We’ve spent a lot of time identifying our audience and determining what needs to be covered by our content strategy. Now it’s time to get dirty and figure out who’s doing what, when, and where to ensure the content that’s created supports your overall content strategy. Today, we’re going to talk about production, content formats, workflow, and distribution. This is where everything we've talked about up to now starts to come together.
To be successful, it’s important that you map out a plan and identify who will be involved in each step of content development. Doing this helps the team stay accountable. It also helps identify bottlenecks quickly and address them before the team falls far off schedule. Having accountability for each part of the development process also allows you to determine if you have the appropriate staffing mix and enough resources for your program. It’s going to be hard to succeed if you don’t have a graphic designer or video editor but you’ve got work assigned to one.
If you’re short on resources, many of the production steps can be outsourced to freelancers or an agency partner. Be sure you vet them well and find someone who understands your brand. You’re likely going to need to provide extra guidance in the beginning, as they learn about your brand, but in time, they should be able to create content and allow you to be almost completely hands-off.
If you’re part of a large team and you have a dedicated project manager or two, you may not even have to address this step because it’s what they do day-to-day. However, if you don’t have a dedicated PM for your content development, then you need to determine who’s in charge.
The question here is easy, who has the final say on what’s developed and when. Who will determine if something needs to be changed in the schedule or moved around? If someone is behind on their portion, who do you go to when you need to address the situation? This could be the same person or someone and a higher-level member of the team. It’s up to your organization to determine what structure will work best for you.
This is one of the most critical parts of the process because this person (or these people) will keep you on schedule and that’s a key to achieving your content marketing goals. Choose wisely. A detail oriented person is probably crucial for this role.
Where and when your content is distributed is critical to your program’s overall success too. A piece of material needs to be read to make a difference, help someone, drive traffic, and ultimately, help achieve goals. A piece of content that isn’t read doesn’t help you in the end. You need someone who understands digital marketing and especially, social media marketing to create your distribution plan. Some companies treat the distribution as an afterthought, but it should be an essential element in your strategy discussions. Specific content types perform better on particular channels. Your distribution person should know what plays best on each channel.
Content amplification is essential, but you want to be strategic in your paid social support. A piece of content that isn’t performing well organically shouldn’t be supported with paid social. You can’t pay your way to good results. Your content distribution lead should be familiar with the industry best practices and continually test your content to determine what’s best for your brand. Sometimes, what’s best for you doesn’t line up with industry best practices.
Writing your content marketing strategy and tactical plan down is essential. Have a written strategy, goals, and content calendar that your team can quickly reference. Keep these items at hand always. Reference them often. Review on a regular basis to ensure you’re still on track. As you work on content development, make sure what you’re creating supports your overall strategy.
Having a written strategy and goals should help the team stay focused. When we talk to clients who struggle with their content marketing, most do not have their strategy, goals, and content calendars written down. Some may have an idea of what they’re doing but no strategy defined. Others only write what comes to them at the moment. They’re not focused on content topics or pillars. If you want to be successful, you need to be strategic.