Connect with us

MARKETING

TikTok Brands That are Winning at Marketing in 2022

Published

on

It’s getting difficult for marketers to ignore the popularity and influence of TikTok. Brands on TikTok are reaching younger audiences, increasing brand awareness, and going viral — all by leveraging the power of short-form video.

Of course, it also helps that TikTok has over 1 billion active users and a fantastic engagement rate — far exceeding any other social platform today.

In this post, we’ll discuss why you should leverage TikTok marketing in 2022 and how smaller companies can build a scalable, fun, and creative strategy on the platform. We’ll also cover eleven brands that have gone viral on TikTok.

Table of Contents

What is TikTok Marketing?

Why Brands Should Leverage TikTok Marketing in 2022

11 TikTok Brands That are Winning at Marketing

TikTok Marketing Tips

What is TikTok Marketing?

Although TikTok might feel like a hub of strange posts, its popularity and video-driven content provide a variety of unique marketing opportunities.

Marketers can leverage TikTok in three main areas:

1. Influencer Marketing

A great way to leverage TikTok is by engaging with the influencer community. Because influencers have a solid understanding of the platform, they can transform stiff brand messages into fun and creative videos. This type of marketing is particularly effective at opening your content to a new audience and boosting brand awareness.

2. Original Content

Although fans of TikTok love original content, you don’t need to spend hours coming up with the next viral trend. Often, the best performing TikToks are ones that replicate or recreate a current trend. Start by exploring the app, its trends, and where your brand can join the fun.

3. Paid Ads

TikTok ads are a relatively new addition to the platform. Powered by their own advertising platform, TikTok For Business, brands can run in-feed ads or create branded hashtags and video effects.

Although many of the first brands to join TikTok were large, well-known companies, it can still be helpful for small businesses to look at why brands of all sizes are joining the platform.

Why Brands Should Leverage TikTok Marketing in 2022

Short-form video is dominating the social media landscape — and TikTok is the leading platform for it. It’s no surprise that more than half of marketers (52%) who use TikTok plan to increase their investment in 2022, which is one of the highest jumps of any platform.

While TikTok is relatively new compared to other social giants like YouTube and Instagram, it’s seeing stellar growth year-over-year. In fact, it was the most downloaded app in 2019 and 2020, racking up over three billion downloads so far. It also boasts 1.2 billion monthly users which experts predict will reach 1.5 billion by the end of 2022.

Additionally, TikTok is the most engaging of all social media apps with an average user session of 10.85 minutes. Its viral nature also deserves a shout out. Unlike other social platforms, even accounts with a handful of followers can spark millions of views on a great video.

If you think TikTok is only for the Gen-Z crowd, think again. While over half of Gen-Z consumers are on TikTok, it’s picking up steam with other age groups. In 2021, 36% of TikTok users were between 35 and 54 years old, a 10% increase from the year before.

That said, since TikTok is quirky by nature, brands need to get creative to gain their audience’s attention. In other words, a simple ad or sponsored influencer endorsement might not cut it on this fast-paced app.

Let’s look at eleven brands who nail TikTok marketing with creative content that draws attention.

1. The NBA

Unlike its Instagram channel, which focuses purely on basketball games and highlights, the NBA’s TikTok posts show a lighter side of the organization. For example, they’ll often post videos of players working out to music, dancing on the court, or answering fan questions.

In this video, Steph Curry of the Golden State Warriors busts a move from the sidelines after his teammate scores:

And check out this funny montage of Chris Bosh photo-bombing his teammates (including LeBron James) throughout his career:

Making your brand feel more personal can have a great effect on TikTok. For example, if your restaurant’s TikTok account posts funny videos of waiters dancing, viewers might think the restaurant has pleasant and happy staff. This might make them want to eat there because they can picture themselves having a fun dining experience.

What we like:

While you might expect the NBA to focus more seriously on stats and games, it uses the app to lighten up the branding and make its athletes look more relatable. While the videos still promote basketball, they also fit with other funny posts on TikTok feeds.

2. Fenty Beauty

One of the most popular types of content on TikTok is tutorials. Some brands lend themselves to this more than others, but a great example is Fenty Beauty, which uses TikTok to show makeup tutorials, wear-tests, and product launches.

What we like:

Tutorial-based videos can fit a variety of brands. For example, a clothing store can show how to style certain pieces of clothing. A hardware store can show how to build, restore, or paint something using its tools. Even a gym can offer a demonstration on how to use different equipment.

