A staggering 43% of companies don’t have a content strategy. That means nearly half of organizations don’t capitalize on one of the most effective marketing strategies today.
But even with a strategy, scaling is one of the greatest content creation challenges. How do you keep your content relevant and consistent as you increase production? And how can you ensure you don’t compromise quality for quantity?
The key is to have more than just a content strategy. You need a scaling strategy. That is, how to keep your content’s quality high as you produce more of it.
It all comes down to the structures, tools, and people you have in place. Read on for a comprehensive look at how to scale your content creation consistently.
How to Scale Content Creation
1. Establish a Content Creation Plan
To scale your content creation, you need to set your goals for the future. Decide the following:
- What type of content you want to create
- How often you want to release new content
- The length or size of each piece of content
- Which platforms you will use to publish and promote your content
- Which platforms you will prioritize
- How rapidly and significantly you plan to scale this over time
These loose parameters will inform the rest of your content strategy going forward. The first step in this strategy is to organize your content.
2. Organize Your Content Funnel
There are three types of content, each of which addresses stages in the customer journey.
Top-of-funnel content is the first marketing material new consumers see. This is often short-form written content, as well as social media posts. It should be brief, exciting, and regularly released.
Middle-of-funnel content is information people further along the customer funnel look for. For example, publish long-form content answering a question buyers might have. This draws in people who already know your brand.
Bottom-of-funnel content is for people close to purchasing your product. This is usually more in-depth content, such as case studies. Testimonials also fall under this category.
Share top-of-funnel content most often to keep drawing in new customers. You can update the latter two categories less often, as the content stays relevant for longer.
Ensure this system is reflected in your next step: the content calendar.
3. Create a Content Calendar
A content calendar records when you’ll post and where. By scheduling your content, you keep topic coverage and platform usage goals on track.
For example, it can help plan more top-of-funnel content than bottom-of-funnel content. It also gives your marketing team a framework of goals and deadlines to focus on.
The best content calendars are not just balanced but optimized.
For each platform and audience, there are preferred posting times throughout the day. These offer the highest ROI for your content. Let your research inform your content calendar so that you can share new content at the best times.
4. Content Curation
Content curation is publishing references to other high-quality content on your own site. It’s helpful in the early days, as it’s less labor-intensive than creating content yourself. Obviously, take care not to start promoting your competitors! But compiling and sharing lists of relevant resources can build a sense of authority.
5. Post on All Platforms
One of the top marketing challenges today is maximizing performance across multiple platforms. This doesn’t mean you must generate something new for each one. That would be incredibly time-consuming, as well as costly to scale.
Instead, adapt each piece of content for every platform.
Use the script from a new video as a template for a new email campaign and the subject of a new blog post. Then post a snippet on LinkedIn and a different snippet on Instagram. This scales one piece of content into a multi-platform campaign with much less effort.
As effective and efficient as this is, it only succeeds if your editing standard is high.
To truly scale a content strategy, it must be consistent. Maintaining your brand’s voice requires diligent effort to alter content between platforms. It’s only possible with high-quality, real-person editing.
If your content is poorly edited, it could do more harm than good to your brand. However, with the right people, the quality will remain even as the volume increases.
6. Grow the Team
After deciding on your content creation needs, the resources required become clearer. Most significantly, you need people.
Hiring a few people in-house is usually the most cost-effective way to keep up with your strategy. It can also help to keep your brand voice consistent.
However, hiring employees is one of the hardest methods to scale. By contrast, you can contract freelancers when needed as your strategy evolves.
Working entirely with freelancers offers little opportunity for teamwork and growth. If possible, have a base of content employees while outsourcing other roles. This keeps your team grounded but flexible in the long term.
Outsourcing Your Content Needs
Within your content creation team, you need to fill several roles. These most often include writers, editors, and social media specialists. Their responsibilities include creating, reviewing, and promoting your content.
Depending on your needs, here’s how you could outsource them:
You can outsource your content creation, though most people prefer to hire writers full-time. This ensures more consistency with your creation pace and brand voice. But when testing new styles or quantities, you could hire freelancers to support them.
Editing is commonly outsourced, as it requires the least knowledge of your industry. In content editing, your freelancers will look for pieces that make sense and flow for the reader. Then in copy editing, they will check grammar, punctuation, and other technical areas.
As you can see, those responsibilities require little specialization in your niche. Rather, they’re making sure your content is of high quality.
You can also hire social media specialists either in-house or on a freelance contract. They handle publishing and promoting your content. How much content you produce will dictate whether you should hire or outsource this role.
Successfully scaling content creation often comes down to efficiency. While you need the right people on your team, there’s nothing wrong with letting them get some assistance.
Many apps exist to streamline your content creation process. The most popular of these include editing apps. These tools can’t replace an editor’s job, but they can help your writers submit higher-quality work to begin with.
Social media management apps, such as schedulers, can also be a huge time-saver. Rather than manually publishing content when the calendar says so, CMS systems can store content to publish at a scheduled time. This frees up your social media manager to focus on higher-value work.
7. Structure Your Content Creation Process
Any content creation guide will tell you that you must structure the process. In practical terms, that means your content must go through several steps before it is published.
Establishing a definite process stops errors from slipping through to publishing. It also makes clear to your staff what their roles and responsibilities are.
For example, think of all the stages of work a blog post goes through before being published.
It begins with keyword research and topic creation. Then there is drafting, writing, and editing. The post is then formatted, and images may be added, until finally it is released on one platform and adjusted and re-edited for others.
Which of these roles do your writer, editor, and social media specialist take on? Do they ever collaborate on a responsibility, or are all tasks handled individually?
Create a clear content creation structure that all parties understand. This keeps your staff on track and makes successful scaling possible.
8. Set Editorial Guidelines
As your content marketing team grows, consistency can become a problem. Creators come to mind as the culprits, as they must replicate your brand voice despite their various writing styles.
But it’s also true for editors. While they don’t set the tone of your content, there are many areas they could be inconsistent if not given direction. For example, does your written content include the following:
- Em dashes or en dashes
- Periods in acronyms
- The Oxford comma
- Indentations at the beginning of paragraphs
If your content looks inconsistent to readers, it comes across as unprofessional. Then it could do more harm than good.
Editorial guidelines, also known as style guides, solve this issue.
Just one document, style guides specify how your content should look and sound. Make sure they cover every detail possible, from the use of commas to formatting. That way, everyone on your team knows how to produce work that is consistent.
Take Advantage of Templates
Templates in your CMS system speed up the application of your editorial guidelines. Create templates for blog and social media posts with predetermined formatting settings. While this won’t affect the writing, it ensures formatting guidelines are adhered to.
9. Update and Repurpose Old Content
As months go by, facts featured in your content may change. To ensure it is always relevant and worth engaging with, try to update your content.
This presents another opportunity. In updating a piece of content that is about a year old, you may see an opportunity to repurpose it. Perhaps the keywords or statistics are still relevant, and could be used as the base for generating something new.
For example, studies have shown that 71% of consumers expect personalized communications. If you have more than one target audience, repurpose a piece intended for one group to appeal to the other.
This process of updating and recycling keeps your brand relevant and reliable. And it saves the time to create something new, which is content creation 101.
But don’t start to cut corners. As always, run your new content through your content creation structure. Even though it has been repurposed, it still requires the same attention to detail from your editors and social media team.
If no one engages with your content, the time and resources invested are wasted. If you want to scale your content creation, you must ensure each piece of content reaches its audience.
As explained, the social media half of your team must promote all new content. They have tools like calendars and schedulers to optimize this process. But they’ll be far more effective if they monitor their existing content’s performance.
Track and Adjust
Now, 4 in 5 consumers prefer to learn about a business through custom content. But who knows when consumer preferences will change?
Whether on your site or social platforms, closely monitor your content’s performance. From that data, you can identify which content your audience engages with and responds to. That type of content is where you should focus your attention going forward.
By using your existing contents success to inform what you produce next, your content stays dynamic, relevant, and worth creating.
Looking to Scale Your Content Creation?
Successful content creation and scaling come down to consistency. Consistent writing, publishing, and promotion deliver the conversion you’re looking for. But between those steps lies the secret ingredient: editing.
Only with human attention to detail will your content motivate your audience.
Don’t leave your editing to chance or AI tools with limited application. Rather, work with the experts.
Proofed for Business allows you to outsource and scale your editing needs without compromising quality. Schedule a call with us today to see the impact Proofed can have on your content.