The secret to successful content marketing isn’t a high production budget. It isn’t a massive distribution list, big team, or system for blogging every day, either.
At the heart of every successful content program is a word that is, undoubtedly, boring. It’s process—a carefully defined system for idea generation, content creation, distribution, and ROI optimization.
At face value, content-driven marketing appears deceptively simple. Companies frequently follow the generalized advice to “just start blogging” in order to boost website traffic, but any related boost from this approach will be momentary at best.
Without clear processes for execution and analysis, opportunity costs will be high—potential customers may slip through the cracks, and low-hanging points of distribution may go unnoticed.
Here are three strategies that financial services firms can use to build processes around their content.
1. Invest in Building Relationships
Human-to-human relationships take time to cultivate and nurture. There’s always a period of catching each others’ attention, followed by a brief period of “getting to know you.” Somewhere along the way, you’ll start building a sense of trust in each other.
Content provides a powerful mechanism to scale this dynamic from one-to-one to one-to-many. Just like building an in-person relationship or maintaining a friendship, consistency is key.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re creating content once a day or once a week: what’s key is that you keep the momentum going in order to hold yourself accountable to your audience.
Relationships will arise out of this process.
2. Position Compliance as Part of Your Core Strategy
Financial services companies are unique in that they’re often bound to strict compliance policies around customer communication. It’s far too easy to waste time by creating content that the legal team ultimately rejects.
One way to overcome this hurdle is to create a process that involves legal teams early on. Rather than asking for permission, consistently involve them in the upfront decision making. Make them a part of your marketing team as opposed to a potential adversary.
To start, figure out the milestones that a content project must go through, from ideation to completion. Map this path to the stakeholders who will need to be involved at each stage.
By creating a documented workflow, you’ll be able to overcome potential compliance hurdles early on in the process.
You may need to develop multiple workflows, depending on the project’s complexities and the people involved.
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3. Create a Distribution Plan
Beyond creating a distribution plan, you’ll need to create a distribution workflow that you can follow. One of the biggest challenges in content marketing is that team members are often overloaded with responsibilities, especially when it comes to sharing content across channels.
After creating and editing content, there is always more work to be done at the end of the day.
It can seem never-ending.
That’s why high-quality blogs need multiple team members who can flex different skillsets for ideation, creation, and distribution. Because by trying to accomplish everything, team members will often accomplish nothing.
Small steps can yield big outcomes—the key is to help team members understand their roles and responsibilities for informing and promoting content, and to do what you’re doing consistently so you can establish, learn from, and repeat your workflows.
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Remember: consistency drives growth.
The most successful content programs require consistent, scalable processes. Consistency will be essential to your ability to measure—and ultimately forecast—results. Without a clear process in place, marketers will miss valuable opportunities.
Start small, with a process you can analyze and build upon. The end result will be a feedback loop that continues to evolve with the results you generate.