Over 50% of the content on our website and on our blog was outsourced. That’s a strange admission to make publicly. Have we lost our minds?
Many people might think we outsource the content creation because we don’t consider it important. Our reason is the exact opposite. Our content is critical in helping potential customers understand the value of what we do and how they can benefit from it. This needs to be very well written. We’re techies, not writers.
So how do we ensure that the content on our website meets the needs of our prospective customers? It’s all about the process! As a process driven company that helps organizations build better processes, we live by what we teach.
Here’s a simple process for your team to follow to create outstanding content:
Build a Marketing Calendar
First, it helps if you have a marketing calendar. For those not familiar with the term, a marketing calendar lists all your upcoming events. Each event then can have tasks that need to be assigned in order for the event to be successful. For example, envision entering into a new market. What has to happen for the launch to be successful? Each item is prioritized and is listed on the calendar. Think of this as your project plan.
Every marketing event or task should have a goal. Without goals, marketing is a great way to spend money for no apparent reason. With goals, every activity has a purpose and can be measured or analyzed.
By creating specifications for each activity you can ensure that your messaging is on target for your audience and that you are helping to move them towards a conversion.
Assigning Tasks and Allocating Resources
Once you have everything on the calendar, assign tasks to individuals to complete with due dates and dependencies. This part of the process will reveal any conflicts or critical paths that need to be monitored closely. Imagine needing a specific logo for the launch mentioned above. That logo would be printed on any collateral or web page. If the logo is not done in time it would throw off the creation of any item requiring it.
The scheduling step is also good for allocating resources. When scheduling tasks be realistic as to what can be expected from any individual or group. Unrealistic expectations will foul up your schedule when the tasks are not completed when originally assigned. A good scheduling practice is to confirm that due dates can be met with the people responsible for each task when the original schedule is set. Another good practice is to build in follow-up dates to ensure that each task will be finished on time.
Review and Approval
Sounds obvious, doesn’t it. This is where the specifications and goals really come into play. Did the delivered content meet the requirements? It takes more than well written or pretty content to make a difference in your business. Your content has to matter and accomplish something for your audience and for your organization.
So now you have your marketing calendar listing all your events and the specific tasks needed to make each one a success. This is a living document as opportunities will arise and plans change. Whenever adding more work, make sure that it fits in the calendar or find additional resources so that it does fit in.
So What Does This Have To Do With Outsourcing Content Creation?
Everything! The process above works both for internal resources and for outsourced resources. And, it’s critical for outside resources.
However, there is a catch. No process works unless you follow it. And the best way to follow a process is to automate it. That’s where document management comes in.
At DocuVantage we use our own system to store, retrieve, review and approve content. DocuVantage OnDemand is designed to ensure that content never gets lost, over-written or forgotten about. We follow the steps listed above and use the system to help the flow of marketing projects.
We use DocuVantage OnDemand to:
- Store, route and approve the specifications for new marketing projects.
- Assign content creation tasks.
- Store, route and review content and their supporting docs.
- Manage revisions and collaborate with team members and outside vendors.
- Approve content for publication.
- Store all versions of all marketing content
This process ensures that what we produce meets our goals and is delivered on time. Best of all we all do this within one platform.
Of course we also analyze our results to make sure that all new marketing specifications take into account what we learn.
If you would like to learn how to improve your marketing process so that it becomes a marketing engine for growth, sign up for a personalized demo and we’ll teach you what we have been doing for twenty plus years!