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Want to Scale Your Content Strategy? Hiring Isn’t the Answer

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Want to Scale Your Content Strategy? Hiring Isn't the Answer

If you ask an actor or screenwriter about their career goals, they’ll almost all say, “But what I really want to do is direct.” Or so goes the Hollywood trope.

Ironically, the director participates the least in the creative work. A director’s role isn’t to write, act, play music, edit, or even point a camera. The director’s job is to direct the individual artists’ contributions to the film product.

Yes, some directors do double duty by writing or acting in their films or shows. But the director’s function remains clear: Guide, enable, and manage a team of storytellers to efficiently produce powerfully engaging work.

Successful directors shape the work of hundreds of independent artists so effectively the resulting film sings with one clear voice. The words, pictures, actors, costumes, music, and editing mesh so completely that removing any of them would pull the entire piece apart.

Transcendent directors do this so successfully that their signature style shines through even when they use different individual contributors for each project.

This idea of the director role came to me as I talked with the head of content at a B2B technology company recently. She told me that her content studio had earned enough respect within the business that they’re considered the go-to team for getting something written or designed well.

But she’s frustrated that most people considered them just the team that produces “good words and pictures.” She wants the team to play a more important role. So, she asked me, “How do we become more strategic to the business without adding more head count? How can we take on more content?”

Without a doubt, scalability is the biggest challenge I see among businesses trying to succeed with content marketing. The ability to “create enough content” gets mentioned as one of the top challenges in our content marketing research year after year.

Somehow, adding more writers, designers, podcasters, and other skilled staff never seems to solve that challenge.

Here’s the thing: The ability to grow doesn’t lie in the capability to produce enough content.

To scale, a content strategy team must be more than the collection of skilled creators of “good words” or “good pictures.” The content team’s purpose must be more than to create great assets.

It must also enable every other part of the business to do the same. What you need is a team that really wants to direct.

Your #content team must have a purpose beyond creating great content assets to be truly strategic, says @Robert_Rose via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

Why you’ll never create ‘enough’ content

One of the biggest strategy mistakes I see is to equate establishing a content strategy with building a content studio filled with talented writers, designers, and multimedia specialists.

Even when there’s one person who manages the team, many in the business consider it a collection of individual contributors whose roles are to produce assets as efficiently as possible.

Spoiler alert: This approach rarely works. Why? Because businesses can’t get ahead of the content need.

Call this Robert’s Law of Content: The need for content expands in direct proportion to the number of resources allotted to it.

The need for #content expands in direct proportion to the number of resources allotted, says @Robert_Rose via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

An intelligent content strategy in modern business isn’t about creating a siloed group of individual content contributors.

Instead, it’s about creating a team whose role is that of a director. Everyone on the team should be focused on helping create, guide, and enable the entire organization to tell a consistent story.

“Now wait just a doggone second,” you say. “How can a team of people all act as a director? Isn’t the director one person?”

Yes, that’s true. I mean that the function of a content strategy team is like that of the modern movie director.

The team isn’t there to provide any single content creation skill on demand. It exists to enable the broader organization to develop and integrate its messages into a common voice.

Like any seasoned director, the team also may do double duty as writers, editors, or designers. But that’s not their primary purpose.

They’re not simply providers of words that a sales professional copies and pastes, attaches to an email, or uploads to a website to create and deliver value to a customer, for example.

They should guide, shape, and develop the sales professional’s ability to deliver the best story regardless of who creates it. Occasionally, that might be someone on the content strategy team.

But an integrated, enterprise content strategy must work like a film project – it’s a director’s medium. The only way to truly scale is to shape, guide, and, yes, direct everyone in the business to do their part in telling the brand’s stories in one voice.

The only way to scale an enterprise #ContentStrategy is to direct everyone in the business to do their part in telling the brand’s stories, says @Robert_Rose via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

My advice to any content leader looking to scale a team and become more strategic is to buy every team member a shirt that says, “But what I really want to do is direct.”

Then, start coaching the team to stop acting as an internal content production studio and start directing all enterprise content regardless of who creates it.

5 strategic enterprise content strategy roles

To facilitate this evolution of a content strategy, you need a new team charter that defines the content strategy team’s roles, responsibilities, and functions.

I see five primary responsibilities for the team. Each balances individual contribution with skills to foster in the broader organization.

5 strategic enterprise content strategy roles: Planning and prioritization, creation and management, scheduling and distribution, insights and improvement, and publishing and promotion.

1. Strategy: Planning and prioritization

This piece is missing in most content strategies where the team is seen as individual contributors. “Random acts of content” happen when no team accepts the role of leading the planning and prioritizing for which content will be produced and when.

A great director provides a consistent storyboard, shot calendar, timeline, and plan so everybody knows what gets created and when. Likewise, a content team must help the business with setting content objectives, distributing resources, and balancing priorities and business needs.

2. Content creation and management

This step is the most misunderstood because it’s the one most people think they understand. (“It’s just creating the assets as they’re needed, right?” No, it isn’t.)

Once you have prioritization, scheduling, and resource planning under control, the process becomes less linear yet more efficient.

Does that seem confusing? Think of it this way: A movie director might send one team off to shoot what’s called b-roll. (Think establishing shots, crowd shots, or filler shots that establish context).

This kind of filming can happen any time (not just as needed) because everything is planned out. The director describes what’s required but doesn’t have to provide it or even be present when these scenes are filmed.

Likewise, a great content manager might lead (but not create) content captured by someone in account services. The assets the account services staff captures can be remixed into case studies, marketing pieces, advertising, thought leadership, and so on. The person in account services knows what to produce because the content team member provided a complete “shot list,” set of interview questions, etc.

3. Merchandising: Internal scheduling and distribution

Merchandising is another area missing from many content strategies. Most companies conflate the idea of content assets and digital assets. They think, “We’ve created X e-books, web pages, and emails, so we’ve created X content assets.”

So much time ends up wasted by having to “undo” digital assets to retrieve content for repurposing.

One of the most critical roles on a film set is the production asset manager. That person ensures every asset (film, audio, video, photos, and so on) gets tagged and routed to the artists who need to create content with it.

Likewise, a great content strategy team ensures that both raw content and the resulting digital assets are easily findable, routed correctly, and available ready for reuse, repurposing, and activation.

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4. Activation: Publishing and promotion

The responsibility here is not just completing the asset and saying, “Here it is.”

Equally important is the broad communication that it’s available and the plan for distributing it. While film producers (studios) typically promote a film, directors often have creative input into the marketing, trailer, and sometimes distribution.

A strategic content team also should ensure assets get launched appropriately.

5. Measurement: Insight and improvement

This final responsibility may seem, at first, to be the furthest from the director metaphor. Certainly, business content should be evaluated based on how well it was activated, promoted, and used. That usually means the responsibility should lie within whichever function of the business was responsible for distributing and using the content created.

You may be surprised to learn how much technology, data, and measurement processes are used on film productions to create more efficient scheduling, creation, and post-production efforts.

Likewise, the content team should, at the very least, be squarely focused on an efficient and effective lifecycle of content creation, management, production, and distribution.

Content strategy as artful, efficient production

These five responsibilities form the core of a content strategy. In addition to being a creative engine for artful experiences, a functional content strategy guides the entire process of content.

The team sets standards, develops playbooks, molds the scripts, chooses the lenses, fosters the talent, guides the process, and helps structure the output.

Like a movie, television, or stage director, your content team may sometimes, but not always, serve as the storyteller. But it should always, not just sometimes, enable everyone in the company to tell the business’s stories.

Once your team accepts its role as the “director” of enterprise content, it can start influencing vision, words, story, and experience to deliver on a business strategy poised for box office success.

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Get Robert’s take on content marketing industry news (in just three minutes)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=videoseries

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 code BLOG100 to save $100.

Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute




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Everything You Need to Know About Google Search Essentials (formerly Google Webmaster Guidelines)

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Everything You Need to Know About Google Search Essentials (formerly Google Webmaster Guidelines)

One of the most important parts of having a website is making sure your audience can find your site (and find what they’re looking for).

The good news is that Google Search Essentials, formerly called Google Webmaster Guidelines, simplifies the process of optimizing your site for search performance.

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Salesforce rolls out new edition of Marketing Cloud for small businesses

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Salesforce summer 2023 release: The business executive's guide

Today Salesforce announced Marketing Cloud Growth, an edition of Marketing Cloud designed specifically for small businesses.

