A solid content-marketing strategy is the foundation of everything you do. It guides your blogging, social media, lead generation and even other facets of digital marketing such as pay-per-click ads and search-engine optimization. So if content strategy encompasses so much, why do most digital entrepreneurs fail at it?
That’s a great question. I’ve found that the answer lies in their inability to scale their content strategy appropriately. Some want to dive in too deep too fast while others are too paralyzed by fear to take the first step. Both of those scenarios end in failure.
The truth is, successful content marketing is built to scale quickly and easily. If you’re not thinking about scalability in the beginning, you’re doing it wrong. Why do the experts succeed with their content strategies? They know how to scale it. It’s as simple as that. Once you know how the experts scale their content strategy, you can jump on the road to success too.
Create an initial content marketing strategy.
First things first, you need to create a documented content strategy. It always shocks me how many entrepreneurs don’t have this simple element in place. How can you know if you’re succeeding if you don’t have metrics, goals and a plan to measure it by? You can’t.
A thorough, one-year content strategy will enable you to:
- Align production with your customer’s needs and your business goals.
- Allocate, develop and elicit the proper resources to the task.
- Achieve relevance by planning content around holidays, seasons and major events.
- Address gaps in your content by identifying keywords, personas or funnel stages that you’re not creating enough content for.
The more detailed you create the strategy, the better. But at a bare minimum, you need to detail a calendar of topics, industry events and important company milestones.
Stay committed and consistent with production.
One of the biggest mistakes I see countless entrepreneurs making is not staying committed or consistent with their content production. Don’t let all that time you’ve spent on a documented content strategy go to waste by ignoring it.
Staying committed and consistent happens when you develop processes to manage the system of content creation, design and distribution. Many include this in their content strategies, while others make it a separate project. Regardless, you’ll want to address a few key points:
- Who will be involved in the production process? Think writers, editors, designers, publishers, social-media managers and other stakeholders. Note who is involved and make everyone aware of their roles and responsibilities.
- What types of content will you publish? There are plenty of content types out there today. Identify which ones will work best for your company, each individual buyer persona you target and each stage of your sales funnel.
- When will you publish new content? Establish a publishing frequency and stick to it. Make sure that you have enough time to produce a steady flow of content.
If you stick to the information you outline in this production plan, you’ll ultimately build a system that allows you to scale the content strategy in the future. But if you can’t even handle the initial production plan, don’t even think about scaling.
Set meetings to discuss new developments.
After you’ve gotten into the production flow for several months, you’ll start to want to do more. That’s great! Since you’ve stuck to your initial strategy and production schedule, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be able to take the next step.
But before you do anything, have a meeting with your team.
You’ve likely included several people in the content department of your company at this point. Have a meeting with everyone to discuss where they’d like to see the content go from here. Truly remarkable content marketing is a team effort.
You’ll be amazed by the insight and ideas the people on the front lines of your company will bring to the table. In addition to their contributions, you’ll need to discuss whether they’ll be able to handle scaling the strategy any further.
The entire meeting should open your eyes to the current state of your content-marketing strategy, where you’d like it to go next and what new team members you’ll need to bring on to accomplish the task.
Move forward step by step, not by leaps and bounds.
Entrepreneurs often get overwhelmed by a need to see instant, remarkable results overnight. But that’s not how success works. It often happens step by step, day by day. Don’t worry about making huge leaps at a time. Once you’ve consulted your data, feedback and partners, decide which step you’ll take next. Then, use this same process to scale again when the time comes to expand even further.
Now that you know how the experts do it, how will you adjust your content strategy? Do you have a system in place to scale, little by little, day by day? If so, comment below with the next step you plan to take in evolving your content strategy.