How to Overcome Marketing Silos to Save Your ROI

What exactly are marketing silos? Think of your organization’s workflow. Are your different teams collaborating and communicating regularly? Too often, we get immersed in our projects, creating our islands. While having distinct teams work on different channels, initiatives and departments may separate your workflows, it doesn’t have to be that way. In fact, when your teams are not collaborating or communicating effectively, this can create marketing silos, and they can negatively impact your marketing strategy and your ROI.

Pitfalls of Marketing Silos

Marketing silos are viewed as potentially threatening to your strategy and ROI because they create invisible barriers. When you’re unsure of your teammates’ work, what procedures they’re following, or what tools they’re using, this creates blind spots you may not even have known you have.

Additional drawbacks of marketing silos include:

  1. Lost opportunities for efficiency, possibly duplicating work

At the end of the day, each department is serving the same organization under the same mission, brand and goals. If you’re not collaborating with other teams regularly, you risk decreased efficiency and may discover multiple people are working on the same project, wasting hours and bandwidth.

  1. Inconsistent content brand or disjointed messaging

When multiple staff members are missing from the discussion, this often leads to an inconsistent brand, voice, tone and overall messaging. Imagine an email newsletter that goes out with a professional, informative voice alongside social media posts that are casual, punctuated with exclamation points and emojis. This can confuse your audience and weaken the effectiveness of your content.

  1. Weak campaigns that never reach their full potential

With disjointed messaging, your channels may not attract the desired target audiences. For the strongest results, your campaigns should be integrated. Each component should complement the others. Siloed teams tend to create one-off pieces with little visibility or disparate content that abandons consumers in the middle of their journey.

  1. Fuzzy results that are hard to compile

Campaigns that point in different directions yield muddy results, rendering the data almost useless. Think of members of a rowing team all paddling against one another. Without consistent goals and tracking, you’ll never be able to prove the ROI of your content.

  1. Disorganized assets and libraries

Does this scenario sound familiar? You need a particular asset for a project, but you cannot find it. It’s not in any files on the server or your email. A half hour has passed, and you still haven’t started your task.

This is more likely to happen in marketing silos. Someone may assume they’re the only person who needs a particular asset, and it stays on their desktop, never making it into the library for other parties to reference.

Similarly, when teams silo their assets, they lose opportunities for repurposing or reposting. This can cause costs to pile up as teams recreate content simply out of lack of awareness.

How to Overcome Marketing Silos

Collaboration and communication are the best ways to combat marketing silos. Meet with different teams to ensure everyone’s visions are aligned, and streamline processes to make them more efficient. Afterward, take the following steps to untangle the webs brought on by marketing silos.

1.     Start with a Content Strategy

Simply posting on social media, publishing blogs or sending email isn’t a content strategy. A content strategy is a documented plan that outlines the ideation, creation, delivery and governance of an organization’s content. A solid strategy clarifies your organization’s goals and how you’ll achieve them with content. It provides a reference point all teams can share to help focus and unify efforts. When all your teams understand and follow the same content strategy, you can start removing the barriers to collaboration.

2.     Conduct a Content Audit

Conducting a content audit is necessary for strengthening your marketing strategy. A content audit catalogs all the content you’ve created for each of your distribution channels. It involves collecting data about your current content, assessing its effectiveness and pinpointing areas that need enhancement. This includes various content types, such as blog posts, newsletters, landing pages, videos and social media posts.

Creating a spreadsheet with all these assets is a great place to start identifying what each silo has produced and will help everyone see redundancies, areas that need improvement and opportunities for collaboration.

3.     Develop a Content Governance Policy

Not to be confused with content strategy, a content governance policy is a shared agreement among teams to help hold everyone accountable to the same standards and processes. This is how departments ensure that everything published serves a purpose. It clarifies contributor roles and maintains a strong brand representation.

Start by identifying the different stakeholders, roles and responsibilities across your teams. Consider creating a RACI chart to identify who will be responsible, accountable, consulted and informed about each piece of content. Who will gate-keep the content creation process? Will contributors pitch ideas using a virtual submission tool? Will you meet regularly as a group to review topics? Document everything, such as guidelines and processes, and create a structural framework, such as a content calendar.

4.     Create a Shared Content Calendar

Developing a content calendar effectively aligns your content goals with your business objectives. A shared calendar gives all teams a voice, provides a one-stop shop for everyone to see what’s on the horizon and pinpoints opportunities for future content. A successful content calendar dedicates space for each team’s priorities, leaves room for necessary content and makes identifying synergies simple.

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