Running a successful content marketing engine is tricky business. It takes more than cute dogs in sunglasses (… or does it?)
If a few years ago you heard that content was king, in 2021’s marketing landscape, it’s now a god. If your business already has a strong content marketing engine, congrats! You’re ahead of the game. However, the vast majority of businesses run on a reactive content schedule –posting and sharing when it’s convenient, rather than planning it into their essential business activities.
Listen, we totally get it. Even as a content agency ourselves, we still can still fall into bad habits during busy periods. Just like you, clients come first and creating good content these days frankly takes time and resources, especially if you’re currently running it reactively.
But if you really want to compete in this space, it’s never been a more crucial time to get your engine running smoothly. If you’re already working with a freelancer or agency or considering engaging one, use these tips to understand what goes into the content creation process, save precious time & resources and get your genius out in the world where it belongs.
1. Fully integrate your agency with your team
All too often businesses want to hand their content and social media accounts off to someone and not think about it ever again. Don’t get us wrong, we are all about delegation and content is a great area to outsource, especially if it’s not your strength. However, content marketing works through value exchange. You have to give value (inform, entertain) in order to receive it (brand awareness, new customers) And you, often the owner or an expert in your business will need to share your expertise “the value” for your agency or freelancer to turn it into content gold.
2. Invest in a content strategy
So what is your value? What content will your ideal customers be interested in? What do the current trends and data say? Investing in a content strategy (based on your wider brand strategy) gives you a navigation tool to ensure you’re putting energy into the right areas instead of shouting into the wind. Researching popular search terms, analysing trends and hashtags and reviewing competitors are just a few areas to look at to determine your best channels, content pillars, content types (graphics, videos, blogs), post cadence and more.
3. Develop a content sharing process
Opening up a channel where your content team can gather all the golden nuggets of expertise is vital. There are a variety of ways to gather content from between client and agency including regular meetings & check-ins, interview-style content gatherings sessions for longer-form pieces and shared documents. Many teams find that monthly or quarterly content planning sessions offer the most efficiency. This timeline ensures you’re publishing relevant content consistently but still preparing enough in advance for the season ahead.
4. Find an efficient approval process
Once you have a content strategy and sharing process, it’s time to create the content, which involves strategy, copywriting and design. Decide how closely you want to work with your agency or freelancer. Maybe you want to give full creative control to your agency or perhaps you work better with a collaborative approach. Either way, the system should focus on creating the best content most efficiently, so the right people have visibility. If your content is getting stuck in a cluttered approval process or there’s a lack of trust on either side, it might be time to re-evaluate.
5. Don’t fall into “set and forget”
Even when you have worked out a content sharing system, approved and scheduled the content, it’s not just a matter of set and forget. Now you actually need to engage with your audience as the content goes out. Here’s where many businesses fall down. And social media algorithms will actually dock you for unresponsiveness, so at the minimum, you need to be responding to comments and messages. Decide together with your social media agency or freelancer who is in charge of community engagement and ensure you have the proper presets such as automated replies for after hours.
So there you have it. Five of our insider tips about what it takes to get great content results.
If you get your engine running well with genuinely useful content, it will reward you tenfold with new customers, an engaged community and increased equity for your brand.
At Pixel Palace, we are a fully integrated agency, meaning we can come in as an extension of your team to help lift in the areas you need help – whether that’s brand strategy, content, design or web. We help brands communicate their awesomeness, so they can convert their ideal customers with the results to back it up. If you’re ready for an agile, specialist team to level up your brand and content, we’d love to help.