It’s a fact – Today’s marketing is pretty much all about content.
It really doesn’t matter what strategy or channel your brand focuses on, right now. To do it well, you need to create more content.
I’m sure you’ll agree with my emphasis on the word “more.”
Much of your team’s work is about creating more and more content, after all, and trying to do it efficiently and fast. Unfortunately, that’s also something that, as I’m sure you’ve experienced too, is quite challenging to do.
That’s why I wrote this guide. I wanted to share my experiences with scaling content production and creating more high-quality content fast.
But before we get to that, we should take a deeper look at the problem…
Table of Contents
What does it mean to scale content production (and why is it so difficult)?
Let’s start with the term – content scaling – because it’s at the heart of what we’ll be discussing in this guide.
Content scaling refers to strategies you employ to successfully increase your existing content production.
That said – the goal of content scaling isn’t to push the production up temporarily. Nor is it about delivering more content for a single, particular campaign, after which your production velocity goes back to normal levels.
Content scaling is all about creating a process that would allow your content teams to publish significantly more high-quality assets every month.
What’s more, the content scaling process should also facilitate further increases in content production without forcing you to re-evaluate processes from the ground up again.
When do you need to consider scaling content production?
The decision to scale content production doesn’t usually happen for no reason. In most cases, CMOs begin considering content scaling as a result of their companies facing one of these scenarios:
- A company faces a greater demand for content assets. This usually happens as a result of an exponential growth, a new product launch, a big market push, or another initiative that puts the company’s marketing needs on overdrive.
- A company might have also done the basics of a content strategy. It now needs to take content to the next level. However, due to specific market conditions, it needs to do so within a short span of time and needs to produce content assets at an increased velocity.
A good example of this is ramping up the SEO and content strategy as a result of a new entrant to the market beginning to win search visibility from the company.
- A company may also finally have the resources and be in a position to scale its content efforts. It might be that the company was finally able to expand the creative team or has the budget to hire an agency to help create more content.
What happens after you’ve scaled content creation?
In the previous section, we’ve discussed what scenarios push companies to embrace content scaling. Now, let’s discuss what objectives you might wish to achieve with the increased content production.
Typically, companies focus on six main objectives when scaling content creation:
- Increasing market competitiveness. Having more content published can help a company to position itself along every step of the buyer’s journey and every touchpoint with relevant information.
- Building brand awareness. Another objective is to ensure that no matter where customers seek information, they come across content by the brand, thus ensuring brand awareness and recognition.
- Dominating search engine results and outranking the competition. Greater volume of content live means that the company can rank for more keywords and expand its search visibility.
- Creating new marketing opportunities. This often relates to the company entering new markets or new locations.
- Building product visibility. This is particularly true for companies with new products on the market. Having more product-led content results in their ability to connect with more customers at different stages of the buying journey.
- Reaching goals faster. Finally, many companies decide to scale content production simply to reach their various milestones quicker.
Why you can’t scale content successfully without a proper tool
It’s true – scaling content offers an incredible opportunity to boost the company’s marketing efforts, and at the same time, it’s something that seems almost impossible to do.
Your teams face numerous challenges when trying to get through their current workload, after all. As a result, it’s easy to assume that doubling or tripling it will make everything even more difficult.
Well, it is true. For example, your teams might experience these challenges:
- Writers and creatives will have to create and manage even more digital assets, for one. Every new piece of content will add to your library of digital files. With a significantly larger amount of projects to do, you’ll end up with an equally greater amount of assets to store, organise, and manage.
- More people will be using those assets. As a result, you can expect more errors, misplaced files, or teams using wrong assets in their projects.
- More assets, asset mismanagement, and more people participating in projects will result in various obstacles in production. Some of these will relate to errors I mentioned in the previous point. Other obstacles will relate to copyright issues, legal issues with third-party assets, and more.
- Finally, you can expect having to deal with even more bottlenecks. Take the approvals and review process, for example. Most likely, it’s already causing delays in production. And it’s only going to get worse when your teams begin to create significantly more content in the same amount of time.
However, as scary as the above may sound, it’s worth noting that none of these challenges is unavoidable. In fact, with a proper Content Supply Chain (CSC) software, you can eliminate almost all of them, and greatly reduce the negative impact of the others.
