Brand impact and engagement power require effective content operations and SEO frameworks. Businesses around the globe are realizing the need to create an efficient and purposeful content operations system.
The term “content operations” encompasses a variety of activities that help content teams create, distribute and track content performance. Content operations require support from a variety of tools and processes that may include content strategy, analytics, and SEO.
With content marketing getting more complex and multi-faceted, the role of content operations is also evolving. Content teams are now required to identify new target audiences, create high-quality helpful content and measure the impact of their efforts. That’s why most marketing agencies need to focus on building a content operations framework that can support their goals and objectives. Reseller marketing services can help agencies with this effort.
As a marketing agency, you need to understand how content operations can help support your organization’s SEO efforts. SEO is one of the most effective methods of driving traffic and increasing engagement with your content. To ensure that your SEO efforts are successful, you must develop a comprehensive content operations framework to support them.
What is Content Operations?
Content operations, aka “ContentOps”, is the process of managing all aspects of content creation and distribution. ContentOps includes the information architecture, content strategy, analytics measurement, and search engine optimization (SEO) of content. It also includes the people, processes, and technology that support content teams in creating, publishing, and analyzing content.
Content operations can impact every unit within an organization. Meanwhile, sales teams need to be able to track leads and nurture prospects with pertinent content. Human resources teams also need access to content operations to onboard new employees and ensure compliance with industry regulations.
Businesses need content operations to unify their operations and improve the effectiveness of their content. The issue with traditional content operations is that it’s often seen as a product of marketing teams and not always seen as a strategic function of the business. Agencies who skip investing in content operations solutions often fail to deliver personalized content experiences that customers now expect. Alternatively, companies that understand content as a system find it easier to make intelligent content decisions.
What Are the Elements of Content Operations?
Content operations typically consist of four elements:
Teams are the foundation of successful content operations. Roles and responsibilities should be clearly defined for each team member, including content strategists, managers, creators, and editors.
They can be further broken down into specialized roles like content writers, graphic designers, and photographers. Ensure that team members have the right skills and tools to perform their job.
A roadmap is needed to turn content ideas into reality. Content plans, workflows, and approval processes should be established to ensure that the right tasks are being completed promptly. This will enable teams to move quickly and efficiently from concept to delivery.
Here are some of the typical processes that a robust content operations setup should include:
- Structured Content Types: It involves categorizing content into different types and structures. This ensures that teams are creating content that is relevant to the target audience while also making it easier to find and deliver content.
- Production Overflows: These involve planning and forecasting content production cycles. This helps teams to manage their workloads effectively and adjust production timelines accordingly.
- Brand Guidelines: These ensure that teams are consistently delivering content that adheres to the company’s style, tone, and voice.
- QA Testing: This involves testing content to ensure that it is error-free and adheres to all accessibility guidelines.
- Audits & Measuring Tools: The right tools can make all the difference when it comes to content operations. Content management systems (CMS) and analytics platforms enable teams to manage, publish, and track content performance.
3. Management Tools
Content management systems (CMS) are necessary to manage, publish, and measure content performance. A CMS is a platform or application that enables teams to create and manage digital content more efficiently. It acts as a one-stop solution for managing all content assets, including images, videos, documents, etc.
Task management tools can help teams track the progress of their tasks and ensure maximum collaboration. These tools can also help in keeping the content operations organized and adhering to industry regulations.
Analytics tools, on the other hand, can help in measuring the performance of content and tracking customer engagement. This data can be then leveraged by the content teams to make informed content decisions and ensure effective delivery.
How to Build A Robust Framework for Content Operations?
Content operations are an integral part of your organization. By developing a strong framework for your content operations you can ensure that the teams are following standard processes to create, publish, and measure content performance.
Here’s a 5-step framework to help you optimize content operations:
Role specialization is crucial for effective content operations. Ensure that team members are assigned tasks and roles according to their skill sets, interests, and expertise.
Let’s take content creation as an example. Instead of having one content creator handle all tasks, assign specialized roles such as copywriters, designers, photographers, and videographers. The reason for this is that each role requires a different set of skills and a specialized approach to content creation.
