A content operation is the set of processes, people, and technology for strategically planning, producing, distributing, and analyzing content. When properly implemented, it unifies the customer experience across all departments and channels and allows marketers to focus on authentic, resonant messaging that drives revenue and growth.

Well-defined content operations make business sense. Teams run smoother. Organizations become empowered to publish faster. Investments in content yield more tangible, predictable outcomes. We marketers are well aware of the benefits.

Where we often struggle, however, is in our ability to secure a budget. We struggle because content is perceived as a creative discipline. Executives often think we can get away with a one-person team and Google Docs. Sometimes, we can. But most of the time, we need more.

Making an effective business case means having an executive-friendly toolkit of rationale. You already know the basics. You know how content marketing works at a foundational level. You know that content accelerates product marketing and sales. You’ve seen how over time, content becomes an appreciating asset in generating SEO value.

3 Tips for Tying Your Content Operation to Revenue

Businesses that can create and deliver content that consistently speaks to customers’ evolving questions and concerns at the right time during the buyer’s journey are considered best-in-class and outperform their competitors with 5x more revenue contribution.

But before you can create a groundswell of support, you need to clearly define a content operation.

A content operation is the set of processes, people, and technology for strategically planning, producing, distributing, and analyzing content. When properly implemented, it unifies the customer experience across all departments and channels and allows marketers to focus on authentic, resonant messaging that drives revenue and growth.

Marketers feel compelled to create more content—way more content—every year. In fact, 92% of marketers say that they create more content than they did two years ago and 83% expect to create still more two years from now.

But your goal isn’t to create more content.

Best-in-class marketers like you strive to deliver the right content at the right customer at the right time across disparate channels and customer journeys. This not only creates a high-quality customer experience, but has a direct impact on the cost of creative agency spend, software budgets, and even marketers’ salaries.

Marketing leaders consider the investment of a content operation not simply in terms of efficiencies or on-time deliveries, but holistically in how it will impact the growth and revenue of their organization.

So, where to begin?

Here are some tips to help anchor your business case for your leadership and C-suite:

1. Leverage Tech

Content marketing software will save your team time.

Your managers hired your content marketing team to do what you do best—reach audiences at scale. If you and your team are overwhelmed with managing approvals and syncing up with fellow teammates to build search and social campaigns, you’re entrenched in busy work. You’re losing valuable time in perpetual catch-up mode when you should be building strategies to move your business forward.

Would you rather spend $X a month to gain $XX dollars, or would you rather lose $X in wasted time? Technology eliminates opportunity costs.

2. Get in the Flow

Workflows simplify your tasks and will ease you into a routine that makes your profits more predictable.

We take our abilities to work via email, smartphone, and chat for granted. With these resources, we can work from everywhere.

But working together can be a challenge when we’re trying to accomplish a goal in unregulated digital terrain. To be impactful, we need to work together and move quickly—without sweating the small details.

When you’re in a routine, you’ll publish consistently while also making your content more functional and SEO friendly. With predictable workflows, your content team can focus on using technology and data to inform your company’s content strategy, moving forward. Companies make more money as a result.

3. Know Your Role

Specific roles fill specific functions. Executives hire based on roles that they need to fill, as those roles map back to output production.

If you’re making an “ask” to expand your content operations, make sure that you explain what you need in a language that those most far removed from creative disciplines—like finance and risk management—can understand. Here are some quick pointers to guide you:

  • Someone in a manager or director role should be responsible for shepherding freelancers, team members, and miscellaneous content ideas
  • Someone in an analyst role should focus on collecting customer feedback, working with teams internally to distribute content, and consistently conducting content audits for recommendations from fellow teams. If helpful, here are the steps your team should consider taking when conducting a content audit
  • At least one person should be responsible for creating content. Content producer roles may include a mix of freelancers and full-time staff
  • At least one person should oversee editorial operations. Writing and editing require polar-opposite skill sets, but both are required to create high-performing content
  • At least one person needs to oversee social media to focus on bringing people to your content organically. Here’s a post that can guide you through why social media needs its own team and technology

Kapost has developed an in-depth guide to help you develop a communication strategy for your executive team, in four simple stages. Read the eBook, Building a Business Case for a Content Operation, to construct a strategy that works for your organization. Every content team is different. Build one that runs lean but in a way that helps you achieve aggressive goals.

Key Takeaways

With these data points in hand, you can win over even the most entrenched skeptics. What would it mean for the business if, with a better content operation, you could increase qualified leads 20% next year? Or if you could deliver 30% more marketing programs without hiring 30% more staff or spending 30% more agency partners? Download the full guide here:

Ritika Puri

About Ritika Puri

Ritika Puri is an entrepreneur who founded Storyhackers, a company that helps business create impactful and inspiring content programs. She enjoys writing about data, teaching others things that she’s learning, and helping other business owners succeed. In past lives, she built enterprise analytics programs and created revenue streams for an ad tech company. She is also an advisor to a mobile app startup, Sortly.