What makes a successful content marketing awayday?

How to make the business case for a content awayday and some great ideas to make it happen.

 What makes a successful content marketing awayday?

We can always improve the way we do content. But we’re all busy people and it can be difficult to find the time to review strategies, encourage alternative thinking and look at the bigger content picture.

That’s why running a content awayday is such a good idea. It’s a highly effective way to refresh your approach to content, inspire your team anew – and help give content that crucial business-critical focus.  

5 reasons to run a content awayday

You can use your content awayday to:

  • get you and your team thinking about new ways to do content – and do it better
  • further embed content as a living, breathing part of your business culture
  • motivate, inspire and challenge your people
  • help you win over content-cynical stakeholders and management teams
  • set concrete objectives and goals for the year ahead 

Getting stakeholders on board

You know the business benefits of content marketing, but other people in your business might not. Crucially, they might be the people responsible for setting budgets, rubber-stamping investment in resource, and deciding the key strategic priorities for the company.

Plus, on a purely practical level, taking staff off-site for a day will cost time and money. Is the expense worth it? Here are five ways you can get disengaged stakeholders and senior management on board with your content awayday:

  1. Pitch the awayday as an investment – it’s something that’ll foster ideas for new products or strategies, delivering return on investment later on.
  2. Ask stakeholders and management to come along. Don’t just limit the awayday to your content team – bring in people from other parts of the company. It’ll help them feel involved, they’ll have lots to contribute, and they’ll get a much better idea of what content marketing is really all about.
  3. Talk action points and targets. Make sure you get it over that actionable things will come from the awayday – you’ll be setting goals and targets, not just sitting in a room being creative.
  4. Sell in the people benefits. Talk about how awaydays are a key driver of employee motivation. The opportunity to be creative and have some influence over your own work is a well-established morale booster. 

9 content awayday ideas

Planning an awayday? Here are 9 ideas to get you started…

  1. Ask your team what they would like to get out of a content awayday. It’s likely they’ll have a few ideas you hadn’t thought of.
  2. Set goals and targets. Make sure your awayday has some concrete goals that you and your team will work towards. What do you want to be doing with your content in three months’ time that you’re not doing now? Plot in some targets and concrete dates for changing the type of content you produce.
  3. The good, the bad and the ugly. Ask everyone to bring in a piece of your content that they really like and one they really dislike. Talk about why you think these pieces succeed or fail to hit the mark. What can you learn from this and how might it inform your content strategies?
  4. Brainstorm for new content strategies. Let’s say you’re planning on producing some content specifically for mobile. What does the content need to look and feel like? What should your mobile content strategy contain? Brainstorm some key ideas and action points.
  5. Run a content competition. Why not split people up into teams and have them work on a content idea? At the end of the day each team presents the idea with thoughts on how to produce and distribute it. Award a prize for the stand-out idea.
  6. Pair up people who never work together. This is a great way to encourage new thinking and get content buy-in from your experts. It’ll help you produce stacks of new content ideas.
  7. Bring outside people in. Do you know a tame expert who could provide some useful input, perhaps an seo specialist or a UX practitioner? Why not bring them in to give a talk or facilitate a discussion?
  8. Float ideas for future projects, initiatives and products. Where would you like to take your content? You might be looking to reboot your content strategies and revitalise your approach to content. You might want to launch new content formats. Have some fun – encourage people to think outside the box.
  9. Make sure you follow up. Don’t let your content awayday fall off the radar. At the end of the day, agree and prioritise your goals and actions. Set realistic timelines for delivering, and keep people update don progress. Also, don’t forget to ask for people’s feedback on the day – and ask them to save a date for the next one...