Many agencies make the mistake of having one person handle multiple roles. For instance, they hire the best writers but assign them to handle multiple roles in editing and managing content. Best writers make bad editors and even more terrible content managers. The reason for this is that they usually thrive on creativity and improvisation, not on consistency and uniformity, which are essential for managing content. Now, there may be instances where a content writer can also be an editor or vice-versa, but as an agency, will you have the time to double-check their work for accuracy and consistency?
Implementing a hierarchy or resources management system that is based on specialization will help teams become more productive and efficient. You can start by separating writers, editors, and managers. From there, you can add specializations to master each small piece of the much larger content operation machine.
Having a well-defined workflow will also ensure that teams have an understanding of who is responsible for what and when it needs to be done. This will help streamline the process, making it easier to stay organized and on track.
For instance, the strategists work on strategy, the planners plan, the writers write, the editors edit, and the producers coordinate. Designers, videos, and distribution specialists can then be added to the mix as the team grows.
2. QA Checks
You might have heard a million times that “Quality is king” or “create quality content,” but what does that actually mean?
People have different interpretations of quality, so it’s important to have a standardized approach and automated processes in place. Having a checklist for each stage of the process will help ensure content is consistently meeting the company’s quality standards.
For instance, you can have a checklist for topics, headlines, structure, sources, design, and so on. Make sure that every piece of content is checked against the checklist before it’s published. This is especially important for content that goes through multiple rounds of revisions, as the quality can deteriorate over time.
You should also assign a single point of contact who is responsible for ensuring that the QA checks are implemented and performed consistently. This person should also track QA performance to identify areas for improvement.
QA checks also allow teams to quickly spot any potential issues and take the necessary steps to address them. This includes spelling and grammar checks, accessibility reviews, proofreading, design reviews, and more.
You should also create a guideline for editors and writers to follow while they are editing. This should include the maximum amount of time they can spend on an article, as spending too long on it might indicate that there is something wrong with the piece. Incorporating spot checks into your QA process can also help quickly identify any potential issues and ensure content is up to the required standard.
3. Standardized Templates, Briefs, And Outlines
Standardizing templates, briefs and outlines will help you ensure consistency across all content operations. This will also make it easier for the teams to quickly assess the scope of an article.
Your templates should include all the required information like topics, length of the article, target audience and any other references that could be helpful. This will allow the teams to get a better understanding of how the content should look like.
Make sure that your templates are concise and easy to understand. They should also provide clear instructions for writers and editors and contain enough detail to cover all the necessary points.
Use content briefs to provide project details and brand information like the topics, tone, and target audience. Include research topics, sources and keywords to add more value to your briefs.
Outlines ensure consistency across all content pieces. Make sure to provide the writers with a structure so that they don’t get lost and stay on track.
Here are some of the key points that you need to keep in mind while creating these documents:
- Purpose of the piece.
- Target audience.
- Tone of voice
- Research resources
- SEO targets.
- Structure for the piece.
- Formatting and design elements.
Let’s say that you need to create a blog post, “How to choose the right SEO partner”. Here’s how you can create a document for this project:
Template: Title + Header Image + Introduction + Body + Conclusion
This article will provide an overview of the factors to consider when choosing the right SEO partner for your business. The tone of voice should be professional. Research should include industry experts and other sources. The target audience is small business owners. SEO targets include “SEO partner”, “SEO consultant,” and “search engine optimization services”.
• Overview of the importance of SEO and the challenges it can present.
• Definition of an SEO partner.
• Determining what services you need and looking for a specialist in those fields.
• The importance of researching potential partners and reading through their portfolios.
• Considering pricing, contracts, and timeline expectations.
• Summary of key points to consider when choosing the right SEO partner.
• Call to action to contact a specialist for more information.
This is just an example of how a template, brief, and outline can help ensure consistency across your content pieces. You can add more value to this template by providing additional guidelines such as writing style, formatting, keywords, and more. You can also add more references like:
- People Also Ask questions.
- Related Searches.
- Reading some of the best content already ranking.
- Semantic keywords from content graders. etc.
This will save your team time and help ensure that your content meets the required standards. You can use them to create more templates, briefs and outlines for other projects and adjust accordingly.
4. Guidelines And Sources
You should provide any guidelines and sources that the writer should refer to while creating their content. This could include writing style guides, an approved list of sources, and any other helpful information. You can also provide a link to an SEO checklist or any other useful resources that the writer can use to create content that meets your standards.
