In my marketing career to date, I’ve unintentionally become the queen of small content teams. In fact, I’ve only had one position where I wasn’t the sole content marketer on staff.
If you’re part of a small, scrappy marketing team, there are a few things I’d like to say to you up front:
- I feel your pain. It is real.
- That feeling of furiously treading water to keep your head clear never really goes away. But the treading does get easier.
- You may not feel like you’re doing your best work all the time, but the work you’re doing is super important.
I’ve learned a lot about what to do (and not to do) when you have limited resources and time to create content that drives engagement from your viewers and results for your business. In this article, I’ve distilled this knowledge into 5 marketing strategies. I hope these ideas will help you approach your daily challenges with renewed excitement and optimism.
Let’s get to it, shall we?
1. Don’t Overcommit
When you’re staring a content program from scratch or rebooting a floundering content program, it’s tempting to want to “boil the ocean” (one of my CEO’s fave phrases ever). You’ve probably got a list of content you need to create that’s a mile long for ten different channels.
Let me take the opportunity to drop a necessary truthbomb: If you try to get through this entire list all at once, you will fail, go crazy, or likely both.
Rather than focusing on the quantity of content you need to produce, start instead by picking one or two key channels that you think will have the biggest impact on your business. Then focus your marketing efforts on creating great content for those channels. It doesn’t have to be a lot of content—it just has to be good content.
Think of it this way. Your preliminary content pieces will lay the foundation for your overall program. If you create shaky, rushed content, your foundation is going to be shaky too.
2. Tap Your Entire Team
Sure, you may be the person with “content” in your job title, but that doesn’t mean you have to be the sole content producer for your program. Your executives, team members, and other colleagues may have hidden writing talents—or if not a flair for the written word, some great experience and perspective to share.
Take a poll and see who’d be willing to write articles for you, or sit down for a 20-minute interview that you can turn into an article with some quick editing. You’d be surprised how many people will want to have a byline under their name or guest star on your next webinar.
Additionally, your team may have friends, colleagues from prior jobs, or acquaintances you could tap for guest posts or podcasts to fill out your editorial calendar.
3. Promote the $%*! out of Every Content Piece
When you have a small team, inefficiency is not an option. Every minute of your day has to be invested in something that will make a tangible impact on your business. When it comes to content, this means amplifying every piece you create to achieve the greatest impact.
In tandem with developing a strategy around what types of content you’re going to create and what topics you’re going to cover, you should create a complementary distribution strategy to ensure that your content reaches as many prospects and customers as you can.
Yes, publishing more content will help drive traffic—but it takes more time to produce more content that’s worth consuming. Instead of overtaxing your writing muscles, put your leftover energy into promoting the crap out of every single piece you create. This will help you build up a solid base of readers who will happily read more content later on when you have a bigger team to create it.
4. Focus on What Makes You “Shiny”
Source: Optimal Human Modulation
It’s the 21st century. If a business has a marketing team, they’re doing content marketing. And all of that content from all of those companies is starting to overrun the interwebz.
To see any kind of ROI from your marketing content, you have to focus on what makes your company “shiny.” For those of you who haven’t seen Joss Whedon’s Firefly (you’re totally missing out, by the way), “shiny” is a term that connotes “cool” or “awesome.” It’s these defining characteristics that will make your content stand out and come across as genuine to your readers.
It’s easy to lose sight of this “shiny” factor when you’re writing content at a furious pace. It may also be hard to identify exactly what makes your company “shiny,” especially if you’re working for a very young startup that’s still trying to figure out its market position and value props. But it’s this focus that will help set your content apart from all the other content out there in the internet ‘Verse and give your brand a unique voice and perspective on topics your audience cares about.
Give some thought to what your “shiny” attributes are, and put some checks in place to ensure that your content incorporates this shiny factor when possible.
5. Refine Your Strategy as You Go
Source: The Odyseey Online
I probably haven’t met you before. I don’t know anything about your company or your content program. But one thing I’m certain of: You don’t have everything figured out right now. And that’s totally okay.
As long as you track your results and analyze your content performance along the way, you can refine your approach over time. Keep in mind that your marketing strategies aren’t written in stone, nor should they be. They’re meant to be living, breathing targets that will change as your business and team evolves.
It’s easy to get tangled in the weeds when you’re doing a lot of the hands-on work, so it can be helpful to set quarterly meetings or reminders to review your program and tweak your strategies based on the data you have at your disposal. This is a good opportunity to gut check that your marketing efforts are still aligned with the business goals, which tend to change rapidly over the course of a young company’s life.
The Bottom Line
When you have a small marketing team and limited resources, there’s no time to waste on creating content that doesn’t serve your audience and your business’s end goals. These 5 strategies will help you approach content creation with the right things in mind so that your work makes the maximum impact on your organization.