Your content marketing strategy should set out your content marketing goals and plans for the short and medium term, but it shouldn't be set in stone. Digital marketing is an extremely fast-paced industry, and techniques, technology, and best practices are changing all the time. It's vital that as your business grows, you also scale your content marketing strategy so it can grow and evolve to suit you and your changing audience.According to a 2017 survey of 1,000 marketers, scaling content is one of the biggest challenges they face, and it's no real surprise. Creating quality content takes time and resources. Hiring a whole team to manage content is prohibitive for many companies, but outsourcing comes with its own challenges. And the more content you produce, the more management it needs. Analysis, promotion, auditing, and optimization all take up valuable time.
But while scaling up your content marketing may be a headache, it's necessary and it certainly brings rewards. A small business cannot grow into a multinational corporation and keep the same content marketing strategy it had in the beginning. But how should your strategy evolve over time to ensure it's still serving you rather than making extra demands on your time and money?
Regularly Review Your Goals
As your business grows, your needs change too. So it's worth taking the time to sit down and think about what you really want your content marketing to achieve and if it's still meeting those goals.
Your goals will naturally grow over time as you attract a wider audience. You can lose track of why exactly you started content marketing in the first place if you start to focus on chasing goals like more traffic and social media shares.
It helps to go back to the basics - the who, what, why, and how?
- Who are you creating content for? Is your customer base changing over time?
- What type of content do you want to create? Do you now have more resources for creating long-form, in-depth content and videos?
- Why exactly are you creating each piece of content? What are the goals you hope to achieve from this?
- How are you creating content? Is your team in-house or are you outsourcing? Have you considered using software to make your content production and promotion strategy more efficient?
Decide what metrics are important for you to track and make sure they're aligning with your business goals. If you're getting more traffic to your site but your conversion rate is down, you may have some strategy revisions to do. Make sure your content goals always link back to your overall marketing strategy.
Grow Your Content Marketing Team
One person can only write a finite amount of content in a set period of time. Likewise, a marketer could easily spend her whole day creating posts for social media.
If you want to scale up your content marketing, you need more people - there's no doubt about it. What you do have a choice in is whether you hire staff for an in-house team or use agencies and freelancers to meet your growing needs.
For many businesses, the second option is the most attractive and makes the most financial sense. Outsourcing content production comes with many benefits. You can expand the voice and point of view of your brand with professional writers. You can scale as fast as you want and produce as much content as you need to. And you don't have to deal with the management issues that come with an in-house team.
Some companies rely on a core marketing team and outsource content production to specialist writers, illustrators, and videographers. Others choose to outsource all their content marketing to an agency. It depends on the individual needs of your business which option is the right one for you.
As your team grows, it can be challenging to maintain a consistent brand voice for your content. Reduce this risk by developing a comprehensive style guide and ensure that everyone involved in content production sticks to it.
Utilize Technology and Automation
Sophisticated technology has managed to eliminate a lot of repetitive work. Marketing technology makes the whole process of content marketing more efficient overall.
There are many marketing automation tools available that can deal with everything from scheduling your posts on social media to personalizing content to each user and moving them through the buying funnel.
AI-powered software can even help you to write content. Machine learning algorithms can optimize content for higher click-through rate and generate the perfect headline at the touch of a button.
If you feel like your current team is struggling with your content production schedule, it's well worth investigating some tools that can help to lighten the load and make the process more efficient. The idea is not to take jobs away from marketers, but free them up for creative thinking and strategic planning while the computer does the drudge work.
Software tools can also be used to assist in team collaboration and communication. Cloud-based platforms mean that multiple team members can work on one piece of content without worrying about updating the wrong version or constantly emailing back and forth.
Focus On What's Working Now
Don't waste your time and resources on producing content that isn't converting and isn't bringing in leads. Instead, follow your analytics closely to identify your best-performing content and use it as a template to produce more of the same.
You don't and shouldn't need to re-invent the wheel every time you produce a piece of content. To make the process more efficient, ensure that your team has a "recipe" or a "roadmap" to follow that is guaranteed to produce a successful result.
When you're trying to scale it can be tempting to try and do too much, too fast. But there's no need to start producing flash videos if your existing high-quality content is performing well.
Be analytical with your content marketing strategy and stick with the activities that offer you the highest ROI. Keep experimenting and adapting, but don't direct too many of your resources towards methods and ideas that haven't already proven themselves.