Content Scaling Without Sacrificing Quality
Quality content is not easily built on an assembly line, though content marketers may wish that were the case. In a recent Content Marketing Institute report, 71% of content marketers said content has become more important to their organization in the past year. Content scaling will be key to marketing success in 2023 and beyond, as many marketers tap AI to generate more content with less depth while consumers become more discerning with the content they consume.
This means you not only need to create content, but it needs to be unique and provide sufficient value to your target audience. Of those brands who successfully differentiate their content from competitors, 83% said they achieve this by producing better quality content. Crafting valuable, impactful content that resonates with your audience takes creative resources, and that means scaling up is not as simple as turning up the volume dial from 1 to 10.
Content scaling without sacrificing quality requires a defined strategy. What is content scalability? How does content at scale work? I’ve got answers for you!
What Is Content Scalability?
Content scalability simply refers to the ability to increase your content marketing output while maintaining high value and impact.
A content strategy that is focused on producing quality content — but isn’t scalable with a team of writers and standardized style guides — will break when put to the test of increasing the volume of that content. Creating an editorial calendar and setting deadlines with your team are two efficient ways to ensure no hiccups in content scalability. As the importance of content continues to rise, and quality becomes the differentiating factor between competing brands, it’s crucial to have a scalable content strategy that allows you to raise production and drive higher returns.
Benefits of a Scalable Content Strategy
Improve Blogging Returns
It’s a best practice to have a consistent, frequent blog posting strategy as one of the pillars of content marketing. HubSpot recommends posting to a blog between one and four times a week for smaller brands, and daily (or even more often) for larger brands.
Frequently publishing new blog posts shows Google and other search engines that your brand is active and relevant. This increases your chances of appearing in search results, capturing more consumer attention. Maintaining consistency and publishing on a schedule keeps you at the forefront of search engine crawlers while your content builds momentum with each piece that you produce.
Increase SEO Value
A scalable content strategy can also enhance search engine optimization (SEO) for your website, helping it rank higher in search results. HubSpot observes that SEO ranked third in trends that marketers plan to invest the most money in for 2023.
SEO is a longer-term approach that hinges on your ability to consistently produce new pieces of content with a targeted keyword strategy. This strategy propels your site to higher rankings in search results, driving brand awareness, traffic, and leads to your site. As you build your brand’s library of search-optimized, high-quality content, you increase your authority and relevance in the eyes of search engines.
Boost Brand Authority
Google’s E-E-A-T algorithm stresses the importance of Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness in content production to not only boost brand authority but also help engage with your audience. Producing quality, original content positions your brand as a leading expert in your industry. Quality content builds trust with your audience and credibility with search engines and publications, not to mention your peers. Ensuring that your brand is associated with valuable, expert content boosts your reputation as an authoritative resource, especially when compared to competitors with lower-quality content.
Strengthen Audience Retention
Content is often the first touchpoint a consumer has with your brand, but it’s also one of the strongest draws that can keep them coming back. Producing valuable, entertaining, and informative content on a regular basis gives your consumers a reason to return to your brand again and again. This keeps you top of mind and can increase the likelihood of repeat business as well as word-of-mouth referrals. Effective, scalable content grabs the audiences’ attention and holds them there.
Risks of Not Having a Scalable Content Strategy
Brands that cannot scale their content marketing output risk being outpaced by competitors that produce more content on a consistent schedule. The challenge is that simply increasing your content output is not enough. If you jump to scale your content efforts without a defined strategy, you are likely to see the quality of your content and web traffic and authority go downhill quickly.
Content teams faced with increased workloads and tightened turnaround times cannot maintain the same level of quality. While an increase in strong content can boost your brand in multiple ways, producing high volumes of low-quality content can have the opposite effect.
Without a scalable content strategy, your brand is at a competitive disadvantage — either producing too little content or creating plenty but at a loss of quality that hurts your returns. Detailed risks of not having a scalable content strategy:
- Limited audience reach – Without scalable content, you are risking not being seen in place of your competitors
- Missing opportunities – If you are not staying in front of your current customers, you may lose current and future opportunities with them
- Lack of adaptability – It is important to stay on top of new trends in order to have new emerging customers
How Does Content at Scale Work?
Done right, scaling content improves your brand’s visibility, authority, and results in terms of web traffic, SEO, and lead generation, bringing many more benefits. Content at scale works by having a strategy in place that covers three basic prongs:
- The ability and tools to manage high volumes of content consistently
- A streamlined process for content production (from ideation to publishing)
- The ability to promote high volumes of content
To successfully achieve content at scale, you must address these three prongs for your business to grow, provide value to your audience, and remain competitive in your industry.
How Do You Begin to Scale Content Creation?
Scaling content creation requires the proper team and resources that will allow production to ramp up efficiently and sustain high-quality work. Here’s a closer look at what you can do.
Assemble a Team That Blends Outsourced and In-House Talent
You don’t need to have a whole writers’ room of creative minds on staff. In fact, it’s becoming far more commonplace for brands to outsource the raw creation step of their content marketing process. In 2020, 84% of marketers reported that they outsourced content creation.
By leveraging an agency like ContentWriters or a team of freelance writers for content production, you can effectively increase your volume of content without overloading your in-house team. When working with outsourced solutions, be prepared to deliver style guidelines and a training period to ensure the writers are capturing your brand’s voice, tone, style, and quality expectations.
