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Small Content Marketing Team? Get Big Results

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Small Content Marketing Team? Get Big Results

Updated August 10, 2022

How do you feel about the size of your team? Have you ever wished you had more people to plan, create, distribute, promote, and analyze content?

If so, you’re probably not alone. Most content teams have fewer than five full-time team members, according to CMI research.

But like many marketers, you probably aren’t getting a bigger budget to hire any time soon. So, with few hands on your content marketing deck, everything your team creates needs to count.

Put these three ideas into practice to get results – no matter how many people you have (or don’t have) on your content marketing team.

On a small #content team, everything you create has to count, says @AnnGynn via @CMIContent @Canto. Click To Tweet

1. Document your content marketing strategy on a single page

Too often, teams jump right into creating, distributing, and (sometimes) promoting content without pausing to build (and write down) a strategy. And some small teams think writing down a strategy isn’t necessary because they already know what it is.

Those lines of thinking result in time-sucking, ineffective content marketing. Think of it like driving to an unfamiliar destination without a map or GPS. You might get there, but you’ll probably waste time on unnecessary turns, stops to ask for directions, and backtracking.

So, yes, you must write down your content marketing strategy. But you don’t have to spend a lot of time creating a lengthy, complex presentation that no one has time to read.

Yes, you have to write your #ContentMarketing strategy down. But it doesn’t have to be long or complicated, says @AnnGynn via @CMIContent @Canto. Click To Tweet

Create a one-page content marketing strategy document instead (and, yes, you can use the front and back of a page) by writing down the answers to these questions:

  • What are your business’s purpose and goals?
  • Who is your target audience? What are their interests and needs?
  • What are your content marketing objectives? What do you want your audience to know, think, or do?
  • What are your primary content topics? This is where your industry and business subjects overlap with your audience’s interests and needs.
  • What type of content do you create? Identify the formats possible within your content marketing program, such as blogs, videos, infographics, social media, etc.
  • Where will you publish this content?
  • At what frequency will you create and publish this content? (Be realistic. It’s better to increase frequency than to decrease it down the road.)
  • What are the measurable goals for your content marketing program? Translate your content marketing objectives into quantifiable measures of success. Don’t forget to include a time frame to complete each objective.

For the Safe at Home Brand (don’t bother Googling, I made it up), a one-page strategy might look like this:

Safe at Home content strategy

Business purpose and goals

  • To help people feel safer in their homes
  • To increase sales of external monitors to families by 10% year over year

Target audience interests and needs

  • Parents/guardians with children 12 and younger who:
    • Want to actively create a better home environment
    • Are interested in protecting their family’s well-being
    • Feel challenged by time and budget

Categories/topics

  • Children’s safety
  • Healthy and safe homes
  • Free or low-cost home improvement

Formats – distribution channels – frequency

  • Blog ­– brand website – 1x per week
  • E-newsletter – subscriber database – 1x per month
  • Video – YouTube – 4x per year
  • Social posts ­– Twitter 1x a day and Instagram 2x a week

Content marketing objectives and goals

  • To increase awareness of the Safe At Home brand as the go-to resource for home safety information
    • Increase unique visitors to the blog by 10% each month
  • To grow the database of subscribers who opt in for more content from Safe At Home
    • Increase contacts with email addresses by 20% each quarter
  • To convert subscribers into customers
    • Grow number of subscribers who also purchase products by 5% year over year

And don’t stop at documenting your content marketing strategy.

Post it somewhere where you see it every day. Distribute it to all stakeholders. Then, add check-in appointments to your calendar to review what’s working (and isn’t). Also, recheck your goals and objectives based on internal triggers (e.g., a new business direction) and external ones (e.g., a global pandemic, etc.).

HANDPLOCKAT RELATERAT INNEHÅLL:

2. Make the most of the content you create

Your team works hard to create the content. Here’s how to make that content work harder for you.

