Maximize Business Strategy

How to Use Content Operations to Maximize Business Strategy and Enhance Customer Experience

Content operations (or content ops) are vital to the success of your marketing. Think of content operations as a systematic approach to the production, governance and realization of value from your content assets. A content operations function is transparent, consistent, and collaborative in order to effectively manage content. What’s important is the quality being produced for the public by the content and how it impacts the overall revenue.

The role of the content operations manager is to ensure that all content related activities are done efficiently and effectively. Content ops are a combination of the people, processes, and technologies needed to get your content through the intended channels to reach, engage and convert your audience into customers. .

Pillars of Content Operations

Most professionals agree that content operation can be divided into three main pillars: people, processes, and technology. They are distinctly different from one another, but each plays a vital role in your content creation and marketing operation. Here’s a brief rundown of each pillar:

1. The People

The people in your organization, including yourself, play a key role in how well your content operation is performing. This category doesn’t just include your content development and content marketing teams, it includes any person who contributed in any way, big or small.

Your team may or may not include the following examples of contributors:

  • Content marketing strategists
  • Authors
  • Copywriters
  • Content operations managers
  • Project managers
  • Graphics designers 
  • Videographers
  • Photographers
  • Web developers 

Having the right people with the right capabilities in the right job is a good start. Then, make sure each person has clearly defined roles. Also, make sure each employee understands the responsibilities associated with their role so they are best positioned to contribute to the team.

The people in your organization are part of the foundation of your operation, so they need to be able to work together like a fine-tuned machine. If problems arise, fix them right away with a professional and diplomatic approach.

There are many digital and conventional support tools out there to help with organizing your team and enabling collaboration across the content lifecycle, so take advantage of them. Here are a few things to consider when it comes to people:

  • Make sure everyone involved is familiar with your content mission and how to achieve it.
  • Provide your team with brand training and establish governance to ensure all content adheres to brand standards (proper voice, tone, language, message alignment).
  • Make sure roles and responsibilities are clearly defined across the entire content lifecycle.
  • Enable your team with the required tools and training to improve efficiency and effectiveness.
  • Establish operating principles to guide the team’s work. For example, require that any new content requests have a plan for how that content will be published, promoted and maintained before it is produced. No plan, no production. 

2. The Processes

This includes monitoring workflow and creating things like guides and templates for your team, which makes day-to-day operations more streamlined. Putting effort toward developing effective processes early can save you a whole lot of time, money, and stress later on. 

Having consistent schedules and deadlines are all part of your daily processes. Many content creators rely on these things to keep them on task. It’s up to you to make sure these supports are in place.

Making things easier and running more smoothly is another important factor in your content operations. Here are some creative ways to streamline your process.

  • Invest the time to fully taskify your workflows to maximize productivity 
  • Encourage the team to apply agile practices to content operations to accelerate production, maximize return on assets. Hold meetings to discuss and collaborate.
  • Have templates readily available to your team to create consistent content for blog posts and other media channels.
  • Help staff create effective content by providing a style guide.

Maximize Business Strategy

3. The Technology

This pillar includes the digital and technological operations that provide your content creators and content marketing team with the tools they need to do their job effectively.

There are so many great tools out there that the task of deciding which platforms and software to use for your content mission can be intimidating. There is no one-size-fits-all solution for this one, it all depends on the needs and size of your organization.

From keyword generation and software to programs that can spit out tailored sales proposals, it’ll take a little homework to figure it out. There are also programs to help you figure out what will be best for you.

Content would not be created in this form had it not been for the technological revolution. Luckily, as technology evolves, so do the digital and technological support tools available. Here are some examples of tools typically found in a content technology stack:

  • Keyword research / SEO
  • Content planning
  • AI copywriting software
  • Content workflow management
  • Creative design software
  • Web Analytics
  • Content translation
  • Marketing automation
  • Content management system
  • Digital asset management 
  • Sales asset management

Difference Between Content Operations and Content Marketing

Content operations involve all of the work that goes into creating high-quality content, such as all of those involved in producing and maintaining a single content asset. 

Content marketing is more strategic and aimed at getting your content to potential customers or audiences and driving utilization of that asset; there are many strategies with different digital channels from which you can distribute them to attract new audiences, build trust with existing audiences and fuel your pipeline with qualified, sales-ready leads.

Content Operations Workflow

Now, let’s look at the six core phases of content operations in detail.

