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A recent study about productivity in 2017 analyzed over 225 million hours of work done and found out some interesting things. For example, although most people go through a 40h/week schedule, we are productive only for 12.5h/week, and the average number of times we check communication apps during a day is over 40, and we switch between apps on an average of 300 times a day. Well… still feeling productive as you multi-task?

After speaking with hundreds of content marketers all around the globe, we came up with a list of the most unproductive things a content marketer is (probably) doing but that can be easily overcome – resulting in a way to deliver more results using less effort (and time). So here are the 5 most unproductive things content marketers do – and have been leading them to a burn out:

1) Using disconnected and uncentralized tools for one single purpose

The sales team of your organization probably never give any thought about using or not a CRM to organize their process. The marketing manager is probably not using a whole bunch of plugins, templates, spreadsheets, email management, project management, landing page software and other tools to manage their inbound marketing process. Neither is your finance team controlling the finance side of your business with paper, pen and a calculator.

Now, why should the content department (the basis of your online presence) be working with 10 different tools that do not integrate with each other to do their work? Not having a proper content marketing management software to help you take care of it all is costing you time and holding you back from delivering better results!

2) Acting like a carrier pigeon

Are you currently encharged of making sure the content goes from one person to the other? How seamless is that process at the moment? Well, if you still spend your own time and attention making sure someone finished their part, taking it back and sending it over to the next person, you are not alone. In fact, we found out that most of the companies that do content marketing today have their respective content manager acting like a carrier pigeon – centralizing every move.

Such reality means that if the process of getting an article done includes a 4 steps workflow, what really happens is the workflow ends up having 8 steps. For instance:

Ideal workflow: Production (Writer) > Revision (Editor) > Designing (Designer) > Approval (Director) = 4 steps.

Common workflow: Production (Writer) > Manager > Revision (Editor) > Manager > Designing (Designer) > Manager > Approval (Director) = 8 steps.

Your job as a content manager should be to guarantee that the content strategy is in place, and everything is going well. But that doesn’t mean you should mediate all the steps in between. The best way to deal with it would actually be doing the opposite: stepping out the process and having a general view of everything. In order to do that, you need a seamless process that flows from one person to another without your intervention. If you have a process that takes care of itself, you can then use all the time you save to actually work on things that can never be automated – like being creative with your strategy and tactic plan.

3) Not engaging the team in creating content

Suddenly you see yourself responsible for every single aspect of your content strategy. It would be great if everyone could help the strategy thrive as a team – with or without you – but what happens is the opposite. Without you, there are no new ideas for your content. Without you, there’s no one writing, reviewing or approving content. Without you, no one actually knows what’s happening on the marketing calendar. Without you, no one knows how many pieces of content were produced, what content we are currently working on etc.

And you know what’s worst? You can’t blame anyone. It’s actually your responsibility to make sure that the information is centralized in an interactive calendar. It’s also your responsibility to have a formal process that encourages everyone to participate. Like a central place where they could brainstorm ideas and suggest content themes based on the interaction they have with customers and the main questions they repeatedly answer. And that’s what you should be investing your time into instead of being involved in small tasks during the process like the one mentioned in number 1 and 2.

4) Putting together a monthly report manually

If you are still analyzing results on a monthly basis or worse, and creating all reports manually to share only with your immediate superior, you are definitely doing it wrong. Here are the three main reasons why you should swap that current manual process to an automized and accessible process:

– Firstly because you might be losing some huge opportunities that appeared in the meantime when you were doing other manual stuff instead of keeping an eye on the bigger picture. Like when you should have given a boost to that content that was performing well above the average but you only realized it a month later.

– Secondly, because data about content marketing performance should be well spread around the organization. That way people can feel incentivized to participate:

“Hey, salesperson, imagine instead of repeating the same concept 7x a day over the phone, you could reach +100k readers writing it only once?”

– Thirdly, content marketing is the only sustainable marketing strategy in the long term and directors should be constantly reminded about that.

You already know this, but it’s always fun to remember: with content marketing, as the views on each content keep rising, your cost per visitor shrinks – exactly the opposite of your paid media.

5) Not being able to visualize each piece of content as a part of a bigger strategy 

Your strategy should be viewed and managed as a whole. Each move you do must converge to the one goal you have set. So you must be able to visualize every piece in one place as the one big thing it actually represents. But what actually happens in many companies is that content managers can’t get hold of everything that is going on. Why? Because the process usually isn’t integrated into a tactic calendar and a documented content strategy.

Not having a calendar that is integrated with your blog or social media channels and accessible to everyone in your team is an indicator that your strategy might not be clear to everyone. If your strategy isn’t omnipresent, that means that there will be gaps in between your content and across your channels – which basically means everything that you have planned won’t happen and your goals won’t be achieved.

In Conclusion

If you are doing some or all of the above, it’s pretty easy to see where those 27.5 hours of unproductive work time are going. With so many buzzwords beeping on your ears all the time – A.I, Machine Learning, Cryptos etc.. – it’s easy to lose yourself and forget that you don’t need a flying car or a house on Mars to be productive. You can start with small and simple steps and go a long way ahead of your competitors.

In case you are looking for an all-in-one content marketing management platform that will help you fix those 5 unproductive things, you should probably check out Contentools or request a demo.

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