Content production is the heartbeat of your marketing team. The content your team creates for your audience is a major driving force in how your business grows.
The ongoing investment in content creation is indicative of the value audiences and companies alike place on all forms of content, including blog posts, video, and social media.
According to the B2B Content Marketing 2019: Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends—North America report from the Content Marketing Institute (CMI), 56 percent of companies report an increase in spending on content creation over the last year. Also, 37 percent increased spending on their content marketing staff.
What’s more, HubSpot’s State of Inbound 2018 report found that 55 percent of marketers say blog content creation is their top inbound marketing priority.
With this ongoing rise in scaling content production, you need to stay competitive. As your industry gets crowded with more and more content, you need to focus on how exactly you can cut through the noise and reach your ideal audience.
The best way to outpace your competitors and drive results with your content production efforts is to avoid making these common mistakes:
Operating In Silos
The modern business continues to be plagued with silos dividing departments. The longer you settle for silos, the more you’re falling behind.
Why do silos hurt content production?
Content belongs to more than just marketing. Consider how your audience experiences your brand. It may be through marketing channels, like social media or paid media, but they can also come into contact with content from sales and service teams.
If you have silos, your company will be stuck with a disjointed brand voice and lack of consistency in audience experiences.
Plus, you’re hindering creativity. Your content marketing team is full of creative thinkers, but you also have a lot of talent throughout your entire organization who can bring unique perspectives to the table.
Think of content production in terms of serving all your teams. You need a cross-departmental editorial team, where all areas (PR, sales, HR, customer success, etc.) have a voice in your content efforts. Open your brainstorming up for collaboration.
Marketing content is just one part of your whole content strategy. A shared editorial calendar gives every team an opportunity to put forth ideas they need content for.
For example, your service team can work closely with your content team to build a powerful knowledge base. The customer success team can build a customer onboarding strategy that uses insightful content focused on the products or services you’re selling.
Also, HR can contribute to creating employee onboarding content, and sales can use case studies to guide prospects through the buyer journey.
In other words, content benefits everyone in your company. Therefore, each team deserves access to your strategy,
Focusing Too Much on Quantity
There’s a big focus on boosting blogging frequency, which is still important. As HubSpot’s research found, companies that published 16+ blog posts per month got almost 3.5 times more traffic than companies that published zero to four monthly posts.
While frequency matters, it is not your content team's top priority. Focusing on content production simply for the sake of producing content is not a targeted approach. Your team shouldn’t be publishing just to hit deadlines.
Remember, the goal of your content production is not to get X amount of blog posts out or create X amount of email campaigns. Your ultimate objective is to generate a certain amount of leads to empower sales to close deals.
Part of achieving your true objectives is mapping your content across the entire buyer journey. So a long-form piece of content (like a whitepaper or webinar) that’s beyond awareness stage blog posts might help move the needle in a more impactful way.
Identify what KPIs to measure to analyze and adjust your content production based on how your metrics align with your smart marketing goals. Also, train your team to focus on higher quality, more impactful content, which you can achieve by sticking to a documented strategy.
Speaking of documenting your content production strategy, this leads into the next common mistake.
Failing to Document a Process
You’re not being efficient if everyone on your content team is just winging it. You can’t afford to fly blindly, without considering the long-term objectives.
This will lead to wasted resources. Plus, if you’re building out your content team, your new employees will experience a slower ramp up time. New and established content team members deserve a clear path to success.
Collaborate with all team members to smooth out content production processes. These processes should walk your team through every stage of content creation, from ideation to drafting and promotion.
For example, if you’re investing in video content, you need a video marketing plan in place. This streamlines the pre-production, production, and post-production stages to keep things moving steadily.
Documented processes are essential. It eases the learning curve for new team members and helps your team stay on course. Plus, you can refine these processes to reduce inefficiencies to continue optimizing your content team's time.
Creating More While Promoting Less
As video marketing expert Salma Jafri said in her Search Engine Watch article, “Create less, promote more.”
If you’re just delivering content without a distribution plan in mind, you’re not making the most of your hard work. You don't want to get into a cycle of write, publish, and repeat.
This is how you end up creating stagnate blog posts that decay over time, instead of creating content that continually generates more traffic over time.
Find a balance between creation and promotion. As part of your documented content production strategy, make sure you add distribution tactics to reach the most relevant readers you can.
Also consider how to repurpose existing digital content assets to maximize the mileage of each piece. There are many ways you can use existing content to create new, engaging pieces. For example, find related blog posts to repurpose into a comprehensive guide, and turn presentations into a SlideShare.
Scaling your digital content production is a necessary part of your business's growth plan. When you are prepared, you can avoid making these common mistakes and earn big wins over your competition.