Tips on Content Decisions

5 Tips on How to Make Good Content Decisions

Has your team every published something which you didn’t want to?

And when you asked your teammates they also didn’t want to publish it?

Miscommunication can cause many problems in content creation. And such mistakes damage productivity as well as the order of your organization. Whether your content creation team comprises of 4 members or 50, it’s important that you resolve these issues.

Getting rid of miscommunication and making a smarter content decision isn’t a difficult task. In fact, by following certain steps, you can easily resolve this issue and optimize your team’s functionality.

Making better group decisions depends a lot on how your team communicates. It also depends on what your team communicates.

In this article, you’ll discover how to make better group content decisions but before we discuss the same, it’s important that you understand why such errors happen:

Why teams make bad decisions?

There could be multiple reasons behind such mistakes. They are as follows:

Time-pressure:

When teams don’t have enough time to operate or take a decision, they make mistakes. Rushing into a project is always a bad idea.

Everyone panics and it leads to poorly created content.

Fixation on Target:

Consider these two scenarios:

  • You’re about to publish an article but before you do, you think you should add another paragraph to it
  • Your team is going to launch a new ad for your product tomorrow. And it thinks it should edit the ad a little more because the current one seems a little dull

Both of the scenarios are the example of target fixation. In both of these cases, the last-minute changes might have helped but the chances of making a mistake were higher.

Last minute changes due to perfectionism can create the development of more problems.

Groupthink:

Christian Morel wrote a fantastic book on group-based decisions and their absurdities. He mentions radical errors – when the decision is against the will of every team member but it is still taken.

He also coined the term ‘groupthink’. It refers to the phenomenon when team members don’t voice their disagreement over a matter. They don’t share their opinions fearing that it will hurt the feelings (or egos) of fellow members.

Example: When a junior designer doesn’t suggest a tweak because he was afraid his boss will hate him.

Abilene Paradox:

The Abilene Paradox is similar to groupthink, it refers to the phenomenon when a group of people makes a decision against the preferences to all or many members. It was coined by Jerry B. Harvey in 1974.

Example: When you go on a trip with your family, because you thought everyone wants to but no one really wanted to (not even you).

The reason of a mistake could be any one (or more) of these instances.

Morel also says that It always requires three people to make a good decision. They are:

  1. Manager: The one who has the authority to make the decision
  2. Expert: The one who validates the decision
  3. Novice: The one who understands and accepts the decision

Mistakes occur when anyone these three is excluded from the decision making process. You might have published technical content which wasn’t accepted by the audience (novice excluded).

Or you might have published something that didn’t match the current marketing standards (expert excluded).

After recognizing the reasons, it becomes much easier to improve and implement the changes. The following are some things you should do:

Tip #1: Begin with Yourself

Before you begin to change everyone else on the team you should start with yourself. Michael Jackson said it best:

“I’m starting with the man in the mirror

I’m asking him to change his ways”

You should take a look at your own understanding of the team’s goals and meetings. Identifying your weak areas and accepting your mistakes will ensure you don’t repeat the same errors.

It will also help you in coordinating the meeting with higher effectiveness. Recognizing the fact that you’re a human and you will also make some mistakes, enhances your decision-making ability as a person.

You’ll reduce the risks of making the aforementioned mistakes. And you’ll train the team more properly.

Tip #2: Use Simple Rules for Decisions

Create some rules for your content generation meetings. The rules shouldn’t be too strict. That’s because content creation depends on many variable factors (markets’ requirements, timing, etc.).

Switzerland wanted to reduce the number of people dying from avalanches. But it can’t prevent people from going on mountain trek throughout the winter.

It had the option to use research and analysis of the accidents to ensure they don’t take place again. But it was not only exhausting it was also liable to error.

So they chose to follow a simple checklist. Before approving anyone’s request for hiking in the winters, they check the location, its history, its weather conditions and other factors related to avalanches.

They were able to reduce the number of avalanche-related deaths considerably.

Large publishing companies have certain templates for their content ideas. This enables them to teach new members of their content structure easily. Fewer errors happen as everyone follows those structures.

Tip #3: Expand the Available Options

Does your team get stuck on a few ideas?

Try adding a new idea in the mix. When the currently available options don’t work it is better to add a new option

Meetings that go nowhere result in a lot of time waste.

Let the team members brainstorm any additional ideas before drawing any conclusions. It will help you resolve any issues faster and get more work done in less time.

Tip #4: Collaborate with Diverse Groups

Content creation requires the effort from multiple groups in your organization. You’ll need the writer to write blog posts or articles, the graphic designer to modify images and the photographer to provide you with the images.

It’s important that every section of your team works collectively as a unit. New opinion on the project can help you avoid many mistakes.

Let your team review the project’s progress periodically to ensure everything takes place perfectly. Your customer journey should be smooth and each section of your team will have an impact on the same.

Letting them work together and bridging communication gaps will certainly help.

You can mitigate miscommunication by promoting ‘confirmation of responses’. The conversations should end with the confirmation of the previous answer.

Tip #5: Have Shared Objectives

A squad of soldiers, surrounded by enemies, might be prone to making mistakes. But they don’t make the mistakes.

Why?

Because they share a collective goal. They have a mission to fulfill and work together to do so.

Create collective objectives for your team, formulate plans to achieve them and start working. You’ll notice the difference in attitude and performance of the team members quickly.

Having a specific goal in mind helps your team members in reviewing their progress and agreeing on ideas. They will have a direction to head towards.

Have a clearly defined message for your content. What are you always trying to tell your audience? How does your brand sound? Who is your primary audience?

Answering these questions will let you create specific objectives for your team easily.

Conclusion

Making content decisions isn’t an easy task. That’s because you never know what will work unless you publish it.

But by understanding your limits, developing a common strategy to tackle problems and having fixed templates for your content, you’ll be able to reduce the mistakes that might happen.

And even if you make a mistake, remember the saying: To err is human.

Have you ever made a content decision you hated? Let us know.

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