How to Boost Your Content Marketing Team's Productivity with Resource Planning
It’s one thing to improve your own productivity. You can discipline yourself to wake up earlier in the morning, stay off of social media sites during the workday, use productivity apps, or implement any number of other tips to work more efficiently. When it comes to boosting the productivity of the team you lead, things are a bit different.
Now you are dealing with multiple people and their accompanying work styles, motivations, habits (good and bad), and skills. How do you get the team as a whole to get more done at a faster pace?
It’s challenging for sure! It’s also very doable. Start by challenging yourself to answer the following questions:
Are your meetings too long?It isn’t that meetings can’t be a valuable part of the content marketing process. It’s just that they usually aren’t. They run too long, attempt to cover too much ground, and rarely have a clear purpose. The result is that the meeting doesn’t have a clear end. So, it often becomes a prolonged chat session where the topics covered aren’t directly relevant to most of the attendees.
No, this doesn’t mean that all meetings should really be emails, although a lot of them should. It just means that meetings should be leaner, more focused, and more efficient. Rather than looping everyone into meetings, or hold meetings simply to give status updates, consider implementing the following practices:
- Use email or group chat to communicate status updates.
- Limit meeting attendance to those who are directly involved in the matter at hand.
- Create a clear agenda and time limit for meetings.
- Appoint a facilitator and a scribe for each meeting.
Is multitasking grinding things to a halt?Multitasking is often seen as the badge of a dedicated worker. In reality, multitasking usually leads to reduced quality and efficiency. Unfortunately, multitasking isn’t just an issue for individuals. It can also plague your team.
How many projects do you have in progress right now? How many team members are stretched across multiple projects? Do you really expect them to be able to give their full effort to each one? Of course not! At least you shouldn’t.
In Agile development, many teams work with limits on works in progress (WIP). Essentially, they’ve limited the amount of work that can be included in each stage of the workflow because they’ve realized two things. Too much work in progress can cause inefficiencies. It also makes it difficult to pinpoint other inefficiencies. Even if you don’t fully adopt agile methods in your content marketing, you should certainly consider putting this one into place.
Tip: Multitasking can kill productivity, because it often spreads your team members too thin. However, if you schedule with a resource planning tool, you can adjust your resources' utilizations. This ensures that no one is overworked, even if there's multiple projects and tasks running simultaneously.
Read more about scheduling concurrent tasks in Ganttic and different ways to keep track of your team's utilization via resource scheduling.
Does your team have the resources it needs?A content marketing team may consist of writers, editors, keyword and SEO experts, marketing analysts, social media managers, project leaders, and more. In many cases, one person will find themselves taking on more than one role.
Each role on the contenting marketing team is important. It’s also quite challenging. Fortunately, some tools and resources are available to make that work at least somewhat easier. In some cases, the right tool can practically automate processes that would otherwise be time-consuming and tedious.
Is your team working with the latest tools that give them the capabilities they need to work efficiently? It may be time to evaluate your current suite of marketing tools to determine if you need an upgrade.
Real Life Case Study:
It's common for marketing agencies and others in the creative field to bring in freelancers in addition to full time staff. This can help with specific projects and even out the workload.
At Pegasus, a global communication agency, they learned how to streamline this process with Ganttic. Adding freelancers to their plans helped them plan out capacity better in the short and long-term. And they could figure out if more freelancers needed to be brought on for certain projects. Plus, with the ability to share plans with everyone, even if it's only a limited-time partnership, Pegasus could make sure that not only were they meeting capacity, but they were scheduling the right people with the right skill sets.
Read more about how resource scheduling can help creative and marketing teams get their jobs done, no matter how your team structure.
Is it time to revisit workflows and processes?
When was the last time you reconsidered your teams current workflows and processes? If it’s been awhile, you should. After all, your processes and workflows are the maps you follow to achieve your content marketing goals. If they no longer accomplish what you want, are outdated, or inefficient, it’s time to make changes. Unfortunately, it’s easy to stick with workflows that don’t work, simply because it’s the way you’ve always done things.
Are you noticing certain patterns with your productivity issues? Perhaps delays tend to happen at a certain point in every project. You may also notice that productivity is consistently low among people performing specific roles. In that case, you may not have a personnel problem.
David Jones, a content strategist at Trust my Paper puts it succinctly. “It may be that the person is working within the confines of workflows that are no longer serving any useful purpose. Identify where productivity is suffering, then take a closer look at the related workflows and documented processes.”
Are you lacking a digital assets library and knowledge base?Take a moment to imagine a scenario. A new content writer has just finished a bio about your CEO. Now, they need to add a professional-looking photo to their piece that will be published on a local, news magazine website. Unfortunately, they can’t move forward because:
- They are waiting to be sent an acceptable picture of the CEO.
- They have other questions relating to format and style.
- They don’t know the process for following up with the social media manager after the piece has been published.
Issues like this are often caused by the information silos that are created when information is not centralized. If the scenario above is familiar to you, consider implementing a centralized knowledgebase, and digital assets library for content marketing. This will ensure that your content team has access to everything they need to complete projects independently.
It's good practice to include the following in your digital assets library and knowledgebase:
- Editorial Workflows
- Logos and Taglines
- Branding Information
- Style Guide
- Client information
- Customer demographics
- Executive biographies
- Color schemes
- Documented processes
So when a team member goes to check on their next task, they'll be able to easily find all the material and resources they require. Streamlining work processes and making their work more efficient.
Have you made well-being a priority?As you consider the various issues that could impact productivity, don’t neglect your team members’ wellbeing. If that’s lacking, morale can drop, and exhaustion can deter even the most driven workers. It’s important to consider that your team may be unproductive simply because they’ve been worn out. If that is the case, you have to deal with that by making and encouraging positive changes. This could mean pushing back against some long-standing attitudes about work, and treating working to the point of burnout as a virtue.
Try doing the following to encourage your team to be at its best at all times:
- Acknowledge and celebrate team accomplishments.
- Insist team members use vacation time and other PTO.
- Create an example of prioritizing wellbeing in your own behavior.
- Discourage all-nighters unless they are unavoidable.
- Encourage team members to be aware of their physical and mental health.
- Don’t simply permit breaks. Prioritize them, and ensure employees have a space to decompress at work.
- Educate team members about resources available to them if they are stressed and overwhelmed, including your EAP.
- Show employees you value them by working to keep them engaged by using their talents, and allowing them to work towards their career goals.
Sign up for a free trial of Ganttic and try it yourself.
When it comes to content marketing, the importance of productivity cannot be overstated. Businesses that wish to remain competitive must maintain a reliable stream of top-quality content relevant to their audience. Further, that content must be published and promoted in order to create the engagement necessary to create conversions. If your team struggles with productivity, ask yourself the questions presented above. This will allow you to pinpoint and repair any issues that are causing productivity to slip.
Nicole Garrison is an experienced writer and editor at Supreme Dissertations. She is highly sought out for her ability to write relevant content for small businesses, freelancers, and digital marketing agencies.