Don’t Let Your Content Engine Run Out of Gas

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    Making the decision to ramp up content production and promotion is the first (and in some ways, easiest) step. There’s a LOT to do once that decision is made, and it’s important that you don’t run out of the steam midway through the effort. A good content program is a train that keeps on going, a car that needs constant refueling, the truck that keeps on trucking—okay, enough, you get the point.

    For content to be a successful element of your marketing, you have to come up with a plan from the get-go for how you’re going to keep this thing running. This is where most companies falter. Everyone gets really excited at first, no one really owns the who/what/when/where/how/why aspect, and suddenly you’re down to producing sporadic content when someone finally remembers you haven’t done anything in a while.

    Don’t let this be you. I know you can be better than that. And here, I’m going to help you with a few tips to keep you on the right track (apparently I’m full of endless transportation metaphors).

    1.  Establish who is / will be involved

    Don’t get caught in the infinite “it’s not my job” loop. Identify which team members will handle things like writing and designing the content, posting it or distributing it, and creating the follow-up funnel sequences. Make the expectations clear upfront so everyone knows who’s responsible for what. This step also helps you determine what you can handle in-house and where you might need outside help.

    2.  Determine who / how outside writers and resources will be managed

    Make sure you create a plan for this. Someone should be responsible for securing vendors, working with them, reviewing their work and generally managing the relationships as a whole. Try to keep this streamlined—it can be difficult for contractors to have to deal with several people within your organization, rather than just one point of contact.

    3.  Make a plan

    Know when, where and how content will be distributed or pushed. Be sure to create thoughtful follow-up communications where it makes sense, one that keeps content consumers in your nurture loop.

    4.  Create clear processes and workflows

    This is so important. Like, I can’t stress how important this is. You need a simple way of managing all of your content projects and all the elements involved in each one. Luckily, there are so many sophisticated solutions out there for managing content workflow, and you’ll definitely want to use one of them. At LeadMD, we really like using Kapost , which lets us manage task assignments, deadlines and even ideas for everyone involved in content projects.

    5.  Create a content-driven culture

    The people around you have great ideas for content—they just might not be thinking about it that way. Creating a content culture kind of changes your business a bit. Suddenly, interesting little tidbits become fun ideas for an infographic. A random comment could inspire a great blog post. Consistent questions from customers might make a good white paper. You never know when inspiration might strike, and you should not only encourage people to contribute ideas, but give them an outlet to do so. I mentioned Kapost before. One of the cool things in Kapost is that there’s an actual idea hub where people can contribute ideas, and the content manager can review and approve the ones that work.

    The road ahead might be bumpy, but with clear directions for how to get on your way, you can help ensure your new content program will never hit a dead end.

    (Just when you thought I was out of metaphors!)