Content marketing is a valuable marketing strategy that virtually any company can benefit from.
But when your business is at its maximum output, how can you take your content marketing strategy to the next level? That is, how can you adjust your strategy so that it continues to benefit your growing business and give your audience the content they need?
If this is your current situation, you’re probably thinking about scaling your content marketing strategy.
What exactly does “scaling” mean?
The term can be a bit misleading, but in short, scalability refers to an organization’s ability to “cope and perform under an increased or expanding workload.”
So, to scale your content marketing strategy means to develop and execute a plan that will help grow your business. That doesn’t simply mean churning out a higher volume of content, though; it also means creating more high-quality content.
And that’s certainly no small feat. Keep reading to find out how you can successfully scale your marketing.
How to Scale Your Content Marketing Strategy
1. Create an initial content marketing strategy
You’ll need a basic content marketing strategy if you don’t have one already. Without organized and clear goals, your ideas may not even make it past the drawing board.
To create one, first think about how your content strategy will help your marketing department in the following ways:
- Match content goals with buyer needs: How does your content help your customers? Does it address their concerns? Not keeping your audience in mind is detrimental to your overall strategy, so it’s necessary to remember what will be most helpful to them.
- Allocate in-house resources effectively: An initial content marketing strategy needs to ensure that internal resources are accessible to all employees. Internal resources include style guides, training materials, or software.
- Achieve higher relevance: How will your strategy help your content rank higher in search results? You can make your content more relevant by using methods like newsjacking, or taking advantage of any major events that you can connect your content to. Creating evergreen content is another way to remain relevant for long periods of time.
- Fix any holes in your preexisting content: This means refining your brand’s user personas, choosing topics based on relevant keywords, or anything your content is missing. If you can patch up any gaps with your new content strategy, then you’re on the right track.
Remember what while having a detailed plan is ideal, it should more importantly be adaptable.
2. Convince higher-ups to increase the budget
Increasing spending on content marketing doesn’t hurt—in fact, with proper allocation, it can benefit your business in more ways than you think.
For one, more resources can help you reach your business’s marketing and sales goals more quickly. Companies with bigger budgets also have the capacity to widen their brand exposure through more funding to PR, rather than content creation alone.
Pitching for a higher budget isn’t always so simple, though.
Your boss may not be sold on content marketing yet, or it’s just not affordable for the company. Be proactive and prepare your research for these conversations with coworkers—building trust and support among the people you work with is just as important as creating your initial content marketing strategy.
3. Establish a content production plan
It’s crucial that you set up a content calendar when scaling your content marketing strategy. Figure out who will do what, when, and where early on in your scaling stages.
- Writers, designers, and editors: Everyone on your team should know who’s responsible for content creation and what their responsibilities are.
- Infographics, white papers, blog posts, and videos: These are just a few types of content. Decide which one(s) your audience would benefit from most and if your team is capable of producing it.
- Publishing frequency: Set up a schedule for how often you’ll post content. Do you plan to publish posts daily, weekly, or monthly?
- Management software: You’ll need to stay organized when scaling your content strategy. Use Google Drive, Trello, or Jira to keep track of where all your content is and manage projects.
4. Find specialized writers
Whether you decide to hire freelance writers or in-house staff, make sure that your content creators can produce content efficiently. A big part of this means finding writers who are qualified to create the content you want.
Unfortunately, it can be difficult finding writers that have expertise in the subject they need to write about.
You’ve got a few strategies to handle this:
- Invest in training and educational resources for in-house writing staff to develop their knowledge on topics they’ll be writing about.
- Assign projects based on writer strengths. This way, writers can focus on their specialty.
- Outsource your content needs to writers who have experience in the niche you need content for.
5. Hold weekly meetings with your writers and content production team
Keep tabs on content creation by meeting with your production team regularly. With frequent meetings, you can coordinate with your team to do the following:
- Brainstorm new content ideas
- Refine your brand voice, if it still needs fine-tuning
- Identify what can be improved upon with current content and what works well
- Examine trending topics and how to incorporate them into your content
- Discuss content production strategies
Consider appointing someone as a scribe to take meeting minutes so that no ideas are lost. Too often do brainstorming sessions lead to ideas that never get brought to life simply because notes aren’t taken.
6. Encourage community involvement
Or, in other words, bring your customers into your content marketing process.
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to limit yourself to content created by your employees or contracted writers. Instead, try making use of user-generated content.
For some inspiration, take a look at Smile Direct Club’s results page.
The company, which specializes in making dental aligners, dedicates its results page to customer success stories posted on Instagram and YouTube. The photos speak for themselves, and take the weight off Smile Direct Club’s content creators—there’s no need for them to produce a significant amount of copy for this page.
In this way, inviting users to be a part of the content creation process make it easier on your staff. Not only that, but it can also add a sense of authenticity to what you publish.
7. Recycle content
It’s not necessary to dish out new content every day to see results.
Be strategic and repurpose content, particularly long-form posts, into other forms of content marketing. This way, you’ll be able to spend more time on other meaningful projects.
Combine, reuse, or rethink content in new and unexpected ways to generate more with less effort. For example:
- Split larger content assets, like white papers, into separate blog posts
- Write a blog post based on one section of an infographic you’ve produced
- Map out a blog post series to serve as chapters of next month’s ebook
- Publish a video transcript and commentary as its own blog post
9. Keep track of your business performance
To ensure your scaling plans are a success, you’ll need to track your content’s performance through key performance indicators (KPIs). These are measurable benchmarks to gauge your content strategy’s level of success.
Use these KPI results to improve upon your content strategy’s strengths, weaknesses, and to calculate its ROI.
Not sure how often you should be analyzing KPI metrics?
Consider making a schedule like the following:
- Create monthly, quarterly, and annually KPIs to aim for. That could be setting targets for content creation (e.g., 6 amount of blog posts published per month) or traffic growth (e.g., quarterly traffic growth of 25%).
- Every day and week, use Google Analytics to check for spikes or inconsistent drops in traffic, and examine the causes for them.
- For any new content campaigns or projects, do impromptu checks whenever necessary.
Your business will be at a competitive disadvantage if you choose not to scale your content strategy. After all, content marketing generates three times as many leads as traditional marketing—and at a lower cost.
If your current approach seems unsustainable, it may be a sign that you need to change it. Keep in mind that content marketing is constantly evolving, though, so you’ll need to develop an adaptable strategy to continue progressing in your industry.
This point was originally published in May 2018.