You’ve decided to embark on a content strategy – that’s a smart move, because it’s one of the most powerful and cost-effective digital marketing strategies. But now the hard work starts. Whether it’s just you producing and promoting content, or whether you lead a team of writers, keeping track can be tricky. If you’re not organised, you’ll quickly lose track of what you’ve released and what you haven’t, and what was successful and what wasn’t. This can be multiplied several times if your team is large.
Here we’ll take a look at some of the best ways to keep your content machine well oiled and organised – and ensure your five-star strategy has the best chance of success.
Create a content calendar
The first thing to do is create a content calendar. It should detail what you intend to write and when, as well as where you plan to publish the content. It sets out your strategy as actual concrete content, with deadlines to sharpen the mind and ensure you get things done. Undelivered content is worthless.
An effective strategy to help make things easier is to divide your calendar into content themes. Rather than flitting from topic to topic, this helps you delve deeper into particular subjects and reduce the time needed on research. The culmination of each theme can be an in-depth white paper you offer as a download in exchange for contact details to build your email list.
Depending on your strategy, you’ll also need to make sure you have a good balance between on- and off-site content – content calendars are the ideal way to ensure this.
Finding the right project management tools
There are a plethora of content project management tools (not to be confused with content management systems) out there, with a host of features. The hard part is choosing the right one – this image from Curata demonstrates just how complex the landscape is.
You need to set out what you want to achieve and the level of collaboration and workflow management you need. Chad Harwood-Jones, Managing Director of content marketing agency WooContent, says: ‘It’s ultimately about finding the right tool for your business. Recommendations help, but the most important thing is to define your objectives first then select the provider that can best help you achieve them.’
If you’re unsure, or just want to get going quickly, Google Drive is a great place to start. Google’s G Suite contains software to create documents, spreadsheets, presentations and more – all of the systems can be used collaboratively with everyone editing the same documents. Personal accounts are free, and business accounts can be more cost effective than more expensive alternatives.
Set the standard with templates
While you don’t just want to produce cookie-cutter content, using templates to promote consistency can save hours in edits and re-edits. By creating a template with the correct formatting, sub-headings and images, you’ll ensure your writers and collaborators are more likely to get the required results first time. Make sure people know how much they need to take the templates as gospel and how much they can use their creative licence.
Create toolkits, checklists and brand guidelines
Another way to ensure cohesion between all content producers is to create documents that detail your identity and standards. Your brand guidelines should detail your company’s personality, writing style and visual identity, so will help new collaborators to produce content that meets your specifications.
This can then be extended to toolkits and checklists you can use for more detailed instructions on each channel, such as a blog-writing checklist or video-marketing toolkit.
Reporting on your success
A measure not to be overlooked, reporting on your success (or not) is crucial to learning and optimising your activity going forwards. If a piece of content is successful, great. Evaluate how successful it was, analyse why and replicate it. Maybe you could repurpose it into other formats?
If it didn’t work, pick yourself up, dust yourself off and make sure you don’t repeat the same mistakes! Effective measurement and reporting is the only way you’ll know what’s working and what isn’t.
Although it’s not the most exciting part of content marketing, without effective organisation, your content strategy is doomed to fail before you’ve even begun. Putting the time in to produce effective processes before delving headlong into content production will reap rewards in the long run.
7 Signs Your Business Face Financial Trouble
Within the last few decades, many companies, from high-profile mainstays to small local businesses, have fallen by the wayside. While some of those closures, administrations, and liquidations come seemingly out of the blue, there are somewhere in actuality the warning signs for the business were there before the final nail was driven in.
Listed below are seven key signs your business is in financial trouble.
Your Cash Flow Is Imbalanced
As the word goes, running a business, “cash is king.” An easy cash flow, where enough arrives to cover your outgoings, is key to keeping your organization operating. However, this flow could be sensitive, especially in small businesses. A supplier or customer perhaps not spending punctually may impact your cash flow, as may premature expansion or overspending in times wherever in actuality the going is good.
Negative cash flow is appropriate in the temporary while a fledgling company sees its legs or in the aftermath of an important expansion. But without positive cash flow, in the future, a small business cannot pay its costs and thus cannot survive. If your fund office is postponing spending its costs or team, it may indicate imbalanced cash flow.
Creditor Pressure Is Growing
The best way to help keep your creditors happy and minimize the pressure on your own company’s shoulders is to cover them on time. If your outgoings outnumber your income, it’s tempting to delay spending invoices. But doing this is just a sure-fire treatment for sour relationships along with your creditors, who may start chasing you for payment.
This may start the slippery slope into further trouble, as they’re likely to carry on chasing you until your debts are paid off. Creditors could even resort to legal action in an endeavor to retrieve their money, and you might wind up facing bailiff action.
You’re Always Refinancing
Refinancing alone isn’t an indication of financial trouble; it is a legitimate way of freeing up cash tied up in company assets by borrowing money secured against an assets’value. It can be used to lessen rates. While refinancing once isn’t abnormal, the business must manage to afford the repayments. If it occurs usually, it could be a sign of higher financial problems, and lenders may become cautious of companies continually refinancing, which may lead to more economic troubles later.
Until you are the main trader, staff are one of the very most vital the different parts of your organization, and employee morale often correlates along with your company’s health. One of the very obvious signs of financial trouble linked to staffing is layoffs and cutbacks in employee benefits, bonuses, or even a pay freeze.
The business could also change its contracts with staff, reduce hours, introduce zero-hour contracts or make staff work more for the same money. Doing so risks souring relationships along with your personnel and could cause to another location point.
Bad Company Atmosphere
Reducing advantages while increasing objectives on personnel will likely result in a bad environment and a drop in work satisfaction. Work can become less of a place of work and more of a place for fighting fires, constantly coping with problems instead of being productive. Team may lock onto that downturn and modify the atmosphere and start causing higher figures, too, taking people back to the last position about staffing issues.
Counting on Individual Contracts or Projects to ‘Sort It Out.’
Whenever a small business is operating healthily, it will have many clients or customers on the books with consistent income. Businesses in a less healthy position might put more weight on the agreements they do have. If one improvements company or stops being fully a regular source of business, the consequences will have an even more detrimental impact.
You could notice the company is relying more on fewer clients or focusing all of its efforts on acquiring new ones to the detriment of those they already have. This could sour relationships with existing customers and be described as a sign the directors are desperate for income.
Your Customers Have Noticed
Clients are very good at spotting when things change, and if they feel they’re getting less while paying the same money, they’re unlikely to stay quiet. If your employees are unhappy, prices suddenly rise, or benefits such as loyalty programs are scale back, rumors may start circulating, customers may start asking whether you’re closing, and in the worst-case scenario, it could get found by local or national media.