If you’re not in complete control, content may slip through the cracks and have much less impact than you originally intended.
So, how do you take control of your content? Well, you put key strategies in place to help. Luckily we know all about this, so here are our top tips to help you stay on top of your content marketing.
5 tips to stay on top of your content marketing
1. Develop and document a content strategy
A good content strategy outlines the processes surrounding your content. It includes:
Your strategy should be easy to follow and explain the entire process, with as little ambiguity as possible. That’s why we suggest including a workflow as a key part of your content strategy.
Decide on the stages your workflow should include. These may differ slightly, for each content marketing team and specific project. However, here’s a standard workflow for a 500-word blog, with info on who each task is assigned to and project timings:
- Writer assigned – Project manager, completed day 1
- Draft submitted – Writer, completed day 3
- Ready for delivery – Editor or in-house approval, completed day 5
- Delivered – Distributor (e.g. social media manager, marketing manger etc), completed on agreed deadline
- Signed off – Project manager, completed as soon as the item has been reviewed
You can add more elements if needed; ‘amendments required’, ‘proofreading’ and ‘client approval needed’ can all be pretty useful.
By creating and documenting a content strategy like this, it ensures your whole team understands the processes and their roles within it. This will give them confidence in their work, and help ensure that content is delivered in time.
2. Create a schedule for the next month
So, you’ve got your content strategy sorted, now you need to apply it in a real-life scenario. But don’t worry, it’s not as scary as it sounds.
First, think about what your monthly output will be (e.g. how many blogs, social media posts and emails campaigns you want to create). You must be realistic at this stage, otherwise you won’t be able to stay on top of your content marketing.
Then, consider how long each piece of content will take to create in line with your new content workflow.
If we look at the workflow above, it will take a minimum of five days to complete a 500-word blog, but it’ll probably be more like six.
Select the agreed deadline in your schedule, and set the internal workflow deadlines in the six days that precede it. Basically, just work backwards from your end date.
Once that’s sorted, highlight any key dates in the schedule that could affect your content. This could be a holiday like Christmas, an awareness day, or an industry event that’s worth commenting on. This can really help when it comes to content creation.
3. Use a content management system
So, you’ve got your schedule written down in your diary, or perhaps in electronic form, that’s great. However, your team members also need to be able to view it.
You could use Google Calendar to inform your team of impending deadlines, or even send dates round in a document, but we find using a content management system works much better! Here are just some of the systems you can use:
These content management systems can really help you stay on top of your content marketing. They provide a birds-eye view of all your content and will alert you if anything is overdue (at any stage of your workflow).
They also keep everything in one place; your team can write, edit and approve documents without messing around with multiple versions or experiencing version control horror! Another bonus? You can ensure that your content’s structure is correct and consistent through the use of templates.
Simply program in the different types of content, deadlines for each stage in the workflow, assign the relevant team members and you’re good to go!
4. Plan each piece individually
A great way to stay on top of your content marketing is to plan each piece individually.
Before you even come close to writing, you should have a strong content plan that outlines:
- Key areas for discussion
- Top sources
Dedicating time to planning will save you time when it comes to writing. It will reduce editing time, the need for rewrites and make sure you have top-notch content. Sounds good, right?
5. Use tools and automation where possible
Compared to machines, humans are a little slow and prone to mistakes. So, to stay on top of your content marketing, why not use online mechanisms to help?
Some content management systems will have integrations with other platforms, so make the most of them.
For example, GatherContent transports your item into WordPress through their template mapping system. This saves you time and helps ensure the page is formatted correctly.
Here are some other tools you can use to stay on top of content marketing:
- Yoast – ensure good-level SEO and readability before posting, to reduce the need for updates later
- HootSuite – Schedule social media posts on different channels from one place, so you don’t need to waste time switching. You can also schedule posts in advance.
- MailChimp – send out auto-responders and schedule campaigns for key times to make the most impact (even when you’re not in the office)
- Grammarly – check your spelling as you write, meaning less editing work later
You see? It’s easy to stay on top of your content marketing when you know how. Why not try out some of these techniques today?