Times of change for organizations are times of celebration. As your company begins to expand, so will your content marketing team—as your organization evolves, so will your need for more editors, storytellers, consultants, and freelancers.
But growth is a double-edged sword. It’s well known that as companies grow, knowledge management and internal communication become a challenge. As Ron Ashkenas, partner emeritus at Schaffer Consulting and co-author of multiple organizational leadership books explained in a recent HBR article that when teams evolve, information can fall through the cracks. When he surveyed leadership teams, he learned the following:
“Once I met with the senior management team, the answer became very clear: Whatever institutional knowledge about simplification that had once resided in the company was now lost. Over the years, despite some well-meaning efforts, the focus of senior managers had shifted, the original training had been forgotten, and many of the messages on the subject had become empty rhetoric. In fact, astoundingly I was one of the central repositories of institutional memory about how to master simplification—an external consultant who had not worked with the firm for a number of years!”
The last thing you want, when you’re growing your content operations, is for knowledge to slip through the cracks—which tends to happen as a natural byproduct of a company’s evolution. That’s why it’s important to document your content marketing knowledge. Here are some steps that you can take as part of your existing content marketing routines, with no extra effort:
1. Create a Team Journal
Record your meetings. Write down your minutes. Transcribe conversations. You can simply store this information in Google Docs. That way, when you want to “look up a time when….” or when you bring a new hire on board, you’ll have readily available source material. The beauty of this step is that there is no extra work required. All that you need to do is brainstorm and collaborate as you normally would. Imagine that you’re creating a chronology of your content marketing efforts.
2. Save Your Source Materials
When you create content, make sure that you’re keeping your interviews and research in a central place. What you’ll end up creating is a central library of source material that you can reference and re-reference at different stages in your marketing. For instance, you could create a Google Drive repository or Trello board where your content marketing team members can share resources and information. Always seek permission before quoting someone, but keep in mind that this repository of information can help you come up with content in a pinch.
3. Create a Reporting Structure
A reporting structure can help your content marketing team stay accountable to goals, track progress, and maintain the operational structure. What’s important is that your team chooses clear milestones that are possible to build upon. Monitor growth in page views to ensure that your content is picking up traction. Take a look at time spent with your pieces to monitor engagement. Share these metrics with your leadership team, highlighting the trends that underscore the value of your content. Make reporting part of your routine, so you can better allocate your resources.
Your content strategy needs momentum to be successful. Make sure that you’re always investing in steps forward, and make planning part of your routine. When it’s time to plan the next phase of your content marketing efforts—or when you bring on your new hire—you’ll be glad to have made your investment in building the right processes.