Content, content, content. It’s the currency of today’s competitive online world. Brands are under constant pressure to produce enough content to satisfy fickle audiences before they lose interest, or worse, turn to another company. Not only are brands on the hook for creating content, the content they produce must also be high-quality and eye-catching enough to grab consumers’ attention. Scaling content can help, but only if you do it right.
Scaling content doesn’t just mean churning out a large volume of content quickly. It encompasses repurposing existing content into other formats and reposting quality, evergreen pieces. A regular output of quality content significantly increases a company’s online visibility and ramps up website traffic. In short, putting your content production into overdrive is vital to building brand awareness, with 91% of B2B marketers relying on content to boost brand visibility.
The problem that many marketers face is how to scale content without neglecting quality. A survey by the Content Marketing Institute found that only 6% of marketers believe that their organizations know how to scale content effectively. “It’s a big issue,” explains Langston McCullough, WITHIN’s Senior Creative Account Manager. “Marketers know how to create content, but not necessarily how to scale.”
The increased workload that comes with producing content in quantity leads to teams struggling with a greater workload, resulting in a decline in quality. Even with the best marketing team, it’s an uphill struggle to build traction with poor-quality content, let alone begin to scale.
To make sure a machine is functioning as efficiently as possible, all the parts have to run like clockwork. The same goes for content marketing; to start churning out quality content, make sure that there is a process in place for every single piece of work. Create an editorial calendar that is updated as soon as there are any changes made. Keep responsibilities clear by agreeing on a channel of communication for all members of the team. Coordinate content processes across the team, and use social media tools to help determine the best times to post on each channel. Weekly or twice-weekly meetings are vital to making sure goals are being met and that everyone is on the same page; working with focus creates efficiency and eliminates redundancy.
It’s not always possible to have brand-spanking-new pieces of creative, so the best thing to do is get creative with your creative. For example, adding text overlays to images from a shoot or a video is a smart way to reuse old content and turn it into something new. Use this as an opportunity to add context to your brand beyond the products through the messages you’re layering.
In the example below, the raw video footage is repurposed to cover a variety of different value props, selling points, and potential product categories.
Another great way to scale content is to repost quality evergreen content. This drives up website traffic and boosts your company’s visibility. Another fantastic way for brands to scale is by adopting a modular approach when creating content. Modular content is infinitely remixable and involves creating one large asset that can be reworked or tweaked depending on the scenario.
When thinking about scaling content, testing generally isn’t the first thing that springs to mind. However, testing how the audience is responding to creative is a huge part of successfully scaling it. Capturing the attention of a consumer is hard — on popular social channels like Instagram and YouTube, you have 5 seconds maximum to pique their interest in your product. To figure out which creative is pulling in the most customers, use A/B testing, switching between visuals, content buckets and different messaging. The information gleaned from those tests allows you to create impactful imagery that will appeal to your target audience and keeps you from wasting advertising dollars on creative that does not work for you.
It can be tempting to create content just for the sake of having something to post, but this is a big mistake. Putting out poor content is just as bad as not having any content at all. Before creating content, companies need to understand what their target audience cares about the most.
“Creative strategy research is one of the most overlooked and important pieces of a brand’s digital marketing mix … running creative without data is like throwing spaghetti at a wall and seeing what sticks,” McCullough shares.
Do your due diligence by studying what is shared the most across the majority of your audience, then get more granular and figure out what specific customer demographics care about compared to the wider audience. With that knowledge, you can begin working on how to split and target creative. Understand that “winning” creative assets are not guaranteed to come out of every launch, so don’t be afraid to cut your losses and head in a different direction when something doesn’t work.
Sometimes it’s best to turn to the experts. Hiring an agency partner grants you access to a whole team of professionals whose sole job is to elevate your content and grow its performance. An agency partner will determine the right creative to use, have the right insights into which content strategies work for you, and know the best channels to run the creative on. Outsourcing to the pros relieves stress, reduces the burden on in-house staff, and allows you to make efficient use of your marketing budget.
Scaling content isn’t as simple as producing it in mass quantities. A smart company is aware that their content represents them, and focusing on quantity over quality can negatively affect their brand’s image. Assessing your overarching strategy and scaling content accordingly will increase your chances of being noticed by potential customers.
If you’d like to learn more about scaling content, let’s talk.
Charlotte Norman is a content writer passionate about all things marketing. She received an MFA from NYU Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute’s Literary Reportage program and is currently based in New York City.