Break it into smaller pieces

Emily King detailed how her company atomized its content in the article How To Atomize 1 Killer Piece of Content into 10.

Her content team took an exclusive e-newsletter article and turned it into the following 10 pieces of content (as the graphic shows:

  • Three blog posts
  • Three podcast episodes
  • One presentation
  • One board game
  • One quiz
  • One infographic

Some pieces required no additional work, and some needed more effort. But it still took less time and used fewer resources than if they had created 10 content items from scratch.

Can your small team pull off something similar? Absolutely.

In the planning stage, think about the best content you can create for your audience – and how you can turn that big idea into multiple pieces. You can do that by answering these questions:

  • What topic would resonate best with our target audience?
  • What unique angle could we take?
  • Who would be the sources?
  • What would be the central piece of content?
  • What other content could be created from it?
  • What additional work would need to happen to create the other pieces?

In the planning stage, think about how you can turn one piece of #content into multiple pieces, says @AnnGynn via @CMIContent @Canto. #CMWorld Click To Tweet

The last question is critical to efficient content creation. For example, let’s say you decide to create a long-form article as your central piece and create a five-minute video from it. If you plan for it, you know that when you conduct interviews for the article, you also should record them for video. If you hit on the video idea after writing the content, you’d have to go back and ask the source for a second interview.

HANDPLOCKAT RELATERAT INNEHÅLL:

Repurpose your best work

If you follow the Pareto principle, 20% of your content delivers 80% of your results. Your percentages may not be exactly that, but I bet the concept does apply to your content marketing: Some of your content delivers big, but most of it does not.

Do more with the content that delivers big. These questions will help you figure out what to do and how to do it:

  • Which content performed well?
  • What format is it in?
  • Should it be republished as is?
  • How could it be updated or tweaked to be current and relevant?
  • How could it be repackaged for additional channels?

The Content Marketing Institute blog follows this repurposing practice in several ways.

  • The small editorial team updates articles that perform well and are still relevant to add more recent statistics, correct titles for sources, update outdated links, and add new angles. (For example, at the top of this article, you can see the “Updated” label that lets readers know we’ve brought this one back.)
  • CMI also knows its audience responds to “best-of” content. At least once a year, the team curates a new article with excerpts from recent top-performing articles. See 10 Content Marketing Articles Readers (Like You) Loved This Year as an example.
  • The CMI team looks for ways to extend the reach of event content to a new or expanded audience. The content team creates blog posts from in-person and virtual events, livestream interviews, Twitter chats, and more. Writers watch the sessions, read transcripts, or scour Tweets and comments, then add context and their perspectives. For example, Kim Moutsos recently turned a livestream interview with Tim Schmoyer into this article: Try These 5 YouTube Video Tips and Watch What Happens to Your Results.

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3. Put it all together

Processes and workflows rarely excite creative content marketers. Yet, establishing systems should give you more time to spend on creative development (or other more interesting tasks).

Make a master tracker

If you have an editorial calendar, that’s a great step. If you create a master tracker – an editorial calendar on steroids – that’s even better.

Documenting your process, from content ideas through publication, in one place – and making it accessible to all stakeholders – saves time. You won’t have to dig through emails or other messages to figure out what’s been done, what still needs to be done, and how effective it is.

Your master tracker should include:

  • Production process (assignments, reviews, approvals, deadlines)
  • Related content elements (keywords, headlines, metadata, etc.)
  • Goals and metrics (dated and updated regularly)

HANDPLOCKAT RELATERAT INNEHÅLL:

Create all related content at once

You’ve finished the article, infographic, or video. But that isn’t the end of your content creation. You’ll still need a headline, meta description, calls to action, etc. So write all those content accouterments when you create the original piece.

Your related content elements could include:

It makes sense to create all of this right away. You’re already in the mindset of that content – the topic, the purpose, the interesting sentences, etc. If you wait to do the related content elements, you likely will have to reread or view the original piece.

