Don’t Let the Toddler Trap Torpedo Your Content Productivity

Don’t Let the Toddler Trap Torpedo Your Content Productivity

You put some content team members on it. Projects with high impact and low effort likely should be top priorities. Let’s say your content team has the capacity to handle and is working on three major content projects to complete by the end of the quarter. A product marketing manager requests a fourth project requiring significant effort. And that research evaluated people estimating their own work. For example, if the team focuses on content production, your categories could be the types of tactics. But for most teams, it will be better than nothing. Timesheet method If you track team members’ time for projects, this method works well. The calculations are the same as used in the averaging method except, instead of days, minutes are assessed. By tracking time, you can understand not only how much time the project type took but how long each function took.

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Toddlers examine one thing for a few seconds, then something else catches their eye, then they quickly move on to something else, ultimately leaving in their wake a trail of orphaned blocks, half-eaten strawberries, and half-dressed dolls.

If you’re not careful, your content process can act like those toddlers and your content team could be tripping over projects like a sleep-deprived parent stepping on Legos in the dark at 2 a.m.

Let me show you what I mean.

Your team is working on a series of planned blog posts.

Your email chirps.

Your company is launching a new product and needs a new web page NOW. What!? They forgot to tell you earlier the announcement goes out today. You put some content team members on it.

Your chat pings.

The events team received a value-added benefit for a sponsorship. They need digital banners for the event website and a landing page to send them to. You put some people on it.

Your phone rings.

The head of marketing informs you a competitor is in the news – and not in a good way. He wants to use the opportunity to publish countering pieces about your brand in a jump-in-your-DeLorean-and-do-it-yesterday fast manner. You put some people on it.

See?

Where’s your grand content marketing strategy now? It’s the unassembled blocks that you dropped for a mid-afternoon snack, which you dropped to change a doll’s clothes, which you dropped to pick up a picture book. You have a good team and good leadership, but toddler tendencies sneak in.

And that’s a problem because some of those projects will spoil if not finished in a timely manner. You may miss a market opportunity or fumble your seasonality cycle or cede business to a competitor. But these traps can be avoided. Here’s how.

1. Have documented goals and guiding principles

Repeat them ad nauseum. Often the nexus of impromptu marketing has to do with a lack of focus or a lack of discipline. Having your content marketing goals and principles documented should guide decisions about which projects to take on.

Paint them on the wall. Stick them to everyone’s cubes. Having them in front of employees keeps them top of mind even if it may seem like overkill.

The better a project matches your documented goals, the greater a chance it has to get on the schedule. With many projects in the pipeline, it is easier to prioritize the stuff you’re going to do when you have documented goals.

2. Formalize what must drop to pick up new work

Most teams or departments have a limited number of people and bandwidth. Even outsourcing work takes internal resources. Helping others understand the impact of picking up a new project can help ensure that priorities aren’t ignored for shinier objects – unless those objects help the content marketing strategy’s success even more.

To do this formally, document major content projects and relevant details, then work with leaders to prioritize them.

Every team is different, but these are common prioritization criteria:

  • Predicted impact – How many sales, subscriptions, or leads will this generate?
  • Level of effort – What kind of time and internal resources will this take?
  • Cost – How much will external resources, like video post-production or web development for interactive content, cost?
  • Dependencies – What other things must happen to allow this initiative? Does it make sense to start working on it if dependencies are still incomplete?

Having this type of information for each project adds clarity and makes it far easier for stakeholders to evaluate and prioritize. Projects with high impact and low effort likely should be top priorities. Projects with high effort and low impact might not stay on the list at all. Or you evaluate a project that looked promising only to uncover that it hinges on a dependency that may not get resolved.

Let’s say your content team has the capacity to handle and is working on three major content projects to complete by the end of the quarter. A product marketing manager requests a fourth project requiring significant effort. Armed with documented goals, guidelines, and project priorities, the head of marketing can now decide if the newly requested project is worth postponing progress on an existing project.

3. Ruthlessly apply the 80/20 rule

Focus on the things that give you the most bang.

Following the 80/20 rule (Pareto) principle, roughly 80% of your revenue comes from 20% of…

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