It’s natural to be resistant to the unknown, which is why inbound marketing can seem like a daunting task for industrial organizations. Sometimes approaching an unfamiliar project using a familiar framework can make it seem less intimidating. With that in mind, here’s how you can use the 5S lean manufacturing methodology to efficiently and effectively create content for inbound marketing.
Sort with a content audit
5S starts with sorting through your work space to determine what’s needed and not needed. Similarly, conducting a content audit of your existing marketing content is a crucial first step in creating your long-term inbound marketing plan. You’ll want to gather materials from shared marketing folders, check with sales to see what collateral they are sending to prospective leads, and scour your content management system for existing ebooks, white papers, and guides. Determine which content is still relevant to your organization’s buyer persona. Sorting through this content can give you a better idea of what you already have and will need to achieve your SMART goals.
Set in order with a content compass
The set in order phase involves creating an obvious place for your tools and putting everything in its place. Organizing your content using a content compass can help you achieve order. The content compass creates a framework for your inbound marketing campaigns. It helps you group content together that can support buyers through each stage of their journey. Setting your content in order by month, SMART goal, and campaign helps focus your inbound marketing strategy for the year.
Shine with a structured naming system
The third step in 5S is shining or cleaning your workspace regularly so you create a quality work environment. Now is a good time to clean up your content by creating an intuitive system for naming and saving content. Consider using a naming convention that includes the content format, buyer’s journey stage, campaign, and year. Do the same for your folder structure. Cleaning up individual pieces of content and placing them in the correct folders ensures that future users can get a clear idea of the purpose and use of that piece of content at a glance.
Standardize with workflows
A vital step in 5S is making sure you maintain the order you’ve just created by standardizing the cleaning processes. You can standardize your content creation process by creating workflows. Your workflow will identify who will work on what tasks and how others will be contributing in each stage of reviewing, publishing, and promoting your content. You’ll want to set standards for each piece of content, create timelines for when drafts and final copies are due, and identify who will be responsible for each step. Standardizing your workflow will help ensure your content is produced consistently and on time.
Sustain with a growth mentality
Sustaining 5S means making a commitment to actively maintaining the first four steps and making it a part of your everyday work life. You can sustain all of the content work you just completed by developing a growth-minded marketing mentality. Measuring and analyzing performance of the content can help you identify which pieces of content and channels of promotion were most effective. With this knowledge, you can adjust your original plan and build content that feels more customized and targeted to your buyer persona. Looking for ways to improve your content and to grow your conversion rate are ways to sustain your inbound marketing.
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