In order to succeed in today’s marketing world, brands need to operate more like media companies. Of course, as Michael Brito, SVP of Social Business Strategy at Edelman, has pointed out, “it’s not like we can turn on the ‘media company’ button and change operations overnight. It requires a change in attitude, behavior, thinking coupled with processes and governance models; as well as technology that can facilitate the transformation.”
With content marketing gaining traction and bigger chunks of the marketing budget, brands are jumping on the bandwagon and racing to produce massive amounts of content to distribute across social channels and platforms. However, many still struggle. Often in the rush to get started, brands don’t properly establish the foundation needed to support this transition into a fast-moving, content-producing, trend-watching, process-following media company.
Luckily for us, Michael Brito has already established 6 critical steps that will help your brand get moving:
Establish a Centralized Editorial Team
To start the transformation into a media company, you need to hire and organize the right people into a centralized editorial team, often called a Center of Excellence. These are the people responsible for strategizing, executing and analyzing your campaigns and content initiatives. They make all these other steps actually happen.
Create the Brand Narrative and Content Strategy
Look beyond internal brand messaging. Use feedback from customers, insights from external research, and search behavior data to inform your editorial calendar. Internal messaging is still important–after all, your content should ultimately bring attention to the value your products provide and the problems they help solve–but it needs to mesh with topics your buyers are already interested in discussing. As Brito explains on his blog, Britopian, your whole team needs be on board. “Narrative development cannot be done in a silo by the brand team or a branding agency. It’s an initiative that requires a multitude of stakeholders, various levels of expertise and an organization that exemplifies enterprise collaboration.”
Build a Real Time Listening Center
Real-time metrics are invaluable to a social and content strategy. Implementing a listening center will help you with customer support and tracking brand engagement, but also provide your team with ideas for creating content around trending topics in your industry and in that day’s news cycle. If you’re interested in learning more, Brito discussed building a command center and brands rocking this strategy in further detail during a webinar with Hootsuite.
Assign Roles and Responsibilities
For your team to be effective, every person needs to know exactly what their responsibilities include. Without first establishing ownership and defining roles, especially in large organizations with contributing employees across timezones and departments, your content could end up disjointed and disorganized. Avoid these common pitfalls by assigning an administrator (responsible for account approvals and delegating projects), editors (who manage contributors, provide feedback and publish content), and contributors (responsible for content creation).
Create Processes and Workflows
With roles defined, the next step is to create repeatable processes and workflows to manage content ideation, production, distribution, and analysis. Solid workflows keep editorial teams on track and increase productivity, while also reinforcing the scope of those responsibilities just discussed. Establishing processes will also keep communication flowing between teams and departments. Sharing feedback, trends and best practices will not only spark new ideas, but will help your team improve and become even more effective.
Invest in the Right Technology
Once you have all of these elements in place, find out which technologies and products can help your team be more efficient. The idea is to increase communication and collaboration, empower people in their established roles, and make processes easier and workflows less overwhelming. Basically, the technologies you choose should be in service of the steps above.
Michael Brito spoke at Content Marketing Bootcamp in the Bay Area on February 21. If you’re a B2B marketer who wants to find out how to turn your brand into a media company, you can download his full presentation below. You can also follow Michael on his blog and on Twitter @britopian.