Streamline Large-Scale Content Creation without Losing Quality
Content and its creation can be a big task for any size of business. In fact, in today’s competitive landscape, many—if not most—companies struggle to produce enough content to meet audience demand or their companies' goals. Content, even the marketing of it, creates engagement, and is one of the best ways to gain and retain your target audience. However, for any sized organization that generates a significant amount of content as we do here at CMSC Media, scaling your team's production and making it efficient while retaining your quality can be quite the task.
Unlike service and production that can be automated (such as email marketing), content creation is substantial on the person-hours. When you think about the overall process—formulating your strategy, incorporating it into a content calendar, the actual writing of the posts, the methodical editing, to final publication—there is a lot of work involved, not to mention a lot of ‘cooks in the kitchen’. And that is only one piece of content! Think about it when you are responsible for, say, more than 60 pieces of content a month! With so many moving parts in content creation, companies need to find a way to streamline the content management process while ensuring quality output.
With this in mind, how can content teams achieve success by making their content stand out in a crowd while being efficient? Let’s dive in on how to streamline large-scale content creation, without losing quality.
First, if you are like me, I love learning. I am a constant learner. And some of my favorite ways to learn—as I can also continue my work at the same time—is webinars. Most recently, I came across this great webinar from Search Engine Journal on how to manage and maximize visual content creation on a large scale. I was energized by this webinar, as it hit close to home here at CMSC Media. It took me down a rabbit hole of researching how to scale content—not just visual content—and some great tips and best practices from leading companies online.
The Recap: How to Manage & Maximize Visual Content Creation on a Large Scale
Content is essential to any marketing organization. However, visual content is highly effective.
According to the latest stats:
In addition to creating white papers, blog posts, and research reports, you should also consider:
2D or 3D animation
The Challenges of Creating Content on a Large Scale
Creating content on a large scale comes with a unique set of challenges:
Lack of time
Lack of resources
Lack of communication
Lack of Time
Most of us can agree that we, as marketers, cite lack of time and bandwidth as a significant hurdle. Solving these pain points can include:
Creating a content development plan.
Filling in the gaps by outsourcing content development.
Determining what types of content you’d like to outsource: infographics, white papers, videos, etc.
Lack of Resources
Demand Metric’s 2018 Benchmark Study on Content Experience Impact and the Buyer’s Journey reveals that 48% of marketers view staffing restraints as their greatest barrier to content marketing. Some of the solutions to address this pain point include:
Hiring freelancers to act as an extension of your in-house team and brand.
Thinking of it as a rubber band. A talent network expands your resources as much, or as little, as is needed.
Lack of Communication
Lack of communication is a common theme across all organizations. It can lead to poor collaboration or ineffective communication for workplace failures.
Overcome these challenges by:
Using a project management tool to collaborate.
Ensuring that everyone, from campaign manager, the writer, to the designer, is working together well, easily, and efficiently.
Read the rest of the article, and catch the webinar here.
Ten Tips for Scaling Your Content Creation
Every stage of your company's content creation can be scaled and economized. Let’s explore some tops tips to streamline and scale your content.
1. Develop a System
Streamline your teams’ process by creating and documenting a content marketing strategy that aligns with your overall marketing goals. This document needs to be accessible by your entire team, but more importantly, they need to understand their role and responsibility. We recommend holding weekly or monthly meetings to brainstorm ideas, review the process for what may be working or not, and discuss progress. Necessarily, it keeps everyone accountable.
2. Editorial Calendar
Boost productivity with an impeccably crafted editorial calendar. Not only can you keep your team aligned, but you can also adapt to your scaling content needs. Some items to include in your calendar include content types, pain points, funnel content, and events.
3. Outsource your Content
Don’t rely solely on your in-house content writers. Outsourcing can be a great help. Not only can you generate higher quality content, but it opens you up to focus on promotion and distribution.
4. Use the Best Freelancers
A continuation of the above tip for outsourcing, take the time to research and test the best freelance writers that match your company and can craft engaging content in your voice and tone. Although more inexperienced—and likely less expensive—writers are appealing, they could harm your brand. In fact, some great writers are also social media influencers, so start there first.
5. Source Subject Matter Experts
Some of the best content comes from people who are subject matter experts. Find creators who are entrenched into your industry or even look internal within your business. You might be pleasantly surprised that Joe from shipping can compose some excellent logistical content! Another way to find SMEs is to tap into your network! Connect with colleagues, customers, and even competitors who can help you source not only content ideas but add authenticity to your brand and produce user-generated content.
6. Consistency is Key for Promotions!
If you build it, they will come? Sure. But great content can’t be great without proper promotion. Be consistent with your strategies to get your content in front of the right people.
7. Reuse, Repurpose, Recycle.
That's how it goes! Don’t reduce. Don’t reinvent the wheel. Increase content engagement by updating, combining, or reusing content. It takes relatively little effort. For example:
Divide—split more considerable content assets into separate blog posts.
Create—create an infographic based around a blog post.
Gate—turn a series of blog posts into a gated piece of content such as an eBook.
Snippet—post a statistic or short snippet from a more extended portion to social media.
8. Template it!
Remember these words; templates save time. Keep everything you can reuse—from images, key messages, to formatting so you can quickly reuse for future content.
9. Identify the Best Sources for Photos
There are many places online to find photos, but make sure to find those which are trustworthy and will not open you to liability around copyright issues.
10. Track Results
Why try if you don’t track? There’s no point in scaling your content creation if you don’t know what’s working. Use your analytical tools to discover which content topics and formats are getting the most engagement and build upon your strengths.
Finally, Choose Quality over Quantity
Although we focus on how to scale your content creation, it is vital to emphasize that you must preserve the quality of your content over merely just creating a lot of content pieces. At any stage of your blog, or publication, or website, quality takes higher importance. Your audience doesn’t return for average content. It’s the original, thoroughly researched, well-written stories that are worth taking time out of their busy day to read.
As outlined above, we recommend hiring experienced, talented writers, or those who are subject matter experts that can craft fewer but better-quality pieces. Yes, you may end up paying more in the short term. However, in the long run, it’s easier to scale because you’re saving time and money everywhere else. Not only does higher quality content higher need less editing, but you won’t have to allocate as much time to both the layout and design (since there are fewer pieces to lay-out), and then reaching out for social sharing.
Lynette Sawyer is a Web Project Manager for Falcon-Software, a digital web agency founded in 1994. For the last 13-years Lynette has been in various digital capacities and her expertise goes beyond Project Management. Lynette brings experience and knowledge in graphic design, marketing communications, project management, product management and engagement.