5 Ways Content Operations is Important for Your Business

Content Operations

Chances are, if you are in B2B marketing, you are already engaging in content marketing or at least thinking about it. According to Hubspot, 82% of marketers are actively investing in content marketing. The effectiveness of content in generating leads and sales, establishing brand authority, credibility and awareness, and generally providing value to your current and prospective clients is well known.

But–the devil is in the details. For all of your best intentions to connect with your audience through content, be it through blogs, emails, podcasts, videos or social media posts–it takes some coordination to pull it off.  Content production at scale requires skills outside mere content creation–and consistent success with content marketing often comes down to organization and repeatable processes. Moreover, your best content efforts can be wasted if your content philosophy is to publish and forget. Optimizing content for the right business outcomes is important work that often doesn’t get enough attention. Entire businesses have been built on acquiring websites with poor content optimization and diligently optimizing them for better business outcomes.

Clearly, the content creation process—and its effectiveness—is not just the responsibility of content writers, graphic designers, and other content creators but also the realm of technology-savvy, data-focused project managers who view the entire process from an operational perspective. Enter Content Operations.

First, What is Content Operations?

Content Operations (or ContentOps) is a practice and function focused on streamlining the process of creating, delivering, and managing content within an organization. It is crucial to ensure that content is produced efficiently, consistently, and effectively to meet the needs of the audience.

Organizations often face challenges with structured content production, including siloed content creation processes, inconsistent messaging, and difficulties in managing content at scale. This highlights the need for a comprehensive content operations function that can centralize content creation and management, develop repeatable processes and automate workflows.

Content operations teams help make technology decisions and optimize processes by leveraging technology. They are often involved in decisions on Content Management Systems (CMS) scheduling tools and other software that can help with content efficiency and performance, like AI writing tools or SEO tools.

Key components of Content Operations include content strategy and planning, content management and governance, and content distribution and performance analysis.

Beyond the essentials, content operations teams often focus on analyzing a business’s content mix and performance and ensuring that it is aligned with business objectives. Some examples of this include:

  • Optimizing conversion opportunities from high-traffic content.
  • Ensuring that pieces of content (blog posts, etc.) being scheduled for production are aligned with the overall content strategy.
  • Seeking other efficiencies with content and maximizing the content lifecycle (seeking reformatting, redistribution or syndication opportunities, for example)
  • Quality assurance of content and adherence to best practices (for example: on-page optimization of content for search)

The world of ContentOps can range from broad strokes operational aspects geared more towards production efficiency at large to activities focused on improving the “yield” of content. This increases an organization’s return on content investment and drives a substantial business impact.

The 3 Pillars of Content Operations

To achieve their aims, ContentOps focuses on 3 pillars: People, Processes and Technology

  1. People: Determining the people and roles needed to enable the efficient and effective production and distribution of content, be they content strategists, writers, editors, content designers, or the overall content production team.
  2. Processes : Determining what processes need to be in place to maximize content output and optimize content effectiveness. This includes helping to establish content production workflows, processes for the management of content and content optimization.
  3. Technology: Determining what technology to use and how to tie it together, this includes decisions on the right project management tools, content management tools, communications tools, AI content optimization and writing tools, design tools and data and insights tools. Content Operations teams also lead the integration of content with other core systems such as customer relationship management (CRM), digital asset management (DAM), and marketing automation platforms.

5 Ways Content Operations is Important for Your Business

1-It Helps Scale Production

Creating a single blog article is one thing; creating different content assets for different publishing platforms with a unified voice following a defined content strategy is entirely different. To do this, you need the right people in the right roles, following defined content processes and leveraging the right technologies. 

For example, a content operations manager or content operations consultant would establish the most effective way to organize your teams so that writing, editing and publishing are streamlined. They would also establish workflows that most effectively allow these teams to work together and then, finally, through technology, like project management software, AI writing and editing tools and content management systems

The end result is the ability to create more brand-aligned content and to do more with the content you create, increasing the chances of connecting with valuable audiences.

