Making Time for Content Marketing
A survey by the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs found that “lack of time” was the most common obstacle Manufacturing Marketers faced when implementing content strategy. This revelation is anything but a surprise. Sales collateral, trade shows, website maintenance, all tend to fall on the shoulders of the marketing team. However, the ever-growing popularity of content marketing means demand for unique, engaging material is not going away. While you can never eliminate the time inherent in content marketing, there are steps you can take to reduce the workload.
First, set realistic expectations of what you can produce. If social media is a flurry of body punches, content strategy is a carefully plotted right-hook to the jaw. You want material with impact, that can truly engage, and this takes effort. A good starting goal is to publish one piece of content each month.
Next, streamline your research. Trying to find a golden nugget of information by typing endless variations of the same sentence into Google is not only unproductive, it’s redundant. Google Alerts, RSS readers and other tools can funnel articles and blog posts directly to your inbox. Tailor these tools until you have a constant stream of quality inbound information. With a river of media depositing ideas at your feet, build out a daily routine to sift through all of it. Spend the first 15 minutes of each morning looking through the notifications, flagging ones you would like to revisit. Take another 10 minutes after lunch to delve into the flagged media and pick out one article. At the end of the day, use 5 minutes to extract 1 or 2 concise, coherent arguments from the article. In 30 minutes a day, you’ll have a directory of ideas for future content. Enlist your sales team for additional content. They talk to customers all day, everyday and these conversions area valuable sources of industry insight. Hold short, routine meetings with reps to tap and compile their knowledge.
- What trends do they see in the industry?
- Did any customers accomplish something noteworthy (reach a business milestone, publish a landmark paper)?
- Did your products help solve a common workplace problem?
After formulating an idea, double-check the foundation of your content. One-sourcing information (i.e. hearing a fact, problem or opinion from a single person and taking it as gospel), is a sure-fire way to waste a hell of a lot of time. What if the source is totally wrong, or their problem is a fluke? You just spent hours creating something that isn’t relevant. Look for contrasting opinions, ask other customers if they’ve experienced similar issues, anything to verify what you’re putting out. A quick confirmation will save you time and frustration in the long run.
Supplementing your writing with guest authors is another way to increase content production. Leverage your relationships with customers and ask them to write about their pains, their thoughts on new technology and what they love about their job. Some of the best content is written by your customers’ peers, get in front of them and start a dialog. Their knowledge coupled with your new-found efficiency will build a production line of quality, effective content.