Do you face constant pressure to publish new content? Are you in panic mode, crunched for time, and looking for anything to publish because you don’t have a content strategy in place?
You realize this is leading to less creativity and lower quality content, but what can you do? How can you put a plan in place that will boost your team’s productivity, lead to better content, address existing gaps, and effectively address your target customers?
Read on for 10 points that will help you scale your inbound marketing strategy successfully.
1) Use Organizational Goals to Fuel Your Content Marketing Strategy
The first step, and the one that will guide all the others is to create a 12-month road map to align content publishing activity with your company’s goals. A comprehensive content marketing strategy can help:
- Ensure content production aligns with long-term business goals and client needs.
- Plan targeted campaigns to coincide with company product rollouts, seasonal promotions, and industry events for greater relevance.
- Spot weak points so you can proactively address content gaps.
Ideally you want a strategic plan that is detailed, but flexible and covers the next year. If you cannot achieve that with your current resources, create a basic topic list mapped to a calendar based on your company’s goals.
2) Implement a Production Process
To create a strategy that scales, you need a defined process to streamline content production. Using your content marketing strategy as a guide, assess your team of writers, editors, producers, and publishers to make sure they can create all the blog posts, infographics, videos, eBooks, and other content you will need to meet publication goals. When you look at the year ahead, will you need to bring more people on board or search for freelancers to meet expectations?
- Create an editorial calendar: Everyone on the content team should have access to a content calendar that details expectations for initial drafts, revisions, and final deadlines. Set the team’s publishing frequency target and use this as a guideline for writing and editing deadlines.
- Working drafts should be kept in one location with a naming convention for files so that it’s obvious at a glance which version is the most current and who worked on it last. Utilize a CMS software solution such as Basecamp, SharePoint, or Igloo Software to make this easy.
3) Make the Most of Editorial Meetings
Bringing all of your content creators together on a regular basis lets your team:
- Brainstorm new content ideas and marketing approaches
- Review the performance of recently published content pieces
- Evaluate current events, trends, and news stories to create unique approaches that mesh with the defined content marketing strategy.
4) Cultivate Expert Content Creators
Take advantage of your writers’ existing strengths and allow them to develop specialties for specific areas such as technical product categories or buyer personas. Invest in training, conferences, and other learning resources to help writers improve their work and keep up with current trends.
5) Don’t Forget about Other Subject Matter Experts
While most of your content will come from your dedicated team of producers, experiment with bringing in fresh outside voices such as:
- Product creators
- Customer advocate
Accessing the expertise and creativity of others can add new perspectives while reducing your content team’s burden.
6) Creatively Re-purpose Content
Reusing content and repurposing it for different buyer personas is smart business practice and can make your content more effective.
When we tell stories, we like to get the most out of those stories. Ask yourself: How can we tell that story in different channels? Plan for that upfront. People say, ‘we don’t have enough content.’ You have tons of content; you’re just not telling your story well. You have to plan for it and make a bigger impact. – Joe Pulizzi, Content Marketing Institute
- Use information in different formats, such as publishing infographics from eBooks or generating a video script from a blog posting. Getting your message out in varied forms will increase your chance of being seen.
- Alter existing content to appeal in a very targeted way to different verticals and buyer personas.
7) Evaluate Content Production on a Regular Basis
Now that you have a content marketing strategy in place, and a team creating regular content pieces, take time to evaluate the effectiveness of your campaigns. Relate existing content to targeted buyer personas and sales cycle stages and then take action to fill any content gaps.
8) Implement Regular Reporting
Put a reliable reporting foundation in place so you’ll know which content pieces are least and most effective. Then you can revamp underperforming pieces and promote the superstars. Use your strategic plan to help identify key performance indicators (KPIs) then set up regular tracking:
- Monitor analytics programs daily so you can investigate potential issues in real time.
- Evaluate KPIs on a monthly, quarterly, and annual basis to track campaign successes and business trends.
- On a one-off basis, it can be very productive to do a deep dive in a long-running arena or implement specialized reporting for a new initiative.
As content production ramps up, and you have the reporting benchmarks in place to prove the team’s effectiveness, the next step to scale your inbound marketing may be to increase your team resources. Any additional funds can be used to hire more internal producers, freelance outside projects, and branch into new marketing technologies.
10) Plan for the Future
As your company scales its content creation, remember that content marketing is a growing and changing field, and you’ll always need to be adapting. Allow team members time to keep up with SEO, social media, PR, online marketing, and blogging best practices and trends. Hubspot Product Marketing Associate Rachel Sprung suggests spending at least 30 minutes a week to stay abreast of new marketing trends.
The logistics of creating and successfully scaling a content marketing strategy can seem daunting, but the role of content continues to increase in the marketing big picture. Taking these steps to understand current and future goals, implement reliable processes, and plan for smart growth will ensure an intelligent approach to meeting content marketing challenges.
Is your company facing any challenges with scaling your marketing strategy that aren’t addressed here? Please share your comments below.
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