With help from AI, this edition makes it easy for marketers to segment audiences, create and execute email campaigns from text to image, optimize campaign performance and create unified customer profiles. It also has a prompt builder that can store and manage known reliable prompts for organizations.

Dig deeper: 70% of SMB marketers willing to pay more for tools with AI or automation

Salesforce developed the new edition by looking at the most common use cases for which small businesses frequenty don’t have the people or resources. This includes things like personalizing campaigns and advanced testing.

The company is also letting small businesses (those with fewer than 200 employees) that have Sales or Service Enterprise Edition “get started with Data Cloud at no cost.” Marketing Cloud Growth will initially be available in the U.S. and Canada and is expected to roll out to Europe, the Middle East and Asia by the end of the year.

Why we care. First of all, small businesses need all the help they can get. This creates an opportunity to start using AI within a centralized marketing workflow rather than importing content from independent generative AI tools. Perhaps it’s also a sign of Salesforce moving to compete with platforms (can we say HubSpot?) that more overtly court SMB clients.

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Elevate Your YouTube Channel: Top 4 Video Editing Tools

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Elevate Your YouTube Channel: Top 4 Video Editing Tools

Elevate Your YouTube Channel Top 4 Video Editing Tools

Launched in 2005, YouTube now stands as the second largest search engine after Google.

Almost 2.7 billion people use YouTube worldwide every month and 87.7% of those users access it on their mobile phones.

Owing to the large number of video content available on the platform, you want to ensure that yours stands out.

To make it happen, you need to master effective content creation tips, use fantastic lighting, and invest in powerful video editing software.

There are tons of editing tools on the market that promise amazing results. 

To help you cut through the noise, I’ve curated a list of the 4 best YouTube video editing software.

Whether you’re a beginner or a pro, there’s something for you. Keep reading.

1. Movavi Video Editor

1708399564 369 Elevate Your YouTube Channel Top 4 Video Editing Tools1708399564 369 Elevate Your YouTube Channel Top 4 Video Editing Tools

Top on the list is the Movavi Video Editor, one of the best YouTube video editing software for beginners.

It enables you to create compelling videos using advanced tools like audio correction, motion tracking, and chroma key without requiring any technical knowledge.

Additionally, you’ll find several ready-made YouTube intro videos and a large library of background music and audio clips.

Although the user interface is easy to navigate, Movavi still provides video tutorials to make you feel confident while editing.

Movavi runs on Windows (versions 7 to 11) and Mac OS X (10.15 or higher).

Key Features

  • AI background remover: Replaces backgrounds without a green screen
  • AI motion tracker: Sticks effects and images on moving objects
  • Precise frame cuts: Makes cuts with precision and attention-grabbing montages in one click
  • Color correction: Boosts colors so viewers can stay glued to your YouTube channel
  • Overlay effect: Offers 13 blending modes to create professional-looking videos
  • 4k resolution: Saves videos in ultra-high quality form
  • YouTube Integration: Saves you time by sharing videos directly to YouTube

Pricing

Movavi offers a generous free plan and three paid plans with different sets of features. Here are the prices for various plans it offers:

  • Free
  • Video Editor: $49.95/year
  • Video Editor + Effect Packs: $155.95/year
  • Video Suite + Effect Packs: $94.95/year
1708399564 966 Elevate Your YouTube Channel Top 4 Video Editing Tools1708399564 966 Elevate Your YouTube Channel Top 4 Video Editing Tools

Usability

Easy to use

Tool Level

Beginner/Intermediate

2. Adobe Premiere Pro

1708399565 365 Elevate Your YouTube Channel Top 4 Video Editing Tools1708399565 365 Elevate Your YouTube Channel Top 4 Video Editing Tools

If you’re looking for the best YouTube video editing software that can transform a basic clip into a ready-to-upload video, Adobe Premiere Pro is your best bet. 

It integrates with all the apps in Adobe Creative Cloud to help you streamline your workflow.

Adobe Premiere Pro boasts an extensive range of features, from color correction tools and visual effects to collaboration tools for teams. 

Also, you can optimize the export settings to preserve the quality of your YouTube videos when you share them online. 

