce brands, aside from search. If you post content where your audience lives online, you can help them discover your company and build a strong community of brand loyalists.

If you’re doing it right, social media gets them interested in your brand, your website gets them to stick around and move to that next step in the buyer’s journey.

4. Help customers help themselves.

Many ecommerce brands struggle with customer service.

They often have a small team that’s unable to manage large volumes of requests from customers. One way to combat this is by offering helpful resources to current and prospective customers so they can the answers they need quickly.

After running your business for a while, you may notice that you get the same questions repeatedly. This is a clear sign that customers are experiencing friction on your site and need more support. FAQ and knowledge base pages are great ways to address that.

An FAQ section will not only be great for SEO, but also address your visitors’ most pressing questions. A knowledge base will help your customers troubleshoot and solve their issues on their own.

This will also allow your team to focus on addressing more important issues instead of fielding simple requests.

5. Automate when and where you can.

On the topic of customer service, automation is the name of the game.

There are many ways to automate interactions in a way that leads them further down the buyer’s journey. For instance, you could set up a chatbot that is designed to answer common questions from website visitors.

Automation can also look like:

  • Email workflow after a customer makes a purchase to ask for a product/service review.
  • Ticket creation for a member of your sales team to reach out to a prospect once they visit the pricing page.
  • Unpublishing out-of-stock products and email notification sent to fulfillment team.

If you have a workflow in place, there’s probably a way to automate it.

6. Leverage multi-channel selling.

As an ecommerce business, you want to maximize your reach and be everywhere your audience lives.

You may have some customers who shop directly from your store on your website. However, you may have some who shop exclusively on Amazon or Etsy.

To maximize your earning potential, sell your products on multiple marketplaces, as long as they align with your target audience and product.

How to Start Your Own Business Online

1. Identify a gap in the market and validate your idea.

The best ideas stem from personal experience.

Maybe you experienced friction when completing a task and figured out a way to streamline it. Or perhaps you thought of a product that would make your life 10 times simpler.

Wherever the inspiration comes from, it’s definitely worth exploring.

If you’re having trouble coming up with an idea, try the SCAMPER method for brainstorming:

  • Substitute – If there’s an existing product/service you want to model yours after, perhaps you can substitute some elements to make it unique. Think vegan ice cream.
  • Combine – You also have the option of combining two existing products to make one great one.
  • Adapt – Have a product that you think needs some changes? See how you can adapt it to the times, the audience, or the location.
  • Modify, Minify, or Magnify – This urges you to look at an existing product or service, and identify certain elements that could use some tweaking.
  • Put to another use – Although something may have originally been used for one purpose, doesn’t mean you can’t repurpose it for something else. For instance, Misfits Market takes grocery items that are deemed too ugly for the stores and repurposes them by selling them directly to consumers.
  • Eliminate – If you find a current product or process clunky and complex, perhaps you can develop a simpler way of doing things.
  • Reserve/Rearrange – The way you present a product or idea can have a big impact on how it’s perceived. This can be your entry into the market.

These options give you the freedom of developing something without the pressure of starting from scratch.

2. Validate your idea.

Once you identify a product or service, you have to validate it.

The hard truth is that not every idea is sustainable for a business. In this stage, you want to make sure that there’s an audience for it and a need in the market.

How do you accomplish this? There are a few ways:

  • Research – Resources like Google Trends can help you separate fads from trends that have longevity.
  • Competitive analysis – Are there other companies currently offering the same or a similar product? How are they performing?
  • Crowdfunding – Crowdfunding puts the power in the hands of the people by allowing them to fund ideas they believe in. This is a great way to confirm the need for your product but also get funds to jumpstart your business.

3. Develop your product and/or service.

This stage is the one that may take the longest.

You’ll need to figure out manufacturing, sourcing, packaging, shipping, pricing – all of the -ings.

