Improving productivity is more than streamlining processes independently. Rather, a holistic operation that includes team morale and working together.
In this episode of Content & Links, Associate Director of Content Marketing Emily Campbell breaks down why the level of productive success starts the second a new-hire walks into your door (or virtual door that is).
Not only do these best practices increase the well-being across team members, but ultimately, increase the bottom line for your business.
Today I’ll be talking to you all about how to increase the productivity of your Content Marketing team.
At Siege we’ve had the pleasure of working with over 50 Content Marketing Specialists through the years and we’ve learned a lot about how to improve team morale and get some really great results as well.
Quickly Train Your Team on New Content Formats
My first tip is for training your content marketing team to learn new content formats quickly.
This is something that we encounter a lot because our team members are working on new content formats and industries regularly. So, we really recommend providing helpful examples to team members of new content so that they have clear examples of what works right out the gate.
We also love to provide shadow sessions with a more senior team member matched with someone who’s maybe learning these new formats. This helps when you’re trying to train someone on data studies or surveys, which tend to be a little bit trickier
You really want to have some senior experience and guidance to help train someone new up to speed.
Teach Scalable Creativity
Additionally, we try to teach scalable creativity at Siege, which I think really helps to constantly help your team continue to innovate and push the needle forward with content creation.
So to do this, we focus on the S.U.C.C.E.S.S. Method, which is a format that we use to ensure that our content is shareable, innovative and creative.
Encourage your team to use this format when writing content and also, when self editing and reviewing.
I like to recommend using the different letters to self edit.
For example, I’ll ask my team, “Is this tip unexpected?” making use of the “U” in the S.U.C.C.E.S.S. model, or, “Are we telling a clear story?” to align with the last “S.”
It’s great to look at the SERP and see what’s ranking for your topic, but we find that it can also help to use these different tools that will organize the content not only by linking root domain and total number, but also social shares.
You’re more likely to uncover pieces of content that are doing unique things. Sometimes when you look at the SERP you might see that all of the articles look really similar and are very formulaic.
We find that using these tools helps you uncover interesting nuggets or different information that can be helpful to what can work in your piece to truly help it stand out.
Reflect on What’s Working, What Could Be Improved
We love to reflect on our learnings. Month over month, we’ll meet as a broader team and get together and talk about what worked for the content creation of the past month or so and what we can learn from things that performed not as strongly as we were hoping.
This is a great way to hear some big takeaways from the team, as well as smaller micro tips like a search string that we could ideate around or different tips for brainstorming creative content.
So, I’d really recommend encouraging your team to not be siloed, but to come together as a broader group and talk about what they’ve been learning recently.
Productivity Tips for Link Building
Next, I will talk about the outreach side of things and how you can improve productivity for your link building team.
We know that outreach can be a little bit grueling at times, so we’ve learned some awesome tips to keep morale high and help people focus on the positive. And ultimately, get those results for their teams.
Encourage your team to prioritize conversions over the total volume of emails sent.
One thing that we used to focus on in the early days of Siege was everybody’s got to hit 100 emails per project per week.
We found that holding the team to a more rigid metric didn’t foster as much creativity. And since then, we’ve shifted our thinking to focus more on conversion rate and how many emails we need to send to hit our link goals or hit the cost per link we’re looking for.
We all discovered that this shift has been a game changer in helping people feel confident, hit those goals and also, keep morale high.
The one caveat of this is we do recommend that more junior team members focus on hitting that volume first–just because they’re learning.
We find that it’s easier to test what’s working and what’s not working so that you can work quickly and pick up outreach quickly as a new hire on our team.
Celebrate the Wins
Additionally, we really love celebrating wins and the positives that we’re seeing in the outreach side of things.
Something that I love that our team does is Instagram shout-outs.
Each month we will highlight a team member, actually a handful of team members, that are either doing really great link building, earned a really high-DA placement or a high volume of links.
We give them that social media shout-out to get the whole team excited and boost morale as well.
Finally, I love to always send through one-off client emails when we get a really great placement because we find that not only does that make the client excited, but also makes our own team excited to kind of foster that positivity across both groups and celebrate what’s working.
Do a Post-Mortem When a Project Underperforms
On the flip side, it’s important to note that not every outreach project will be a slam dunk and when we find that something doesn’t go as well as we hoped it did, I always recommend that we do what we call “post-mortem” docs.
We’ll encourage the team to go into BuzzStream and look at the project they promoted, check the click-through rates, check how many people opened the email, and look at responses at a high level to see if there are any trends.
This is a super quick exercise, maybe takes 20-30 minutes, but it can foster a dialogue between the Manager on the team and the Specialist who promoted the project as well as helps us all come together and see if there are any higher level takeaways.
So, going forward, we’re able to not make the same mistakes and learn from what didn’t work this round.
I hope these tips can be helpful not just for improving morale with your own team, but also make a bigger impact on your business as a whole.