Save time and sanity

Making your small content marketing team even mightier requires creating a maximizing framework. By creating a one-page strategy, doing more with the content you’re already creating, and developing one-stop implementation resources, you’ll save time, keep your sanity, and deliver bigger results for your business.

HANDPLOCKAT RELATERAT INNEHÅLL:

 Register to attend Content Marketing World in Cleveland, Ohio. Use the code BLOG100 to save $100. 

Omslagsbild av Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute



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MARKNADSFÖRING

State of Content Marketing in 2023

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State of Content Marketing in 2023

I just pressed send on the manuscript for my book to be released in September. It’s called Content Marketing Strategy (snappy, eh?), and Kogan Page will publish it.

Last week, marketing professor Philip Kotler wrote the foreword. I won’t spoil it, but he mentioned the need for a strategic approach to owned media.

He writes, “(T)he company doesn’t carry an account of showing these marketing assets and their value. As a result, the company cannot show the CEO and company board members a return on owned assets or content.”

Luckily, my upcoming book shows exactly how to do that. Funny how that works out.

In any event, all this struck me that now is an opportune time to look at where the beloved practice of content marketing stands today.

First, let’s go back to 1999 when Kotler published Kotler On Marketing, one of his more than 70 books. The latter 1990s – a time of tumultuous change – fueled most of the thinking for the book. But he knew that it was merely the beginning.

Kotler concluded the book with a section called “Transformational Marketing.”  In the next decade, he wrote, “marketing will be re-engineered from A to Z. Marketing will need to rethink fundamentally the processes by which they identify, communicate, and deliver customer value.”

Well, it’s taken over two decades, but it’s finally happening.

Consumers have changed, but marketing operations are just starting to

In case you didn’t notice, almost every marketing conference these days starts with the same four or five requisite slides:

  • Digital technologies, such as search and social media, empower consumers today.
  • Consumers research, engage, buy, and stay loyal to brands in ways that have fundamentally changed.
  • First-party data and privacy are of the utmost importance.
  • Artificial intelligence begins to threaten the idea of the usefulness of search and pressure companies to deliver better and more personalized experiences.

You get it. Consumer expectations in the age of the social, mobile, and AI-driven web are different than they were.

However, the continuing challenge in 2023 is that content and/or marketing operations in enterprise companies are only beginning to evolve. Most marketing departments have remained as they were when Kotler wrote his book — they still work from mid- to late-20th century hierarchies, strategies, and processes.

Most marketing departments still work with mid- to late-20th-century hierarchies, strategies, and processes, says @Robert_Rose via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

Content marketing isn’t new, but a content marketing strategy is

For hundreds of years, businesses have used content to affect some kind of profitable outcome. But the reality is this: Whether it was John Deere’s The Furrow from the 1800s, Michelin’s guide to car maintenance in the early 1900s, or even Hasbro’s GI-Joe partnership with Marvel in the 1980s, content was not — and is not for the most part now — a scalable, repeatable practice within the function of marketing. In short, companies almost always treat content marketing as a project, not a process.

That fundamental change will finally take hold in 2023. It could happen because of the digital disruption and ease by which you can now publish and distribute content to aggregate your own audiences. It could happen through the natural evolution that the ultimate outcome – more than the marketing – matters more.

As we roll through 2023 and beyond, content — and the exponentially increasing quantities of it produced by every organization — deeply affects not just your marketing strategy, but your business strategy. Content in marketing is now bigger than simply content marketing, and it should be dealt with as a component of that business strategy throughout the enterprise.

#Content in marketing is bigger than #ContentMarketing. Treat it as a component of the business strategy, says @Robert_Rose via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

In 2023, the No. 1 focus of my consulting and advisory practice these days: help companies transform content into a repeatable, scalable, and measurable function that drives value through a multi-channel strategy. It’s bigger than publishing a blog, creating a lead-generating resource center, or sending an email newsletter. Today’s content marketing team is being absorbed into marketing because marketing and its various operations are fundamentally transforming into a content-producing machine.

