For many clients we work with, content often comes as an afterthought. We often hear “Oh, content is not a problem, we have so much of it. It will be a breeze.” Usually its not.
Bad things happen when content is an afterthought...
- * The projects run late, way late.
- * Poor quality content gets rushed through and budgets blow-out.
- * Overall user experience suffers.
- * Site's business objectives fail.
All bullet points above make the project a failure. As a client, you can’t underestimate the time it takes to produce content (it always takes longer than you expect).
However there are ways to address content production and avoid bottlenecks. Here is what you should do to make your content production a success.
Prioritise the content needed for the website launch, and publish more in follow-up phases.
Politics around content can be challenging to manage and its hard to say no, especially when multiple content requirements meet business goals and user needs. Engaging stakeholders will be key to managing expectations, building relationships and allowing all concerned to voice their opinions.
Running a workshop, or organizing a well planned meeting, can put all of the content requirements on the table and help you prioritize content needs. There are number of techniques described on Tutsplus that could help move project forward faster.
Identify the content owner and Subject Matter Experts
Establishing expertise and thought leadership is key to the success of your digital marketing strategy. In this Whiteboard Friday by MOZ.com you can learn how your team can work with (or become!) subject matter experts in your niche, giving consumers of your content a chance to learn from the best.
Archive as much of the existing site content as possible before beginning
Content is a serious investment to create and then maintain. So it’s better to be sure what content you actually need to produce - which could mean brand new content, a heavy rewrite or an update to existing site content.
Start by reviewing existing website content and print materials including e-books, guides, whitepapers. Create a spreadsheet of your content inventory. It will be a very handy tool as you move on with the project, because it allows you to get an understanding of all the content on your website, and see it all at a glance.
Review your google analytics reports to get a clear picture of the content that is popular on your website. Though there are several ways to dig into pages to see how visitors are behaving, our favorite reports are the Navigation Summary and Search Console where you can see:
- How visitors get to a page
- What keywords they use to find your pages in Google
- Where they click once they are there
The article published by Content Marketing Institute will help guide you thought the google analytics.
Stagger content production to reduce bottlenecks
When we look at the content production bottlenecks, most can be avoided with a formalized content strategy process. For those that have no strategy, typical bottlenecks include:
- * Lack of dedicated resources/manpower
- * No formalized planning process
- * No formalized workflow
Here is a great post by Hubspot on how to develop a content strategy from start to finish.
Most importantly, to avoid bottlenecks in content production, you need to add clarity and accountability to the roles of content production team to make it a more efficient content creation process.