The key is clear communication and ensuring that everyone understands the expectations. It’s best to include all this information in an easily accessible document, so your writers can refer back to it anytime.
Here’s a sample template of the guidelines and sources that you can use when creating new content:
- Tone – The tone of the piece should be friendly and informative.
- Writing Style – We use American English with an active voice, short paragraphs, and simple sentence structure.
- Keywords – The article must include the keywords provided.
- Sources – All sources must come from reputable, reliable websites.
- Formatting – The article should be divided into short paragraphs. Each paragraph should contain a heading, subheadings, and bullet points.
- SEO Checklist – Writers should use the SEO checklist provided to ensure their content meets our standards.
- Length – The content should be between 1500-2000 words.
By creating these guidelines and sources you can make sure that each team member is on the same and that the content produced is consistent and follows the required standards.
5. Batch And Parallel Processes
Finally, you can use batch and parallel processes to streamline your content operations. This means that instead of having writers work on one piece at a time, you can have them work on multiple pieces simultaneously. This allows your team to create more content in less time and with fewer resources.
You can also break down tasks and assign them to the right people so that they can work in parallel. For example, you could have a designer working on visuals while a writer is creating content or an editor revising copy while another writer is doing research.
You can create shared spreadsheets or documents to help keep track of everyone’s tasks and make sure that everyone knows what their roles are. This will help ensure that the team is efficient and productive, even if everyone is working on different tasks.
As an agency owner, your job is to coordinate these tasks so that they all flow together smoothly. With an efficient system in place, you won’t have to worry about shouting over the noise – you’ll just be able to get your content created and out into the world in no time.
Why Do You Need to Invest in Content Operations?
Cross-departmental content operations create a unified and efficient environment for businesses. It helps ensure that content teams are working towards the same goal and can collaborate better. Here are a few reasons why as an agency, you need to invest in content operations:
Improved Content Experiences
Content operations provide the foundation for improved customer experiences. Content that is personalized and tailored to an individual’s needs can foster stronger customer relationships, leading to higher conversion rates.
Inefficient content operations can lead to silos, where content is created and managed independently without a shared understanding of what content is needed. In a solid content operations environment, successful content experiences can be repeatable and accessible to teams across the enterprise.
Streamlined Content Creation & Delivery
Content operations also streamline the process of creating, managing, and delivering content. Without a framework in place, it can be difficult to maintain consistency across channels and create timely, relevant content.
Content operations ensure that the right teams have access to the necessary resources for creating and delivering content quickly and effectively. This helps you stay competitive in an ever-changing landscape.
Enhanced SEO Performance
Content operations enable agencies to optimize their content for search engine rankings and maximize visibility. Optimized content frameworks can help you ensure that your content is consistent and relevant to your target audience.
They also help in building a foundation for an effective SEO strategy. Tracking and analyzing your content performance will enable to you make more informed decisions about your SEO efforts and identify the areas for improvement.
Save Time And Money
You can save time and money by investing in content operations. Streamlining the content creation process and optimizing it for search engine rankings can reduce costs associated with creating, managing, and delivering content.
The cost savings associated with content operations allow you to invest in other areas of the business. Furthermore, efficient content operations can also help you save time by freeing up resources for other tasks.
Bring Accountability to Each Part of the Process
ContentOps tools enable agencies to add accountability to each part of the content creation process. You can track every person and process who is involved in the content creation process as well as monitor the content performance. This allows you to make timely adjustments when needed.
Teams can also access real-time analytics to measure and track the effectiveness of their content. This helps you make more strategic decisions about how to use your resources best and optimize your content for maximum results.
Scale Content Creation With Ease
Content operations can help you scale content creation with ease. By having a streamlined process in place you can deploy the right resources to create, manage and deliver content without sacrificing quality or wasting time. You can also use content operations to add additional content channels and expand without losing control or compromising the quality.
Content Operations can help you improve your overall content experience, and streamline the content creation and delivery process. You can also enhance your SEO performance without wasting time and money. This will help you stay competitive and make the most out of your content.
If you’re not sure where to start or don’t have the resources, working with a white-label SEO agency or specialist can help. They have the experience and know-how to build effective frameworks for content operations. With the right professionals and resources, you can keep up with changes in content demand and deliver quality content.