There are times when a lot of websites have not published new posts. This can happen for a week, two weeks, a month, a quarter, a few months, and might go up to a year. Timely topics and keywords often cannot be tackled because hardly anyone ever looks up from what they are already doing.
Bad-quality content often gets published because the team needs to post something to make sure they fulfil their quota.
The effects of those and other things for those facing time constraints, fatigue and burning out can cause ripples in content marketing teams. At times, professionals can suffer from writer’s block. What can be done to reduce or prevent these things from happening? How can team leads help their members stay on track, so their content marketing efforts buzz nicely without hindrance?
Experienced content marketing leads and heads have compiled practical tips to help content marketing teams stay ahead and be on point with their content schedule. Some bonus tips will be shared to help team members avert procrastination and help themselves prevent burnout.
The first point might seem fundamental, but it is crucial and needed. There is no need for team leads to say that they will publish a blog every few weeks, or it may depend on when we will publish one.
This is not a schedule. This is an estimate hardly anyone can pinpoint with accuracy. It would be wise for them to be specific and document the schedule in the content marketing strategy.
For example, detail how many blog articles will be published each month and tie a number to a time, like the team desiring to publish one new post or an updated one each week. It is wise to be equally specific with each kind of content a company publishes; videos, emails, social media posts and the like.
The whole content marketing team should know the schedule and respect it. They must record it in their content calendar and keep the publishing momentum as per the schedule. Meaning, deadlines are non-negotiable because they’re firm. A post must be published at the regular set interval. In case of any reservations, they must notify their lead immediately.
With that being said, it is important to add some flexibility to the schedule. For instance, the article planned for next week must change due to the non-availability of subject matter for the topic. However, what cannot be changed is the deadline for posting an article. This can help the content schedule be consistent while allowing flexibility for any human needs coming in the way.
The content calendar is not just a calendar (including the tool that makes and manages it). It is a living plan for the way a content strategy works out over time.
If content marketers only scratch the surface in terms of the calendar’s potential, they are short-changing the team. With the right tools and features, the content calendar can become the key focal point of content marketing.
One of the first things to understand is that it should not be used just for recording post publishing dates. Meaning, it should document everything like topics, keywords, assets, goals, creators, resources, and more. Anything that helps track the content creation process and helps the team put the pieces of the puzzle together is worth a lot.
Secondly, marketers must go deep into the calendar tool to utilize its full potential. They must check the developer guides and videos and learn about all the available features. The team and team lead must learn all about the calendar as possible, including possibilities for automation and collaboration.
Those who are not familiar with batching, should know this. People group similar tasks and complete them in a single swoop. This is a worthwhile productivity trick helping everyone get ahead with their content calendar.
For instance, Instead of researching topics for content one by one, they should brainstorm a batch of content topics for a month at a time. One day each month, a few hours should be taken to come up with all the topics needed for content.
Here is how it goes:
With this system, no content marketer ever needs to scramble for new ideas for content haphazardly. A list of new topics tied to worthwhile keywords is recorded each month on the calendar. At any given moment, most of them will be in production with writers, editors, designers or managers.
Here is what the team can batch other than topic generation:
The way each role is delegated directly impacts the content marketing tactics and tasks. Does each member have some defined tasks within their role? Or do certain people have certain tasks and complete them? Or shift the tasks depending on the situation?
Small content teams might find it sensible to keep their roles flexible and amorphous. However, they still need to be defined clearly for each team member. Else the tasks will be muddled and haphazard.
Creative tasks start feeling like a creation by higher-ups. This can water down marketing efforts. This can force problems in recalling who did what and when. This is the reason well-defined roles having well-designed tasks allow each person to take full control of their responsibilities.
Documenting helps in streamlined content production. Style guides, CTA guidelines, processes, tool workflows and the like all should be documented. When it comes to specificity and vagueness one on one, the teams can look at their guides and refer to them to ensure there is consistency among both content and channels.
Plus, when a company brings someone new on board, all the needed documentation will be right there for them to understand and learn the processes.
This is why each task should be prioritized and set as per role, giving employees time to make the needed boundaries and take a sigh of relief once a task is complete. Having well-defined processes makes sure everyone knows what to do. This also gives them time to get some rest and take a breath of relief so they can be focused and energized for upcoming work.
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