Making Content Marketers Better Managers
When a sports team wins a big championship, the success is credited to two major factors: the players and the coach. One could argue that a team is only as good as the direction they’re given. That’s why, it’s no surprise that the best coaches in NBA, NHL and the MLB are loved by their teams. Whether they’re coaches, mentors or simply managers, regardless of your field of expertise, the person responsible for giving direction and instruction has a pivotal job on their hands.
For content marketers, giving direction to your writers can be tricky – especially if you’re not a writer yourself. From creating briefs to providing concise instructions, marketers must balance giving the right amount of direction without hampering creativity.
Content Marketing the Military Way
While being a maverick has its merits, having structure can make a marketer’s job a lot easier. According to marketer and CEO of Spartan Media, Jeremy Knauff, having structure enables marketers to manage their writers in a way that enables them to "inform, educate, and persuade (their audience), and to do so in a much more efficient manner."1 In his article for the SEO Journal, he outlines his military grade tactics for structured management. Here are some of the most relevant methods for marketers to adapt:
- Context before Content: As a marketer, it’s pivotal to give your writers the critical information before they start writing their content. This includes identifying your desired audience, the correct tone and voice of your brand (or your client’s brand) and the platform that the content will be published on. After all, not all platforms are the same.
- Mission Possible: A good brief should include context and a clear mission. What would you like this article to accomplish? It’s important to specify whether you’d like the content to raise awareness, push a hard sell, or simply educate your audience. As Knauff puts it, "Knowing exactly what we want to accomplish with a piece of content enables us to take readers down a precise path with maximum efficiency."
- Clarity Begets Precision: This point might seem redundant, but it’s important. Brief your copywriters on the details for delivery, including the date, the time, and the format. Depending on your team and your field of expertise, your content might need to be double-checked. Having concrete timelines helps you manage your team and time better. It’s also a good call to specify your availability and how your team can access you for guidance.
Extra Set of Eyes Works Wonders!
For marketers, the job doesn’t just end at delegation. It’s also about ensuring the quality of your content is on target. Make it a rule of thumb to check for certain things like editorial guidelines and references to make sure the content is validated and properly cited. It’s also important to ask certain questions:
- Does this content speak to my audience in an authentic way?
- Is this content relevant to my audience’s interests?
- Does it communicate its mission well?
These small steps can make a huge difference in the quality output of your work. As a marketer, this proven process can help you distinguish the good from the great and find new ways to push your writing team to the best of their abilities.
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