In today’s competitive content marketing landscape, scaling content is a key success factor. A regular content publishing schedule, combined with the right quality checks, makes it easy to build devoted content followers, an essential for getting recurring business.
According to the Content Marketing Institute, 64% of content marketers said their greatest educational need is understanding how to create a scalable content strategy:
As soon as the publishing frequency goes up, content marketers often find it hard to maintain quality. Here’s why you need to focus on both content quality and quantity.
This guide will show you how businesses can develop a content creation workflow that makes scaling a child’s play (with the quality checks, of course).
Before building a tall six-month plan, start with the foundation. Keyword research is the first step to creating search-friendly and audience-centric content. In this section, let’s understand how to align the keyword research process while scaling up content.
The evolution of search engines means more focus on intent-based search results. Also, searchers are using longer, conversational voice queries.
Take a look at these examples.
As a content marketer, you need to focus on the intent and context of the search terms. That’s your key to audience-centric and searchable content creation.
It’s as easy as this:
When you’re still building niche authority, you want to start by targeting longer tail, more accessible keywords. Segment keywords based on the user-intent and customer journey stage—here are some quick examples:
|Keyword||Customer Lifecycle Stage||Intent|
|lead generation strategies||Problem Awareness||Informational|
|best marketing automation tools||Solution Awareness||Informational|
|hubspot vs salesforce||Solution Comparison||Informational|
The ultimate goal is to go after higher search volume and competitive keywords, but you can start with the low-hanging fruits. Once you have a bucket list of keywords, you can start creating a content calendar.
Simply put, a content calendar helps get an overview of your publishing schedule. It lets you decide what goes out when. It’s a six-month content plan. Let’s now learn about this crucial next step of the content creation process.
Plan and manage branded content creation with this well-designed template
As you start scaling content creation, having a schedule becomes necessary for tracking progress. It organizes your content creation efforts and paves the way for newer content initiatives.
An editorial guideline is a document that helps make branded content stand out like a rockstar. It includes the brand guideline and the style sheet; works as a ready reckoner for content creators. In this section, let’s understand how to infuse an editorial guideline into the content creation process.
When creating content, you want to make it unique. Start with the following questions:
A voice gives a distinct flavour to branded content. It connects with the audience. With a consistent voice, the readers know what to expect from every new content piece.
For instance, when we think of Redbull, we think of words like extreme sports, adventure, excitement.
Plus, a consistent voice adds to the conversion rate.
Take these steps to carve a unique brand voice:
1. Brainstorm with the team and the founding members about the brand’s overarching purpose.
2. Create a voice chart that talks about the core values and how to steep them in branded content.
Include a content mission statement. You can take a look at this example of writing goals from MailChimp:
Roughly 45% of a brand’s image can be attributed to what a brand says and how it says it.
Besides creating content that’s on-brand, you need to maintain consistency in the writing style. For instance, it creates a terrible impression if certain words are spelt differently on different blog posts. That’s why you need to create a rulebook to define the content style, structure, and format. Here is the stuff that you need to determine:
A style guide helps writers to understand the writing best practices and maintain consistency in written content.
Sloppy and incompatible graphics can’t build an online brand. That’s why you need a visual content style guide.
Most successful content marketing brands have the distinction of creating soulful content. They do it consistently and at scale. There is no place for half-hearted content. And that’s why you need to develop a set of content quality parameters.
Make sure you have them in place before you scale-up.
Let me break this down for you.
Online searchers are looking for the best answers to their queries. They want the latest information. Moreover, you want to help them in every possible way. When you create content that’s useful and solves problems, you’re adding value.
In 2019, 90% of the most successful B2B content marketers claimed to prioritize their audience’s informational needs over their own sales/promotional message. (CMI & MarketingProfs)
Online searchers aren’t looking for half-baked fluff. They’re looking for actionable advice—stuff they can quickly implement.
Nobody likes dull, lifeless walls of text. Make your content sweet as pie.
As a content marketer, you can create a tailored content quality program for your brand. Here’s how:
Headlines are the face of branded content. Unless they attract the audience to branded content, it won’t get enough click-throughs and traffic.
Make use of a headline analyzer to iterate powerful headlines.
Making branded content authentic is about being yourself. Create content from personal experience, and you’ll end up being unique:
A content outline maps out the details of a content piece. It’s an essential workflow element that enhances content creator productivity. Let’s understand how to create a simple content outlining workflow.
Here are some critical steps in developing a content outline:
You can’t expect writers to produce content from their brains. Give them the bare-bones, and they’ll be able to deliver fresh, high-quality content.
Content curation is the process of finding excellent content online and sharing it with your audience. It could be sourced from anywhere and does not represent your brand. In this section, let’s learn about the importance of content curation and its use for effective content scaling.
Content marketers are under tremendous pressure to keep the social timelines active. Content curation is a pivotal way to improve brand reach and impressions.
The strategy helps you add value to the audience and create visibility for the business. Here are some benefits of curating content:
You can’t rely on curation alone, but it’s undoubtedly an excellent tactic for scaling up content production and promotion. Let’s take a look at some effective content curation strategies:
Curate quotes from experts and famous personalities to create inspiring new blog posts. Take a look at this example from the Brain Pickings blog.
Attach an opinion snippet to the content piece. The strategy helps showcase your brand voice alongside a content piece that does not belong to your business.
Content repurposing is about using a content idea to churn out many pieces in different content formats. How awesome is that? In this section, let’s look at how to do content repurposing to improve content creation productivity.
Producing large quantities of content requires a lot of hard work.
But here is the deal.
When you have produced a certain number of great content pieces, you can re-use them!
Sounds interesting? Keep on reading.
Have you ever wondered how some big brands publish content on so many content platforms? It’s with the help of creative and selective content repurposing.
Let me explain repurposing with the help of some examples:
The list goes on and on. Every content format and platform is unique, but what you convey to the audience may be quite similar on most occasions. Here are some key benefits of recycling content and using it in different forms.
a. Content repurposing is a useful method to extract maximum value from high-performing content pieces.
b. It’s a creative way to tweak an existing content piece and make it look fresh.
c. As most audiences are scattered across online platforms, repurposing helps you reach out to all of them.
d. It helps add to the scale of content production and improves production efficiency.
Now that you know how repurposing works let’s come to the critical question—how to immerse the repurposing in your content production workflow?
Fair enough, here are some easy steps to follow
Content promotion is an essential way to start building an audience for branded content. In this chapter, we will look at all the ways to amplify content and improve its reach.
Many marketers make the mistake of scaling up content creation only.
And that’s when they run into trouble. Why?
That’s because you need to get the audience to find your content before they can use it or share it.
Here’s a simple truth:
Targeted and scaled content promotion is the key to optimizing the returns from content creation.
Let’s understand how you can create a calendar for promoting branded content at scale:
There is no shortage of writers to help you with your content creation process. But when you’re competing with the big boys of the industry, you need to create authority content. And for that, you need writers who know your business.
Here’s the bottom line:
Scaling up content does NOT mean recycling what’s already out there. Here’s what you need to do:
As you scale content creation efforts, you don’t just need a bunch of good writers. Levelling up content means you want to get the desired ROI from producing that content. So how do you get there? You hire a team of specialists to help edit, promote, and optimize branded content.
If you have little idea about what I’m talking about, then here’s a list of roles you need in your content marketing team:
Remember the first step in the content creation process? An SEO specialist manages everything from keyword research to content optimization to internal linking.
In short, the SEO specialist helps make branded content easily searchable. A search professional will track content rankings and present ideas on how to fare better.
This role comprises those who love being active on social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. A social media specialist shares existing content pieces on these channels. Besides that, they actively create social updates and keep your brand’s social timelines active.
When you think of spreading your wings and earning substantial publicity, you think of outreach specialists. An outreach professional will pitch content assets to prominent industry blogs and news publications. The strategy is critical to expanding the audience for branded content. Plus, it’s a great way to drive traffic to your content assets.
An editor plays a vital role in proof-reading a piece of content. Editing professionals would create editorial standards and make sure that every piece of content adheres to it
When it comes to running paid campaigns, you need people who know the tricks of the trade. Hire professionals who have an in-depth knowledge of the ad interface of different online platforms.
Content performance experts will keep tabs on the vital content metrics such as views, traffic, likes, and shares. They will create reports about the top-performing posts. Such details come in handy when analyzing which content strategies and channels work best for your business.
Designers help with creating stunning visual content. Attractive designs make branded content a lot more appealing.
You can choose to hire pure specialists or those with more than one of the above skillsets. The idea is to focus on building a team that works together to delight a targeted audience.
Mastering the art of creating path-breaking and relevant content takes time. But don't lose heart. There are many free and low-cost tools to help you produce top-notch content more efficiently.
Without further ado, let’s look at the best tools for content creation:
Nobody likes to read blog posts with grammatical errors like spelling mistakes and loose punctuation. Grammarly is a popular AI-based language checker. The tool makes editing and proofreading quick and easy. The paid version of this ideal tool will cost you a little over $139 per year.
Researching and finding interesting new content can be a tiring process. You can use a free tool like Feedly to follow the best of niche blogs. Browse through multiple feeds from a single tab. Sweet, isn’t it?
Creating beautiful looking infographics should not seem like it’s some rocket science. Tools like Piktochart make it easy to drag and drop your favourite design elements and put together a sexy infographic. Picktochart’s premium version costs around $24 a month.
Research is a constant thing for content creators. Evernote is a powerful tool to take notes and save online resources.
Evernote is a terrific free tool for storing ideas and using them for your upcoming content pieces. A must for assembling your thoughts and improving content creation productivity.
Do you enjoy playing Solitaire? Trello is an exciting project management tool that makes you feel like you’re playing an online card game. Plus, it’s super easy. Here’s what all you can do with this free tool:
It’s a fantastic tool for content managers handling small to medium-sized content teams.
When it comes to using images for social media or blog posts, stock photos can be useful. There are many free stock image sites to add colour to branded content and make it look nice. Take a look at some of the finest stock image sites:
Use these platforms for quickly downloading some attractive images. You can use a graphic design tool to add text and edit the pictures to fit your content.
Canva is a popular tool among content creators. It has some cool templates to create beautiful social media graphics, infographics, blog graphics, flyers, ebooks, and whatnot.
When you’re scaling up content creation, you need branded collateral to look professional. Canva is a hassle-free tool that makes it painless to churn out designs that align with your brand guidelines.
Good content is most often a result of some fantastic ideas. Start by brainstorming ideas with your team. IdeaBoardz is a tool that helps individual team members to put down their thoughts and start a discussion.
Teams that collaborate can put together the most creative content ideas. And that’s the coolest way to make branded content to stay away from the herd.
Speaking of educating the audience, using flow-charts and diagrams can work magic. Such visuals make learning easy. Miro simplifies the process of creating flow-charts and diagrams.
You can use this tool to spruce up branded content through neat-looking flow diagrams. Miro also comes with many other features such as project management, collaboration, and mind-mapping.
The correct way to know what the audience wants is to do keyword research at the right time. You can use SEMrush to find the right key phrases.
The feature allows you to use a location filter to know about content ideas for a specific city.
You can get access to the paid version of SEMrush at $99.95 per month. Businesses who are expanding their content efforts must consider this feature-rich keyword research software.
The free tool from Google lets you know the worth of a content idea.
Google Trends works well to help you decide topical priority within your content strategy.
Knowing which keywords and phrases will get you search-rankings could make things easier. That’s why SurferSEO.
All-in-all, SurferSEO improves content optimization productivity. It helps content creators to make content more relevant and search-friendly.