2-It Reduces Content Costs

Efficient content operations can help streamline the process of creating and managing content, which ultimately leads to cost savings. Content Ops actively seeks ways to configure content teams and workflows to find greater efficiencies. They also look for ways that new technologies (like tools that leverage artificial intelligence) can improve or replace different aspects of the content creation process. 

Good ContentOps teams will do this while keeping an eye on content performance. The goal is to improve performance while also reducing production costs.

in By having a well-defined workflow and process in place

3-It Helps Drive Revenue

Successful content operations teams can play a key role in meeting business objectives and ultimately driving revenue. They do this by having an in-depth understanding of the conversion potential of content and the function of different content types in the buyer’s journey.

For example, an organization can have a treasure trove of content with high traffic but low conversions or, conversely, content that could rank for high-value low-funnel keywords. Content ops teams would help identify these opportunities and lead the optimization of content for the desired business results.

4-It Raises the Bar for Content

ContentOps teams add value to content creation processes by approaching content with a different lens than the creative team. They will tend to look more closely at the competitive landscape and take a data-driven approach to their analysis of content, leveraging a variety of tools from Google Analytics, Google Search Console and others

Through in-depth analysis of the competitive landscape, ContentOps teams can identify valuable content gaps that might otherwise go unnoticed. Similarly, Contentops can identify types of content from competitors that are yielding results or suggest structural or format changes that can increase the potential to rank in search based on competitive analysis.

ContentOps teams will often take a broad view, looking at individual content as it relates to broader content ecosystems. From this perspective, Contentops can identify things like how articles should be interlinked and clustered together to maximize search results or how content can be better leveraged to improve the breadth of the customer’s experience. 

In addition, Contentops can help content teams organize information, including developing style guidelines, to ensure consistent content production regardless of the creator.

5-It Connects Content With The Rest of the Business

ContentOps teams derive their content operations strategy from an understanding of the broader business. With this understanding, they are in the best position to help align content goals with business goals. 

With a broader business view, ContentOps teams are better able to identify content opportunities across different business units that can have the greatest organizational impact. For example, timely sales enablement content or whitepapers might not be the first thing that pops into the content team’s minds when planning future production, but Contentops teams, with their understanding of broader business objectives, are often best suited to bring these opportunities forward.

Content Operations: A Systematic Approach

A common mistake a company can make is assuming that successful content marketing is as simple as finding a writer and producing content. In reality, a more systematic approach is required if a company is serious about generating an audience, leads, and customers through content. This approach includes developing a content strategy, a content plan, a process by which content is produced and distributed efficiently and effectively, and support for its continued optimization.

Following a systematic approach can lead to resounding success in reaching audiences and reducing customer acquisition costs, but failing to do so can mean wasted time, effort, and money. If you don’t plan to do it right, you might be better off investing in different marketing channels. 

ContentOps is a function dedicated to these systematic processes and driving a return on investment. Through its focus on people, processes, and technology, it improves efficiency and scalability and reduces costs. Through its business-centric and data-driven approach, it can help uncover revenue and conversion opportunities otherwise unseen. Finally, ContentOps teams can enable creative teams to do what they do best: create content.

How a Content Operations Agency Can Help

A content operations agency can play a crucial role in establishing a content operations function within a growing business, particularly one with a limited or non-existent internal team dedicated to content-focused inbound marketing.

Content operations agencies help identify and size content marketing opportunities, develop content strategies, create content plans, staff the content team and develop repeatable processes that enable efficient and effective content creation. They can also advise on the technologies to use to manage production, communication, analysis and distribution.

The infusion of external expertise can help internal teams get off on the right foot and, eventually, develop a content operations function internally, having fast-tracked their learning and adoption of best practices by working with a team of experts.

The Bread and Circuses team has decades of experience in content strategy, operations and production, directly from the content business at Ziff Davis Media, now serving emerging B2B Saas companies looking to add content marketing to their mix. Book a discovery call today to learn how Bread and Circuses can help your business.

To learn more about ContentOps, we recommend this podcast from Exit Five, featuring Janine Anderson, Zapier’s Content Operations Manager.

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