20 Mar Content Marketing Management: 5 Steps towards Agility
Master production processes, manage lifecycle of content marketing, provide a localized offering without putting brand consistency at risk, optimize the user experience, cultivate a truly ongoing improvement process, etc. Discover the keys to agile marketing resource management.
Like other departments in a company, marketing is not immune to the quest for agility. How can you make Marketing Resource Management (MRM) faster and more flexible? How can you produce or roll out content within a controlled timeframe? Or evaluate the performance of new content and distribution channels in a ‘test and learn’ dynamic? Moreover, how can these insights be shared across various professions?
In large multilingual companies, with subsidiaries and services, these issues become a real challenge, especially as the concept of ‘content’ covers a broad range of assets: content that is textual and audio-visual, extended and brief, linear and interactive, print and digital, targeted toward internal and external audiences, etc. Unsurprisingly, agility does not exist here without tools that can streamline processes, centralize and distribute content, or measure its performance. How can you become more agile in your marketing resource management? Follow our guide below.
1. Build and steer your content factory
Thinking ‘agility’ in terms of content management will inevitably lead to organizing a content factory. The aim? To coordinate the work of all stakeholders (colleagues and service providers) around unified processes that are visible to, and shared by, everyone. For a large organization, in terms of content volume and variety, restricting content management to tree diagrams and email correspondence will quickly result in glitches.
It is actually difficult to manage approval processes, versioning cycles, task hierarchies, production status reports, and even publication schedules, using simple file management and Excel sheets. What are the characteristics of agile content management? We have identified at least four:
- Its workflow adapts to the specific features of the organization
- It provides a status overview of various projects, while allowing access to detailed views
- It offers customizable calendar views (by project type, status, etc.)
- It facilitates collaboration around content, whether text, computer graphics or a video; each employee involved can comment, and repetitions are archived.
2. Manage the lifecycle of your assets
If the average audience attention span seems to be waning, the lifecycle of content is waxing. HubSpot, commenting on its own production, is seeing 90% of its leads being generated from old content. Recycling and repackaging content to maximize its use in the long term (thus optimizing a return on investment) is becoming compulsory in Digital Asset Management (DAM).
The successful optimization of the lifecycle of content requires it to be collected together in a repository that acts as a ‘Single Source of Truth’. In other words, each offering, each version of the content, is stored and archived within this content ‘hub’. Such centralization is the cornerstone of agile marketing resource management.
Nevertheless, it is not simply a case of centralizing assets; a DAM solution also facilitates the documentation of this content according to numerous attributes: technical type (text, image, video, pdf, indd, other proprietary formats), format (horizontal, vertical, dimensions, resolution), characteristics (e.g. content, color), themes, keywords, campaigns and even related products, etc.
This content labeling ensures the relevance of a search in the repository. It is why a DAM solution must be able to ingest the thesaurus of an organization and, moreover, ensure that content is indexed according to the languages used.
The good news is that the increasing use of artificial intelligence makes sense here. With so-called cognitive content labeling, algorithms have the capacity to identify objects, people and even ‘feelings’ (ambivalence, anger, etc.), emerging from content in text, images and videos. Advances in artificial intelligence will automate at least some content documentation, including images and videos.
3. Localize, customize and provide an offering without losing brand consistency
For departments, business units, subsidiaries, partners, etc., in the context of a large company, ensuring brand consistency across all media produced is not an easy task. This is no secret: without clear game rules – and especially without the tools to implement them – there is a great temptation for everyone to adapt content to his or her own individual needs, but… at the cost of overall consistency. This is the challenge of Distributed Marketing Management: allowing for customization, while at the same time controlling it, in the case of both print and digital content.
There is a solution: it consists of defining models aligned with the brand’s charter, in which customizable areas are clearly identified. Whether it is a brochure, landing page or email campaign, for example, all types of recurring content can lend themselves to this framework. The effective use of these models is then made far easier if it is based on a portal where this marketing material can be accessed.
Alignment with the brand’s charter is also displayed in other details: in particular, there is everything to be gained from a video player being customized with the brand’s colors, bringing users on board the total brand experience.
4. Optimize the user experience
We may well discuss at length what constitutes ‘good content’, but there is one criterion on which everyone is agreed: the quality of the experience it offers the user. This quality will depend on the content being suitable for the terminal used (whether a conventional screen, tablet or smartphone), and also on the display performance (or playback in the case of a video). Marketing agility is likewise involved here: i.e. its ability to guarantee an optimal experience. Who has not been frustrated by the sight of rich content, the result of substantial investment, struggling to appear on colleagues’ screens, etc.?
This is no small matter, especially in large companies, where the network topology is not necessarily designed to support the consumption of video streaming. The resulting paradox is that company employees are sometimes the worst served for visualizing their own content. It is even more damaging when this content is intended primarily for internal audiences (e.g. e-learning content).
In such cases, ensuring a good user experience requires the use of enterprise Content Delivery Network (CDN) solutions – also known as eCDN. In concrete terms, these are relays installed within the company that duplicate and stream content to avoid clogging up the global network. For external audiences, it is a good use of the cloud (and various available data centers) bringing content closer to these audience. What is required? A DAM or Enterprise Video Platform solution (for videos), which must of course be ‘cloud native’ – in other words, reliant on a cloud infrastructure.
5. Analyze the performance of your content marketing
Which topics attract new audiences and which build loyalty? Which streaming channels provide the best performance? Without answers to these questions (and many others), marketing directors will be feeling their way in the dark, incapable of triggering a real ‘test & learn’ dynamic around their content. This dynamic is critical today because the rules are constantly changing, whether algorithms for social networks, the outward appearance of search pages, or simply formats that are the flavor of the month among Internet users.
In the same way that Marketing Automation gives rise to lead scoring (to evaluate the performance of a lead), flexible Marketing Resource Management results in content scoring. There are two types of analysis: by content, studying the performance of an asset in detail, or by groups of content (for a theme or format), in order to identify trends. In both cases, KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) are more ‘telling’ if they are rendered through data visualization tables (these are much easier to read than lists of data that geo-spatialize results or illustrate proportions).
Here again, as with content labeling, it is a case of clearly distinguishing different types of assets: from a downloadable white paper to a video, the indicators differ. For a white paper (a PDF document), it is useful to analyze the highest performing web content for initiating the download (i.e. a conversion rate), whereas for a video, it is rather the completion rate (average duration of actual viewing time) that captures attention.
One thing is certain, this content scoring serves as a compass, charting the way forward for your content marketing strategy. Moreover, it will guide you toward truly agile marketing resource management.