Nail Your Content Management and Production Plan
Many people and departments create content in many different ways, often without a cohesive plan. That means managing content for a company can feel like herding cats – blog posts have been written, Facebook pages have been updated, sales collateral has been created, and product information has been uploaded to websites. Unfortunately, content creators may not understand how their content fits into the overall corporate picture, even if others in the company are creating similar content.
While it can seem like a daunting task to tackle all of these moving parts, I promise you it’s possible to get your content management organized and under control. That’s what we’ll be discussing today.
Gear up to get organized.
To maximize the value of your content production efforts, it’s important to first understand the content your company already has and find ways to leverage it. From there, it will be easier to determine a way forward.
Every company, even different divisions within the same company, have their own processes, or lack thereof. Don’t be overwhelmed by the idea of coordinating and aligning team members to boost content creation. No matter the size of a company or management commitment, we can always start with a baby step.
Of course, we can’t change the organizational structure. We likely can’t stop any content creation already in progress. We may not even know who is creating what. However, depending on our roles, we can always do little things to help others.
Here are some ideas to get the ball rolling:
Start by reaching out to your organization’s various content creators to get a handle on what they are making.
To get everyone on the same page, you’ve first got to understand who is doing what, how, and where. Getting a handle on the landscape will allow you to leverage everyone’s efforts more effectively, and will allow you to see the gaps as well as the overlap that may be holding you back from producing great content. You can keep things informal with an email or call, but if scheduling and resources allow, I’d recommend sitting down one-on-one with a coffee to get a clear picture of what’s happening.
Pull several content creators together on a bi-weekly basis to informally talk about what content has been created and what’s on deck in the content creation process.
Once you have a lay of the land, you can start bringing people together to talk about existing content, what everyone’s currently working on, and the direction you’d like to head in the future as you plan out new content ideas. This bi-weekly check-in will help everyone stay aligned and prevent any unnecessary overlap that could waste time and resources.
Compare notes on messaging and story framework with other content creators.
Consistency is key as you build your content identity, so it’s important to establish a template or set of key guidelines to ensure everyone stays united and on-brand.
You’ll also need to determine business and marketing objectives to determine if the created content ties to corporate messaging and goals. Who is your target audience, for example? Is the content currently catering to that demographic, or do you need to make some changes? If anything is amiss, you can aid in a redirection.
Use a content management system (CMS) and a shared content calendar.
When so many people are involved, it’s very important to stay organized. I recommend using a content management system (CMS) and a shared content calendar to boost efficiency and help you stay on track.
The calendar will provide a central location where everyone can check out topics, deadlines, statuses, etc. Meanwhile, a CMS empowers creators to publish a piece of content without learning the complex world of coding. These time-saving tools are vital to staying organized and on schedule.
If you want to explore your CMS options, check out Tech Radar’s comparisons of the most popular providers to help you choose one that’s right for you, whether it’s WordPress, Squarespace, Wix, or anything in between.
Make use of existing content whenever possible.
Chances are you’ve got a large back catalog of content, meaning you’ve got a treasure trove to pull from when it comes to repurposing material. Not only is this a time saver, but it’s also a way to keep costs down. You can update blog posts that need a modern refresher, re-share evergreen content across social media platforms, or simply take inspiration from what’s already been published to create new and exciting content. Just be sure to leverage what you can, when you can.
Incentivize and reward great content.
To keep things interesting, you can “gamify” the content creation process by incentivizing creators. For example, you could offer a gift card to creators whose messaging aligns perfectly with the desired tone of the company or whose work draws in the most potential customers. Little rewards like this will help create more successful content and will help to boost morale within the team in the long run.
Be open to trial and error.
The exciting (and sometimes frustrating) thing about content creation is that the landscape is always changing. It’s important not to get left behind, which is why it’s a good idea to embrace a bit of trial and error; while you don’t want to go off message, testing out different formats to convey company tone and values can help you navigate the way forward with quantifiable results. Encourage a bit of healthy experimentation every now and then and see what happens.
Remember – small steps lead to big leaps.
These may all seem like small steps, but making an effort to connect the dots through a ‘grassroots’ campaign, of sorts, can gain momentum and drive the creation of more useful content. Because sometimes, the best way to start a movement is from a bottom-up approach.
Through several people working together, a cohesive process can start to form. As more people join in, an informal process gradually becomes more formal. If we put in a little extra effort, we have the power to, at the very least, get all the cats moving in the same direction.
I’d love to hear how your progress is going as you implement some of these tips. Feel free to contact me if you have any more in-depth questions or concerns, so don’t be a stranger. In the meantime, I wish you the best of luck as you herd those cats!
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