You’ve probably come across the same marketing trends, posts and research studies that everyone else has.
You’ve seen that video content continues to dominate social media. You’ve heard that voice search is The Next Big Thing. You know that companies are starting to use chatbots and messaging apps to have more meaningful conversations with audiences and that AI/VR is shaking up brand experiences.
These are all important trends to keep on your radar, and it’d be a good idea for all of us to watch them closely as they evolve and continue testing them out ourselves.
Still, it’s important to note that all the technology, tools and tactics in the world mean next to nothing without a talented content marketing team behind the wheel.
Success in content marketing (in 2018 and for the foreseeable future) is achieved by having the right people with the right skills empowered by the right tools and processes.
Here are four important content trends that reveal the power of content marketing teams is on the upswing:
1. Top-performing content marketers value (and prioritize) creativity in their content production process.
A major part of breaking through the noise online is creating content that is uniquely engaging— and that’s really hard to do if you’re not embracing the creative side of your content marketing brain. Thankfully, according to Content Marketing Institute, 74 percent of marketers (and 88 percent of high performers) say their organizations value that creativity.
No one wants to read the same boring “stories” served up by different brands. What audiences are looking for is a variety of original content that tells genuine, meaningful stories. To tell those stories and resonate with the real audiences, marketers must get creative and think about engagement in new ways.
This requires a team.
It doesn’t matter how “creative” you are, how skilled a content creator or how willing you are to think outside the box — a team of people with diverse talents and ideas can be the difference between retelling a dull story and captivating the members of your audience with unique content they actually love. At a time when all of us could stand to get better at finding new ways to connect with our audiences, multifaceted content marketing teams are even more critical.
2. The average blog post takes more than three hours to write.
According to Orbit Media, content creators spent more time per post in 2017 than they did in previous years.
To a sole content creator with too much to do and too little time, that’s probably a shocking (and discouraging) finding. However, creating good content takes time; creating exceptional content takes even more. As it becomes harder to attract and maintain audience attention, the time it takes to craft great content will increase, too.
The fact that good content takes longer to create is a major signal that content support is a valuable investment. A team of people is more helpful in producing high-quality content consistently — no matter how frequently you choose to do so.
3. Content creators who use a formal editing process are more likely to be successful.
More and more content creators are working alongside editors, and those who have a formal process for editing content are 43 percent more likely to report strong results.
This is something that is borne out by research year after year: Content that’s professionally written and edited performs much better than content that’s not.
Careless errors and typos reflect poorly on your brand and make it hard to get published. Editors strengthen and elevate content. They’re the ones who look at every piece with fresh eyes and new perspectives and uncover ways to make good content even better.
This is also nearly impossible to do on your own. If you want your content to succeed, you need to invest in both content creators and editors who can each focus on what they know best: developing and refining effective content.
4. The most effective marketers rely on a workflow to create content efficiently.
Seventy percent of top-performing marketers say their team’s project management during the creation process is excellent or very good, compared to 36 percent of all respondents and just 14 percent of the least successful marketers.
It’s no coincidence that high-performing teams report having a more efficient production processes. That’s what a good editorial workflow does: It helps everyone do more of what they’re great at, which results in better work produced more efficiently.
Efficient production processes don’t just happen. They’re developed and refined and overseen by project managers. That’s why content marketing teams composed of creators, editors, and — you guessed it — project managers are so valuable.
Now, unless you’re a textbook Type A who dreams about process documents, your workflow is not going to be the most exciting part of your content marketing. Yet, if you value your time and your talents, then you need a process that maximizes both — and someone responsible for overseeing that process.
How are you investing in content, PR Daily readers? Do you have a team of creators, editors and managers?
Nickie Bartels is the marketing editor of Influence & Co., a content marketing agency. A version of this article originally appeared on the Influence & Co. blog.