Start by brainstorming all the ways someone could use your products or services. If you can break a task into steps that last no more than 60 seconds, it may make for a great TikTok video tutorial.

3. Dunkin’

Dunkin’ was one of the first brands to employ influencer marketing on the platform by partnering with TikTok megastar Charli D’Amelio.

Together, they launched new menu items at Dunkin and collaborated on several videos.

After posting content about the partnership, Dunkin saw a 57% spike in app downloads and a 20% sales boost for all cold brew coffees.

However, if you believe you need to partner with a famous TikToker for it to work, think again.

When it comes to influencer marketing, relevance is more important than reach. Rather than partnering with an influencer based solely on vanity metrics (such as follower count), look for micro-influencers who have a niche audience that aligns with your own. Research shows that influencers with less than 1,000 followers receive more engagement than their more popular counterparts.

What we like:

This example highlights the power of influencer marketing on TikTok. By partnering with influencers, Dunkin’ benefits from word-of-mouth marketing while building social proof.

4. Milk Bar

TikTok videos thrive with music, and Milk Bar knows this too well. The bakery chain does an exceptional job at capitalizing on popular TikTok memes, formats, and audio.

Here’s Milk Bar putting a spin on the “Have you ever been in love?” video trend:

 

TikTok makes it easy to add music to video clips, which could result from having made legal arrangements with major music companies. Maybe this is why it’s nearly impossible to scroll through TikTok without seeing users dancing or lip-syncing to music.

What we like:

Viewers like to see brands joining in on current trends or putting a unique spin on an existing one. When brands take the time to understand TikTok and keep a finger on the pulse of the platform, it becomes easier to join trending topics, challenges, and memes. And if you’re not sure where to start, check out TikTok’s Discovery Page for inspiration.

5. Chipotle

Since joining TikTok in 2018, Chipotle has set the standard for how brands can grow their brand presence while engaging the TikTok community in a fun and authentic way.

Chipotle opts for a more casual vibe, often posting dance challenges and fan-made content, such as videos of people sharing their favorite Chipotle recipes and hacks.

Chipotle also showcases behind-the-scenes footage from real crew members in real Chipotle kitchens. Check out this “vlog style” video of a former Chipotle employee revisiting her job and interviewing her coworkers:

What we like:

If you need a creative way to spread brand awareness quickly, taking a note from Chipotle and sharing personable behind-the-scenes footage might be a great experiment. Also, lean into your brand advocates who may be willing to share their experiences on social media.

6. Gymshark

Gymshark is one of the leading fitness brands on TikTok, reaching 2 million followers in only six months. Gymshark caters to fitness fanatics by posting workout challenges, inspirational health journeys, and relatable fitness humor that makes the gym feel less intimidating.

Here’s one of those relatable fitness videos:

One of the brand’s most notable TikTok campaigns was the 66 Days: Change Your Life challenge, which highlights the fact that it takes 66 days to form a habit. TikTokers submitted videos of their own workout journey in hopes of winning a Gymshark membership.

The campaign was an overwhelming success, with the hashtag #gymshark66 generating 193 million views.

What we like:

Gymshark leverages the power of challenges. Challenges are one of the biggest trends on TikTok, and innovative brands are using them to fast-track their growth and connect with millions of users on the app. Consider creating your own challenge or putting a unique spin on an already existing one.

7. The Washington Post

The Washington Post was one of TikTok’s earliest brand adopters. Those who haven’t seen their videos might be anticipating investigative or serious content. Surprisingly, the newspaper actually uses its account to post comedic skits about the latest breaking news.

These videos fit in perfectly with the platform because they’re funny, timely, and embrace some of TikTok’s weirdest special effects. Check out this skit about Delta Airlines’ PR department struggling to write a press release about the COVID-19 delta variant:

The Washington Post displays how brands can succeed on TikTok by talking directly to its specific audience — young viewers who want to laugh.

Because The Post has a long history of groundbreaking, award-winning, and intellectual journalism, this comedic approach might also attract young readers who want to follow the news but used to worry that content from a newspaper would be too advanced or out of touch for them.

What we like:

Despite its reputation for “serious journalism,” the Washington Post did not shy away from TikTok. If your brand is in publishing, academia, or similar industries, testing out a video strategy that shows off your lighter side could be an interesting experiment. It might make your content and brand feel less intimidating and help you gain attention from newer audiences.