Although Premiere Pro is popular among professional video editors, follow the video steps for beginners provided on the platform to learn how to use it. All you need is a powerful computer and willingness to study the available tutorials.

The app is compatible with Windows (10 or later) and macOS Monterey (version 12 or later).

Key Features

  • Text-based editing: Removes pauses with ease
  • Project templates: Retains assets, colors, and branding across multiple projects
  • Speech-to-text conversion: Automatically creates captions and transcripts in over 18 languages
  • Auto reframe: Automatically detects and adjusts aspect ratios to easily upload videos to YouTube
  • Adobe stock library: Offers access to stock video footage, photos, and over 75,000 audio tracks and remix the length to fit your video

Pricing

Adobe Premier Pro offers two paid plans. Here are the details:

  • Premiere Pro: $29.99/month
  • Creative Cloud All Apps: $59.99/month
1708399565 222 Elevate Your YouTube Channel Top 4 Video Editing Tools1708399565 222 Elevate Your YouTube Channel Top 4 Video Editing Tools

Usability

Has a steep learning curve

Tool Level

Intermediate/Advanced

3. Shotcut

1708399565 295 Elevate Your YouTube Channel Top 4 Video Editing Tools1708399565 295 Elevate Your YouTube Channel Top 4 Video Editing Tools

Available on Linux, Windows, and macOS, Shotcut is a comprehensive YouTube video editing software solution. 

It supports various video and audio files, including AVI, WAV, and MP4.

The video editing software is great for complex projects as it allows you to combine several audio, image, and video files into one video. 

Also, editing on the platform doesn’t follow a chronological order; you can make changes at any point.

Shotcut may not be the best editing tool for new content creators because of the learning curve. 

However, the platform has a video editing guide, including a community of Shotcut users who are willing to assist you.

Key Features

  • Native timeline editing: Supports all video and audio formats, including 4k and 8k resolutions
  • Cross-platform editing: Gives you the option to start a project on macOS and switch to Windows without hassles
  • Video effects: Offers built-in effects like auto-rotate, white balancing, timeline fader, and 360° video filters, without installing any plugins
  • Display and monitoring: Ability to preview videos in low resolution to improve the speed of real-time effects
  • Keyframing: Option to define the start and finish points of effects along the video timeline such as transition, sound, and brightness or contrast

Pricing

 Shotcut is completely free to use as it’s an open-source software solution

Usability

It has a steep learning curve

Tool Level

Intermediate

4. Lightworks

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If you’re looking to create the best videos in a short time, Lightworks is the way to go. 

It’s the best YouTube video editing software for beginners who are willing to learn video editing as they grow their YouTube channels.

Similar to Shotcut, the platform is loaded with all the tools you need to go from a beginner to a pro.

You can edit, color correct, add titles, and more using the drag-and-drop interface. 

Also, it’s compatible with YouTube video format and resolution for ease of uploading content.

All versions of Lightworks can work on Windows (8 and later), macOS (10.14 and later), and Linux.

Key Features

  • Universal timeline: Accommodates video footage of any quality, size, or frame rate
  • Flawless audio editing: Offers various audio effects and the option to sync with video for an immersive experience
  • Visual effects: Offers a simplified suite of over 700 customizable motion graphics and titles for easy to advanced editing
  • Easy export and share: Allows you to share videos on YouTube directly from the platform

Pricing

Here are the pricing plans offered by Lightworks.

  • Free
  • Create: $9.99/month
  • Pro: $23.99/month
1708399565 484 Elevate Your YouTube Channel Top 4 Video Editing Tools1708399565 484 Elevate Your YouTube Channel Top 4 Video Editing Tools

Usability

Easy to use

Tool Level

Beginners/Intermediate/Advanced

Pro Tip: According to Attrock guide, the best video maker can offer training resources for non-technical users. This is particularly designed for video marketers who have no high skills in video creation and editing.

Choosing the Best YouTube Video Editing Software

Getting the best YouTube video editing software shouldn’t cost a fortune. 

Platforms like Shotcut and Lightworks offer free tools for both beginners and expert editors.

However, if your YouTube channel is already monetized and you’re willing to spend money on a super-advanced tool, Premiere Pro will be ideal.

Lastly, if you’re ready to level up your video editing game, try Movavi today. You’ll save money while accessing advanced editing features.


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