Digital marketing is ever-dynamic with the best techniques, practices, and technology changing so fast, keeping up is a race. However, with the right insight, you can master scaling your content marketing to generate more leads without losing time.
In a survey of 1000 digital marketers in 2017, researchers found out that one of the biggest challenges they experienced was how to scale their marketing.
Well, considering how much time, resources, and mental energy goes into creating top-notch, effective content, those numbers are not surprising. While outsourcing may be an option for you, that also comes with its unique set of obstacles. In other words, it may be best for you to come with your strategy for scaling your content marketing while staying within budget.
In this article, we’ll walk you through some tried-and-true practices that can help you get the results you need. You’ll discover valuable tips on how to scale content marketing and draw up a checklist you need to mark off while preparing for content production.
Six Steps to Preparing for Content Production
As many businesses have realized the hard way, creating high-quality content doesn’t guarantee great returns in content marketing. Yet, quality is crucial to success. By producing excellent content, you are more likely to achieve desirable results when your content eventually finds its way to your customers.
That said, it is necessary to take your time during content production — never rush the process. The following steps will help you use your available resources to produce the most relevant and effective content you can.
1. Choose the type of content to produce
The first step in content production is to figure out what kind of content you should come up with. However, to answer this question, you need to have adequate information on your audience: their desires, the problems they encounter, the solutions they need, and their preferred content type.
In other words, you’ll have to do thorough research and analyze your business niche all over again — identify its trends, challenges, and even your competitors — but from a different angle. Once you have all this information, you can decide on what kind of content will have the most significant desired impact on your target audience.
For most businesses, common first choices include blogs and videos. These are relatively simple to implement in your content marketing strategy, and they give the audience clear insight into your brand.
In terms of blog content, there are many subtypes, including but not limited to:
- Long reads – for showing your expertise and authority in the field, presenting essential knowledge about a topic.
- Case studies – to offer a case analysis with data and results
- Checklists – drive engagement with easily digestible information
- Infographics – to present data in a fun easy-to-read format
- White papers – to show data and expertise in reading it
- eBooks – to present comprehensive and well-structured information on a wider topic
You can also write social media posts to go along with a high-quality relatable photo or collaborate with small-scale influencers in your niche to widen your audience outreach. As for the latter, micro-influencers are quite affordable due to a smaller audience count (2K – 50K followers) but have high engagement rates.
2. Describe or visualize your content production process and entities involved
Once you zero in on the type of content you want to deliver, the next step is to determine the parties that will take part in the content creation process and how it will flow.
- Determine the entities that will handle different content production duties. These can be your writers and designers, journalists, interviewers, and editors.
- Next, determine how you will communicate with the team. You may choose to do this through an email client, a chat/video, or any collaboration and productivity app, or a combination of several tools.
- Then, assign responsibility for overseeing and managing the content production process. The duty of this person will be to ensure that the team stays on track with the plan and deadlines.
- Finally, decide who brainstorms content ideas. In some cases, the whole team comes together to develop ideas for content while in other cases, an SEO specialist has to take on the role.
By outlining and dividing responsibilities and duties in your team and also laying the ground rules that guide communications, you‘ve made streamlining your content production much more straightforward. More importantly, you’ve increased the chances of successful content production.
3. Assemble creators – pick the right team
After figuring out the roles you need within your content production team, the next step is to choose who is handling what.
Here, you’ll have to assign specific roles to people who can handle those and deliver the results you need. In most cases, you will already know certain people who can get you the quality of results you need. However, you can also reevaluate your staff and talent pool to assign the various tasks.
Here’s a pro tip to help you in this process:
If you want to build a very strong team, we recommend presenting the opportunity to team members instead of just assigning them new responsibilities. This is because not all your workers may be ready to take on new projects or even available to do so. Therefore, if you load them with more work, they may be unable to function at their highest productivity level.
However, if they agree and come on to their responsibility themselves, they’ll likely be more motivated in their new roles. This may mean having to reassign some tasks and move some duties, but it is usually worth it!
Another thing you should consider is the diversity of the content production team. Each position requires different talents, skills, training, and interests that complement each other. Strong writing skills, attention to detail, vision, design skills, leadership, teamwork, and time management are some essential requirements.
Sometimes, you may not have the available talent pool within your organization. In that case, you need to consider training some existing staff members, hiring someone for the position, or outsourcing specific roles to a freelancer or an agency.
4. Edit, recycle, and improve upon existing content
Sometimes, it is easier to edit and improve existing content rather than create a new one. So, if you already have a few posts, original images, or infographics – that’s an excellent place to start streamlining your content marketing.
Analyze the topics you have written on in the past and evaluate how the content performed. If the results were satisfactory, you may move on to the next. For example, you can even turn a “How-to” style article into a webinar. Use the same content, just deliver it in a live video format to your audience.
However, if there is an article that produced less than satisfactory results, analyze it to find opportunities for improvements. Some common shortcomings include an absence of proper visual aids, lack of relevant keywords, statements that aren’t factual anymore, or even irrelevant to your audience.
Based on the problems you identify, try improving such articles and using them in other posts and even on other platforms.