It is not good enough to produce content “like a media company would.” The goal must be to operate as a media company does. Your job is not to change content to fit new marketing goals. Rather, your job in 2023 is to change marketing to fit the new business content goals.

Your job in 2023 is to change #marketing to fit the new business #content goals, says @Robert_Rose via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

The unaware builds a case for the aware

The term “innehållsmarknadsföring” continues to evolve. Even today, I run across those who still call it “brand publishing,” “custom content,” or “inbound marketing.”

My take matches with what Kotler described in 1999. I always thought the term “content marketing” would become part of “marketing” more broadly. In 2023, that happened. So, returning to the lexiconic debates of 2013, 2014, or 2015 doesn’t seem terribly productive. Content marketing is just good marketing, and marketing is just good content marketing.

That said, two kinds of companies do well at the broader view of content marketing. Some of them, such as Cleveland Clinic, Red Bull, Arrow Electronics, HubSpot, and REI, have purposely devised content marketing strategies as differentiating approaches to their marketing. They are succeeding.

Others, like Amazon, Microsoft, JPMorgan Chase, and Peloton, backed into a smart content marketing strategy. But executives at those companies probably don’t recognize it as such. If asked (and some have been), they would say acquiring or launching a media company operation was just a smart business strategy to diversify their ability to reach their consumers consistently.

They’re right, of course. Many have yet to read books about content marketing, been influenced by the Content Marketing Institute, or even recognize content marketing as a separate approach (as far as I know). And they are also succeeding.

Consider this proof: As I write this article, six companies have a market capitalization of more than $1 trillion. Four of the six wholly or partially use the business model of media creation to further marketing and business strategies. Apple, Microsoft, Alphabet, and Amazon are all, in part, media companies that also sell products and services.

Why would you not avail yourself of that same model?

The future looks cloudy and bright

As for the overall state of enterprise content marketing, it’s in transition, as all marketing is. As a focused project-based approach, working in ad-hoc ways across a business, content marketing appears to have proven its worth. Hundreds of entries every year to the Content Marketing Awards feature myriad case studies using content marketing techniques in strategic ways to profitably affect business results.

And yet, it remains to be seen whether you can make content marketing a scalable, repeatable, measurable function within marketing.

As to what the discipline’s future holds? At last year’s Content Marketing World, one of my favorite events, the Executive Forum gathered senior leaders from brands succeeding with content marketing. As we talked about the future, one participant said: “The only certainty is change. I can’t tell you where or when, but I do know there will be change, and this is the principle we build on now.”

As for my take, Kotler’s idea of transforming the marketing function seems to have gotten lost along the digital road traveled by marketers. In so many cases, marketing – and especially content – remains just an on-demand service function within the business. Its sole job is to produce ever more voluminous amounts of content that describe the value of the brand (or its products or services) so that sales can sell more efficiently, customer support can serve more effectively, and all manner of customer interfaces are more beneficial to both sides.

However, and maybe because I need to rationalize now that my book is finished, I passionately believe it’s finally time for marketing to reclaim its ability to create value — not just reflect it in the polished shine of your traditional products and services.

Almost 27 years ago today, Microsoft founder Bill Gates wrote an essay called Content is King. In it, he said that “(C)ontent is where I expect much of the real money will be made on the Internet, just as it was in broadcasting.”

It certainly was one of his more prescient moments. Nearly three decades later, his words have proven true. The essay title has become the rallying cry for thousands and thousands of entrepreneurs who now make their living on creating, managing, optimizing, and measuring content on the internet. (A Google search for “content is king” nets more than 1.7 million results.)

But it’s the last line of his essay that I find the most visionary: “(T)hose who succeed will propel the Internet forward as a marketplace of ideas, experiences, and products – a marketplace of content.”

