Are you embarking on a ‘content journey’ but don’t really know why?
The abundance of primarily free digital publishing platforms that accessible within a few mouse clicks means content creation has evolved into an indispensable marketing tool for modern day marketers and business owners.
Yet, whether you’re eyeing a blog, video content, infographics, or various other formats, it’s essential that marketers and industy experts approaches content-driven endeavours strategically. Otherwise you could just be spending a whole lot of time creating resources that have very little impact.
In short, for content to ‘work’, you need a well-structured approach.
Why Content Matters
The journey to developing this well-structured approach begins with a simple yet profound question:
Why create content at all?
Each content format - whether it’s blogs, videos, or infographics - should be aligned with a clear user need or a strategic business objective. Rather than diving headfirst into trendy formats, take a step back and assess how your content choices resonate with your audience and contribute to your business goals.
So what exactly does a robust content strategy look like? When formulating a strategy it’s best not to take a ‘content first’ view but rather start with the end game, and be specific. Rather than ‘we’re going to tailor the content we create to the interests of the audience’ establish instead that ‘we’re going to create a downloadble PDF that will guide industry professionals in making the right product choices. Or, rather than we’re going to add keywords to our website copy for SEO’ define ‘we are going to optimise our website for specific keywords through the creation of optimised copy’.
The first examples adopt a tactically driven approach - assuming the content will be created whatever. The secondary expamples adopt an objective-driven approach, meaning the content is created strategically.
The Art of Implementation
While the ‘why’ establishes the foundation, the ‘how’ serves as the blueprint for turning your content vision into reality. This involves planning, creation, distribution, and publishing. The landscape of business content is diverse, encompassing blogs, videos, printed materials, email campaigns, eBooks, and more. However, venturing into these avenues requires substantial resources and a thoroughly thought out plan.
Common Challenges and Solutions
Navigating the content creation landscape presents a set of challenges, especially without dedicated resources and a strategic perspective. These issues can range from content remaining unfinished to inconsistencies across various mediums and even too much time spent on content itself and not enough time assigned to distributing it.
Moreover, when enthusiasm for content initiatives wanes, priorities shift, and valuable content falls by the wayside.
Efficiency Through Content Operations
As a business owner, investing in content operations offers a clear path to efficiency. Content operations revolve around three pillars: people, process, and technology. By nurturing these aspects, you can reduce ‘content debt’ and enhance operational efficiency.
Guiding Principles for Success
Here are three strategies business owners can implement to optimize content operations:
1. Blueprint Your Workflow
Collaborate with your team to outline a robust content creation workflow. Determine each step that content must undergo before publication. This well-defined process facilitates scaling and ensures efficiency, even as your content initiatives grow.
2. Roles and Responsibilities
Designate specific individuals for each stage of the workflow to maintain accountability. It’s crucial to assign roles with clarity, ensuring everyone understands their responsibilities. Roles like ‘reviewer’ should be further defined to prevent ambiguity.
3. Craft a Content Style Guide
With scalable content creation, the risk of inconsistencies and errors increases. Mitigate this by developing a content style guide that unifies content creators under a shared set of rules. This guide empowers creators and fosters consistency in your content.
Embrace Efficiency with Confidence
Content operations empower business owners to streamline their content creation processes. By building efficient workflows, defining clear roles, and establishing content style guidelines, you can ensure that your content initiatives remain on track and deliver consistent results. As a business owner, you hold the reins to enhance content efficiency and drive meaningful engagement with your audience.