Analyzing your previous work is an essential activity as it can provide you with valuable lessons about your content marketing. Not just that, it also lays the groundwork for new projects. So, identify what topics sparked the most interest and engagement from your readers, and create additional content around them.
You can also reuse the best-performing content on your other platforms with some changes to the format.
5. Develop audience personas
Like all forms of marketing, effective content marketing requires you to create a personal connection with your audience. This is why knowing your target audience personas is crucial.
Speaking to data points instead of a human being is uninspiring. While you should still have an outline of what the target market is, knowing essential details about your customers — who they are, their home address, where they work, family status, and most importantly, their interests — is critical.
By getting to know your customers, you understand them better and are privy to their areas of interest and challenges. In other words, you develop a persona for them.
Creating a persona for your audience or readers makes them more real and less data-like. As such, your team can create more content that is more relevant to your audience and they can relate better to.
For instance, instead of talking to 45-year old entrepreneurs who live in New York and are more likely to use dating apps, you’ll be delivering content to Gregory, ‘a self-made entrepreneur who is struggling to maintain a good work-life partner due to his rigorous schedule, but still longs to find a life partner.’ Gregory can relate more to this and is more likely to use your CTAs.
Depending on the size and characteristics of your target audience, you may only need to develop one persona. But, if you have a larger, more diverse group, you may need two or three average representatives.
The type of data for persona development can include:
- Demographics (age, gender, income, location, race)
- Background (education, profession, family status)
- Identifiers (interests, goals, preferred communication channels)
- Challenges (pain points, common objections)
Based on the above, you can develop a plan to win over your audience.
6. Define your content goals
Are you looking to boost your brand awareness, attract and convert new customers? Then, it is important you properly outline your business goals and then streamline your content to achieve such goals.
Every information or content you put out should be a part of your business strategy and contribute towards achieving your company goals. Therefore, by defining your content goal, you can achieve a clear purpose and a more targeted approach to content creation. More importantly, you’ll be able to evaluate the results you get based on the goals you set.
Here are some common content goals:
- Increasing brand awareness and reputation
- Educating and engaging customers
- Recruiting new talent and partners
- Researching the market (target audience’s challenges and fears)
- Overcoming objections
- Validating new ideas and products
- Improving search engine rankings
- Increasing traffic and conversions
If you want to set goals for the content your business creates, there are two questions you must answer — What actions do you want your audience to take after reading or going through your content? How do the action (or actions) they take help your business?
Once you have the answers to these questions, defining your content goals becomes decidedly more straightforward. Of course, after identifying these goals and defining the responsibilities of team members, you may then start setting your content pipeline.
How to Streamline Your Content Pipeline
Here is a five-step guide to streamlining your content pipeline and creating a consistent routine.
Step 1: Hold brainstorm sessions to come up with topics
If you want to get the best results from your content creation and marketing projects, choosing the right topic is vital.
A rule of thumb is to research and choose topics that are relevant and relatable by one or more of your personas. Have a brainstorm session with your content creation team and write down as many ideas as you come up with. Then, you can then make your selection based on the most relevant topics.
However, make sure to make your top picks a priority so you can get the best results you can.
Step 2: Create a content calendar in the most suitable format
Next, if you want to create and put out quality content consistently, we recommend designing a calendar for that purpose. This will help your content team meet deadlines and stay on track in terms of your company goals.
Don’t worry if you have to make a lot of adjustments in the calendar because your forgot to add a topic or missed a deadline. Try to get to a point where you can plan the calendar according to the team’s resources. Over time you’ll be able to foresee possible issues with the plan or catch moments when you’re understaffed. This helps when you scale your content marketing.
Step 3: Research and define keywords for each article
With articles, you must optimize them for Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs) by researching and identifying the relevant keywords for your article that will boost its ranking online. This way, your potential customers can find you when they search online. To do this, you’ll need to.
But, here’s something to note.
With keywords, you should also review your past content so that you are not competing with your own blog pages. Of course, make sure that your writers have the proper keywords before they start writing.
Step 4: Review Published Content
Content marketing does not end when you post your content online. You need to monitor your published content to see how it’s performing. In other words, analyze how much traffic it gathers, its click rates, conversion rates, lead generation, and even bounce rates. This way, you can know if you need to make revisions and how to improve on future content.
Doing this step regularly will also help you scale in the future – knowing what works and what doesn’t.
Step 5. Make your content workflow a continuous routine
Finally, create a flow cycle for your content. Once your team has their topics and the schedule for each on the calendar, a new brainstorming session should begin for the new batch. By doing this, you ensure that your entire team remains productive and provides you with a consistent flow of quality content.
To continue to be top-of-mind to your audience online, you need to publish valuable content regularly. However, it’s not all about creating content, you also have to make sure that the content you create helps you achieve the desired results. Sadly, many businesses fall short of the mark here.
Hopefully, this article gives you the insight you need to scale your content marketing results to greater heights while keeping the expenses low.
Isaac is a content marketer with Mailbird, with experience working with global teams and business development. When he’s not writing about tech, productivity or marketing, he’s busy enjoying a good sci-fi book.