9 Tips to Efficiently Run an Ecommerce Content Team of One

  • by Susannah Morris January 13, 2016
    January 13, 2016


    If you’re a content team of one, it can certainly be tough to manage everything. From staying on top of best practices, to being ready to newsjack the latest trending article, you need to always be ideating and responsive to what’s going on in the world –– outside of your individual industry.

    Here are nine tips to help you efficiently run an ecommerce content team of one.

    Get buy-in from the decision maker

    You’ve heard it before: marketers who have prioritized blogging are 13x more likely to enjoy positive ROI with 82% of marketers who blog daily reporting they have acquired customers via their content.

    And those are only two of the statistics proving the value of inbound marketing (i.e. content marketing). The most important thing you can do as a content team of one is get buy-in from the decision maker, whether that’s your manager or the CMO. Unlike PPC where you are renting your audience, content marketing pays off over time as you build your SEO footprint and own your audience. It doesn’t happen overnight, and you’ll need executive support for the long-haul.

    Set clear goals

    Once you have buy-in from the decision maker, you need to set clear and realistic goals about your content strategy. Are you going to spend the majority of your time working on blog content? Or are you focusing on developing video content to help your products come to life?

    Depending on the strategy you’re pursuing, you’re going to have a different impact. You might post a how-to video on your blog to bring potential customers in, but that’s different than a video that discusses the product and helps it come to life on a product page, pushing a potential customer through the conversion funnel toward purchase.

    Make sure your goals reflect this.

    Develop a content strategy and calendar

    With your goals in place, you need to develop a content strategy to achieve them. This is where you will have tradeoffs. Every week, maybe you create one piece of pillar search engine optimized “how-to” content with a video to help you rank in search, and balance the time you’re spending on that with a round up post of product-focused Instagram recommendations.

    Once you’ve determined your goals and strategy, put together a calendar to keep everything organized. Make sure to include flexibility in your content strategy. In addition to your “meat and potatoes” campaign or themed content for each month, you should leave some room for more responsive, topical content –– e.g. industry news or trends, current events or content focusing on other personas.

    To manage content calendars both time and cost effectively, try Google Spreadsheets or Trello.

    Reuse and recycle

    With a content team of one, having the content you create do double (or triple!) duty is imperative. Plan your blog strategy with the goal of wrapping several of the posts into chapters in an ebook. When shooting a how-to video, also shoot the informational video to help it come to life on a product page, as well as take promotional photos for social media. You need everything you do to have multiple uses.

    This is called a pillar content strategy. Here is how it is mapped out –– proving that one piece of quality content can serve an immense amount of purposes.


    Foster a content culture throughout the organization

    If you foster a content culture throughout the organization, your content team will grow to be more than just one person. For example, customer service representatives can help you write product guides or blog about frequently asked questions. Enlist anyone who is using the product to photograph it in real life situations for social media. Provide training to make sure everyone who is interested in contributing knows your guidelines and the best way to contribute.

    Emphasize how being a thought leader and contributing content to your company’s marketing is a professional development opportunity. As your company grows, you can increasingly raise the barrier to contribution – people will even apply to contribute once you’ve fostered this culture.

    Know your limits

    This is where the tradeoffs in the content strategy and calendar you’ve created come in. If you’re spending a lot of time and effort on a video, you might not have as much time that week to write a long, thoughtful blog post. Instead, do a quick win on the blog with an infographic or round up post.

    Additionally, know when to ask for more resources. You can outsource writing projects through a service like Zerys or design projects through a service like Fiverr. Alternatively, you can find someone internally who is looking to move laterally or flex their writing chops to round out your content production. Lean on the culture of content you’re creating.

    Create an idea backlog

    Have a place to capture and organize your content ideas. As a team of one, you likely have more ideas than you’ll be able to execute upon. If you have a system in place to capture interesting topics and ideas when you come across them, you’ll be ready to go with the next video you want to create, blog post you want to write or social media campaign you want to launch, when you do have more resources.

    Analyze everything

    As a one-person team, you don’t have any time to waste. Make sure you’re measuring everything so you can iterate on it. You should be constantly analyzing your work to make sure it’s helping you achieve your goals. If it’s not, don’t be afraid to try something else.

    Identify your popular and high converting topics and optimize for them. Create a process to manage contributors, both internal and external. Use tools like Google Docs to collaborate. Automate as much as you can, so you can spend your time on content, not wrangling it.

    Align your distribution strategy with the rest of your team

    Distribution is a critical part of your content strategy. If you need to work with other parts of the marketing team to set up landing pages or send email, know the lead times and the best way to work with them. This will help to solve for potential backlogs early in the process, rather than slowing you down at deadline time.

    Even if you’re the only dedicated ecommerce content marketer, you can grow your team by enlisting others in different roles to help ideate and create content, as well as distribute it. With organization, you can create an efficient content process and strategy to generate demand and encourage purchasing!

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