Are you having trouble producing enough content?
Want to do more with less staff?
Need to develop a long-term plan for your efforts?
Here are five things you can do in 2013 to help you answer your burning content marketing questions.
1. Assemble a diverse content marketing team.
Make sure each team member knows one another's strengths and weaknesses. Build in processes so team members can depend on each other as you develop a diverse team of specialists, generalists, and hybrids. For example, there may be certain people on your content marketing team that may not be as detail oriented. These team members most likely would make better editors or proofers, whereas the more creative team members might be better writers or graphic designers.
The key is to have a wide range of skills and interests so team members can learn from one another. It may be helpful to have people outside the marketing department help you with your efforts.
2. Develop a marketing technology roadmap.
A shiny, new content marketing tool can be helpful, but before you go out and buy it and implement it into your existing systems, you should really understand how it would help your team. It might be wise to create a marketing technology roadmap so you can see how all your systems will "talk" to one another.
With the right systems in place, your team will perform at a higher level. According to David and Lorrie Goldsmith of the Goldsmith Organization in a recent Fast Company article:
"Having the appropriate systems and structures in place is one of the most effective ways of bringing out the best talents and highest productivity of your people. Yet it's one of the most ignored factors in organizations today."
By understanding how your marketing technology systems fit together and the processes you should have in place, you will have a more efficient, productive, and integrated content marketing team.
3. Construct an overall theme around your content.
It is important to develop a central theme for your content for a certain time period. Theming—or the use of an overarching framework that creates a holistic and integration organization around one theme or topic—can help with the development of your content portfolio. A theme can help your team (and your audience) understand how all the content your organization produces ties together.
It may be helpful to think of your content like a television series. A series has an overall theme and each episode helps tell the story or theme of the series. Theming helps successful content marketers create and refine their content marketing editorial calendars.
For example, content marketers can create a theme for the entire year where all the content (magazine issues, newsletters, webinars, etc.) ties into this theme.
4. Determine where your content marketing capabilities stand today.
In order to understand where your company is going with its content marketing efforts, you should know where your organization is today. Determine where it lies on Altimeter Group's content marketing maturity model, and/or build a maturity model specific to your organization.
It can be helpful in communicating to your organization—especially to upper management—where your company stands and where it's going. For example, your content marketing efforts might be taking place but are hemmed into silos by particular departments or even individuals.
5. Create a vision for what the future will look like.
After you determine where your content marketing efforts are today, you should paint the picture of the future. What will your content marketing department look like in a year or two? What are you trying to accomplish? What does success look like? What is the purpose of your content, and how does it fit your company's vision, values, and objectives?
Coca-Cola recently created a "must-watch" video series called Content 2020 to show where its content marketing efforts are heading. The vision: to create the world's most compelling content by moving from creative excellence to content excellence. If Coca-Cola accomplishes this task, it will earn a disproportionate share of popular culture. That is easy to understand, whether you are a content marketer or not.
What content marketing tips would you add?
Want to learn how companies like NASCAR drive engagement with content marketing? Find out about Ragan’s Content Marketing Summit by clicking here.
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