Thoughts, stories and ideas.

Macaroni and cheese. Phineas and Ferb. Bacon and Eggs. Bonnie and Clyde. You've probably heard of these classic pairs, but, for inbound marketers, there's one pair in particular that goes hand-in-hand: content and marketing.

Ninety-one percent of business-to-business (B2B) professionals use content marketing strategy. However, that does not mean all the content they create is top-notch, thought-provoking, or valuable content.

Reasons why companies struggle with content production

Having a strong start does not mean definite success. Usually companies don’t set a long-term plan in order to sustain this growth. They commit to creating a blog and even partner with an agency or consultant to develop the blog design or set the content strategy, but they quickly fall behind. This is mainly due to not having a proper strategy in place.

This is a very common problem, and the cause is often one of the below issues:

  • Lack of assigned roles

When no single person is responsible for content creation, and everyone is trying to pitch in despite of their already full schedule, things can quickly go amiss.

This leads to the blog content (or social or email or other channels) falling to the bottom of the priority list, because it’s technically not their personal responsibility.

  • Bottlenecks within the content production process

After deciding on the topic ideas and keywords, the content production team needs to write the posts. But, they quickly fall behind because it takes longer to actually write copies, than to generate ideas and do keyword research.

Sometimes, it also happens that the content creation strategy is in place, the posts have been written, its optimization done, but, the team needs to get all blog posts approved before they are pushed live. Multiple rounds of internal reviews take up lot of time, leading to a bottleneck within the content production process. This is where a content production agency comes into the picture.

Here are few tips for overcoming content production obstacles:

1. Document an actionable content strategy

While 89% of business-to-business organizations are actually utilizing content marketing, only 37% have put together a documented strategy around that content’s creation and distribution.

Creating this kind of strategy is similar to setting goals in place. These goals are more likely to be achievable if written down and broken into actionable steps. The same applies to content. You need to write down what you want to achieve, and how you can get there.

That last part, i.e. how you want to get there, is particularly important. You can spend all the time in the world documenting your strategy, but if it isn’t supported by consistent execution, the strategy won’t be very feasible.

So, set your goals in accordance with the overall mission, audience personas, content mix, and promotion tactics. Then, make them actionable by laying down the foundation for your process that would make it easier to achieve consistency. A content creation strategy is vital for overcoming content production obstacles.

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Source: Brain Traffic

Developing a cohesive strategy is important for the following reasons:

  • To achieve company-wide alignment for the purposes of content;
  • To improve quality of content produced;
  • To produce the right content for the right target audiences;
  • To increase brand awareness and loyalty;
  • To generate interest for brand’s products and services.

2. Apply batching

To batch your work means to follow a momentum and create chunks of content which have a good flow. Once the writer is in the flow of crafting content, it’s a lot easier to keep going than to take a break and try to get back that train of thought. Batching must be incorporated in your content marketing plan.

Batching is not multi-tasking; rather, it is a laser-focus attention on one particular thing at a time.

The process of content production can be divided into three phases:

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Outline

The most efficient way to produce a piece of content quickly is to first create an outline. It helps to transform the rough concept floating around in your head into a structured document.

This helps keep to keep your thoughts on track. It also reduces time and energy wasted on exploring wild tangents. It is crucial to not get overly complicated in the outline phase. Instead, you can create a series of subheadings so you do not miss out on any vital points.

Produce

The next step is to begin writing under those subheadings that were decided in the first phase. Avoid editing the subheadings too much. Ignore typos and poorly worded sentences for now, and instead, approach it more like a brain dump – the point is to get your thoughts onto the page.

Once the content for your subheadings is completed, you can go back and write an introduction and conclusion. Writing these at the end, rather than linearly, will make it more cohesive.

Edit

Finally, edit your post — tune out all distractions in this phase.
Shut out all noise. You can even play white noise — usually rain, rather than music, to help prevent your mind from wandering as you get into the flow.

The content production strategy is more effective when you load content in batches. This saves time, as well as increases efficiency. Having someone assigned to oversee the tasks helps keep people on track and meet deadlines.

3. Create content and content publishing calendars

Content calendars is where the ideas, topics, and dates are stored. It’s extremely crucial, and a well-organized content calendar will include the following:

• Topics assigned
• Prioritized list of what topic should be executed first
• An assigned writer, editor, publisher, and scheduler
• List (and links) to channels the content will be posted on

Incorporating the above items will help creating a functional content calendar that will help your team stay on track and focused.

Keep the production schedule separate from the release schedule. Create a production schedule and content distribution schedule according to the content creation strategy as explained in the first tip.

A monthly schedule is preferable. Make sure you cover every content distribution channel on the calendar.

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Source: Content Marketing Institute

By identifying and deciding everything you need to produce, determining who is responsible for each step of the process and planning ahead, you can group your content and free up a lot of time for other projects.
With these systems in place, one can avoid the dreaded "What should I write about this week?" Or "Hey sorry, I have not yet been able to complete this blog. I’m flooded with too much work.”

Conclusion

Content production must be consistent, but it also needs to be consistently great. Every blog post should offer value instead of just trying to deliver superficial content that drives clicks. Every person who has tried to maintain a blog knows how incredibly difficult it is.

When in doubt, remember one can always put a twist on a classic, finding a new angle for an old topic to re-engage users and offer something interesting. You can see examples of this on our blog itself.

A content marketing agency will build a system in place to generate a content marketing plan as well as execute it. This will give you the consistency that you need to be able to take a few blog posts into a sustainable content marketing strategy, which can then be enhanced with PPC ad campaigns for some extra oomph.