CMOs: Help your team create more content by working less, not more
Working within a small working team is tough. Here is how you can create content efficiently and consistenly using a fraction of the effort required, leveraging episodic content.
Marketer burnout is very real.
Let's face it. Whether you're running a marketing team of two, three, or ten people, with company growth comes added pressure. Pressure from more responsibility, higher targets, increased competition, and therefore increased expectations from Marketing to show their contribution to sales.
Must do content, must do other things, must do content, but must do other things too.
Burnout occurs when marketers (especially in startups) are increasingly tasked with wearing more hats. Especially those high volume tasks (which are still important) like creating content.
I bet you would rather follow up with leads to qualify them than create content into the abyss, but you're better than that - since you know that content is the single best way to build trust and likability, leading up to a sales enquiry.
Different companies measure that differently as you know. Anywhere from maintaining a dynamic lead score criteria to grade MQLs, to creating 1 or 2 simple rules that qualify a lead becoming an MQL.
Alternatively, it could be as straight forward as sifting through the leads manually to identify good fit companies to refer on to sales, or just increasing overall traffic and attention back to the website. Regardless of how you measure it, it all comes down to creating more and better content.
Need traffic? Create more content.
Need better quality leads? Create more content.
Need more sales attributed to marketing? Create more content.
Yes quality is important. But when it takes on average 1-6 hours to create one piece of "quality" content, bigger companies that are better organized are getting ahead in the content game.
The worst feeling is when days and weeks go by (read: high cost) working away on a "quality" blog, video, or podcast that falls on deaf ears.
30 visits. ouch.
Girl, you spent how many hours on this?
And how much did that cost? What about the opportunity cost of having spent that time following up with leads and quality traffic if we had gotten that instead?
Yup, we've all been there. I most definitely have!
The way to battle "quality over quantity" is to double down on quality, to get more quantity.
Should we ditch quality then to get more efficient? Absolutely not.
As a matter of fact, we need to start doubling down on quality, by creating original, entertaining content that captures people's attention and sets your brand apart from everyone else.
Easier said than done, so here's the answer instead: think episodic content.
Episodic content is creating shows instead of blogs. Creating shows instead of social posts. Creating shows instead of videos. Creating shows instead of podcasts. Why? Because creating a show enables your team to produce all of the above, and then some - for a fraction of the effort.
Think of your content strategy as your show strategy.
Your content strategy : Your show strategy
Imagine you got asked to pitch a show for Netflix that is "brought to you by" your company. Imagine creating a [Your Company] original series. How cool would that be?
Besides the fact that it is a blue ocean way of thinking that will naturally help you portray thought leadership, you will also realize that it is a novel (and clever) way to compound your content marketing efforts - where basically each episode you film and produce expands into several content pieces at once.
This means that we can focus all of our time on creating quality episodes. The kind of episodes that we know we can juice out for more quality microcontent, in high quantities.
You can extract content from an episode in at least 7 different ways:
1. The actual, full length episode (15-30 mins)
2. 1:1 Subtitled Microcontent Social Video (00:30 - 02:00 minute clips)
3. 16:9 YouTube Microcontent
4. Audio Podcasts for Soundcloud, iTunes, and yep - Spotify.
5. Written Article for Web, Medium, LinkedIn, and Quora
6. 1:1 Image content for IG and FB
7. 16:9 Image content for LI and TW
All this can originate from a single episode.
Besides the fact that it is a blue ocean way of thinking that will naturally help you portray thought leadership, you see how getting your team thinking in terms of episodic content holds massive quality and quantity benefits.
So can I go back to that part about your team working less but producing more content? Yes I can.
Focus your efforts on coming up with content show ideas that become the pillar from which all the other content originates. By beginning with the end in mind, your entire team's mindset will change.
They will go into the filming of the episode knowing what topics they'd like to focus on, how it will hold up if they were to repurpose it as an audio podcast, other video microcontent pieces, an article, and so on. Once you get into the rhythm of creating episodic content shows, 2 amazing things start to happen:
1. Efficient Content Creation
It's no longer a battle to come up with content ideas. Need more content? create more episodes. If the show is great, we always say "do another season". If the show flopped, no problem - pivot the show idea and/or the audience you're after.
2. Streamlined MQLs
By selecting the type of collaborators or guests on your episodes, you can prioritize creating content for your target audience by virtue of having influencers, decision makers, and authorities from that very audience group participate as guests on the show. Besides creating quality content, if your timing is good, you would have helped to turn some of these guests into potential opportunities that the sales team may follow up with after a specific timeframe.
So what does this look like in practical terms?
Check out how we did it here with 2 smartphones and a GoPro.
Want to brainstorm ideas on how your team can do this for free?