As we barrel towards the end of the quarter, there are a few critical content marketing tasks to put on your list for the next 3-6 months. This advice applies whether you're a content lead, in-house content marketing team member or independent contractor/freelancer.

4 ways you can add value next quarter and beyond

As an agency owner, my job is to find ways to make our clients less stressful and more successful. Here are four content marketing-related activities you can deploy to add value:

1. Start a pitch bank

One of the biggest barriers to consistent content marketing is good topic ideas. Lower that obstacle by building a list of subjects and angles based on your own brainstorming and inbox. In a spreadsheet, capture the subject, a notes on the angle and potential sources, a link or two to background or sources and thoughts on ideal format/s. Open the list to your team to capture more ideas. Share it with your boss to show your smarts and ease the struggle. Keep it as your double-top-secret superpower to be that person who always has a good idea in a pinch. Pro Tip: We have a pitchbank for every client where we park ideas we pull from articles/newsletters we read, social media trends we notice and topics we'd like to see covered.

A hand-drawn example of a pitchbank with green and black letters on Margot Lester's Word Factory blog.

2. Add search juice

Even if SEO isn't your job, there's no reason not to support search. Jot down a few notes on the search terms you notice when backgrounding, including voice search. Bake these into your content on top of whatever guidance you get from others. Mabye even include the list of terms at the top of your copy to "show your work". Pro Tip: We use our findings to create suggested title tags, meta descriptions, excerpts and H1s. Even clients who don't ask us for SEO support love the additional insights.

3. Support social

Whether you have a social team or not, share the relevant hashtags you encounter researching your work, and grab the social handles for experts you mention. If it won't step on toes, suggest a few tweets and/or a Facebook or LinkedIn post. Often, the content creator is best equipped to distill the text down to social size. Pro Tip: Share links to published content with sources interviewed and encourage them to share via their channels, tagging our clients, which extends the content's reach and engagement.

4. Find back-up

The last thing you want to do when trouble breaks out is scramble to find support. Invest some time in finding a reliable substitute for yourself, key team members and your top vendors. Bonus points if you identify more diverse talent. Knowing who to call in a jam is another valuable superpower. Pro Tip: Get these folks approved and in your vendor management/accounting software, including W9s and other tax documents. Then you don't have to wait for them to be OK'd when time is tight.

These tactics may seem small, but they are mighty. When we survey our clients, little things like this are always near the top of the list of what they like about working with us. None of these activities requires much of a time commitment yet they yield good ROI.

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