If you’re like most marketing executives, you’ve started to think about 2023. Specifically, what your content strategy and content operations that support it will look like.
One of the most important aspects of a successful content strategy is having a solid content operations process in place. A smooth content production process will save you and your staff time and energy. Additionally, it will result in higher-quality content that resonates with your audience.
If you haven’t thought about how your content operations will support your content strategy, now is a great time to give it some thought.
What is content operations?
Content operations are the collection of processes you use to create content. It includes all the people, systems, and tools you manage to create, publish, and distribute content.
A robust content operation process is essential to any successful content strategy. It ensures that your team has the resources to produce high-quality content. And that your content is distributed effectively.
There are four key areas you’ll need to focus on when you’re prepping your content operations for 2023:
- Financial planning: Make sure you have the budget to support your content strategy. This includes not only the cost of producing content but also the cost of promoting and distributing it.
- Production process: Streamlining your content production process will make it more efficient and effective. This includes everything from content ideation and writing to editing and publishing.
- Distribution strategy: Develop a distribution strategy to ensure the right people see your content. This may include using paid media, social media, and email marketing.
- Reporting and analytics: Setting up a reporting system will help track your progress and measure your success. This data will be essential in making decisions about your content strategy going forward.
Here are some ideas to help you review these areas and optimize your content production for the coming year.
Start with an internal survey
As you review your content operations, getting input from your team is essential. Send out a survey to your colleagues whose roles intersect with content.
When you do, ask questions like:
- What are your current pain points?
- What parts of the process are working well?
- Is there anything we could be doing better?
- What takes the most time?
- Any suggestions for streamlining or automation?
- Is the current budget adequate, or are adjustments necessary?
- Is the current reporting system helpful? If not, what would be more valuable?
Share your findings
Once you’ve gathered and reviewed the feedback from your surveys, it’s time to share the results. Share your findings with your team and then use them to create a plan of action to refine your processes next year.
Additionally, make sure to involve your team in the decision-making. They’re the ones who will be implementing any changes you make, after all.
Set SMART goals
After completing your survey and collating and sharing your results, it’s time to set some goals. But not just any goals — SMART goals.
SMART stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.
For example, a SMART goal for content ops might be: “By Q2 2023, we will reduce content production time by 40%. We’ll do this by outsourcing ideation, writing, and editing to a managed content production team.”
This goal is:
- Specific (reduce content production time by 40%).
- Measurable (staff can track and report time savings).
- Achievable (based on the previous quarter’s data).
- Relevant (content production efficiency is a pain point for the team).
- Time-bound (the team will hit the goal by Q2 2023).
By setting SMART goals, you can ensure that your improvements are tangible and achievable.
Review your content budget
One of the most important aspects of content ops is financial planning. You need to make sure you have the budget in place to support your content strategy. Start by reviewing your existing content budget.
Then ask yourself and your team some critical questions:
- How much are you spending on content production?
- How much are you spending on promoting and distributing your content?
- Is this in line with your overall marketing budget?
If you don’t have clarity around your content budget, now is the time to create one. Work with your finance team to develop a budget to support your content strategy.
Optimize your tools and processes
With your goals and budget in mind, you are ready to start prepping your content operations to meet your objectives for the coming year.
Start by looking at your existing tools and processes. Are they helping you achieve your goals? If not, it may be time to make some changes.
Here are some tips to take your content production operations to the next level and help you work at scale:
1) Decide on one system
Every team within your company probably has its own system of communicating tasks, priorities, and information. But vital information can get lost over time when your content planning is routed through various systems.
To save time and trouble, keep everyone working from the same system. This will reduce confusion, improve communication, and make it easier to track progress and deadlines.
2) Automate where possible
Use technology to automate mundane tasks whenever possible. This will free up your team’s time to focus on more important work. For example, your system should automatically assign deadlines and send reminders to team members when tasks are due.
3) Use templates and guidelines
When creating a lot of content, it can be helpful to use templates and offer your writer a clear set of editorial guidelines. This will help ensure that your content is consistent and aligned with your brand voice. It will also save your team time by giving them a starting point for each brief or piece of content they create.
3) Create clear and concise briefs
When assigning a new project, provide your team with a clear and concise brief. One that outlines the goals, deadlines, and expectations for the piece. This will help ensure everyone is on the same page and minimize the need for revision.
4) Implement a review and approval process
Write out a clear review checklist. A checklist will ensure that any staff member who reviews the final content follows the same procedure. This will speed up the content approval process without sacrificing quality.
5) Work with a content partner
One of the best ways to improve your content operations is to work with a content partner. A content partner can help you with all aspects of your content strategy, from content creation to distribution.
When choosing a content partner, look for a company that offers a simple workflow and easy-to-use tools. You should also ensure that the company has a team of experienced content creators who can produce high-quality, engaging content.
ClearVoice is an excellent option for companies looking for a managed content partner. We offer a simple workflow, easy-to-use tools, and a team of experienced content creators.
Create a well-oiled content machine
Prepping your content operations for 2023 is vital to ensuring that your content strategy is successful. By reviewing your budget, optimizing your processes, and working with a content partner, you can prep your content production to run smoothly and efficiently.
Keep in mind that working with a managed content partner can streamline your production of engaging, well-written content. ClearVoice offers best-in-class workflows, easy-to-use tools, and a team of experienced creators to help you meet your goals.
Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you build a winning content strategy.