Process matters. Being more efficient isn’t just a convenience; it can be a big part of being more effective.
Implement a Strong CRM
The most important aspect of an efficient content marketing system is your CRM. If you don’t have a solid accounting of who you’re contacting, what contact you’ve had with them in the past, and how they’ve reacted, you can’t tailor future contact to their interests or needs.
Salesforce is the 400-lb. gorilla in this room, but smaller organizations can use simpler tools and a somewhat less automated approach. (We love Daylite, which is a Mac-only tool that integrates some pretty great CRM features.)
Flexibility Can Trump Automation
Salesforce can be too overwhelming for smaller sales and marketing teams and, if not correctly implemented, can be a really rigid system. (To be fair, that’s true of just about any piece of software.)
That’s worth keeping in mind as you build out other aspects of your system. Don’t lock yourself into a system so rigid that you can’t adapt to changes quickly and easily – particularly changes to message that might come from your product team or from your sales staff.
Automation Has Its Place
That said, automation will almost always save you time and resources, particularly if they let you group similar tasks together. For example, you might use a tool like NetVibes or Flipboard to gather content ideas. And a tool like Hootsuite can help you schedule social media posts for the entire week in a single session.
But Don’t Overdo It
But those same automation tools can lead to problems. Hootsuite, for example, will let you schedule posts at ideal times and do so across multiple platforms. But posting to Twitter, with its 140-character limit, and LinkedIn at the same time won’t allow you to optimize content for each platform. Better to do all of your Twitter posts together and all of your LinkedIn updates separately.
Leverage Is Your Friend
If you write a fantastic 500-word blog post and all you do with it is post it to your blog, you’re working too hard. Or, more accurately, you’re not getting enough mileage out of that hard work.
If that’s your post for the week, then from it your should also be able to get social media posts using quotes from the article, perhaps cover the same material in a slightly different way in a quick video, and adapt a section of it for your email newsletter.
So whether you’re researching topics, writing content, or publishing and promoting your work, think about ways you can do it more efficiently. The less work it takes to move the needle, the further you you can move it.
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