How to Scale Content Production
If you’re growing a business, odds are you have many problems to solve—negative and positive. One of the positive problems is how to scale up marketing to drive your business forward. If you’re running a content program, it may be time to learn how to scale content production.
This can be difficult to do internally, depending on your existing marketing staff or creative teams. But don’t fear—there are many ways to build a content team and scale up content production.
What is scalable content production?
Scalable content production is content that can quickly be ramped up to produce large quantities of marketing content at a moment’s notice. This can be challenging if you don’t know where to start. First, you’ll need a content strategy framework.
What is a content strategy framework?
A content strategy framework is the plan you’ll use to ramp up content marketing. It describes exactly what content you’ll be writing or any content repurposing you’ll do, your target audience, and the ultimate goals you want the strategy to accomplish. Ideally, it’ll also map out how you’re going to manage and publish quality content and what content marketing formats you’ll use.
What is scalable content?
Scalable content is a bank of content that you can expand and publish rapidly to fulfill your business’s current needs. Some easy ways to do this include:
- Repurposing content into different formats
- Converting written content like a blog post into video content, or vice versa
- Using written material and dividing it into multiple social media posts
- Rewriting existing content to focus on slightly different angles
- Outsourcing complicated material to a freelancer or agency (outsourcing white papers is a good example)
What is the main purpose of content production?
The main purpose of content production is to drive traffic to your business, likely to your website, where you have a chance of converting people into paying customers and increasing sales. The purpose may also depend on your company’s specific goals, which include the following:
- Rank highly in search engine results
- Increase social media engagement
- Educate/build trust with your audience
How to create a plan to scale content creation
Now it’s time to dive into how to create your content marketing plan. Scaling your content creation is a big undertaking, but it’s also very exciting!
Who should be involved in the content creation process?
If you have a marketing team in place, they should definitely be involved in the content creation process. If you don’t have enough internal resources to devote to the content creation process, you may want to outsource the work to a content marketer or content marketing agency.
Depending on your strategy, you’ll need a lead strategist, writers, a social media specialist, web developers, or designers to create visual and digital content. A quality assurance lead should also check all of your product. You could utilize user generated content, but this may or may not work for your company.
How do you create a scalable content creation plan?
Creating a scalable content creation plan is most effective if you can break down the process into smaller steps and assign the content plan steps to different members of your team. This prevents the responsibility from falling to one person and immediately streamlines the process.
For example, have one person in charge generating a content idea and one person in charge of SEO content. Another person does the actual writing; a third person is in charge of visuals. Learn to delegate!
Creating a content calendar is also key. The entire team will need access to the content calendar so there is no confusion on what is publishing and when—and who’s in charge of what steps. This way you can map your content for the next year and even beyond.
What factors influence your scalable content creation plan?
When you are creating a scalable content plan, probably the most important factor to keep in mind is your budget. That will inform all the content marketing choices you make.
The software you use will also play a big part. If you find a system that can better organize your work, it may be worth the investment. This can include blog hosting and design suites, or even project management programs. If you use SEO software, that will greatly affect how well you outline your articles and hit the most accurate SEO key terms.
It’s also important to hire the right team for your project: writers, editors, and experts who can give you the information you need.
Questions to ask when preparing to scale up content production
As you begin scaling up content production, you’ll probably have a long list of content marketing questions. However, you’ll need to ask a few questions of yourself first.
What are your current techniques and coping strategies for producing content?
First, take a look at your current techniques for producing content. Is it all delegated to one or two people? Is your content calendar organized (or do you have one at all)? When it’s time to post a content piece, who is in charge of curating all the comments and responding to inquiries?
If any part of the process is causing a bottleneck, examine it and develop a better solution before scaling up your content.
What are you hoping to achieve by increasing content production?
Next, think about your ultimate goals for increasing content production. Do you want more clicks through to your blog (customer education), more followers on your social media (influence), or more converted buyers (money)? Each of these goals requires a different method of content production, so be clear on these goals up front.
How will you know if you need to change your approach to scalable content production?
Regular analytics will flag if your content production approach should change. If you aren’t getting the return on investment from your target market that you hoped for after a year or so, reassess your plan. But keep in mind that your content plan is a long game—don’t expect results overnight.
