When I used to be in highschool, we had a science class mission during which we had been grouped into groups, and tasked with constructing a catapult. Whichever contraption might launch a tennis ball the farthest would win the competition.
We rapidly realized that the toughest half wasn’t developing the precise catapult. It was wrangling all of the group members, divvying up assignments, and maintaining a collective group of energetic youngsters on observe. In hindsight, possibly that was the purpose.
Managing Content Marketing Projects and People
Content advertising and marketing managers take care of these kinds of duties every day. There are so many roles and capabilities sometimes concerned with a time certain content material initiative that we regularly should act as mission managers, facilitating collaboration and making certain that everybody is able to succeed.
That’s difficult, as a result of normally content material advertising and marketing managers will not be educated in mission administration. Your group is (most likely) not a bunch of rambunctious excessive schoolers, however creatives and specialists could be fickle, and everyone knows that maintaining them joyful and harmonious is crucial to producing high quality work.
It’s additionally one thing the enterprise world at giant could possibly be doing a greater job at. According to the 2019 In-House Creative Management Report from inMotionNow and InSource:
- Only 45% of artistic and advertising and marketing professionals report that morale on their group is excessive
- 72% say that “obtaining the necessary information to get started on a project” is the largest administrative activity that consumes their time
- 22% opine that collaboration between artistic and advertising and marketing is ineffective
This examine represents only one system in a a lot bigger galaxy, however the outcomes really feel universally reflective. In the B2B content material advertising and marketing realm particularly, the 2018 benchmarking report from CMI and MarketingProfs discovered about one-third of respondents score their mission administration flows as Fair or Poor, with solely eight% deeming theirs Excellent. (The 2019 report didn’t ask this query, however we’re guessing the chances would’ve been comparable.)
In the symbolic emoji measurement scale above, how can we shift the faces on our group from glum/shifty-eyed to smiling/delighted? Many organizations don’t have devoted mission managers on workers — or don’t have them obtainable to help with content material applications instantly — so this usually falls on the content material advertising and marketing managers themselves.
How to Improve Content Marketing Project Management
While orchestrating a wide range of completely different people — all with their very own personalities, preferences, and types of working — could be extremely difficult, there’s a science to collaboration. So let’s map out some methods you possibly can catapult your group to higher outcomes.
Start with Creative Briefs
We’ve been harping on the significance of documenting content material technique, and inventive briefs are essential incremental steps on this course of. This was a key theme within the aforementioned In-House Creative Management Report, which discovered groups that obtain satisfactory info at mission kickoff are:
- 26% extra prone to say advertising and marketing management is efficient
- 23% extra prone to report excessive morale
- 14% extra prone to get tasks accepted in three days or much less
A great artistic transient outlines expectations and deliverables for everybody concerned, units clear timelines, and firmly states the mission’s goals. It will take extra time upfront to develop a complete artistic transient, however it pays off in the long term as a result of group members can scale back confusion and reply their very own questions.
Keep Communication Lines Open
Even with the appropriate groundwork in place, it’s inevitable that issues will pop up over the course of a mission requiring back-and-forths with a number of group members. There is a fragile steadiness in enabling snappy and responsive communications whereas making certain creatives have the uninterrupted time they should produce.
There’s no one-size-fits-all resolution right here. One firm’s superb communication strategies will look vastly completely different from one other’s. In some circumstances, every day standup/huddle conferences (popularized by the agile framework) are simply the ticket. For others, an workplace communication device like Slack or Skype is most well-liked. And typically even plain old style electronic mail can suffice, though this appears more and more uncommon.
The greatest method is to repeatedly seek the advice of together with your folks and take in their suggestions. Figure out what works greatest for them and tailor it to the wants of your mission.
Find the Right Tools and Partners
We talked about a few in style workplace collaboration platforms within the earlier part. There are others constructed particularly for mission administration — comparable to Trello, Workfront, and Basecamp — and others nonetheless which are personalized for content material advertising and marketing initiatives. These platforms embrace Contently, CoSchedule, DivvyHQ, Kapost, Percolate, and extra.
If you handle a big, distributed group that produces excessive volumes of content material, it may be price your whereas to spend money on such an answer for centralized group and coordination. Many of the choices provide free trials.
Additionally, you may contemplate working with a companion to can lighten your load with time- and resource-consuming tasks. For instance, an skilled company that focuses on content material advertising and marketing (I can consider at the least one!) reduces stress in quite a few methods, releasing up your folks to totally plug into their very own work whereas offloading a lot of the administration and execution.
Standardize Your Review and Approval Processes
This has been an inside focus for us at TopRank Marketing. Quality assurance is a crucial element of the content material manufacturing course of, and one the place issues often get slowed down. Nailing down the assorted issues above will assist clean out critiques and approvals that push content material over the hump.
There are loads of handoffs, prompts, and dependencies in play throughout QA, so it’s crucial to have these communication strains locked down. Editorial calendar and content material administration software program often has built-in workflows for a number of rounds of evaluate. An in depth artistic transient will even assist present construction for edits and suggestions.
Putting the Pieces Together
Ideally, you’d have a devoted mission supervisor working level in your content material initiatives. But in actuality, these duties usually fall on the content material advertising and marketing supervisor’s shoulders, that means we have to placed on our PM hats and information the ship as greatest we are able to.
Pushing tasks to completion, effectively and exceptionally, isn’t all that completely different from constructing a catapult or every other class mission. It’s all about understanding your folks, establishing readability with everybody concerned, and giving them the instruments, companions, and sources they should succeed individually.
If you’re interested in how my group’s catapult turned out, we determined to place our personal twist on the project. We jury-rigged a spring-loaded baseball bat that — as soon as triggered — swung forth powerfully and drove the tennis ball like 100 yards.
Unfortunately we had been disqualified from the competition as a result of we failed to stick to the precise pointers.
I suppose that if our group had a documented plan, superior communication, appropriate instruments, and a extra stringent evaluate course of, we’d’ve delivered one thing extra consistent with the precise goal.
I suppose I did study one thing that day. Certainly not how you can construct a catapult.
Efficiency is commonly high of thoughts for any content material advertising and marketing supervisor. How can you improve your potential to handle your work and save time. Check out these tricks to overclock your B2B advertising and marketing effectivity.