The hidden costs of siloing your content operations

Estimated reading time
3 minutes
22nd April 2020
Author: Kit McKay
Posted in: Content operations

Being able to quickly scale up your content is a huge advantage in the current climate, but a recent report from the CMO Council and Rock Content found that many marketers aren’t able to do this. 38% of surveyed marketers listed taking ideas and translating thoughts and concepts into reality as being among their most pressing content challenges. Also, only 3 in 10 marketers responded positively that they could quickly scale up or down their content operations if needed.

In reality, content operations are often an afterthought to content marketing. People focus on the creative and expected revenue growth without implementing the infrastructure needed to connect the two. This can cost your business in more ways than you might think.

What are content operations?

Your content operations are the processes behind your content marketing. This includes the strategy, visibility, and collaboration that goes into your content.

Without effective content operations, your content marketing is fragmented – each piece of content is produced without significant consideration to how it will be used or why it’s even needed in the first place. Taking this approach is the reason many marketers are unable to tie their content marketing efforts to the bottom line of their business.

When you do have efficient content operations in place, you create content that forms part of a bigger picture, covers all personas and buyer stages, and provides long-term value long after it’s published.

Who’s in charge of content operations?

Since content operations and content marketing are often painted with the same brush, this is almost always part of marketing’s responsibilities.

The issue with this is that the demands for content from a business perspective have exploded in the last few years. What once might have been organizing a few blog posts a month is now a multifaceted series of processes that need to work together in order to be successful.

On a daily basis, content operations can include uploading, editing, updating, distributing, and the ownership of strategies behind content. This is often spread among the marketing team to do alongside their other duties, which means it’s not always done well.

It also means that content is being created in a silo. The marketing team create the content they think the business needs, but that content is being ignored by the sales team and other functions of the business because they don’t agree.

To get the most out of your content, the operations side of things should take a cross-collaborative approach that involves all stakeholders.

The cost of siloed content operations

If content operations are limited within the marketing silo, marketing are only going to produce content that is not used by their coworkers, is not aligned with the broader strategic objectives of the company, and disjointed with how customer-facing teams are communicating.

Considering that the estimated cost for content marketing can be up to $50,000 per month for strategy, creation, and promotion, that’s a lot of money for something that is ignored internally and therefore not being used throughout the entire pipeline – only at the top from marketing’s own limited channels.

The hidden costs of siloed content operations range from missed opportunities to disjointed communications. Sales cycles become bloated and deals are painful to close because the right content just isn’t there.

The benefits of cross-collaborative content operations

Cross-collaborative content operations allow every team to have full visibility into workflows, schedules, and metrics. It creates space for open communication between departments on the processes going into content creation. It also allows full transparency into the metrics the marketing team are monitoring to measure their content performance. Do “hits” and downloads really impact the business or are there other insights the business would like to see content deliver?

Collaboration doesn’t take creative control away from marketing but it does allow other teams to make comments and suggestions for the content they think would help them do their jobs better, which in turn means that every stage of the buyer journey is covered. 

One of the most important tactics marketers can take is listening to the people within their business who are communicating with prospects and customers on a more intimate level than themselves. That knowledge is priceless. If you want to create content that actually resonates with your audience, being a team player and bringing others into your operation will allow you to drive lasting revenue to your business directly from content.

If you’re interested in learning more about the actual processes you need to take to build a scalable content operation, check out this presentation by Emily Reynolds of Phunware at B2B Marketing Exchange: