Working on productivity improvement is the focus for lots of businesses these days.
Now that most digital marketing teams are working from home (and many businesses intend to keep working this way), improving and tracking their remote teams’ productivity is crucial.
This is especially challenging for content marketing teams as they have to accomplish so many micro-tasks a day that it is next to impossible to coordinate.
Content marketing is incredibly multi-faceted which makes it incredibly hard to keep under control.
Things may get much worse, when your content marketing team members find themselves working from home, in isolation, trying to handle dozens of destructions.
How do you monitor and improve your content marketing team’s productivity?
Here are a few ideas:
I personally find myself much less inspired when working from home because of all constant distractions. If you have kids and you try to write anything with them around you, you probably know what I am talking about.
Brainstorming interesting content topics and putting them into my editorial plan is something I am struggling with, especially when there’s no weekly quota to meet.
I have found that collaboration helps a lot here. It is easy to feel stuck when working in isolation, so daily collaborating with co-workers help on both the fronts:
- Beating the feeling of isolation (which helps with motivation)
- Sharing ideas (which drives new content brainstorming)
To accomplish both, we maintain a daily schedule of 15-minute meetings where we’d get together every morning to discuss our editorial calendar and share new content ideas and upcoming projects based on any upcoming holidays or identified opportunities.
Google Meet is a nice free way to arrange this, especially if you are using other Google services like Google Calendar. You can create a recurring (daily) event in your Google Calendar making it hard to miss.
High-Quality Content Creation
Whether you outsource content creation or keep everything done internally, content creation has always been a challenge to scale and evaluate.
In fact, how do you ensure high-quality content creation if “quality of content” is such an ephemeral concept.
How do you translate “content quality” into measurable terms?
There are only few clear guidelines that can be measured and monitored:
- Number of words
- Subheading usage and distribution
- List usage
Yoast plugin for WordPress helps you to keep eye on all of that, so you (or your writers) can be kept accountable:
But are these enough to judge on the content quality?
How to encourage your remote writers to research each topic more, create highly relevant content and use diverse vocabulary?
I have found that Text Optimizer works great for encouraging your content team and remote writers to go an extra mile when working on each content asset.
All the tool needs to know if your target keyword and from there:
- It will apply semantic analysis to come up with related concepts and topics (to push your writer to research and include more of them in the copy)
- When the content is written, the tool will analyze it, score its word choice and comprehensiveness and provide guidelines on how to improve your score:
Creating multimedia and interactive content has become an integral part of content creations. So empowering your team with image and video content tools that require no additional skills or training is also a good idea.
Renderforest is my recent discovery and it serves the purpose well. It is web-based which makes it perfect for cross-team collaboration and sharing:
- No need to download software
- All the assets are stored under one handy dashboard
Plus, it is multi-purpose giving you easy, yet effective tools to create videos, branded images and even mockups.
Content editing is essential in maintaining a consistent quality around brand-owned channels. To keep this process better organized, I try to maintain the following routine:
- There’s always a single person within a company who can publish content. That’s the editor who does the final review before hitting the “Publish” button. The editor never writes content. He/she is our content manager overseeing the calendar, ensuring everything is done on time, proofreading the final copy and grading the writer’s work.
- Content writers submit articles for review in Google Docs which provide free workflow tools allowing the editor / manager to provide feedback, ask for revisions, etc.
You can also keep the whole process inside WordPress. There are a few powerful proofreading plugins available for both writers and editors to create a well-revised copy before it goes live.
I’ve seen this happen too many times: Every other company or digital publications produce more content than they can afford the time to promote.
More often than not, it happens like this:
- A company’s decision maker knows/has heard that any website needs to publish content on a regular basis
- So this is what everyone within the company focuses on: The mere fact that there’s a new article being published on the site is enough to make everyone happy.
In fact, I always prefer to lean towards “promote over publish” strategy where you refrain from publishing anything new until you do your best to promote the most recent article.
At the very least, these steps should be taken before the team moves on to the new asset:
- Share on brand-owned social media channels including social media bookmarking platforms like Flipboard and Tumblr
- Add the URL to Viral Content Bee to generate more shares
- Schedule some recurring tweets for those URLs to continue re-appearing on your feed. MavSocial’s MavRepeater is a good way to make this quickly and easily
- Do some basic email outreach to alert bloggers and journalists of your article. Don’t re-use the same list though: Encourage your team to find new contacts every time.
Spying on your competitors and how they are broadcasting their content may give you many more ideas to add to the checklist.
Speaking of email outreach, it is often a neglected step in content marketing which is a shame.
Do you know what that means?
About 90% of that work you (or your team) put into brainstorming, researching and writing articles for your site has been in vain.
The majority of that content will go down your blog archive to never drive any clicks in the future.
In my experience, the most effective way to make sure most of your site’s content will get at least some organic visibility is to have at least some external links pointing to most of your pages.
And the best way to acquire natural links is to reach out to those people who are interested in that topic and can actually link.
Hence, I always include outreach in my content marketing to-do list.
You don;t have to email hundreds of bloggers but dedicating at least an hour or two for reaching out is a good habit to have.
If you outsource that task, use tools to monitor your outreach team’s activities. EmailAnalytics is probably the easiest and the most affordable option, provided your team is using Gmail or G Suite.
The tool will generate daily reports helping you see if your team is actively reaching out to niche bloggers and journalists, including number of emails sent and received, most active and slowest days, average response time, and more.
Finally, it makes sense to keep your writing team updated on how their content is doing. Not only this helps boost a writer’s motivation (seeing the actual impact their articles are creating), but this will also allow your team to make more informed content planning decisions going forward.
Finteza is the perfect platform allowing everyone within a company to monitor website traffic and conversions, without having to through a specific training. It is easy to use, yet provides an in-depth insight, especially when it comes to monitoring events and actions.
With a little bit of customization, you may also be able to use Google Analytics for that.
Again, if you prefer to keep as much as you can inside your site rather than managing many tools and logins, there are quite a few ways to create custom dashboards right inside WordPress that would include web analytics.
Content marketing is not easy to organize, especially when your team is away, working from home. To keep everyone motivated and productive, try using the following tips:
- Set up 15-minute long daily meetings using Google Meet and recurring events in Google Calendar. Use these quick meet-ups to discuss upcoming projects and brainstorm some new content ideas.
- Ensure consistent quality of content by using Text Optimizer and encouraging your team to score their copy at least at 70
- Set up a two-tier content editing process in which there’s always an editor’s review before anything goes live. Google Docs work great for that as they provide free writing workflow tools
- Create a content sharing checklist ensuring each article is well shared. At the very least, ensure each content asset is shared on all brand-owned social media channels (including smaller ones), as well as submitted to Viral Content Bee for more shares
- Include email outreach into your content marketing checklist. Keep an eye on how actively (and regularly) your team reaches out to bloggers and industry influencers using EmailAnalytics
- Consider including your team into monitoring your website analytics for them to be able to identify most/least popular and engaging campaigns and be able to plan further assets accordingly. It is quite easy to do with Finteza