The process you follow will all depend on your business type and industry. For instance, if you are developing a new product, that will involve a lot more steps than if you are white labeling (the process of purchasing products from a supplier and marketing it under your brand).

Need more help on this? Read this article on the product development process.

4. Name and file your business.

Once you have a clear understanding of your business and what it offers, you must come up with a name.

When it comes to naming your business, here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Avoid names that can limit your business. Say I name my business “Martina Bretous Copywriting,” it insinuates that I only offer copywriting as a service. Say I expand into marketing as a whole, I’ll have to do more work to let my audience know.
  • Make sure the name is not already trademarked or tied to a business in your same industry.
  • Consider a name that’s catchy and has a relevant meaning.
  • Say your business name out loud to see how it sounds.
  • Avoid names that are too general. E.g.: “Lux Clothing”
  • If you’re debating between a few options, see if the domains and social media handles are available. That can help you narrow down the best choice for you.

After submitting your business name to your state department, you’ll also want to apply for an employee identification number (EIN) for tax purposes.

Lastly, do you need any permits and licenses to operate? Be sure to speak with a professional about the rules and regulations in your state and submit proper documentation before launching your business.

5. Build your brand identity.

Now that the legal details are all covered, you can get to the fun part: Building your brand.

This step is key as it will influence how you market your brand to your target audience. In this step, you’ll need to ask yourself a few questions:

  • What is our mission?
  • What do we stand for?
  • If this brand was a person, how would we describe them?
  • How do we want to be perceived in the market?

From there, you can start working on your brand logo, colors, tone, and other creative assets that reflect your identity.

6. Secure your domain and social media handles.

Developing a strong online presence will be instrumental to the success of your ecommerce business. As such, you want to start early.

It’s easy to find and buy a domain online. Top domain sites include:

Many site builders, like Squarespace and Wix, and most hosting platforms also allow you to buy your domains directly from them. That way, the site that owns your domain will be the same one where you host your ecommerce site.

7. Choose an ecommerce platform.

The internet is full of ecommerce platforms, each offering different features and benefits.

To start, determine the level of customization you want. There are four categories of ecommerce platforms you can choose from:

  • Strictly ecommerce platforms that offer tiered packages based on your needs. Think Shopify, BigCommerce, and Shift4Shop.
  • Website builders with templates and ecommerce tools like Square, Wix, Squarespace that can be used to build any site but offer features like product catalog management, shipping tools, abandoned cart recovery.
  • Ecommerce WordPress plugins, like WooCommerce, that are ideal for people who already use the CMS and are familiar with its platform, and want to build from it.

To decide, look at what your timeline and what you want to accomplish. Pre-built websites make it easy to build an ecommerce site quickly. However, they’re not very customizable and can be limiting.

On the flip side, there are fully customizable platforms that offer a lot but can take much longer to set up.

Top features to look for in an ecommerce platform include:

    • Product and order management
    • Mobile compatibility
    • Reporting and analytics
    • Built-in SEO capabilities
    • Abandoned cart recovery
    • Third-party system integrations
    • Advanced content management system
    • Multi-channel sales

8. Develop a marketing strategy.

The last step before launching your business is developing a pre- and post-launch strategy.

The idea behind a pre-launch strategy is to get your target audience excited about your product or service before it’s available. If done right, you’ll have a line of customers waiting to try out your products.

A post-launch strategy is a more long-term marketing strategy that involves tying your business objectives to specific marketing goals, such as building brand awareness and acquiring more leads.

Your marketing strategy should also account for audiences at all stages of the buyer’s journey. If you focus too much on the top of the funnel, you won’t be able to convert leads into customers. If you focus on the bottom of the funnel, you won’t be able to attract new customers to your business.

In 2022, building an ecommerce business is more accessible than it’s ever been. If you follow the steps outlined above, you’ll have your company up and running in no time.

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Five questions for our new CMO, Shafqat Islam

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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.


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

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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.

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Content Operations Framework: How To Build One

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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.


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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.

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Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute



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