1. Research

The first phase to content operations is doing proper research. Research who your target audience is, what digital channels best align with each target audience, and how to market through each of those digital channels effectively. Use keyword research and social media listening when researching. Here is a list of popular channels for those interested in seeing what’s out there. The digital channels listed below are the most commonly used for marketing and for building brand awareness.

  • Websites and blogs
  • Emails and newsletters 
  • Ebooks 
  • Infographics
  • Video
  • Guest blogging
  • Social media 

Digital channels are the routes through which your content is delivered to the consumer. There are several options to choose from, so you can explore just a few or take them all on. You’ll likely be using each channel in some capacity at one time or another.

2. Strategy Development

When building a content marketing strategy, your content operation should be at the forefront of your mind. What channels you decide to use is largely dependent on your target audience. For example, if you’re trying to target Millennials, email is probably not the best channel. You’d be better off trying to direct them to your content via social media or video channels.

Your content needs to be aligned with the audience you have so diligently researched. Here are some tips for strategy development:

  • Know your audience
  • Utilize messaging 
  • Use deliberate channels

When building a solid and executable plan, both your content strategy and having a strong foundation are key.

3. Production and Creation

Having clear goals and objectives is a critical first step to any business endeavor. Whether your goal is to produce one piece of content a week or flood social media, you need to have a plan.

There are plenty of content marketing softwares and other support systems available if you need some advice on what your content goals should look like. Here are some things to consider when setting your goals and objectives:

  • Make sure your entire team is on board and aware of the goals and objectives
  • Use the SMART Goals approach for a solid strategy
  • Be flexible, as you sometimes may need to revamp your goals and objectives to adjust to changes in your situation
  • Make sure your goals are attainable so you can set yourself up for success

All your content operations and marketing strategies won’t mean much in the eyes of potential customers if your website or blog produces shabby content. First impressions mean a lot, especially when there’s competition.

There are so many tools available like downloadable templates or full-on page design companies that can spruce things up if needed. Design Rush and other similar sites are organized to help you find these experts by rating designers and posting reviews.

4. Market Activation

Have you ever seen a search result thinking it had your answer, but when you clicked on it, it was just a few sentences and a small photo with a white background? Not the results you were hoping for, right? Make sure each page of content is top-notch.

It may take some trial and error before you get the hang of what kind of content your audience prefers, so don’t get discouraged. The outcome of your goals and objectives largely depends on the content you’re creating. Just take your time and focus on the details. Here are some things to take into consideration:

  • Only use high-quality photos
  • Use digital software to enhance your content
  • Make sure your content is aligned with your target audience
  • Give readers and site visitors a reason to stay on your page
  • Match content with current trends
  • Make sure your content contains valuable information
  • Make your content aesthetically pleasing

5. Tracking/ Measurement/ Reporting

When it comes to knowing your audience, you need to think beyond your current customer. What does your future audience look like? Who would benefit from your product or service? How does your target audience research, evaluate, select, and purchase the solutions your company sells?

There are a variety of analytics tools that can be used to track and report the demographics of your website visitors and social media platforms. Sites like Hubspot offer a variety of analytics and automation tools so it makes the learning process a little easier.

You have access to countless benefits when you understand what makes your clients, customers, or followers tick. Listed below are some potential benefits:

  • Knowing your audience helps establish an appropriate tone and voice for the content you’re producing
  • You will have a better idea of how to streamline your content by understanding the wants and needs of your customers
  • You can figure out what types of content appeals to them (e.g., photos, videos, tutorials, etc.)
  • You will learn which channels your audience prefers and learn where to focus your efforts

6. Maintenance/ Optimization/ Repurposing 

It’s important to maintain your channel and to keep it as updated as possible. Maximize the utilization of your channel in order to get a good return on assets. If you follow these six phases of content operations, you’re sure to optimize your channel and yield the best results. 

Final Word

With so many marketing options now at our disposal, it can be overwhelming to know where to start. Not to mention, trying to find content management systems with so much to choose from is like choosing an ice-cream flavor from Ben and Jerry’s. They all have something unique to offer. It’s your job to make decisions based on the goals and objectives you and your team formulated.

If you’re struggling to keep up with the relentless demand to produce more content, or you’re unsure if your existing content is having an impact, it may be time to implement some of the strategies we’ve laid out here. It’s important to ensure that your content operation is functioning at maximum capacity in order to build a strong foundation that the rest of your business can rely on.

We hope you found this article about content operations useful. If you’re interested in other great content about business and marketing, feel free to check out the other articles on our site.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *