Even if your content marketing strategy is good, it could always be better. If you’re getting the urge to see just what your team and content can do, it’s time to look into scaling up production. The best way to tackle this new strategy is through research and data collection. Today, we’re covering the steps to scale content using data with topics like:
When marketers talk about scaling up content, it means they want to produce more high-quality content more quickly than they already do. The key phrase in that definition is high-quality content. Scaling content production doesn’t just mean ramping up output to turn out a ton of pieces. The goals of creating content at scale are to produce and publish high volumes of content that continue to meet brand goals, audience needs, and maximize conversions.
Scaling up content helps you get more brand awareness and organic traffic on your websites. This strategy increases the number of qualified leads and conversions your company gets from content marketing.
Related: 6 Tips For Scaling Content
Use these steps to scale your content marketing efforts through data to reach your goals faster:
No matter what type of content you create, from blogs to videos, the process is time-consuming. Especially if you want to do it right, in a way that appeals to your audience and helps you meet business goals. If you’ve ever worked on a marketing team of just one person, you may think that you don’t need an enormous group of people to put out high-quality content. And you’d be right. One person could, in theory, create a host of kick-butt content all on their own. But the volume of that content will be low.
Even for the best content creators, it can sometimes take an entire day just to draft an article or edit a video. And those are just two steps of many that take place throughout the content creation process. If you want to put out more content, you need a bigger team. Data can help you discover the right areas to do that. Conduct an audit on how long it takes to complete each step of the content creation process.
Find out how long it takes to complete steps like writing, editing, and optimizing your pieces. It doesn’t matter whether you do these tasks alone or with a team. Use that data to find areas where you can hire more staff—either freelancers, contractors, or full-time employees—or provide more tools for your staff to increase productivity.
You create the most valuable, high-quality content when you cover topics your audience is interested in within your niche. Jumping from one trend to the next doesn’t matter if your audience doesn’t want to read about them. It’s the same with chasing keywords with high-ranking search potential on topics outside your niche. When you use these strategies, your content is nothing more than a vehicle for traffic chasing. It won’t have a defined theme and it won’t help your brand build thought leadership or expertise in its industry.
Data helps you figure out what your right topic choices are. Keyword research is a helpful way to collect data about the right terms and phrases to cover in your content marketing pieces. You may find the topics your audience wants to discover from customer service questions, comment replies, and brand reviews. Then, through keyword research, you can take those topics and find the right search terms to target user intent. When you zero in on intent, you can get the best potential ranking on search engine results pages (SERPs) without chasing trending topics outside your niche.
One of the most important skills to have when trying to scale your content is organization. If you’re not organized, your well-crafted plan can fall apart quickly. That’s why it’s important to use an editorial content calendar to plan when and where you’re going to publish your pieces. A content calendar lists the topics and types, publication channels, posting dates, and promotion and syndication options for each piece.
Data can help you create your content calendar and make it even more effective for your scaling strategy. Looking at data like post engagement rates on social media, open rates for emails, and the times people visit your website all help influence how and when you publish and promote new content. These data sources help you discover when your audience is most likely to visit any channel or engage with content. Then you can use that data to post and promote every piece of content across your channels strategically.
A content calendar also helps you plan production. Rather than just scheduling content when it’s done, create a schedule three to six months in advance. Know what you’re going to post and when so that you have time to create your content at scale. Doing this process and seeing if you can hit content creation deadlines helps you know if you’re scaling too quickly for the amount of production power you have.
If it looks like you can’t hit the content goals, you can adjust the strategy by hiring more team members, collecting more resources, or taking content scaling at a slower pace.
When you’re back against a deadline, it’s tempting to cut corners or delete some of the “useless” steps from your process. It sounds like this process could help you crank out more content in less time. But when you cut corners, you’re sacrificing the quality of everything you share.
It’s simple. Unless you’re a content genius (and, let’s face it, most of us aren’t) you’re never going to whip up a mind-blowing, top-quality piece with no planning. You have to research, outline, storyboard, or wireframe your content before it goes into production. Many people don’t want to take the time to do this type of planning because they’re ideators or creators.
They want to jump right in and get their hands dirty. And while that’s surely an option for content creation, it’s time-consuming and messy. The exact opposite of how you want content creation to be if you do it at scale. If you want to put the best content out in the least amount of time, planning is the way to go. Collecting data from research helps you fill in your outlines and wireframes in record time, too.
Using competitor analysis research, SERP rankings, and resource content help guide your outlines. This information shows what the competition is covering, and more importantly, what it’s not covering. Look for content gaps and holes in what the top-ranking search results cover. Where can you add more? Include this information in your outlines to guide the content writing or design process.
You can’t, and shouldn’t, avoid the planning stages of content. But that doesn’t mean you have to redo the work for every piece. Repurposing content is one of the best options for getting more reach and leverage out of one topic or research cycle.
Hypothetically, let’s say you run an SEO firm and you’re going to cover the latest Google update for the next few months. Your team will do tons of initial research to plan for the upcoming strategy. Thanks to that data repository, they don’t need to do extensive research every time they create a new piece of content on the subject. They may just have to do minimal research to prove some points or back up claims from a different angle.
We do this kind of repurposing at CopyPress. From one big research dump, our team can run a webinar, create a podcast, write a few articles, and even start a new website, all on the same topic. Saving your research and data, and making it available for all team members through collaboration tools, makes it easier to repurpose pieces. The easier you make the process, the faster you can scale up production and output.
Scaling up your content is much easier today in the age of technology than it was in the past. Collaborative and automation tools are some of the best time savers for increasing production. Communication programs like Slack or a shared Google Drive allow your team members to communicate and work on projects simultaneously from anywhere in the world.
Automated analytics programs and publishing tools allow you to pull data reports within minutes and publish content even when your team isn’t online. These programs make it easier for you to move from one phase of content creation to the next with fewer snags.
One thing we want to be clear about is that using tools to scale content doesn’t mean relying on artificial intelligence (AI) to do the work for you. While this is a type of content development tool, it’s one you want to avoid at all costs. AI content doesn’t have the human touch. While a computer can pump out a high volume of pieces really fast, they’re not high quality. And keeping your content high-quality is a hallmark of scaling up content.
Plus, the powers that be at Google have come out and said they view AI-written content as spam and the most recent helpful content update frowns on it too. The new update tries to weed out unhelpful, cookie-cutter pieces from search results. Interested to learn more about the role of AI vs. human content in marketing? Register today to get the recording of our webinar on the topic. Then share your thoughts with us on LinkedIn.
Even though the goal of scaling content is to produce more pieces more quickly, be patient when creating your scaling strategy. It’s easy to get caught up in the project’s immediacy. You see the potential rewards and you want to make it all happen RIGHT NOW. But scaling content the right way takes time, even with the right data guiding your strategy.
Don’t rush the process. Take your time to do proper content audits and research. Ask a lot of questions during the ideation stage, such as who the audience is for each piece and how you could repurpose content topics to make them easier to scale. Once you have developed a solid plan, the actual creation and publication process goes smoothly. That’s where you’ll save time and headaches that allow you to produce content more quickly. Stick to your plan and see results.
Now that you see where and how you can use data to influence your content scaling strategy, you may wonder just where you can collect all that information. Here are a few sources to use:
If you want to know how long it takes your team members to complete each phase of content creation, turn to their timesheets. We’re not talking about their weekly reports that tell you they did, indeed, put in a full workweek. Instead, get down to the nitty-gritty by asking everyone to set a timer on their production. Ask your writers to track how long they take to write a piece from an outline over a week or even a few months. Get your researchers, editors, project managers, and designers to do the same for their parts of the process.
The more data you have about how long it takes to complete each phase of content creation, the more you know where the process slows down. For example, if it takes one writer an entire day to create an article, and you only have one writer on your team, you’ll find you need to hire another to increase productivity.
Keyword research tools help you find data about which keywords have the highest search volume and ranking potential for your topics. The number one goal of content creation is to provide value to your audience. You can do this by finding out the search intent for certain keywords and how often people look them up.
This data helps influence your content selection. Rather than just writing about a broad topic like content marketing, for example, keyword research helps narrow down the focus. Based on the research data, you may choose to create content around long-tail keywords, like “how to do keyword research for finance” to target a smaller niche of the major topics that are more relevant to your audience.
Data from competitor analysis reports can tell you what your content is going up against when you release it into the world. What other information already exists on the topic? How and where are your competitors sharing that information? What types of content do they use and how does the audience respond? All this information helps guide the choices you make for keywords, content formats, and publishing locations. The goal is often to learn what you’re up against so that you can create better content strategies to get more attention and engagement from your audience.
Looking at your current content is another place to get data that influences your scaling strategies. Most content audit data helps you set a baseline for what you’re currently doing so you can figure out how to improve it. Content audits can tell you what topics you’ve already covered and where you’ve published and distributed those pieces. They also give you insights about traffic, lead generation, and search engine performance. Once you know what you can already do and achieve, you can then start preparing to scale up and create more or better content in the future.
Analytics features and programs go hand-in-hand with content audits. These give you more concrete data about the visitors your content receives and other metrics like shares and bounce rate. The more you know about how your content performs on every platform, the easier it is to identify your best scaling channels. This insight might help you decide which types of content to scale first or which channels to use for distribution to capitalize on gains and strides you’ve already made.
Yeah, you read that right. Your team members are actually some of the best data and research sources for scaling your content. Each one of them is an expert in some part of your industry, whether it’s writing, design, safety, or something else. You can’t beat firsthand experience and knowledge for collecting data for content. The experiences of your team members and life at your company are something none of your competitors can share. They’re unique to your brand.
Plus, it’s so much faster to create content based on lived experiences. You don’t have to do extra research on the topic because you or your team members do that research every day just by doing your jobs. Even if your team expert does an interview with your writers, the only prep work they have to do is come up with some questions to ask the expert on the topic.
The research comes from the interview, and the writing comes from polishing up the quotes and disconnected pieces of information to make a cohesive story. This process cuts down on the prep and writing time, allowing you to create more content more quickly.
The easiest way to collect data for all your content scaling projects is by requesting your free content analysis report from CopyPress. It provides all the information you need to scale up your content quickly without sacrificing quality. The report gives a high-level overview of how your brand stacks up against your self-selected top three competitors. It covers areas like overall traffic performance and how your backlink profiles compare.
The content analysis report also shares information about the keywords and syndication partners you can leverage to share your content with more publishing outlets so you get maximum reach and attention. Ready to unlock the secrets to your content scaling success? Request your content analysis below to get started.
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