That’s what content marketing is for me in 2023. It’s just marketing – optimizing the value of ideas, experiences, and products in a marketplace of content.

Time to get to work.

Det är din historia. Berätta väl.

Få Roberts syn på nyheter från innehållsmarknadsföring på bara fem minuter:

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

Se tidigare avsnitt eller läs de lätt redigerade utskrifterna.

Prenumerera till arbetsdags- eller veckovisa CMI-e-postmeddelanden för att få Rose-Colored Glasses i din inkorg varje vecka. 

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Omslagsbild av Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute



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27 bästa om oss och om mig Sidexempel [+mallar]

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Your about page summarizes your history, values, and mission — all in one place. That’s a tall order for just a few paragraphs. If you’re feeling stuck, turn to these about-page examples for inspiration. 

about us page example: laptop held in palm of hand

(mer …)

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MarTechs marknadsföringsexperter att följa

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MarTech's marketing operations experts to follow

Marketing operations is what makes the magic happen. These are the folks who see that your martech stack doesn’t get stuck. They are the maestros, modelers and makers who make sure the trains run, the data is digestible and that you have the programs you need. Where would we be without them? That’s too scary to think about. Here’s our list of MOps experts who have the ear of the profession.

Darrell Alfonso

Darrell is director of marketing strategy & operations at Indeed and the former global marketing ops leader for AWS. He’s the author of “The Martech Handbook: Build a Technology Stack to Acquire and Retain Customers.” In addition to speaking at many conferences, Darrell was named one of the Top Marketers in the US by Propolis 2022 and among the “Top Martech Marketers to Follow” in 2020 by Martech Alliance. He’s a regular and popular contributor both to MarTech and the MarTech conference; you can find all of his articles at this link.


Eddie Reynolds

Eddie has been in business a long time, starting his first company when he was 14. “A pretty minimal enterprise,” he told one interviewer. “I had a tax ID number, a legal entity, and a company name. I even had the IRS coming after my dad for sales tax that I failed to report properly.” Today he is CEO and revenue operations strategy consultant of Union Square Consulting. He publishes The RevOps Weekly Newsletter and the podcast RevOps Corner. Eddie’s large LinkedIn following attests to the quality of the insights he shares there on  sales, marketing, service, and admin roles. 


Sara McNamara

Sara is an award-winning marketing and sales operations professional whose work has been recognized by awards from the likes of Salesforce (Pardot), Adobe (Marketo), Drift, and LeanData. She is a Senior Manager, Marketing Operations at Slack and a martech stack (+ strategy) solution architect. That and her passion for leveraging technology and processes to improve the experiences of marketers, sales professionals, and prospects, explains why she’s a regular guest on MOps podcasts.


Ali Schwanke

Ali is the CEO and founder of Simple Strat. The firm specializes in helping companies get the most out of HubSpot — from CRM strategy and setup to marketing automation and content creation. She is also host of HubSpot Hacks, “the #1 Unofficial YouTube show for HubSpot Tutorials” and has been a guest speaker at the MarTech conference.


Mike Rizzo

Mike’s career in marketing operations showed him that there is a real and significant MOps community. That’s why he founded MO Pros/MarketingOps.com, the fast-growing online community for people in marketing operations. He is also co-host of Ops Cast, a weekly podcast. 


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Om författaren

Constantine von Hoffman

Constantine von Hoffman is managing editor of MarTech. A veteran journalist, Con has covered business, finance, marketing and tech for CBSNews.com, Brandweek, CMO, and Inc. He has been city editor of the Boston Herald, news producer at NPR, and has written for Harvard Business Review, Boston Magazine, Sierra, and many other publications. He has also been a professional stand-up comedian, given talks at anime and gaming conventions on everything from My Neighbor Totoro to the history of dice and boardgames, and is author of the magical realist novel John Henry the Revelator. He lives in Boston with his wife, Jennifer, and either too many or too few dogs.

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