The Way It Was
Working as a content creator for the past 20 years, I’ve certainly experienced a dramatic shift in the way we work. Where a professional writer 10 to 15 years ago may have only been responsible for executing article ideas on a deadline, today there are numerous other steps in the process once that piece of content is written.
The Way It Is Now
My role has grown over the years from simply being a writer to now being a writer who also may have to manage (assign and collaborate on) a number of other tasks to help make that content most effective, including digital marketing, SEO, social media, graphic design, video and project management.
Whether you’re a journalist, marketer, sales professional or product manager, the nature of business today means we’re required to wear many hats – all in the name of great content. It doesn’t matter whether that piece of content is meant to persuade the reader into being a better steward of the environment or buying your latest greatest widget: If you want to stand out from the crowd, your content needs to be solid, and it needs to be found easily.
While 10 or 15 years ago there may have been only one channel through which your content was disseminated (a magazine article, marketing brochure, blog or a corporate newsletter, perhaps), today there are multiple channels through which you can share that content. With that comes a whole slew of other steps added to the content-creation process. Once the article is complete, the real fun begins!
Today you can post, publish and share that single piece of content via a number of different outlets: traditional print publications, websites, email newsletters, social media channels – such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn – as well as direct marketing campaigns, just to name a few.
Content marketing practices, including the use of hashtags, SEO-friendly tags, headlines and copy, will only help to amplify your reach by making the content more search-friendly. The benefit here is being able to expand the reach of your product beyond the scope of a single article post. But I’ll be honest: It can be overwhelming and time-consuming if you don’t have a solid system in place.
Creating a strong piece of content today requires the spinning of many plates, and unless you spent your childhood as part of a traveling circus, this level of multi-tasking is unrealistic for many of us – not to mention ineffective.
Enter Project Management
So, what do you do if you want to remain productive, effective AND stay on-deadline? You get yourself a little friend called project-management software.
Templatizing the content-creation process using a project-management software program has been a godsend for our team. Being able to automate the steps with a helpful checklist of tasks that involve not only my own realm of responsibilities but others in the production process streamlines the entire workflow and keeps everyone in the loop.
Having a centralized location that everyone works from also ensures that everyone is always on the same page. All assigned tasks, messages and files are available and visible to everyone involved in the project. The ability to send out scheduled reminders of due dates along the process or send messages to team members via the software (and not get lost in the email abyss) really helps keep the project flowing smoothly and on-schedule.
My Top 5 Reasons for Loving Project-Management Software
1. Easy centralized planning, assigning and scheduling of tasks
2. Transparency among the entire team
3. Easy file sharing and storage
4. Improved collaboration and communication
5. Saves a ton of time and eliminates errors
We use Asana, but there are a host of other great project-management software programs out there today, including Monday.com, Basecamp, Smartsheet, Airtable and many others.
For us, using a system like Asana has saved time and prevented small steps in the process from slipping through the cracks. Our content now has a new level of consistency when it comes to sharing and marketing that valuable knowledge, and we breathe easier having a solid system in place.
If you aren’t on the project-management software boat yet, it’s time to come aboard! You won’t regret it.
Amy Antenora is the Editor of aftermarketNews
Contact Amy at [email protected]