Arrow traveling through air at high speed to archery target with motion blur - on target content marketing concept
PHOTO: Adobe

According to the Content Science Review, "content operations is the behind-the-scenes work of managing content activities as effectively and efficiently as possible. Content operations often require a mix of elements related to people, process, and technology.

In the current, uncertainty filled environment, the marketing leaders responsible for content operations need to understand a confusing, overlapping, and quickly changing ecosystem. Regardless of the person in charge, content operations are in charge of organizing, producing, and managing content by integrating people, processes, and technologies. 

Therefore, content operations have become a must for organizations that want to deliver the best content, at the right time, and scale. However, often, content operations get swept under the rug and sandwiched between the role of content strategist and content manager. To get a better understanding of content operations and optimize your content ops, we've asked the experts and they've offered these 9 tips to optimizing your content operations . 

Identify Gaps in Your Content Operations

When identifying gaps in content operations, you determine which services are missing, which services need development, and which services are even unnecessary.

According to Maciej Duszynski, Senior Content Manager at Sczencin, Poland-based Tidio, "the best way to find the weak points in your content production process is to monitor your content KPIs. If your results are far from satisfying, there must be a bottleneck to resolve." 

Related Article: How to Unleash Your Omnichannel Content Strategy

Define a Content Marketing Strategy

Without a proper strategy in place, there's not much you can do for your content. The strategy is the backbone that supports your content creation and delivery. At its simplest, a content marketing strategy is the why behind your content. From the operations standpoint, you need a strategy to make sure that your content is going to the right people at the right time. Otherwise, you're lost from the beginning. 

Pre-Produce Content

One of the secrets to improving content workflows and operations is to create outlines for content production. With this, you help both writers and stakeholders understand how long it actually takes projects to complete. Without doing this, you aren't getting a good understanding of what you really need to complete. It's crucial that you identify clear stages and understand the time it's going to take to complete your projects so you can start pre-producing content and be prepared for when you need it.

Measure and Review Data 

When it comes to improving content workflows, Richard Booth, VP of Marketing at Austin, TX.-based Solve IQ gave the following advice, "track and measure results of all content types and sizes. Are large time-consuming articles doing better than short-form ones? Or can you do more short-form types of content to create more of an impact? Each industry and demographic are different; therefore, you need to test every piece of content.”

Validate the Content

While it's true that both marketing and the technical experts have to be present through the entire flow of the content creation to validate all the content being written, don't cripple your content by involving too many people in the process. As Naomi Assaraf, CMO of San Francisco, CA.-based cloudHQ says, eliminate people from the approval process as much as possible. I think there are still CEOs who insist on reviewing every blog article or video before publication. That's a recipe for crippling your team's effectiveness." 

Keep an Eye On Your Audience

Content operations managers need to trust that marketers know the audience and are capable of guiding content creation to make sure that it speaks to that audience correctly and about their actual needs. However, operations managers can make sure that the content that is being produced is aligned with the audience first and the business interests second. This doesn't mean producing content with no sales value; on the contrary, it means creating content that's aligned with the mission of your company. 

Align Content With the Customer Journey

Content needs to align with the phases of customer acquisition. For instance, do you have content for the branding or awareness stage, then for the consideration, and then the final decision stage? Also, to optimize your content workflows, you need to think about how much content is needed for each stage. What kind of content do your customers need to move them to the next stage in that funnel? Similarly, make sure you're differentiating between B2B and B2C audiences.

Make Sure Your Content Writers Understand the Company and its Personas

This is one of the most common issues that derail content workflows and hinders otherwise good content. Suppose content writers haven't been properly onboarded or don't know about the company they're writing about. In that case, the chances are that they'll end up writing shallow pieces that don't go deeper into how the business can truly help the audience. To make sure you don't have to send content back to the drawing board, make sure that content writers learn about the company and the personas they're writing about so they're always on brand and conduct proper research.

Audit Your Content

This step is important because you can't spot its potential weaknesses unless you analyze how your content performs on different platforms. Auditing helps you segregate and detect gaps at each step. Another essential part of the audit process is researching what users are searching for and the terms they are using to get to your content pages to see if you're answering those questions in the right context. If your answer is no, revise your content to ensure that you are helping and moving customer leads forward with that content.