Shorten time to market
Get clarity on roles and responsibilities; that's always an excellent idea
Do your content processes take forever? That's soul-sucking and the best way to drain the energy out of your team.
The time-to-market issue is especially applicable to bigger organizations and governments. We all know their slow and sluggishness and bureaucratic political hassle.
Eight weeks from start to finish still is fast; everyone needs to take their piss and make the mark.
Requirements to be able to speed up
- One owner with the final say; one captain per ship
- Get your mandate in place; then there's no need to align on every detail
- Suck it up; not everybody will be happy
How to speed up
- Ideation on paper: old school handwritten to get the creative juices flowing
- Stock content for peace of mind; you’re an idiot if you don’t have stock or backup content
- Process to create content; write those roles and responsibilities down, preferably in threefold and in blood
Too many people that want to have their say on your content, is killing. For the time to market and for the energy.
Why it matters
Being slow and not agile is not sexy. Not for the team, not for your customer, and not for management. Your content becomes a consensus and is too little, too late.
If you work for a smaller organization and you’re the one in control, no need to read any further. Lucky you.
Requirements for speeding up
How can you speed up the process and shorten the time to market?Here are the three things you need to take care of before you even start nibbling in the processes.
A. One content owner
Often the content is owned by everybody and nobody. Everyone wants to have their say, yet no one is the final decision maker.
To speed up the processes, assign one owner who’s responsible for the project and give the final ‘go or no’ for the publication. If you don’t have such a strategic senior in your content team, I suggest you assign the CMO or Corporate Comms Manager as the end responsible.
Notice you can’t assign the junior or medior content producer for the ‘go or no’ as you need seniority to take the responsibility.
B. Get your mandate
Know your boundaries upfront. You, as the content owner, are in control. And you make sure that you manage the stakeholders in such a way that you don’t have them to piss on, review and sign off on everything you create or every little change you make.
C. Realize not everyone will be happy
You can’t please everyone with content. There will always be someone who isn’t happy and want changes, different words, or to adjust the video.
F*ck that. You don’t want consensus; you want rock-solid content that adds value to your customers.
If you have your mandate, they should trust you in your expertise and craftsmanship.
The only ones to keep onboard are corporate communications for issue and reputation management and customer care. Both need to clean up if you f*ck up, so better keep them as friends and take their input seriously.
Once you have these three requirements settled, you can speed up the process. Here are my top three tips from ‘My secrets for speedy production revealed’
1. Ideation on paper
I always have a list of content ideas; those are handwritten in my little green book. Every time I have inspiration, I stumble upon something, or it just pops up in my mind, I write it down. Often, it’s just one-line; other times, it’s a few bullets.
Not all of those brain farts and mind dumps are equally qualitative. By writing all down and going over them from time to time, the good ones will rise to the surface.
This saves time on ideation. You can go through this ideation list with the stakeholders from time to time as a head up on what to expect in the near future. If you do so, that also saves you on time in alignment on the topics.
2. Stock for peace of mind
One of the best tips I learned back in 2010 working for Volkswagen (Pon) is to keep a stock of content.
Keeping stock equals keeping peace of mind, headspace, and creativity. If you know you have your next few content items ready, you can take your time to produce new material. There’s no rush, no urgency, or a specific deadline.
We always had the content ready for the next fortnight and some additional evergreen content on the shelves. Evergreen content is content you can always publish; it’s not timely, not seasonal, and plug-and-play ready. Great for if any very last-minute changes are needed due to circumstances.
Not sure if this really speeds up the processes. Yet it's great for headspace. If a content item fails the ballotage, it's easy to publish something else that's already approved.
3. Process to create content
I have a self-developed process in place; I use this for my own publications and (unnoticeable) for my clients.
If you work for a bigger brand, it’s time to write down the process and stakeholders. Old school project management; who’s responsible for what and when.
Getting clarity on roles and responsibilities, and expectations is always an excellent idea.
Here we are, my hands-on tips for speeding up your content production process.
I realize it’s easier said than done. Where the h*ll to start? If you want to know some more details, don’t hesitate to drop me a DM, and we can jump on a quick call.
The 5 most asked questions about content
You ask me the same questions over and over again. My clients. During workshops, keynotes, and calls.
So, why not write them down? Here's my ‘They ask, you answer’ series on content and strategy. The questions are in the most asked order.
- I want more content for less budget; what are the tips?
- What do I need to measure? I struggle with accountability.
- It takes forever; how can I speed up the process and shorten the time to market? (this blog)
- I don’t see the results; what can I do?
- We struggle with ownership; where should content be?
- Bonus: How to prepare for AI; We have no idea what’s its true power; 33% cuts in teams are expected
Click on the links to read more (duh…)