Marketers are often told they need to get organized by setting goals, documenting their strategy, and proactively planning their campaigns.
While taking these steps seems to make sense, marketers sometimes skip them because they take time away from executing work that can drive results right now. After all, creators want to create, not coordinate their work.
When it comes to content marketing specifically, your team probably has equal parts creators and organizers. While this might seem like the ideal situation for balancing creativity with structure, in reality the two kinds of marketers butt heads a lot and can’t always see where their counterparts are coming from.
So you’re likely dealing with creators who aren’t super gung-ho about your organizing efforts. But what if recent research proved that time spent aligning planning, strategy, and goals is correlated with higher levels of success?
Here’s the data you need to make your case (and how to actually turn chaos into order).
This isn’t about following arbitrary best practices for unclear reasons or benefits. Rather, it’s about taking the steps necessary to get the most from your marketing efforts. These five statistics prove this point:
Improving your odds of success by 397% is no joke. But how do you even get started? Here are three basic tools and tactics to implement first.
A well-organized calendar (using either a spreadsheet or an app) gives marketing teams a go-to destination to see what work is coming up, track their deadlines, and stay on the same page.
Removing ambiguity around who is doing what, and when they’re getting it done, eliminates tons of organizational headaches.
Checklists may seem like a simple solution for getting organized. They can also be your secret weapon for building productive habits and executing workflows efficiently.
For each type of project that your team executes on a regular basis, do the following:
Follow your checklists every time you execute a project, and eventually you’ll develop productive habits, completing work faster and with fewer mistakes.
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How can you know whether using calendars and checklists is actually empowering your content marketing team to get more work done?
Measure your output over time. Then track changes in your analytics over that same period. This will show you two things:
You can do this in a variety of ways, but the process doesn’t necessarily need to be extremely formal.
Content marketing success should always be measured against a well-defined goal. Remember: Marketers who set goals are 376% more likely to report success.
When establishing goals for your team, follow the SMART goal framework, making each of your goals:
Here’s how to accomplish that in practice.
If you’ve worked in marketing for a while, you’ve heard about the importance of documenting your content strategy.
But considering how fast industries move, sometimes documenting strategy can feel like a waste of time. Why write up a plan you’ll have to abandon tomorrow?
The answer is because it gives your team a path to achieve its goals. Without a documented strategy, you’re trusting that executing disjointed tactics will somehow results in achieving those objectives.
Your strategy should contain:
This is the bare minimum of what should be included in your strategy. Keep that document somewhere easily accessible to your team (in cloud storage, a file repository, or another shared resource).
Execute on your strategy by planning your projects and campaigns ahead of time. In order to keep this simple as well, follow these steps:
This will make it easier to balance workloads and ensure there’s enough time to complete the right work on time.
It’s likely you’ve heard about agile marketing.
While it’s beginning to border on buzzword status, there’s a good reason for that. Its principles and methods have been shown to help marketing teams work faster and better.
Implementing agile marketing with a team can take time. But it’s easy to begin with the basics, which can often be enough to make a massive difference. Start with the following steps:
These starting points can make a major difference in how your team works, helping it become organized while gaining speed and efficiency.
This might sound like a lot to take in, as getting marketing teams to change can feel like moving mountains. Just take things one step at a time, making minor, incremental changes. Eventually, you’ll be better organized, more successful in content creation, and happier at work when you’re free from chaos.
Ben Sailer is the Content Marketing Lead at CoSchedule, a family of agile software products that help marketing teams get organized. His areas of expertise include content strategy, copywriting, SEO, and more.