Content Manager: 6 effective tips by Harvey Specter
First of all, I would like to know: do you watch series in your free time? I am asking that because here at Contentools we suggest many series/movies and I believe that you also have good entertainment suggestions. And why not get some insights from these moments, right?
Good, if you enjoy series, you probably have heard of Suits (in case you don’t know, this turns out to be the first tip of the article: watch it!). Without spoilers, Suits is a Canadian series that takes place at a law firm. It made its debut in 2011 and it is currently in its 7th season. Despite the lawyers, the drama presents dynamics focused on leadership, relationship, and negotiation. In this article, we will share 6 pieces of advice that Harvey Specter, one of the show’s protagonist, would give you, content manager (or marketing responsible), on how to get more results from content marketing!
Tip 1: Win your battles before you fight them
This idea started with Sun Tzu in his book The Art of War. Yes, he is not Harvey, but as a good strategist he is, the leading character share this philosophy, preparing the battlefield before making any decisions, what results in always being one step ahead in any situation.
The application of the advice to content marketing purposes seems to be simple: define your strategy with personas, the path to purchase, and keywords. However, as obvious as that is, our team of consultants has talked to many marketing managers who do not have this documentation, worrying “only” about content production.
If you, content manager, is dealing with a communication strategy, you’ll need to tune your speech to the one on the other end, the receptor of the interaction. It is worthless to use our own terms (very common inside if they are out of touch with the target audience.
That is, instead of going around writing content willy-nilly, study and interview your best clients, understand their pains and needs, and what terms are part of the research process. Here at GrowthHackers, we develop a thorough Content Marketing to our clients, with all the topics for a result strategy. If you already create content and want to know more about our consultancy, click here to talk to one of our consultants.
Tip 2: I don’t dream. I have goals!
What content manager and marketing team doesn’t dream about generating a more qualified lead for their sales team and achieving their goals? Well, dreaming can be nice, but one has to transform dreams into goals and generating results. In order to do that one has to answer some questions: what are the steps and/or flow to get there? Who, when, and how will this be done?
A simple exercise that can open your mind to transforming a dream into a goal is reverse engineering: the company has to sell, thus the marketing needs to generate opportunities to the commercial team — and here the term opportunities mean the generation of qualified leads. To generate qualified leads, I need to increase my audience with content that generates value. A way to increase your audience is to improve your SEO ranking and to be found organically as an authority/reference on the topic.
Some of the major barriers that I hear from a content manager in general are: not enough workforce, not enough time. In fact, we live mostly off of scarce resources, but how do you prepare to deal with this reality? The technology allows you to change and automatize your projects, focusing more and more on what truly generates value. At the end of the month, the pressure comes for results/goals and not excuses/barriers.
In the series, Harvey stresses that transforming a dream into a goal is how much you work so that something really happens (leaving aside the excuses and making it happen!).
Tip 3: It’s all about first impressions
As I said at the beginning of the article, the series Suits takes place at a law firm, where the characters are always impeccable, with first-line suits, shiny shoes, groomed hairs, and Harvey advises his pupil, Mike Ross (a mini genius who shares the spotlight with Harvey), that the first impression facilitates the beginning of the relationship, it opens the way and has a direct impact on your potential.
If you are the Content Managers or responsible for the digital marketing strategy of a company, you may translate this first impression into some examples:
Well structured site/blog
They reflect your digital presence and the first contact with the visitor, who is a potential customer; it has to be positive. Examples of this structure: having a clear value proposition, being quick and responsive and
When I say rich I am not only talking about material goods. My definition of richness is value-generating content, regardless of the avatar or the identified journey to purchase. The purpose is to participate in all the process of purchase of the potential client, converting all of your knowledge in content to the top, middle, or bottom of the funnel, be those influencers, or the decision-makers.
Tip 4: Winners don’t make excuses — a winner content manager doesn’t justify mistakes
You, marketing director, content manager, or analyst, have the responsibility of delivering results. If something is wrong, you are responsible for fixing it.
Some of the barriers I hear the most in my consultancies:
I don’t have enough workforce to produce content
Not having a team is one of the most common arguments when it comes to content production. A lean team working around the clock to deliver everything, zero chances of hiring new people and the result is: content has fallen behind.
An alternative for this issue is to outsource the production, keeping the focus on the strategy. But, when we talk about outsourcing the communication strategy, it must be clear that content marketing is the transformation of your knowledge into results. That is, if you expect a magical solution with the outsourcing or autopilot, you are wrong — a content manager, copywriter, or whoever it may be can’t perform miracles. A direct relationship with this outsourced force is necessary — from strategy to constant feedbacks — to reach this goal.
I don’t have time to produce content
Normally, lack of time is attached to two factors: priority and organization. Some companies, with more than 30, 50, 100 employees state that they don’t have time because, despite all the workforce, the responsibility falls solely on the marketing team, when in fact the participation of all areas will bring a more effective result (and less tiring) for the whole company.
Lack of time is associated with the lack of shareholder’s engagement. Shareholders, besides your goals and different activities, are invited to produce content in on doc, get follow up e-mails piling up their inboxes, look for the sheets to learn about the briefing, and the personas, besides dragging a card in some activity management tool, like Trello. All that on the top of the management view for each one of the people producing content.
Is this process familiar to you? This is the way in which many companies produce content internally, being common the lack of constancy and frequency due to delays. Now, if you could abandon all these tools and simply invite the areas of your company to, in one environment, have all this information and share without additional concerns the existing knowledge, generating impact articles? This is automation and it is the proposal that Workflow brings to the market, with the possibility to create a winning content team, with copywriters, one editor or content manager, a designer, and other professionals. Check how to better organize your production here.
Tip 5: Play the man, not the odds
This expression is commonly used in poker and highlights the idea of focusing on the person (player), trying to shake their ground instead of “fighting” with odds and the cards. Bringing this reality to content marketing, the advice for the content manager is that the material produced should be focused on the people that will consume them instead of creating a text-only for SEO. Of course, formatting materials looking for better results in the search engine mechanisms is of paramount importance, but if the content does not generate value for the reader, you will not have the desired effect of the communication strategy.
Therefore, dear content manager, use SEO but keep the focus of your content on the people. They are the ones taking the actions you hope with the materials produced.
Tip 6: You wanna lose small. I wanna win big!
Harvey Specter is New York’s biggest lawyer/negotiator because, not only does he prepare himself, he comes in to win. And what he teaches us throughout the series is that we need to leave the mediocrity mindset and start valuing our own potential. In other words: value your time, your skills, and what you are worth.
Just because of your marketing actions, the low production and other activities work don’t mean they can’t get better. The teasing here is: instead of making THINGS RIGHT, why not do the RIGHT THINGS?
Maybe you, as a content manager, are able to deliver planned contents while sending an e-mail to everybody that produces content to you; alternating the status in one of the many tabs of a control sheet, sending a new e-mail with a reviewing order or a position to explain you’re being late; stop what you’re doing for uploading CMS material and in all profiles/groups on social media, respecting editorial calendar. However, how much value did you generate for the goals and results that you need to deliver by the end of the month in the midst of all these operational activities? How would your day to day be if you could dedicate yourself more to strategic actions? You need to measure your productivity on content marketing strategy.
I hope these tips may transform your content manager experience into better results with content marketing and, in case you want to know more, our team is here to help. Besides that, if there is a series to indicate, comment below. We love suggestions!
Starting the Free Trial with us, your content strategy process can be completely unified, with bigger and higher deliveries, allowing managers to focus on what matters most: results.
Originally published at https://blog.contentools.com
Content Manager: 6 effective tips by Harvey Specter was originally published in Growth Hackers on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.