It’s also important not to fall into the trap of quantity over quality. If the quality of your content isn’t good, you’ll need to figure out why. Make sure you have the right processes, programs, and most importantly, people, in place.
Establish a successful content production workflow
Once you’ve created your framework and outlined your content marketing process, it’s time to build a production workflow that will keep things moving along seamlessly.
Which tools and programs do you use for content production?
The tools you use for content production are important. If you have a website or blog, your hosting platform is important. So are the design system programs you use, whether it’s the Adobe Creative Suite or Canva.
Most important may be your project management systems. If you can’t easily manage the content workflow or quickly see the status of projects, you’ll quickly lose track of the materials, and confusion will ensue.
Why is it necessary to have an organized content production process?
It’s very important that your content production process is as organized as possible. Without structure, leadership, and a clear plan, it’s very easy to get off track. Writers may not understand what they’re working on. Efforts may be duplicated. You may end up with several pieces of website content that are repetitive or don’t have a coherent through line. Worst of all, important steps in the process are liable to fall through the cracks.
How do you establish an organized content production process?
Establishing an organized content production process is vital. To do this, create templates for the types of content you want to write. This will help your writers and editors act in the quickest, most efficient way, instead of reinventing the wheel every time they sit down to write.
When writing an SEO article, another best practice is to use a clear creative brief. It will help your content piece perform highly and return top results on search engines.
Creating a style guide will also streamline things greatly. This gives the writers proper terminology to use, the correct call to action, and the right tone for the piece.
Tips for structuring your content library to scale
Once you’ve started creating content and developing your library of materials, it’s important to structure your content library for easy access.
How should you structure your content library to optimize the use of scalable content?
To optimize your content, your library must be structured well. First, perform a content audit, and categorize each component by type or topic. You must ensure the content is easily sortable. Including meta titles or meta descriptions with each content piece will help you tag your articles by topic. Then you can run analytics to find gaps or duplicate content.
You can also add image guidelines and keywords in your content database so other members of your team will know what hashtags to use when promoting that piece.
Why use a social media content calendar in combination with your content library?
Social media is an important part of your content strategy, so it’s vital to have a social media content calendar as part of your plan. Your team will use the social media calendar to know what types of posts to promote on what day.
If you have upcoming events you’re promoting, work these into your social media calendar as well. You never want to miss an opportunity to let your followers know what you’re up to!
How do you set up your content library to ensure the right people have access to particular content, files, or folders?
It’s likely that your library will be housed on one of your company’s central servers or a cloud platform. Assign or hire a team member to be the administrator of your library, or basically be responsible for your content governance. He or she should give appropriate permissions to team members who need to access and edit the content.
You can also create subscriptions to your library so you can easily control who can access the content.
Determine where the content will be published
More than likely, most of your content will be published on your website. However, there are plenty of other venues to publish your content.
How will you track where content will be published?
Use your content calendar to keep track of exactly where your content is published. Keep detailed notes on any magazines, news outlets, or other websites you’re hoping to target. When a piece is published, note the publication date and a URL link to the material, if available. You can use this as a resource later to see where you’re being promoted and easily access past work.
How are the style, tone, and voice of your content determined by its published location?
Particular news outlets or magazines may require content to be written in a certain style or tone of voice. Always do your research and know what their requirements are. Direct your content writer to use that outlet’s style guide. If your contribution sticks out like a sore thumb, it will probably not see final publication with that media outlet.
Where should you publish your content?
When you’ve published your content, don’t leave it exclusively on your company’s web page, where it may or may not be seen by your target audience. Social media can help increase your reach quickly, so be sure to promote your social channels prominently on your website. Some great places to post content (or links to it) are these:
- Email campaigns
- In an e-book (perhaps using a ghostwriter!)
Scale up your content with Elite Editing.
Planning and ramping up content production can be a daunting process. However, the information here should start your wheels turning on how to scale content production.
If you need a full-service content agency to assist with your content production process, Elite Editing is here to help. We have a full staff of editors, strategists, writers, and designers who can execute your content development. Reach out for a free quote today!