Agile Marketing has been talked about a lot recently and has grown vastly in context and popularity.
In reality, it’s just a fancy term for being nimble in reacting quickly to shifts in the market. As a marketer, have you ever thought about using a simple tool like Google Reader in helping you tackle the the concept of agile marketing?
Before you can apply a solution, you must identify the problem. So let’s take a look at some challenges you may face as a content marketer, and then discuss how you can use Google Reader to overcome them.
With Change, Can Come Speed Bumps
With content marketing, the idea is to create content, then measure its effectiveness to determine whether or not it was successful — whether it led to conversions, attracted new followers, built relationships, etc. You then have a model to work from and can leverage the content that did work in a variety of ways, thereby extending its shelf life.
Although this process is highly effective, may come across a few speed bumps in implementation, especially in a team environment.
Communication: A lack of communication among team members can cause a loss of information shared within a fast-paced environment. The stronger communication is within a team, the better their ability to act and react to market changes with greater speed and creativity.
Varying degrees of expertise: Each team member should have the same basic level of understanding of client businesses, competitors, stakeholders, and other influencers in the market. This is where teamwork and open communication, and breaking down of silos become invaluable.
Collaboration: A lack of collaboration between staff can cause holistic campaigns to be broken and to not be as unified as they could be.
The Million Pound Question: How?
How can we overcome the inevitable roadblocks that always seem to pop up? How do we move towards an integrated model that allows us to easily adapt to change and opportunity? It boils down to:
- Ditching the silos.
- Making sure everyone internally is on the same page.
- Supporting fellow staff members in different ways to get the best value.
- Looking at the big picture.
- Having a system in place in order to pinpoint your internal bottleneck problems and challenges.
Using Google Reader to Build an Agile Team
You may already know how to leverage Google Reader for guest post opportunities & blogger outreach. It turns out Google Reader can actually help your team become more agile.
Step 1: Ditch the Silos
First, look into integrating team members so that everyone is on the same page. You can use Google Reader as a central source of information where everyone can access the information easily.
Start by creating a new email account, preferably a Gmail account. For this in particular and moving forward, I recommend you start using the Chrome browser. One of the best things about Chrome is that you are able to have multiple profiles, making it easily accessible for all users, like below:
Step 2: Integrate the Team
Similar to if you were leveraging Google Reader for guest post opportunities and blogger outreach, begin by searching and gathering prospective blogs and social accounts that:
- belong to industry leaders within your local market
- are influential within the industry
- offer a selection of industry-leading competitor blogs
- include high profile Twitter accounts to follow. (this could be companies, real people, or both)
Once you have identified the sites and profiles, add them to Google Reader:
Essentially, the RSS feeds you have found are now a knowledge pool for your team to refer to.
Organise Your Feeds
Start by thinking about which blogs would be relevant to which parts of your team. Create labels that reflect the right team members.
For example, if you work in a digital marketing environment, this post “A Big ol’ List of Online Marketing Blogs” (thank you to @wayneb77 and @s_rvll- good find!) are great sources, and places to start sorting out folders in the following categories:
- Search Engine Optimisation
- Social Media
- Pay Per Click
- Conversion Rate Optimisation
- Public Relations
- Entrepreneurial / Business Development
What you have now is a Google Reader account that is shareable and can be updated by your team. This ensures that everyone is on the same page and has access to the same level of learning.
Step 3: Support Your Team
Ultimately, creating a pool of knowledge accessible to all will lead to the opportunity for your team members to share news and help each other in two ways:
First, they can send interesting blog posts simply via Google Reader:
However, to make things more useful, it would be ideal to send the emails to contact groups rather than individuals (this would have to be configured internally your end). For example:
So you might send the email like this:
Hello Analytics Team,
I came across this post last night, and thought you guys might find it useful:
Maybe this could work well as blog post as to help guide people how to create custom social sharing report or publisher dashboard?
Content Outreach Specialist, BlueGlass UK
Second, you can use iffft to make different recipes for Google Reader. For example, when items are starred, the items will be sent to your email address as shown below:
How Will Your Team Benefit?
Using Google Reader in this manner will not only help your team become more agile, it will help them become a more cohesive team. Increased efficiency and communication also make for a productive work environment. Put all that together, and you’ll see improvements in how your team functions, which can also mean an increase to your bottom line.
What do you think? Have you used Google Reader or other tools to make your team more agile and better integrated? Tell us how in the comments!