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Today I had the opportunity to speak at the Content Marketing Show in Brighton. The event has grown into one of the biggest free Content Marketing conferences, and as such it was huge privilege to share my knowledge on organising yourself, your teams and your campaigns to better improve the chances of Content Marketing success.
The key messages to take away include:
You can view the slides below or you can read through this post, which should help to give you an overview of what the talk was about.
Content has seen a huge increase in interest and investment. In fact, 74% of brands increased their Content Marketing spend in 2014. Whilst this is great news for those looking forward to bigger clients, with bigger budgets for bigger and more creative ideas, only 34% of us currently believe we are effective at Content Marketing.
When looking into this, Marketing Sherpa have revealed that marketers attribute the following reasons as barriers to achieving success:
All of these barriers point to one thing – organisation; making sure we spend the time to organise our campaigns and focus on the important things at the right time will help us achieve Content Marketing success. To do this, we need to allocate and organise our time in the following areas:
To emphasise, the point of organising your time in the planning phase is asking the following question…who is the better content marketer?
Is it the individual who gets up and sprints for one day – perhaps becoming an overnight sensation?
Or is it the person who gets up each day and systematically produces high quality work, day-after-day, consistently?
Our perceptions of success in work, life and Content Marketing are skewed. We need to shift from this sporadic, off-the-cuff mindset to one that is consistent and reliable. To do this we need to be structured and organised.
Loads of project management tools to use – Outlook, Basecamp, Trello, Assembla – find the one that’s suitable for your needs/team. We use a variety, but nothing beats out trusty whiteboard. The whiteboard is a visual representation of all the clients we have and what stage of the Content Marketing process each client is at. This keeps everyone up-to-speed and accountable for their clients and their tasks – and everyone can see.
Every client must have an editorial calendar. This helps keep your campaigns focussed, so you know what you’re creating and when you need to create and publish it by. This also allows anyone else working on the campaign, as well as client’s, access to see what is being created and when.
Free Editorial Calendar from the Content Marketing Institute: http://kooz.ai/editor-cal
Ever come home from work and said “I didn’t get anything done today”? This is because you didn’t plan your day or week. Give yourself daily, weekly and monthly tasks and prioritise them. If you calendarise your tasks, you can visualise what to do and when. Finally, use something like StickyNotes to make lists.
To help with the creation process, organise yourself so you have time to create or establish good ideas. If you don’t you’ll be shooting your campaign in the foot. Tips to help with organising time include:
And finally to ensure this time is structured, for example when establishing ideas, make sure you use a method like the following:
Create a system that’s based on clear outcome metrics. Every piece of content you create must have an objective or end goal that feeds into your major Content Marketing goals – so break your goal up into manageable tasks.
Make sure your ideas are unique and you’re searching for that whitespace. If you repurpose what’s already out there it won’t make an impact, so go for the unique and the original.
One of the biggest factors that drives the success of content marketing initiatives – is having powerful daily habits. In fact, one study found that 40 percent of all the decisions that we make are driven by habits.
The first thing anyone does when they get to work is check their emails. It’s one of the biggest time-suckers for any office worker.
The average meeting lasting approximately 45 minutes. Many meetings can be avoided and replaced by:
Insignificant tasks don’t contribute to the bottom line. Another way of looking at this is with advertising – Dave Trott’s predatory thinking is a great example here. 90% of advertising gets stuck at the first stage: impact – it doesn’t make it to communication. This is because everyone spends all their time talking about persuasion: how to tweak the font, the colour, this word or that word. If we get persuasion right, what chance has it got working if impact is missing? If we get impact right, then even poorly thought out persuasion has a chance of working.
Good ideas can survive bad delivery, but delivery cannot save a bad idea. So give yourself time to establish good ideas. And always think if the task you’re performing will be making an impact.