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When you are a large company or an agency, generating large volumes of good content can be quite a challenge. It can get expensive pretty quickly. It is also time-consuming.
And in the end, high quality content is not a guarantee of explosive attention and viral sharing.
In order for your content generation to be sustainable, it needs to be scalable. The formula for success is using fewer resources to generate more high quality content.
In addition, your content needs to provide an excellent user experience and convey a consistent brand message, in compliance with brand standards.
Yes, I know, it is easier said than done!
The only way you can sustain content generation without breaking the bank is by making your content strategy scalable.
Planning Your Content Strategy
Planning your content strategy can be broken down into three foundational steps: defining your target audience, doing a content audit and regular inventory, and setting your content marketing goals.
1. Audience. You will be using your content to speak to the customers you are trying to reach. Of course, it makes sense to learn about these people to determine what is important to them. Why would they listen to you?
Once you know what they want and what message they respond to, you will be able to craft your brand message more effectively.
There are many ways to collect information about your website visitors. You can run surveys, look at feedback and contact email, or talk to customer support. You can follow your tribe on social media. You can interview your most typical clients.
Once you know who your audience is, look at your website analytics. If you can, segment the data to fit your audience profile better. Trace their routes on your website and make note of what they are doing with your content.
Find out which content they like and share. Learn which content prompts them to take action and become your customer. And finally, which content does not affect them whatsoever.
Note what type of content they prefer – text, video, audio, etc. You will also notice if your audience likes to comment or they prefer sharing.
2. Content audit and inventory. It is important to do a content inventory regularly. Audit your content to avoid duplication and ensure accuracy and freshness.
You can combine the audit with your audience review. The analysis will show if your content corresponds with the interests of your visitors.
When reviewing your site, mark the pages that need to be updated or expanded. These should be popular pages that your visitors share and comment on. Review the comments and note ideas for new pages or blog posts.
Some of the content can be re-purposed, some needs to be deleted. Mark the pages accordingly.
3. Set goals. You know what your audience wants. You know what you have to offer. It is time to define your content marketing goals.
Revise your business objectives and align them with your content strategy. Use your business and branding goals to guide your marketing.
At this step, you need to craft your brand message:
- What are you trying to communicate to your audience?
- What is your tone?
- What do you expect your audience to do once they receive your message?
- Why would they care about what you have to say?
- What is the benefit for them to know that you exist?
If you have answers to these questions, you are ready for the next step – implementation.
Implement Your Content Strategy
The only way to achieve scalable content generation is to have good processes in place.
– You can start with a content schedule. Define tools and technology you will need to build work flows, help with the planning, approval, optimization, and distribution of your content.
– Now you are ready for resources. Train them. Assign specific roles for each person. Your staff needs to be held accountable for the results and, therefore, they need to own their part of the process. Outsourcing content generation is also an option. With clear goals and processes, outsourcing can be very successful.
– Create a process for generating a content pipeline. It should start with ideas. Then you can take each idea and cover different angles for a series of (un)related posts.
- Take one idea and create content in multiple formats – video, audio, text, infographic, white paper, etc.
- Use one idea, same content, but different delivery channels: blog, social media, email, press release, conference presentation, advertising, interview, etc.
– Define types of content that match your goals. Consider options like how to’s, tutorials, guides, checklists, or glossaries. These are usually very popular types of content.
– Determine how much of each type of content you need. Create a process for generating each type of content.
– Remember that content you needed to update? Go for it. Re-purpose those other pages. Put the deadlines on the content calendar.
The only way to determine success is to measure your results. Here are some things to consider:
– Determine how you will measure success. Go back to your goals and objectives, review your content strategy, and set KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) and targets.
– Define reports and their frequency. Who is your audience for the reports? What are the next actions for them based on the data you are reporting?
– What you measure will show you how you are doing. Base your metrics on data that matters to achieving your goals. A high bounce rate on a blog post might be okay, if the time-on-page is high enough. But a high bounce rate on a conversion page means that your message missed the mark.
Remember the formula to a scalable content generation strategy?
Fewer resources generating more high quality content make a scalable strategy. Good processes will ensure that few resources are used. They will also streamline the very process of content generation.
As a result, you will receive large quantities of different types of content. Applying audience knowledge to your company message will solidify the quality.
About the Author ~ Lyena Solomon
Lyena is the localization director at Service Now. She has extensive experience in SEO, analytics, website usability and navigation. You can connect with Lyena on Twitter.