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Want a More Productive Content Team? Show (Don’t Tell) Your Strategy

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Want a More Productive Content Team? Show (Don't Tell) Your Strategy


Updated Feb. 7, 2022

Imagine you are in a meeting, furiously taking notes as the marketing manager speaks and shows a slide deck to review your brand’s content marketing strategy. Or you receive an email with bullet points touching on the strategy. Or perhaps your manager stops by your desk for a quick conversation and tells you about an element in the strategy.

In any of those scenarios, retention of what you’ve seen and heard is difficult.

To ensure that all involved understand your content marketing strategy, you need to document it in an easy-to-digest format. Text-dominated documents or presentations with a few reference images don’t work well. Create something that will remain in the minds of your team members and colleagues.

It’s easier and quicker to absorb visuals. Using them to communicate your content marketing strategy is the best way forward. Here are a few ways visuals can effectively convey your strategy.

Use visuals to communicate your #ContentMarketing strategy to help your team retain the details, says @NadyaKhoja via @CMIContent @Aprimo. Click To Tweet

Lay the groundwork

To get colleagues and upper management better acquainted with using your content marketing strategy, break it down visually.

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The mind map below clearly outlines the aspects of the strategy, including suggested tools, goal-setting, and effective meetings. This single visual gives its viewers a clear road map of what to expect and how to proceed. No lengthy discussion or presentation is needed.

Click to enlarge

TIP: Print the strategy mind map and place it in meeting rooms so everybody can see how powerful visuals can be in conveying information. If your team is remote, ask them to print and post it to their bulletin board.

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Paint the big picture

In visually communicating strategy, your first step is to create a visual that effectively shares the company’s primary goals – where the company is going and why it wants to get there.

Use a simple flowchart or mind map to convey this information. This visual contains important information with a long-term impact on your team. It rarely leads to immediate action unless broken into smaller projects and tasks.

Make this visual easy to read by using contrasting colors for the background and text. However, avoid using too much text as that negates the use of a visual. Instead, employ numbers, graphs, charts, or diagrams to convey the big picture. Bite-sized information is easier to retain.

You also should create a visual for your marketing team’s goals. Use more detail, maybe even create an infographic that outlines what the aims are for each month, quarter, or year.

Create an infographic for the marketing team’s goals for the month, quarter, or year, says @NadyaKhoja via @CMIContent @Aprimo. Click To Tweet

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This simple mind map for digital marketing clearly outlines what the team is meant to achieve. You can customize mind map templates to include numbers the team has to hit or highlight components that require immediate action.

TIP: A simple graphic using icons and limited text immediately captures the imagination of viewers and gives them more incentive to work toward the goals.

HANDPICKED RELATED CONTENT: 7 Ideas to Spark Great Infographics

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Plan a project

Now you need to show the team how to accomplish the illustrated goals. This is where you bring in your project planning and management skills.

Project timelines are an excellent way to visually convey to your team the tasks and their deadlines. The strategy workflow below details the tasks and time allotted for each. Note the minimal use of color to ensure viewers focus on the information. The icons also give a quick visual reminder of the tasks to accomplish.

Click to enlarge

Visually created project timelines are a great way to convey the team’s tasks and deadlines, says @NadyaKhoja via @CMIContent @Aprimo. #ContentMarketing Click To Tweet

A Gantt chart is another visual template you can use to show your project strategy. The simplified chart below clearly identifies the tasks, activities, and team members needed at each stage of the project. The contrasting colors minimize any confusion about roles. The calendar layout makes it easy to understand when and who is involved in the activity.

Maps and charts impart important information easily to your team, eliminating the need to use complex spreadsheets or long presentations.

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HANDPICKED RELATED CONTENT: 

Involve the team

At this point, get your team involved. Ask them to create personal strategies using visuals to detail their goals and how they intend to achieve them.

Creating these personal visuals will not only help them retain the strategies they have been seeing but also help organize their activities. As you know, writing things down the moment you hear them is an excellent way to recall information, and plotting tasks into visuals is even more effective.

