Unsure how to scale your content marketing process? You’re certainly not alone.
In a recent Content Marketing Institute survey, more than 60% of content marketers agreed that their greatest educational need is understanding how to create a scalable content strategy.
Unfortunately, it’s all too common for marketers to liken “scaling content” with merely “increasing content production.” The result? Content that’s lacking quality, an exact target audience, and distinct metrics to track progress.
Today, we’re diving into the top 6 mistakes content marketers make when scaling their content marketing processes — and how to avoid them.
Not Having Any SOPs and Processes for Repeatable Tasks
Think of it this way: the more you scale, the more content you are creating, and the more likely added scale will introduce complexity.
If you want to ensure your content remains at a high-quality as you bring on more writers, editors, designers, and project managers to your marketing team, you are going to need templates, processes, and standard operating procedures (
i.e., SOPs.) This ensures that your team knows exactly what to produce.
For example, if you run a content marketing agency, you will want to hire a project manager or two to manage client accounts and moving pieces. These are some examples of content marketing processes you’ll want to have established before you bring on your first project manager.
Without these processes in place, there is a real possibility that quality levels will be inconsistent or decline, and you’ll be spending more time putting out fires. Plus, it will take considerably longer to get anything done.
Failing to Have an Established Strategy
While you might think it’s enough that a content manager or team member has a clear idea of where your content strategy is headed, failing to document and disperse that plan to your team can be a significant pitfall.
Having an established strategy is critical to overall success when scaling content marketing processes.
More than 60 percent of the most effective marketers have a documented content marketing strategy, compared to only 14 percent of the least successful.
An established content marketing strategy allows marketers to feel more confident in the productivity of their efforts and feel less challenged by certain aspects of content marketing, such as ideation. Be sure to record any existing framework for your scaling process. Then, add more tangible elements, such as due dates, ownership, and creative briefs.
Neglecting Mobile Content
It’s no secret that tons of content are consumed on mobile devices. Yet, somehow, some content marketers neglect that mobile content exists. Mobile web traffic accounts for 52.6 percent of global web traffic, so it’s imperative that the more content you produce, the more it’s fit for mobile-consumption.
What does mobile-friendly content look like? In short, think bold headlines, and plenty of them. That’s not to say your content should be choppy, but rather, your content cannot be one wall of text. Use images, bullet points, and pull-quotes to break up your copy.
Likewise, break away from standard whitepapers and blog posts and embrace image-focused content such as infographics. Confirm with your web development team to ensure your website or whichever hosting platform you’re using to publish content is equipped with a mobile UX and efficient mobile loading speed.
Treating Social Media as a Silo
Social media is a key component of a successful content marketing process, especially for those looking to scale. One of the top mistakes that content marketers make when scaling is treating social media like a silo or failing to create a cross-channel experience for the user. Your social media should work hand-in-hand with your content strategy, helping distribute content effectively and funnel readers to your website. Make it an objective to share at least one new piece of content a week on social media, even if it means repurposing old content.
Forgoing Quality for Quantity
Returning to our previous point, all too often, marketers confuse “scaling content” with “increasing content production.” While you are likely to be creating an increased amount of content, you must not sacrifice quality in the pursuit of a broader strategy. Its imperative in-house employees are provided the time and templates necessary to create quality content — free of grammatical or spelling errors, well-optimized for engagement, and on-brand.
Farming out content can be a fantastic approach to saving time and company resources when scaling your content marketing process. However, it’s crucial to vet whichever company, freelancer, or content production team you choose to farm your content out to. Just because content can be done rapidly doesn’t mean it will be done well, so do your homework before scaling too quickly and forgoing the quality you’re after.
Failing to Tie Content to Key Business KPIs
Though most marketers can agree on the value of content marketing, measuring content effectiveness in and of itself is still a significant challenge across both B2B and B2C markets. Failing to define clear metrics and tying content into overall return on investment (ROI) can paint an inaccurate picture of any scaling efforts’ success.
Remember to redefine your metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) to act as benchmarks in your new content initiatives. Be sure to define quantifiable engagement goals, including organic traffic, social shares, and increased time spent on the page. Taking these steps can help concretely demonstrate content effectiveness as you scale.
The most common mistakes that content marketers make when scaling their content marketing processes all boil down to a lack of proper planning. From building the appropriate SOPs and templates to defining your target audience, you can avoid the top content marketing pitfalls by implementing effective groundwork before scaling.