8. San Diego Zoo

Everyone loves a cute animal video. The San Diego Zoo’s TikTok account pleasantly takes advantage of this well-known fact.

The zoo’s strategy is simple: Post videos of cute animals with fun music. And with over 2 million fans, it seems to be working. How could anyone not want to follow them after seeing this video of an adorable red panda?

If that cuteness wasn’t enough, the zoo has also dueted with other animal-friendly accounts, like the Monterey Aquarium:

What we like:

This is a great example of how two similar brands can cross-promote using TikTok features. Because of the zoo’s tagging strategy, this video might be seen by fans of the aquarium and the zoo. This way, zoo followers might gain more interest in the aquarium and vice versa.

9. Duolingo

TikTok is known for its quirky “unhinged” content, and Duolingo has effectively carved out a space in this landscape.

The brand continues to go viral for its funny, trendy, and often chaotic videos featuring its mascot, Duo the owl. Duo can be seen dancing to popular audio, adding sassy commentary to pop culture news, and jumping on the latest trends.

Duo’s antics have successfully humanized the brand and epitomizes their witty brand voice — which also comes in handy when responding to TikTok comments.

What we like:

Your brand voice shapes every interaction you have online — from the videos you create to how you respond to comments. Duolingo has molded a strong brand voice which it uses to tell memorable and entertaining stories.

10. Crocs

While the love-hate relationship with crocs is very real, it’s all love for the brand on TikTok. Its winning strategy includes original music, brand-specific hashtags (like #CrocTok), and colorful, entertaining content.

That said, Crocs really shines at poking fun of itself and the perceived “ugliness” of their shoes. They lean into this by posting outfit of the day (OOTD) videos and tutorials on how to style their shoes with accessories and a great sense of humor.

What we like:

No one likes a brand that takes itself too seriously. At the end of the day, your buyers are people — not robots with credit cards. Humility and humor are two ingredients that can humanize your brand, cut through the noise, and build a connection with your audience.

11. Planet Money

Planet Money is a podcast by the National Public Radio (NPR) with the tagline — “The economy explained.”

It’s hard to imagine a brand covering such a serious (and complex) topic on a platform that’s synonymous with silly, snackable content. But Planet Money manages to infuse educational videos with an entertaining spin.

From inflation to rent control, no topic is too challenging for Planet Money to chip away at in an innovative and humorous way. Don’t believe me? Just take a look at this skit explaining how banks make billions from overdraft fees, which starts with a man trying to buy a burrito:

 

What we like:

If you feel your brand is too “serious” for TikTok, take a note from Planet Money and approach your brand — or your content — from a different angle. You may find that adding a dash of humor is just what you need to skyrocket on the platform.

TikTok Marketing Tips

While it might be challenging to get your content to go viral like the bigger brands, TikTok could be a great tool for getting in sync with younger audiences.

If you think TikTok might be part of your marketing strategy soon or in the future, now would be a great time to get ahead of your competitors by downloading the app and investigating what similar brands or potential audiences are doing there.

If you’re raring to go on a TikTok strategy, here are a few tips and takeaways that we’ve gained from looking at the brands that have already done well on the app.

  • Show a different side of your company. The app is a hub for creativity and humor. Embracing a more personal tone or a behind-the-scenes approach could make your company appear more relatable or trustworthy to potential customers.
  • Don’t be afraid to experiment. Unlike platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn, there aren’t as many norms, best practices, or rules about what works and what doesn’t. If you think something might be interesting or funny, try it and see if it gets any likes, comments, or shares.
  • Engage with your audience. Between challenges, duets, likes, comments, and shares, there are plenty of ways to engage with other TikTok users — even if you don’t know them. Try to come up with videos, challenges, or duets that aim to interact with others. As with other platforms, the more you engage with people, the more your fan base could grow.
  • Don’t shy away from marketing your products, but make sure you do it in a creative way. Try your hand at tutorials, demonstrations, and how-to content that showcase the best parts of your products or services.
  • Tap into the power of word-of-mouth marketing with influencers. But remember that relevance is more important than reach, so partner with niche micro-influencers who share a similar audience.

For brands, joining TikTok offers an opportunity to reach younger audiences and increase brand awareness in a highly playful environment. But succeeding on the platform relies on creating exciting content — so prepare to put your creative hat on and experiment with new formats.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in September 2019 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

Blog - Content Mapping Template



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