Even prior to Q1 2020 redefining the reality of our work lives and lives in general, 99% of respondents to the 2019 State of Remote Work Survey published by Buffer indicated they would “like to work from home some of the time for the rest of their work career.” Well, it looks like their wishes may have come true! Several large enterprises like Facebook and Shopify have already signalled plans for permanent work from home policies.
As marketing leaders, proving ROI on content marketing while maintaining productivity across a team are ongoing challenges under normal circumstances. Layer in the following possibilities, and it becomes clear we need to seriously consider how to pandemic-proof teams, productivity, and client expectations:
Possibility #1: We may be experiencing a permanent shift in working from home patterns.
Possibility #2: Some team members may be fearful of returning to the office.
Possibility #3: Future forced work-from-home situations may occur again.
So, how do we gain respectful visibility into our people, productivity, and deadlines, plus maintain quality content production and centralized collaboration while everyone works from a different location?
A content marketing platform (CMP). Period.
Successful remote content teams with well-defined processes can and do incorporate technology and automation to augment and support those processes. Choosing the right set of tools will enable you to focus your attention on strategy and creativity rather than manual processes and administration.
Here are the top 5 ways marketing teams in brands and agencies can increase productivity by standardizing on a content marketing platform:
1. Editorial Calendar with a Bird’s Eye View
How many times a week do you scramble through multiple spreadsheet tabs and lists of items wondering what content is due next, who is working on what or how do I provide my boss with insights into our progress and productivity? These questions are common and difficult to answer accurately without a centralized editorial calendar.
For digital agencies, this problem is multiplied with a content marketing schedule (spreadsheet) per client account. Yuck!
The human brain processes images 60,000 times faster than text. Mintent’s flexible Editorial Calendar not only allows for customized and color-coordinated visual planning by content type, persona, channel, product type, author, etc., it also provides full transparency to the entire team across an organization and reveals potential gaps in the overall strategy.
Mintent’s Editorial Calendar
2. Idea Bank and Content Requests
There are so many great ideas, but seemingly so little time. Content ideas and requests are fired at a content team from multiple departments within an organization, from multiple people within teams and potentially across many clients. Now, virtually all of these content items are effectively external as all team members work remotely.
Oftentimes, tracking these great ideas just doesn’t happen. Then they are lost forever. Other times, they live in yet another spreadsheet stored on a drive somewhere until they get dusty and maybe just die.
They say, ‘a picture is worth a thousand words.’ Central, accessible repositories for your ideas and external requests organized thematically and visually in calendar or list views increase the chances those ideas may actually turn into words and content within your content marketing strategy. Worthy ideas and requests may be quickly reviewed, collaborated on, and then promoted to your production Editorial Calendar.
Idea Bank and Content Requests
Collaborating on the latest project or piece of content around a boardroom table or water cooler may be something we will seldom experience ever again. And even if we do, there will most often be times when one team member is working from home or in another office on the other side of the world.
Being able to collaborate with your team members directly within a controlled content marketing creation process will ensure important feedback or insights are not lost. Productivity will increase as team members are no longer required to chase emails and external conversations.
As Jay Baer says, “organizing and enabling collaboration more deliberately, with an eye toward long-term visibility and learning, can transform the quality of your content production processes.” And heck, he seems to know a thing or two about content marketing.
4. Flexible & Customized Workflows
The title says it all. Who doesn’t want flexible and customized workflows built directly into their content marketing process? It is every content marketer’s dream to produce engaging, optimized content more efficiently. However, in most organizations, all content must still go through a multi-level creation and/or approval process. In a work from home environment, having structured workflows enables organizations to keep tight controls on content ideation, creation, and distribution to ensure accuracy, brand consistency, and/or legal compliance.
In Mintent, you have the ability to create custom, standardized workflow templates for every different type of content you create. Each workflow stage can be configured to include a default duration, assignees, and internal instructions to identify specific requirements. Stages may be set up as simple working stages, which can be advanced automatically as work is completed or as stages requiring single or multi-person approvals in order to proceed. Workflow templates enable the automation of project setup. From there, Mintent users also have the flexibility of adjusting workflow templates on an ad hoc basis when project timing, resource, or approval requirements change because we all know content projects and campaigns don’t always work to plan.
Flexible & Customized Workflows
As a content item is being created, all workflow stage assignees have an opportunity to collaborate and comment on work completed or request revisions and roll back to a previous stage, if necessary. All of these workflow activities are logged and stored for future reference as a means to identifying roadblocks and/or improving processes.
Content item creators and workflow owners are kept abreast of any and all progress of their projects, while any authorized user can also choose to “follow” a content item and likewise be kept in the loop.
5. Configurable Email and In-App Notifications
Clear, effective communication is critical to the long term success of remote content teams and the efficient production and distribution of content. Content stakeholders need to be notified when they’re up to bat but also don’t want to be overwhelmed with noise. Email continues to be a primary communication tool for most organizations. However, having a secondary centralized option tied directly to content items and projects ensures important comments or guidance are not lost. Mintent offers flexible email options whereby users can choose which notifications they want to receive via email and how often. All notifications are also stored within the platform for each individual Mintent user in a sortable list for immediate or future review.
Configurable Email & In-App Notifications
As working from home becomes the norm for more and more organizations, it will become critical to implement processes and embrace solutions that support open communication, collaboration, transparency, and operational efficiency. Content marketing platforms like Mintent were designed with these exact purposes in mind. We also have experience and can help with the development of strategy and processes if this is where your organization needs to start.
Mintent enables teams to plan, create, publish, measure & optimize content campaigns in one place. Get all of the functionality of a Content Marketing Platform, along with Content Performance Analytics and SEO tools that will allow you to maximize conversions and marketing ROI. To find out more about Mintent – book a demo today!