- Using CSC software will mean that managing even the craziest amount of digital assets will be a breeze.
- With clearly defined roles and responsibilities, project workflows, and collaboration features, working with even a large and dispersed team is never a problem.
- Online proofing capabilities mean that you can automate and streamline much of the review and approval process, and so on.
In fact, let me show you exactly how it works.
How to successfully use Content Supply Chain software to scale content
Let me walk you through what a typical process for scaling content production with a CSC system would look like.
In general, the process includes six steps, ranging from defining workflows to monitoring asset usage and performance.
Naturally, you won’t have to be involved in all those steps. However, I believe that you should know what the entire process looks like, and who needs to complete various steps to complete it.
So, without any further ado, here are the steps to take to build a content scaling process with CSC software.
Step 1. Defining content production workflows and processes
The process starts with figuring out what steps your teams need to take to deliver a finished content asset.
Although this process would be different for each company, it would, typically, include steps relating to:
- Defining briefs
- Creating outlines and drafts
- Enhancing the content with creative assets
- Getting the final sign off
- Routing content to relevant marketing channels, etc.
CELUM, our Content Supply Chain platform, allows your brand to set up custom workflows and processes for different content types.
Every time your teams launch a new content project, they can follow the workflow that will ensure that everyone follows the same steps, and nobody ever wonders what to do next to complete the asset.
Here’s an example of a simple workflow set up in CELUM.
The workflow also affects your project structure, and ensures that teams follow the same set of steps when working on content.
Step 2. Creating a content calendar
To properly manage an increased content production, your teams need to plan it well ahead, and ensure that everyone knows what needs to be completed, and by when.
In CELUM, your content strategists can do this by adding tasks to the content calendar workroom.
For each task, they can also specify due dates, assignees and other project characteristics.
Step 3. Setting up the approvals workflow
I already mentioned approvals and reviews but given how critical part of the process (and often how challenging) it is, it’s worth repeating. Because I’m sure you’ll agree that if there’s one step in the project where a bottleneck is likely to occur, it’s during the review process.
Several reasons could be causing this for your brand. Perhaps you’re using outdated review channels. When teams use email, phone, and ad hoc meetings to collect feedback and process reviews, after all, delays are inevitable.
Luckily, the opposite is true too. When your process includes a repeatable online proofing process, and uses a tool with capabilities designed to facilitate it, then suddenly all these challenges disappear.
CELUM offers a whole range of online proofing capabilities to help you streamline the reviews process:
- Annotation tools that let every reviewer leave their feedback directly on the asset (including videos)
- Roles and responsibilities that help you define who needs to be involved in the review process, and when.
- Reminders and notifications that tell various stakeholders know that their comments are due, etc.
Here’s how a feedback panel looks like in CELUM:
But there is more. CELUM allows your content managers to set up separate online proofing workflows for different projects or teams, and launch those whenever you create a new project.
Step 4. Specifying roles and permissions for all stakeholders
Seamless collaboration is, without a doubt, the key factor that makes content scaling possible. But just as you need everyone to work together, you also need them to know who needs to do what, when, and control what assets and tasks these people have access to.
The alternative is chaos, after all, and that’s in spite of your brand having a clearly defined workflow.
CELUM’s roles and responsibilities allow your managers to fully control user access to files, tasks, projects, and more. By just defining roles and responsibilities for each phase of the content production process, a manager can move projects forward with full accountability.
Step 5. Setting up the project kick off process
All steps we’ve covered so far focused on setting up the Content Supply Chain Software to facilitate scaled content production. This one, however, is all about a process that initiates it all and puts your brand’s content workflow into gear.
In other words, a project kick off process defines what various stakeholders need to do to start each project.
The process can be as simple as initiating the workflow and making a new project active on the Kanban board. But your managers could also specify tasks that cover letting their teams know where all the relevant project assets are, and having a quick meeting to go through the scope of work.
Step 6. Monitoring the production
This is where CELUM’s kanban board becomes irreplaceable. With each project clearly laid out in the workflow, you can quickly see the status of each asset.
Want to see for yourself how easy it would be for your brand to scale content creation with CELUM? Book a demo and let us walk you through the process.