Reading this post will be the most lucrative thing you do today.
I’m going to share with you one simple tip that will save you and your company thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of dollars. It’s a tip we’ve learned from watching hundreds of customers use our Media Shower content marketing platform: companies large and small, in all industries, with all types of products.
You can learn yourself, the hard way, which is to spend ridiculous amounts of money learning this one lesson—if you learn it at all. Or, you can spend five minutes finishing this post.
The human brain is hardwired for stories, so let me tell you two stories that will make this idea stick like Velcro to your brain—so that you’ll believe it, and more importantly, you’ll act on it.
Story #1: “We All Want to Review It”
Years ago, we worked with a customer that we’ll call MessyCorp. The company hired us to do a large content project: several thousand web pages, as well as managing ongoing content for their twelve corporate blogs.
Each week, we’d deliver a large batch of content to the company’s Media Shower account, and then it had to be reviewed by three separate groups on the customer side:
- The company’s project manager reviewed the content, and updated a large spreadsheet.
- The company’s editorial team reviewed the content for brand voice, tone, and style.
- The company’s legal team reviewed the content for licensing and compliance issues.
As a consequence of this three-tiered review process, here’s what happened:
- Content backlog: Because all three groups would not have time to review every piece each week (especially the lawyers), the content backlog would grow and grow.
- Veto power: Anyone could send the piece back for revisions, and the process would begin again. Since content is subjective, this “veto power” got used a lot.
- Three overwhelmed teams: Meanwhile, the content deliverables would keep coming each week, which made all three teams feel more and more overwhelmed.
Content is subjective. Let’s say you’re looking for a new job, and you rewrite your resume, then ask ten people for feedback. Odds are, you’ll get ten totally different opinions! With a resume, you can choose to ignore the dumb ideas. At MessyCorp, the lowly project manager couldn’t ignore the feedback of her teams; every content piece was like a resume with twelve editors.
Think of how much money MessyCorp wasted in legal costs alone!
Story #2: “One Person is Responsible”
Let’s contrast MessyCorp with our second customer, SmoothCo. When we did our kickoff call with SmoothCo, we asked them – as we do with all our customers – who would be our single point of contact, what we call the “Content King” or “Content Queen.”
“Well, we all want to review it,” said their Director of Marketing.
Now, there were three people on the call – a Director of Marketing, an SEO Analyst, and a Marketing Assistant. Think about the different viewpoints that each of these people will bring to the table as they review the content:
- The Director of Marketing will be looking for things like brand voice and target persona.
- The SEO Analyst will be looking for things like keyword density and SERP position.
- The Marketing Assistant just wants to keep her job, so she’ll do whatever her boss says.
The problem is, these three viewpoints may be fundamentally at odds. Who serves as the tiebreaker? And who wants to do that, week in and week out, with every blog post?
SmoothCo wisely delegated the decision: they anointed a single person responsible for the content. The Marketing Assistant took over the weekly review of the content, requesting changes at her discretion, and letting the others know when new content went live on the blog.
Here’s why this worked so well, and saved SmoothCo so much time and money:
Efficiency: Because one person took ownership over the content, content got published much faster. There’s a simple formula here, which is:
More content = More leads = More customers
Hopefully, this is common sense to you. The faster you get content published, the more opportunities to bring in prospective customers, then convert them into paying customers. Since we know The Average Blog Post Gets 3.3 Conversions, the more blog posts you publish, the faster your business grows. Everything that makes the publishing process faster makes your business grow faster.
Feedback After the Fact: If you have internal groups that insist on reviewing every piece of content, have them review it as soon as it goes live on the blog, as SmoothCo did. This way, you’re not waiting on them to make it a priority (which it never will be).
When you have them review a blog post as soon as it goes live, it will immediately become a priority, especially if they know their neck is on the line if it’s not right. In truth, this rarely happens – and if it does, you simply take the blog post down while you get it fixed. That’s how blog posts work!
“You don’t know our company,” some of you might say. “There’s no way we can get blog posts published without legal approval first.” This is bullshit. Your legal team works for you, not the other way around. As a marketer, your job is to grow the company. If your legal team is slowing down company growth, they are standing in your way.
Publish the content, then ask for feedback. You’ll be amazed how quickly people make it a priority.
Leadership training: Making one person responsible for the content turns them into your in-house content expert. The Marketing Assistant eventually became the new Marketing Director of SmoothCo, and their blog is the gold standard in their industry. All because SmoothCo had the courage to name her their Content Queen.
In summary, here’s how to save massive amounts of time and money:
- Anoint a Content King or Queen. Name a single person in your organization responsible for reviewing and approving content.
- Delegate and empower. Give them authority to review, approve, and publish content, and empower them to make decisions.
- Regular feedback. Have them provide opportunities for other stakeholders to review the content and provide feedback (weekly updates after the blog posts go live).
- Measure their performance. Measure and track their performance through content metrics like our Media Shower Metrics. What gets measured gets managed.
At the end of the day, it’s all about results. Anointing your internal Content King (or Queen) means you’ll get faster, better, and cheaper results. It’s the difference between having one leader and twelve.
Sir John Hargrave is CEO of Media Shower, and the author of Mind Hacking: How to Change Your Mind for Good in 21 Days.