Content creation is the Cookie Monster of the Marketing universe. No matter how many posts you’ve written, no matter how great the impact, you always need to be creating more.
It’s a never-ending cycle that places a lot of demands on your team. It can mean they spend more time on the process of creating content, and less time actually creating it.
But there are ways to streamline your content marketing team’s processes to save them time and help them create more high-quality content faster.
In this article, we’re going to explore ways you can boost your productivity (and your team’s) without sacrificing the quality - or quantity - of their content.
Take a look at the steps your team takes every time they need to create content. If you break those down, you’ll see a lot of separate steps that your content team has to perform over and over again. Most of these can be templated so they don’t have to reinvent the wheel every time. You can make templates for research processes, outlines, briefs, articles, anything that they do over and over.
You don’t have to create these yourself. For example, Loganix has a series of useful search engine optimization (SEO) templates that can help with creating or researching content briefs, identifying keyword gaps, and more. You could even create templates for storing information that your team might need in the future, making it easier to access and use.
Not all content creators are created equal! Some will specialize in long-form writing, some will be experts in social media, some might specialize in SEO, and others might be top-notch copywriters. When you’re hiring new team members, make sure you look for the specific skill sets you need. Not only will this save you training time, but it will ensure your content marketing team’s productivity remains high.
When you’re interviewing people for your team, make sure to do a deep dive into their previous experience. This can help you find out whether their skills lie in writing, social media, or email marketing.
If you need some help with working out what kinds of team members you currently need, check out RMIT Online’s guide to the top 9 marketing skills that are needed in 2021. It explains what kinds of talents your team could be missing, and why you’ll need them to stay ahead of the game.
If you struggle with the hiring process, YouCanBook.me has a guide to improving the recruitment process for you and for your candidates. It outlines steps you can take to ensure you’re attracting the right people to your organization, and how to decide which candidate is the one for you.
Making sure your team is publishing new content across multiple channels equally and at regular intervals can be a bit like herding cats! You can simplify this process by scheduling releases in advance. It will allow you to coordinate everything ahead of time and spot any gaps in your plan.
Most content management systems will allow you to set a publishing date for each piece of content your team writes, and SocialPilot has a great round-up of social media analytics tools that can help you with other platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
If your team is creating case studies, or just needs to interview people for their articles, trying to find a time to meet can be a huge time waster.
An online scheduling tool like YouCanBook.me saves content marketing teams hours every week. Instead of sending emails back and forth to connect with contacts, your team members can send a customized link showing their availability for the weeks and months to come.
Rather than contacting individuals one by one, they can send the same link to everyone on the upcoming calendar of posts. The bookings come in automatically, without any need for phone calls or emails, and your writers can have the conversations as they come in, reducing the downtime created while you’re waiting for an interview to come through.
Project management software is a must-have for keeping your team’s output on track.
Take a look at Hive’s guide to 48 of the best project management software programs, which outlines the costs and main benefits of each. Consider what your priorities are when choosing a program: do you need something cloud-based, something free, or something with streamlined communication systems? Once you have these details nailed down, you’ll find it much easier to choose the tools that will work best for your content team.
One important benefit of a project management tool is being able to assign responsibilities to team members who are collaborating on projects. If people are unclear about what their responsibilities and tasks are, it’s likely that something will fall through the cracks.
You don’t want to end up in a situation where you’ve got a gaping hole in your release schedule and team members are all thinking “I thought someone else was doing that.”
It’s easy for content teams to get bogged down working on the ideas they already have, which can stunt their workflow. To help ensure they’re able to develop new content ideas and exciting concepts, schedule regular brainstorming sessions to help increase their productivity.
Generally speaking, these sessions should be short and casual. Start with a clear problem to solve and ask your employees to come up with some concepts and questions.
Everyone should leave each meeting with a brand new list of ideas. They might not all be workable, but it will ensure that every team member has their next project in mind when their current one ends. This will vastly reduce their downtime and improve their productivity.
Make sure your content team knows that they don’t have to struggle without the proper tools, training, or support — tell them you want regular feedback!
Feedback can help your team in a lot of ways. It makes members feel empowered and can improve their productivity. And it will make you a better manager.
Be sure to create an environment where feedback is welcomed. You can let employees give feedback anonymously, as some people may feel uncomfortable approaching you face-to-face. It can also be helpful to schedule regular meetings with your employees (another great use for that online scheduling tool!) where you can ask them questions about how things could be done better.
When you get feedback, be sure to not only hear it but act on it. Not all feedback will require a major structural change, but be sure to show your staff that you hear their opinions and are willing to try to improve their work experience. This will help keep your team happy and ensure they feel supported, which will improve their productivity.
It’s easy for a busy content marketing team to fall into the trap of continually ‘feeding the beast’ and become less productive as a result. These tips will help keep them on track and on schedule so they can focus on creating awesome content.