How should organizations organize for content? Are brands really publishers? Very few have hired people with “content” or “editor” in their titles. Fewer still (read: almost none) have content departments or divisions within the marketing or other organizations.
Yet, more and more companies are producing content like crazy. Also, multiple websites. Large corporations have tens of millions of visitors to their dot-coms each month, perhaps 5-10 million email subscribers. Then, there are blogs, YouTube channels and multiple social media channels on social networks.
Like journalists, brands are challenged to “feed the beast,” often on a daily basis, sometimes in real time. All this content isn’t just written word. It’s images, videos, charts, infographics… Put all of this together and the process, workload, and workflow demands become truly staggering.
Yet, most companies have adopted content strategies that amount to little more than asking employees already juggling the demands of full-time jobs to please produce content, too, in addition to their day-to-day duties. Not only does this approach not scale, but these employees aren’t trained in either content marketing or content strategy.
Something’s got to give, and I’m currently conducting research to try to learn how companies are making room for the demands content is placing on marketing, communications, IT, customer service and CRM.
We’re analyzing our finding now and will publish our report in April. In the meantime, the questions we asked dozens of interview subjects may perhaps help organizations to assess their own content needs as they relate to workflow, process, technology and partnerships.
If you’re producing content, start asking yourself these questions. And, please let me know if we left anything important out you’d like to see included in future research.
• What’s your role? Where do you sit in your company’s org chart?
• Do you have a dedicated content department or division? (Since when? What spawned it? How were buy-in and budget secured? )
• If you don’t have one, do you need one? If yes, how will this move forward?
• Which team determines the main messages or story line for products and initiatives? Is it a function of product marketing, corporate marketing, and/or do you collaborate across departments?
• Where does/should content sit in your company’s marketing org chart?
• Do you have a dedicated content staff? How many? Titles? Level of seniority?
• What content are you/your group responsible for creating?
• What target audience(s) or product group(s) does your team’s content serve?
• How is content organized, prioritized, approved and accessed within your group?
• Is there a production schedule and/or editorial calendar? If so, please elaborate.
• Is your group’s content re-purposed for any other group’s needs, or vice versa?
• How much time do you/your groups spend on content per week (for creation/ launch as well as ongoing maintenance)?
Creative Assets & Technology
• Where are creative assets stored and organized?
• Who has access to these assets?
• Are the technology resources available to your group adequate?
• What publishing platform(s) do you use, if any?
• What social media platforms do you publish content on, if any?
• Does the content your group creates align with a larger content strategy or goals? If so, please explain.
• What are the most evident challenges in executing a unified content strategy across all departments and product groups?
• What is missing, specifically, that would strengthen confidence in your content strategy?
• What other teams/departments does your group work with in planning, creating, and publishing its content?
• Please explain how your organization’s executives and leadership are involved in the company’s and your department’s content strategy and marketing.
• What approval and governance processes must your team follow in creating and executing its content?
• How do you get management buy-in?
Education & Training
• What type of education or training has your team received surrounding content strategy, planning, creation, or dissemination?
• Has your department had to hire any new employees or types of roles to fulfill content needs?
• Are there policies, guidelines, and standards in relation to content?
Measurement & Results
• How do you measure the success of content marketing initiatives?
• What type(s) of content have been most effective in reaching your department’s business and content marketing goals?
• Are you familiar with competitors’ content strategy?
• Is there anything they’re doing you’d like to emulate?
• Do you work with agencies on content creation?
• If so, what kind? (PR, ad agency, content agency, consultant, etc.)
• What do you look for when selecting an agency?
• What are the red flags that would make you not engage an agency?
• Do you use any for content aggregation, publishing, dissemination? What types and why?
Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land.