Scaling up content can be a roller coaster ride. There will be occasions when you feel that things are going just fine. But at times, things might look gloomy. That’s why keeping track of content performance is one of the keys to successful content scaling.
Let me walk you through how you need to create a performance measurement process.
Here’s how it flows:
1. Define the metrics you think matter.
2. Put down a process for tracking the data.
3. Analyze reports to understand the gaps and how to fill them.
Many content marketers fail to understand the true meaning of content marketing success.
Only 44% of B2B marketers are clear on what content marketing success looks like.
The correct way to define content metrics is first to understand your content goals. What do you wish to achieve with your content creation process?
Once you know the goals, it’s easy to prioritize the metrics.
Sounds simple? Let’s go more in-depth and learn about some of the possible content marketing goals.
54% of companies reported generating quality leads to be their biggest challenge with content marketing. (The State of Content Marketing 2019 by SEMrush)
Looking for more leads with every content piece means you’re looking at the right people visiting your content and filling up an online form.
Here are the metrics that you need to track:
Engagement and Interaction
At a point in time, when you’re working on content quality, you may want to focus on whether the audience is enjoying and appreciating the content.
Here are the numbers you need to capture:
As I said, engagement shows the value of your content. Simultaneously, it also affects other goals, such as leads, conversions, and awareness.
How does that happen?
Engagement increases the possibility of more people knowing about your business and find it worth their while to convert as well.
Sales and Revenue
All said and done, you cannot run a marketing program without any returns from it. That’s why getting sales is the ultimate goal of creating content.
The most common measurement of success for content marketing programs is Total Sales. (HubSpot, 2020)
Let’s understand the key metrics you need to track:
Again, as a goal, brand awareness helps add to long-term sales from content creation. Let’s see how you can track this objective:
You can use a few simple tools to set up content performance tracking. Get the performance team to set up the mechanism to track the right data.
Use Google Analytics to learn about content traffic. You can set up goals to track leads from specific landing pages.
There are some marketing automation suites like HubSpot that offer you all metrics in a single software. Let’s now go deeper into how you can run content audits and do in-depth content performance analysis.
The idea behind measuring the outcomes is to work on improving them. That’s why you need to know how to turn data into feedback for the content team. Let’s figure out how:
Use the analysis to help the content team to create better content.
A content audit is about making a list of existing content assets finding strengths and weaknesses. You can do an audit every year or six months. The objective of a content audit is to analyze the quality of branded content. In this section, let’s dive deep into how to create a content audit workflow.
a. A content audit allows content strategists to find strategic shortfalls and work on improving overall outcomes.
b. It helps content creators to fix redundancies in existing content. An audit is useful in understanding how to re-do content pieces that are not performing to their best.
c. Know about how to improve search rankings of existing content.
d. Make a list of topics that are working better with the target audience.
e. Find content assets with high traffic but low relative conversions.
f. Do away with content pieces that are low on quality or do not adhere to your brand voice.
Let’s now take a look at the steps involved in a content audit workflow:
This step involves making a list of all the published content pieces. You can do this by making a list of content URLs.
When you have all the metrics in front of you, it’s easy to draw up a simple plan that lets you know what to do with your content assets. Here are some possibilities.
Once you have an action plan, you can draw inferences that you can use for making the necessary amendments to your content plan.
A final analysis will show you how you need to tweak the existing content strategy and improve business outcomes.
Since you’re investing more time and resources in creating branded content, you’re under a lot more pressure to get the results. That’s why an audit is such a vital component of creating large scale content.
Quality content may not be the shortest route to marketing success, but it’s a sure-shot one. Creating content that resonates with your brand voice makes an indelible impact on the audience’s hearts and minds.
Valuable content assets have the potential to fetch long-term business outcomes—much longer than you might expect. Scaling up is like building a tall edifice that offers you a rock-solid brand reputation and recurring sales for your business. Make each step count, and you’ll indeed find the top spot in your business niche. That is the ultimate goal of scaling up the content creation process.