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Marketers agree that the speed-to-market for content marketing campaigns can make or break success. Yet, efficiency continues to rank among the Top 2 Pain Points described by marketers when assessing their content marketing challenges. Let’s shed some light on this situation to help clarify just how easily friction can be removed from your process.

Since you’re too busy dealing with process inefficiencies to delve into this topic and gain clarity on how to improve your team’s campaign production, Fabl has decided to tackle the subject for you (you can thank us later in all of the spare time you free-up as a result of this analysis ;-)

By examining a vast array of inputs, processes, tools and teams, we’ve condensed leading drivers of inefficiency into a 3 Point List, offering simple recommendations to reduce, or remove, these common problem areas.

Number 1

While many tools and processes increase the time required to produce content pages; sourcing, processing & organizing visual media assets is often a major driver of inefficiency.

Stock

Stock images are great but many marketers lack access to a stock library account that provides them the diversity and quality of images required to quickly and easily search, sort and apply visual pizzaz to their blog posts. So, by the time they’ve located, sourced and processed their images, hours have gone by and often times at the end of the ad hoc process, the images are not in the right format or size to be ingested by their blog template or system. Work with a blogging platform that already integrates with a top-notch stock media platform, ensuring you can search, source and secure rights to the visual media you need to bring your stories life, every time, no added steps, guess work or liabilities required.

Producing original images and video is always preferred yet the vast majority of the time, it’s unrealistic. From budgetary to schedule restraints, original visual media production just isn’t in the cards for most of us. Yet, like the Siren’s Song, the tantalizing appeal of that portfolio of perfect images from the location you have in mind keeps drawing you back in because the alternative is using stock media and, well, we know the problems with stock media. So, until your CMO has funded an in-house media team or established a massive retainer with some media production powerhouse, consider the cost benefit and let go the idea of producing original media, relying on a streamlined, high quality and standard format stock solution.

Original

Number 2

Today, the average enterprise has more than 1,000 software tools in the toolkit across its marketing organizations. Wait, is that a typo? Nope! 1,000 freakin’ tools y’all. With so many tools in the toolbox, its inevitable that legacy processes, systems and dependencies have gotten between your awesome campaign ideas and shipping content pages that express them. Compromise after compromise leads to protracted timelines, half-baked work and poor results. By assessing what you actually want and need to get done (it usually boils down to something as simple as: “quickly build and publish beautiful pages of awesome content that engage my audience”), you’ll probably come to understand just how profoundly this massive toolkit gets between you and your audience engaging. Once you’ve cracked that nut, consolidate into a small bundle of modern tools that incorporate (and often automate application of) the other tools you used to be subjected to. Less is more!

Too Many Tools

Lack of Control

Have you ever had a vision for a campaign that you imagine being delivered in a stunning, highly visual page format that gives your audience goosebumps and drives massive ROI for your company? I bet you have. And, have you ever moved to execute such a campaign only find that in order to realize your vision you’ve got to involve agencies, freelancers, designers, developers, the IT department, the web team, marketing operations, etc., etc.? Does the feeling of not having control resonate with you? Well, you’re note alone! This feeling is all too common for most of us and, generally speaking, it exists because as modern content marketers, we lack the right tool for the job we’re responsible for doing: having visions that, when fully realized on time and within budget, will drive the business results that management is asking us to deliver. The feeling of “I lack control” is almost always rooted in dependency on other people, teams, vendors and tools that are not adequate for the job that needs doing. The solution is a single tool that automates the inputs from these other people, teams and vendors, yet is designed specifically for marketers themselves so they can do more with less. More commonly referred to as Content Experience Platforms, these web-based solutions are on the rise and here to put the power back in empowerment. Take control, drive results. As my dad always used to say, “you’ve gotta have the right tool for the job.”

Number 3

Design & Testing

Let’s face it, standard blog templates suck. In order to make a blog awesome, it takes a lot of love from designers. But who has ready access to a lot of designer love? Almost nobody. So, as marketers we’re left “playing designer” by experimenting, moving things around, asking friends and colleagues who took art classes for tips, tricks and maybe just a quick image resize or twelve…it’s a painful process to get our stories out the door with a look and feel we can be proud of, let alone one that drives awesome engagement numbers. Additionally, once we have forced everything into some semblance of a publish-ready post, testing the thing to ensure it works across the various screen sizes, browsers and operating platforms is a royal pain in the butt. Do away with this mess of pain by adopting a solution that automates the designer for you. Believe it or not, software can actually be a powerful design team…if you’re using the right software. Take the time to adopt a publishing solution that automates the designer so you can keep being the marketer. You’ll soon deliver blog posts that make designers smile and leads convert!

Take our quick Content Marketer Efficiency Quiz to see how your process stacks up against your peers

Or, go ahead and request a demo to see the platform that was used to create this rad page of content (pssst, it only took us 30 minutes…)