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For content marketers, a simple mind map like the one below works effectively to help retain what you need to achieve. In turn, it will also lead you to organically generate content ideas efficiently.

With the tasks in place for the team member, a personal Gantt chart (like the one below) gives individuals a way to plot their activities and timelines.

Visual mind maps and timelines keep people on track and give them a quick reference as they work. These visualizations make a manager’s job easier as team members have a degree of autonomy and responsibility to complete their tasks and projects.

Develop your strategy picture

In a work climate where pressure is high and time is short, making it easier for everyone to absorb the company ethos and understand the tasks in front of them will lead to a more efficient workflow. Using a visual strategy in the marketing team is an excellent way to obtain top performance from your team and eventually lead to your business achieving its goals.

Want to learn how to balance, manage, and scale great content experiences across all your essential platforms and channels? Join us at ContentTECH Summit this March in San Diego. Browse the schedule or register today. Use the code BLOG100 to save $100.

Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute

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MARKETING

Old Navy to drop NFTs in July 4th promo update

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Old Navy to drop NFTs in July 4th promo update

Old Navy will update its yearly Fourth of July promotions by saluting the metaverse with an NFT drop, going live June 29.

In honor of the year they were founded, the retailer will release 1,994 common NFTs, each selling for $0.94. The NFTs will feature the iconic Magic the Dog and t include a promo code for customers to claim an Old Navy t-shirt at Old Navy locations or online.

“This launch is Old Navy’s first activation in web3 or with NFTs,” an Old Navy spokesperson told MarTech. “As a brand rooted in democratization and inclusivity, it was essential that we provide access and education for all with the launch of our first NFT collection. We want all our customers, whether they have experience with web3, to be able to learn and participate in this activation.”

Accessible and user-friendly. Any customer can participate by visiting a page off of Old Navy’s home site, where they’ll find step-by-step instructions.

There will also be an auction for a unique one-of-one NFT. All proceeds for the NFT and shirt sales go to Old Navy’s longtime charitable partner, Boys & Girls Clubs of America.

Additionally, 10% of NFT resales on the secondary market will also go to Boys & Girls Clubs.

Support. This activation is supported by Sweet, who’s played a major role in campaigns for other early NFT adopters like Burger King.

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The Old Navy NFTs will be minted on the Tezos blockchain, known for its low carbon footprint.

“This is Old Navy’s first time playing in the web3 space, and we are using the launch of our first NFT collection to test and learn,” said Old Navy’s spokesperson. “We’re excited to enable our customers with a new way to engage with our iconic brand and hero offerings and look forward to exploring additional consumer activations in web3 in the future.”

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Read next: 4 key strategies for NFT brand launches

Why we care. Macy’s also announced an NFT promotion timed to their fireworks show. This one will award one of 10,000 NFTs to those who join their Discord server.

Old Navy, in contrast, is keeping customers closer to their owned channels, and not funneling customers to Discord. Old Navy consumers who don’t have an NFT wallet can sign up through Sweet to purchase and bid on NFTs.

While Macy’s has done previous web3 promotions, this is Old Navy’s first. They’ve aligned a charity partner, brand tradition and concern for the environment with a solid first crack at crypto.


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About The Author

Chris Wood draws on over 15 years of reporting experience as a B2B editor and journalist. At DMN, he served as associate editor, offering original analysis on the evolving marketing tech landscape. He has interviewed leaders in tech and policy, from Canva CEO Melanie Perkins, to former Cisco CEO John Chambers, and Vivek Kundra, appointed by Barack Obama as the country’s first federal CIO. He is especially interested in how new technologies, including voice and blockchain, are disrupting the marketing world as we know it. In 2019, he moderated a panel on “innovation theater” at Fintech Inn, in Vilnius. In addition to his marketing-focused reporting in industry trades like Robotics Trends, Modern Brewery Age and AdNation News, Wood has also written for KIRKUS, and contributes fiction, criticism and poetry to several leading book blogs. He studied English at Fairfield University, and was born in Springfield, Massachusetts. He lives in New York.

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