As more and more brands rely on content marketing to build and maintain trust with their audiences, scaling content production becomes a quintessential challenge to consider.
Not many brands build a content program where slowing down content production is a key element.
Although some brands SHOULD slow down content production (you can have a look at the conclusion of this article for arguments on this approach), there are many reasons why a brand might want to scale its efforts:
Reach a Larger Audience: By increasing the volume and frequency of content production, a brand can reach a larger and more diverse audience, expand its market presence, and attract new customers.
Strengthen Thought Leadership: Scaling content production can help a brand establish itself as a thought leader in its industry by producing high-quality, relevant, and engaging content that positions it as an expert in its field. By having more content on a given subject or topic, it becomes easier to be the “reference” in your field.
Drive More Qualified Leads: Consistent and effective content marketing can generate more qualified leads by educating and nurturing prospects and building trust with your target audience. A brand might indeed need to scale its production up in order to cover all aspects of education and the questions their audience might ask.
Increase Engagement and Loyalty: Scaling content production can help increase engagement and loyalty by providing valuable and relevant information to your audience and building a community around your brand. Being present and active is a key to “being there” for your audience.
Complement and Support Other Marketing Efforts: Scaling content production can complement and support other marketing efforts, such as product launches, events, and campaigns, by providing additional touchpoints and opportunities to reach and engage your target audience.
But as with scaling any part of a business’s operations, it does not come without challenges that any content team needs to consider (and potentially address). Here a few:
Workflow and Processes
Measurement and Analytics
Internal Collaboration and Coordination
What does scaling content production actually mean?
Scaling content marketing means systematically and sustainably increasing the volume and frequency of content creation, distribution, and promotion efforts. In order to do this, there will need to be more resources allocated to content marketing, such as personnel, technology, and budgets, as well as optimizing the processes and workflows in order to make sure content creation and distribution efforts are efficient and effective.
But every content leader needs to be careful. If you are getting great results at the moment, scaling content production does not mean these results will also scale.
The key is to strike the right balance between scaling up and staying agile enough to incorporate timely pieces of content when necessary. Having a plan in place will ensure that you are creating quality content that resonates with your audience while also allowing you to remain flexible enough to react quickly when needed.
By taking the time to create an effective strategy and sticking with it, businesses can ensure they are making the most out of their content production efforts and achieving success on their terms.
Nevertheless, content marketers struggle to create a scalable content strategy without compromising the quality of their work. In fact, 64% of them identified understanding how to scale up production as one of their top educational needs in a survey conducted by the Content Marketing Institute.
So if considering all this, scaling your content production is still the solution, you’ll find this article interesting.
4 doomsday content marketing scenarios… when scaling content production
So what happens when you scale content production and it does not go the way you wanted? Here are 4 examples of what could happen. Let’s hope that one of these does not become reality for your brand.
“The Floodgate Effect”
In this scenario, a brand scales content production too quickly and produces an overwhelming amount of low-quality content. This leads to audience fatigue, decreased engagement, and a drop in conversions. The brand must then work to regain audience trust and re-establish itself as a credible source of information.
“The Automated Dilemma”
In this scenario, a brand relies too heavily on automation and artificial intelligence to scale content production, resulting in a loss of authenticity and personal connection with its audience. The brand realizes that while automation can help increase the volume of content, it also lacks the creativity, empathy, and human touch that is essential to effective content marketing.
“The Siloed Struggle”
In this scenario, a brand scales content production without fully integrating it into its overall marketing strategy, leading to a fragmented and inconsistent approach. The brand and its content team fail to effectively coordinate its content marketing efforts with other teams, such as SEO, design, and product, resulting in a disjointed and ineffective approach. The brand must work to align its content marketing efforts with its overall marketing strategy and establish a more integrated and cohesive approach.
“The Echo Chamber”
In this scenario, a brand scales content production by only targeting and producing content for its existing audience, publishing boring and templated blog articles, social media posts and newsletters, neglecting to consider the needs and interests of new and potential customers. As a result, the brand becomes trapped in its own echo chamber, failing to reach new audiences or broaden its market presence. The brand must work to broaden its perspective, create content that appeals to a wider audience, and expand its reach to drive growth and success.
Want to avoid falling into one of the scenarios above? Let’s dive into the 5 challenges of scaling content production outlined earlier.
If you want to ensure that the content quality of your content marketing remains high as you scale your production, it is important to set clear guidelines and expectations for all content creators as part of your content marketing strategy. Among them are the establishment of a content style guide, the provision of training materials and resources for writers and editors, as well as the establishment of a robust content creation process for reviewing and approving content. It would also be a good idea to invest in quality assurance tools and software so that high standards can be maintained.
There can be a dramatic increase in the amount of content being produced as you scale the production of content. This means it can sometimes be easy to forget the audience at the other end of that content. The quality of the content that you are creating is crucial to ensuring that it remains engaging and relevant for the target audience, so it’s important to maintain high standards.
When scaling content marketing production, it’s essential to allocate the necessary resources to meet your content creation and promotion goals. This may include hiring additional personnel, such as writers, editors, or designers, as well as investing in technology and tools that can streamline and automate aspects of the content creation and distribution process. It’s also important to allocate sufficient budget for content promotion, such as paid advertising or influencer marketing campaigns.
But what our experience at Toast has told us. One of the most important roles you need to scale at the same rate as production is your role of content manager (or project manager, or brand editor, these are all titles that exist within the various content teams we’ve worked with). This key role is there to ensure that everything runs smoothly and that even when you add content creators to the mix, there is enough back-office bandwidth to support it.
Workflow and Processes
Developing and implementing efficient and effective processes for content creation, review, and publication is critical for scaling content marketing production. This may include establishing an updated editorial calendar, assigning new roles and responsibilities to content managers, and using better project management tools to manage and track progress.
What we’ve seen is that the processes and support documents/tools that you might have often do not survive a higher cadence. Things might start to crack, as more people need to access the documents that in the past worked just fine with 2-3 team members keeping up to date.
Additionally, consider implementing processes for content optimization and measurement to ensure your content is reaching and resonating with your target audience.
Measurement and Analytics
Measuring the success of your content marketing efforts is essential for refining your strategy and making informed decisions as you scale production.
As mentioned above, the results you currently have might not follow as you scale production up.
We’ve seen situations where producing more content does not move the needle one bit. It is as if the audience already had enough and producing more does not make a difference. Sometimes that is the reality, which means following metrics is very important.
This may involve better tracking of metrics such as page views, engagement, lead generation, and conversions, as well as conducting a regular content audit to assess the performance of individual pieces of high-quality content. By using data and analytics to inform your content marketing strategy, you can continually improve and optimize your approach.
Internal Collaboration and Coordination
Scaling content marketing production often requires close collaboration and coordination with other teams, such as internal subject matter experts, design, SEO, product, finance, etc.
This may involve sharing information and insights, aligning goals and objectives, and ensuring that all content aligns with your overall marketing efforts.
Regular cross-functional meetings and communication can help facilitate collaboration and coordination and ensure that everyone is working towards a common goal.
Your organization is a dynamic ecosystem where everyone contributes. Leverage this to create cohesive solutions within — and between — teams. Involving stakeholders in the content creation process gives you invaluable input, fosters an appreciation for their insight, and encourages engagement with the project from the start.
A Final Warning: Scaling Production Might Not Be Helping Everyone
Content at scale might be a solution. Or not.
We would not be able to conclude an article on the production of MORE content without issuing a clear warning: the more content you produce, the more content your competitors will end up producing, the harder it will be to stand out in all that noise.
This LinkedIn post by Joe Pulizzi is a testament to this.