Outsourcing the writing portion doesn’t take away from the importance of maintaining in-house content experts. In order to outsource successfully, you’ll need at least one content manager or editor who is internal to your organization and can act as the point of oversight and direction to your outsourced talent. This person or team will be responsible for representing your brand’s voice and goals, orchestrating topics and content types for production, and ensuring all content meets your brand’s standards.
Leaning on outside professionals for writing content frees up significant time for your in-house marketing experts to focus on strategy: researching your target demographic’s interests and needs, coming up with topics, building your content and SEO strategy, and measuring the performance of your published content.
Create a Content Style Guide
The only way to scale content creation is to add more writers and creators into the mix. With more writers comes an even greater need to ensure consistency across all of your content. Even with content being developed by multiple people, the resulting pieces of content should always feel like they all come from the same brand. To do this you will need to provide a content style guide and set the standards for how your scalable content team will write.
A style guide outlines your brand’s personal rules for creating content, from defining the voice and tone of your brand’s personality down to detailing how you format headers, how you use capitalization, and more. A consistent style makes your brand recognizable to your consumers and builds trust by presenting a unified voice to the public across all of your channels.
Giving your content creators a style guide allows new writers to quickly get up to speed on how to write in a way that fits your brand, and ensures that content produced by a variety of writers maintains cohesive messaging and tone. This makes the editing process far more efficient for your in-house team and should reduce the frequency of revisions.
Leverage Templated Content
Make content scaling even easier by going beyond your brand’s style guide to create specific guides or templates for types of content. For instance, many blogs lean on how-to’s, lists, and round-ups as easy ways to create a post that has a predetermined outline. You can develop your own templates that are specific to your content types, goals, and audience segments, such as “B2B Blog Posts ” or “Case Studies”.
Having templated content allows your team of creators to efficiently produce high volumes of content without necessarily losing quality. If using a tool like ContentWriters’ content management platform with its “Projects” feature, leverage templated briefs and organize assignment types for ease of scalability.
How Do You Maintain a Scalable Content Strategy?
Consistent high-quality content scaling can give your company a big boost when you standardize processes, promote content, and recycle or update legacy content. Here are recommendations for maintaining a scalable content strategy.
Outline a Defined Workflow and Approvals Process
A scalable content strategy must add efficiency to your content production process, allowing your team to go from content ideation to publishing and promotion in a timely fashion. Whether you’re outsourcing some of the content creation or doing everything in-house, it’s crucial to define a written workflow and approvals process for content. Don’t skip this step, even if your marketing team is small.
This includes a format for crafting content briefs with all the details a writer will need, from the topic and intended audience of a piece to keywords, word count, and resources to use as research or inspiration. In order to produce quality content at scale, every piece of content should get a brief.
You should also take the time to write out a defined chain of command for reviews and approvals. Scaling content means more pieces of writing will be coming across your approver’s desks. Whether you use a sophisticated project management system with user permission or spreadsheets and email chains, there should be a clearly documented review process before you start content creation. This allows you to stay organized with deadlines and keep content moving through the production pipeline without slipping through the cracks, even at scale.
Amplify Your Strategy for Content Promotion
A good content scaling strategy also ramps up your efforts for promoting each piece of content you produce. Increasing your volume of content won’t bring increased returns if you don’t get your content in front of more eyes across your digital platforms. Identify which channels your target audience engages with you and leverage social media best practices to promote in a way best suited for the platform.
Repurpose High-Performing Content
Scaling content isn’t just about creating more articles from scratch, it’s also about doing more with existing content. One of the best things you can do for the ROI of your content marketing strategy is to find ways to repurpose content already published in different formats and for various channels. Refreshing old content is another great way to cut time in the content creation process while getting more mileage from content already performing.
For example, video is rising as one of the top content trends for 2023. Almost any piece of written content can be broken down into segments and turned into a video format with written captions and striking visuals to capture attention on video-heavy social media channels. Many long-form written pieces also lend themselves well to being repurposed into infographics, making the information more digestible and highly sharable due to the aesthetic appeal.
Think about different content types like webinars, e-books, pillar content, and blog posts as alternatives to the original format and creative ways to get more return for each piece of content you craft. That’s scalability at its best.
What Is Your Scaling Strategy?
Your brand’s particular content scaling strategy will depend on your business and industry, the size of your internal marketing team, and the resources you can devote to content production. No matter the case, your scaling strategy should involve a combination of the tips above for scaling content creation, streamlining the workflow, and scaling content promotion. Consider the bandwidth of your in-house team, your content marketing goals, and what solutions you need to reach those goals.
ContentWriters helps marketing teams of all sizes achieve content scaling without sacrificing quality. Our Content Strategists are here to help you develop your content scaling strategy by identifying your content needs, planning your monthly or quarterly schedule of content with you, and introducing you to our dedicated Content Operations team. To get started with your scaling strategy, contact us today.
Cody is a seasoned Content Strategist at ContentWriters. Armed with a diverse toolkit of digital marketing expertise, he expertly navigates the evolving landscape of content creation, ensuring quality content at scale and delivering impactful messaging that drives engagement. Whether it’s shaping your content strategy, or optimizing SEO, Cody is the go-to strategist for the most effective content solution