Learn from Award-Winning Content Operations Leaders

8 minute read

Upland Admin

In 2018, content was more important than ever to an outstanding customer experience. More importantly, almost everyone agrees: content will be just as important next year.


If you’re responsible for that content, you know it comes with a ton of work. (If not, go find a content creator to thank!) Once the content team launches a campaign—with the meaty metrics to track its success—it’s immediately back to the drawing board and tireless work.

This article is permission to pause, appreciate the accomplishments of 2018, and give yourself a pat on the back.

It’s easy to get caught up in always moving forward and knowing that excellent can always be better. Now, take a break and celebrate. It’s not just good for you; it’s also good for the workplace. A study by the WorkHuman Research Institute shows that 79% of employees say recognition makes them work harder.

I’m here to recognize you. I see your work and am excited to celebrate your results together. This sentence is a digital high five.

From the entire Kapost team, I also hear the roaring of applause for the content operations selected to earn (and they really did work for it) awards for their innovation and accomplishments. Partnered with Kapost, teams have seen:


  • Six times improvement in time-to-market at Siemens

  • Alignment of 9 websites and 17 languages into one consistent, global voice at Solidworks

  • 23% more engagement with 45% less content at IBM

Read all of the success stories here.

While you stop to reflect on your 2018 accomplishments, take five minutes to learn from these vanguards of content operations.

How Award-Winning Content Operations Deliver Results:

1. Identify a Common Taxonomy

If you haven’t done this yet, set up 2019 for success by gathering stakeholders into one room to come to a consensus on a common taxonomy. Don’t take my word for it, James Goldman, Sr. Manager of Content Marketing at Equinix said, “The payback is immediate. Because everyone had to get in a room and talk about how to organize content, their job is easier and they have a better time understanding the content we create.”

The internal benefits are only increased by the gift of consistent messaging (read: consistent customer journey) that taxonomy grants you. Thermo Fisher Scientific shares a unified message across a diverse set of divisions and product lines, starting with the development of a strategic taxonomy to power everything from planning and production to distribution and analytics.

Aligned taxonomy is truly the building block to the advice that follows. Don’t hesitate to take action on this. Wrangle your co-workers together in one room—I recommend with pizza—and get started now.

If you need help, we have you covered with self-guided workshop facilitation cards.

2. Strategic Planning Saves the Year

Content doesn’t just happen to align itself to company messaging, publish itself at the right time, or distribute itself in the most impactful channels. In fact, it takes a lot of human work to make that all come together, and it’s work that every single award-winning team has taken the time to do—with a big payoff.

ProofPoint orchestrates strategic planning with a quarterly Content Board meeting to identify the most important business initiatives, sales goals, and customer needs. The agreed-upon themes become the initiatives that drive content creation, which provides a backbone from which the marketing communication team builds content plans and sets goals for distribution, audience, and tenure.

Deb Shore and Becky Monk, Global Digital Marketing at SCIEX, also have a proactive approach. They created their entire next fiscal year’s marketing plan and a year’s worth of campaigns—with a governance setup designed to ensure all content is aligned to initiatives.

Planning is much more than a calendar. Identify how content ties to key company goals and document the resources it takes to get there. Don’t forget to repurpose content along the way. Continue reading for more on that.

3. More Content Is Not More Impactful Content

More is not better, more is not better, more is not better. Burn that into your brain with the understanding that more content does not yield better results, is not more impactful, and does not breed efficiency. In fact, it can do quite the opposite.

Don’t despair. You have a lot of amazing content already. The trick is to know what content you have and where it lives, understanding that you can repurpose it. Here are the first steps:

  1. Conduct a content audit to identify what you already have that can be repurposed
  2. Prioritize ideas based on previous content performance
  3. Go back to step number one in this article to plan strategically, incorporating repurposed content into your 2019 content plan

ST Microelectronics is ahead of most on this piece. They mapped out a process chart for campaigns to streamline the content creation process and increase awareness of existing valuable content to reuse, repurpose, and localize.

The results on less content are clear—IBM became one of the most awarded marketing teams and greatly increased engagement while producing 45% less content.

So remember: more is not better. More is just more content to get lost in the noise and suck your team’s resources. If you need a new mantra: Better is more. Better, louder content is more impactful than constantly putting out new “meh” content.

4. Check that MarTech Stack

Let’s build on the more is not better theme and take a minute to talk about the technology that helps you do your work and achieve your goals every day. More technology is not the answer. Again, it must be strategic.

And, strategically integrated.

That’s why Ciena has connected Kapost with Marketo, Salesforce, and more. “With these integrations in place, we’ve been able to advance our content operation and get several steps closer to achieving our single source of truth vision for marketing content,” says Wil McLean, Director of Content at Ciena.

Extreme Networks even connected Kapost to their website with metadata, so tagged assets automatically appear not only in the resource center but also on the correct website page. The power of hard work shows up in efficiency.

Teams and content can’t live in silos; therefore, neither can technology. By evaluating your MarTech stack and building thoughtful integrations, you can save on tool spending and lessen your headache.

5. Get Team Buy-In to Drive Adoption

One of the biggest blockers to new technology, strategy, and risky campaigns is your team not being bought in. Usually, that means they don’t see the why or understand the benefits.

No fear, there are a lot of creative ways to demonstrate the why and drive adoption and trust within your teams.

Tiago Vilas Boas, Brand and Content Operations Manager at GE Power, launched a sophisticated internal communications campaign to enable and excite users. To take it up a notch, he also developed a frame-worthy certificate to reward those who complete his custom-designed Kapost certification program. With just those two pieces, he covers the why and recognition to get individuals on board.

Other teams use the visual wall of shame. HR, don’t worry—it doesn’t really shame anyone. It’s more of a critical thinking exercise that could just as easily be called the wall of inspiration. The team maps out one customer’s—let’s say Frank’s—journey and show how siloed teams would bombard Frank with several disjointed emails a day. Enter: aligned teams that have visibility into each other’s work and send Frank coordinated communications, cutting down his inbox traffic and intensifying the company message. Now that truly is inspiring.

Showing results of your hard—sometimes painful—work lets teams know you’re making progress and encourages them to continue moving forward.

Cheers to Your Success

And that’s what I hope for you.

I hope that your moment of recognition and celebration refreshed your energy and drive to be daring and successful in 2019. I hope you can learn from the stumbles and successes of the winning content operations that use Kapost to collaborate smarter and achieve measurable success.

Raising the Bar in 2019

It’s an honor, and the greatest joy of my job, to work with the best-of-the-best content operations and the teams and thought leaders that drive them. Winning organizations leverage Kapost to better align teams, enhance customer experiences, and produce high-performing content.

They’ve taught me that while one person can make a large impact, it takes an aligned team and strategic planning to make groundbreaking content.

These content operations set the bar high in 2018—and continue to raise the bar in 2019.

If you haven’t already, make sure to read (maybe even memorize) their accomplishments.

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