Here’s today’s Quiz Question: Does your marketing team move fast enough? More specifically, can your marketing team create and distribute content at a pace that helps to drive business?

For a lot of organizations, the answer is “no.” Or maybe it’s “sometimes.” And that timing gap can be a significant problem when you’re trying to engage an audience that’s extremely busy and has approximately one zillion other options for consuming content. The pace of business has increased by leaps and bounds in recent years; is your content keeping up?

Importantly, this is not about publishing a great quantity of content. The trend seems clear – we’re moving away from blasting crap at the audience in the hopes of attracting them over and over again; we’ve realized that all we’re really doing is driving them away and losing credibility. And this is not about real time marketing – brands don’t need to be everywhere all the time, and most people don’t really care that much about a brand’s Oscar-related cleverness.

 

What it is about is the ability to execute in a timely way when a good idea comes along. The reason it matters is because the audience is searching for relevant content. “Relevant” doesn’t always mean timely, but sometimes it does. Don’t think of timeliness in terms of those colossal audience moments like the Super Bowl; think about it in terms of catching a wave at the right moment – not too soon and, most importantly, not too late.

Too often, the content team misses the wave because it can’t generate the right velocity through the process.

Here are the components of velocity you need to be aware of.

Trend recognition. This is a very important aspect of the content creation process.  Good journalists are excellent at this – they keep their fingers on the pulse of their industry, they talk to insiders and influencers and they have an awareness of trends as they first emerge.

Efficient content creation. Too often, the team is plagued by what I call content lag. Your content team needs to be good at what they do, and part of being good at the job is the ability to do it quickly. Not rushed, but quickly. Secondly, the content team must be allowed to do its job; if it’s pulled in five different directions and can’t focus on creating the content, the production part of the process will lag.

A smooth approval process. Don’t let your content fall into the Black Hole of Approvals. The approval process needs to be mapped out ahead of time and the C-suite needs to be on board. Legacy media newsrooms have a very efficient approval process. This requires a level of trust in the editors in charge of the content team, and the understanding that they’re smart enough to seek higher levels of approval when a particular piece of content warrants it. Once you’ve established this process it will enable the entire organization to find the right content rhythm.

A simple publishing process. This requires having a CMS that the team is comfortable with; if it’s taking 45 minutes to post an article, something is wrong. The problem here isn’t that you’re losing precious minutes of the content being available to the audience; the problem is that, the harder the chore of publishing is, the more likely that the person charged with posting an article is going to procrastinate.

Taken separately, these ideas might not seem like a big idea. But here’s the thing about generating content velocity – it’s going to bring energy and excitement to your team, which in turn creates the passion to generate great, breakthrough content. To not just catch waves at the right moment, but to ultimately make waves.

And that’s what we’re all looking for.

Because once the moment is passed, it’s passed.