Content gives business a voice. Why it’s so darn hard to say something thoughtful? It’s because execs care about the output without tackling the problems hidden in the creative process. Learn what the marketing department should deal with to unlock a new level of quality.
💬 You’ve heard a hundred times that content must excel to convert. But there’s too much talk and not enough action.
People remain confused about what causes the mess in content production. Problems include inadequate copy quality, boring communication, unpersuasive messaging, and chaotic process management.
Your team must crush them to compete with richer media from dominant brands.
From the “Charged content” series, you’ll learn how to overcome the unspoken challenges of content production that I’ve recognized in over 6 years of creative work.
Know I won’t waste your time as many Marketers do – I’m already late myself!
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Know yourself to outsmart yourself
Maybe you know a Marketer who bears with finger-snap deadlines with overtime work piling up.
There’s talk but no brief, a murky vision, endless reviews, and late adjustments that undermine logic.
The weight’s there. Yet nobody cares enough about how the content team is doing, even if they know best what clicks.
Most managers I’ve met expect a “just do it” attitude in content production.
They want to ship out an unpolished product to please the management with a mirage of progress. Done? Done.
And quality? Nope, we’re done, and that means we’re ahead.
It’s bothersome because it’s wrong.
Brands that want to be cool in a hurry hurt themselves. This is because a flashy imitation of outstanding content doesn’t beat the real deal that takes effort.
When marketing departments review their work, they reveal the inconvenient truth about that rushed project:
Such screw-ups happen for a reason, you see.
As in-house employees don’t point fingers to avoid judgment, problem-makers remain unaccountable. No change is possible here.
How do you deal with it? Embrace your inner detective.
Investigate the problems your team faces to find out who needs a hand.
Where we collide
In your organization, it might seem there are many stakeholders in the production process.
I say that any content process evaluation starts with the creator-reviewer duo assigned to a project.
These two actors move across the Monopoly board of content development, which includes:
At any stage, you can identify where people of both sides part ways.
If your latest email marketing campaign brought no conversions, speak with the creator and reviewer among the Copywriter, Designer, Email Marketer, and the Marketing Manager in the project.
Faced with a dull press release of no substance for the media, you might go to either the writer, PR Manager, or the CEO. One of them didn’t provide newsworthy facts.
From what I’ve heard over the years about content on all business levels, here is why people don’t click:
In-house content producer’s problems
Content manager’s problems
[wpdiscuz-feedback id=”vyu0ky7i32″ question=”Have you faced any of these problems?” opened=”0″]If you recognize some of these pain-points as yours, no wonder.[/wpdiscuz-feedback]
It’s natural for the marketing department to encounter them at a point. That’s why creative agencies remain year-long partners of many businesses, as their professionals know how to unblock content production.
To transform the workflow for the entire department, supervisors will need to bring in their authority to do the heavy lifting.
As you need to challenge people to think differently, you’ll run into unbending objections that we should review now.
Why content stalls
You wouldn’t leave sales without coaching. How will they reach higher quotas?
The same principle applies to the content team.
Conversion stats mark their effectiveness, and the CEO will ask for them one day. If you want to bump up your shares, media publications, or viewership, you got to know how.
You won’t if everybody’s dead-busy still doing chores 5 minutes before leaving the office.
The marketing leader should provide a free-time slot weekly with educational direction for his team.
To believe that people will self-develop after work is daydreaming, as their motivation is weaker if they’re not obligated to.
Elon-mode will burn the team’s morale.
If never-ending work grips the content team, it won’t grow. As a recovering pedant, I swear that work never seems to end unless you cut it down on purpose.
Content won’t get any better if there’s no time for evaluation, feedback, and metric analysis.
If you strive for improvement, it will come at a cost — the department will have to cap requests in a bet for a better future.
Are you sure you’re not mind reading? What’s tricky is that people don’t open up to their supervisors unless an anonymous line is available.
They fear repercussions, as nobody wants to end up as a scapegoat who dared to speak up.
Once at a department meeting, I announced to my Marketing Director we should do voluntary workload reviews to find extra production time.
They didn’t throw me out the window, but we didn’t speak much afterward as he felt I undermined his authority. Really.
There must be a feedback chain from specialists up to the exec.
Don’t assume you know what’s going on if you can ask. You can feel your folks sunbathe at work, but they te under pressure as ad-hocs pop in from all fronts.
Ask yourself who will explain failing conversions in that scenario.
People respect the ones who admit weakness.
You don’t have to worry as long as the ship is sailing. Call it an improvement and know that any solution always starts with a problem.
Should your department run an assessment survey next week, you might see that your colleagues face many overlooked problems that nobody wanted to own. They don’t go away because you look away.
Self-awareness leads to right action
That’s a mantra I impose on my family and friends. They say they’d rather hear “it’s gonna be OK”.
Sure, it can be, if we roll up our sleeves to carry on.
I invite you to reconsider the inner works of your marketing department, considering the problems discussed above. Here’s one way:
Improvement will flow in only if we clear out the production problems I’ve mentioned.
In part 2, you’ll receive 18 actionable solutions that can bring exceptional improvement to content production.
💬 Mike here. I’m a Copywriter and communication consultant who helps businesses talk with sense. Thanks for reading. Does this make sense? Think I’ve missed a point and want to discuss it? Start with “Hey, you…” below.