Host Jeff Coyle, Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer of MarketMuse, talks with Rick Leach, Director of Content Creation at Crowd Content, Inc., about the difficulties of scaling content and how to scale content development with less struggle.
The engaging conversation explores topics such as:
- What to consider before scaling your content
- Understanding what scaling means for you
- Common problems companies experience when scaling content creation
- The pros and cons of an in-house team compared to outsourcing
- The most important tool for scaling content effectively
- How to find writers who produce engaging content
- One easy resource for making content stand out
Scaling content isn’t as simple as doing more of your current processes. If you want to upscale your content 10X, then you’re entering a new realm of content creation. If you want to actually get things done, you need to think about how to scale through the lenses of quality and comprehensiveness. That helps you build a scaling process that will result in successful content marketing for your business.
How to Scale Content
Before you even start scaling your content, there are two major questions you need to ask yourself. First, what does scaling mean for your company? There’s a big difference between going from a single post per month to ten, compared to scaling from ten posts a month to 100. The processes you build and the supporting structures you develop should be designed with your end goal in mind.
Next, you need to ask yourself whether your current processes will work for your target number of content pieces per month.
The small-scale content development process you use to get one or ten pieces ready for publication won’t work for 100 blog posts. Look for places where you can streamline the content creation process and avoid bottlenecks. Those are the first things you’ll need to address when building your content scaling strategy.
Common Problems With Content Scaling
There are two major problems businesses run into when trying to grow their content creation processes. The first is a content production process that involves too many turnarounds. The fewer times a blog post or other type of content needs to be touched, the better.
Businesses run into this when they give content creators vague instructions, then refine the piece through multiple rounds of edits. This can be frustrating for everyone involved. It’s better to provide a thorough brief from the beginning to help the content team produce their best work from the start and minimize edits.
The other common issue is turnover. If you have a small content writing team, you may rely on their knowledge to avoid having to write down things like style guides and content marketing strategies. However, when you scale your content, you need to account for turnover. You need to have written rules and guidelines that will get new writers up to speed to prevent turnover from causing productivity slumps.
In-House vs. Outsourcing Content Creation
You can choose to scale content production by hiring more in-house writers or outsourcing to a qualified content creation platform. Both solutions have their pros and cons.
In-house writers are more likely to be dedicated to your brand, so they have a solid understanding of your needs and open availability. However, you also need to hire this content team yourself, manage turnover, and pay them for their time.
The alternative is to outsource content creation to a service like Crowd Content. With a writing service, you connect with dozens or even hundreds of writers, and the service assigns your articles to the writer who is the best match to your needs. You don’t have to manage anyone or pay them full-time. You will need to provide them with thorough briefs, but this is something you should provide for every writer. If you’re looking to scale your written content process 10X, outsourcing is the way to do it if you want high quality content.
The Most Important Content Scaling Tool
No matter how you choose to scale your content production, you should rely on one simple tool: well-written briefs. A brief is the summary of the content you want a writer to produce. It can be as short as a title or subject and a target keyword, but good ones include much more. A great content brief includes:
- A target keyword
- Secondary and long-tail keywords
- Important marketing topics to cover
- Link building you want to be included
- Headers the blog post should include
- The structure the blog post should follow
- A call to action
These elements act as a map for your writer. If you just give the author a keyword, they need to fill in the blanks themselves. Providing a thorough brief helps you make sure the writer goes the direction you want them to take and prevents long, frustrating, and trust-breaking feedback and revision cycles in the content writing process.
You can use third-party tools like Google Analytics and MarketMuse to build better briefs that make SEO a priority and help you accomplish your broader strategy beyond simple quick wins.
Finding Great Writers
If you want to find top-quality writers and make content production a breeze, you need to look in the right places. You can search for freelancers, or you can work with a content-writing platform that’s already done the hard work for you.
When you work with a content creation platform, you should make sure you’re talking to a content manager. A genuine content manager understands how SEO works, how content promotion and content marketing are tied to quality content, and how to build a content calendar that works for your business.
A content manager will help you connect with the best freelance writer for your needs. They’ll also help you refine your briefs to make sure that you’re getting high quality content from every writer on their platform. They’ll walk you through the process of building briefs that lead to consistent content and help you avoid the mess of trying to hire a new content writer ever again.
The Best Resource for Developing Outstanding Content at Scale
When it comes to writing quality content with excellent SEO, no one is better than a Subject Matter Expert (SME). However, SMEs are expensive, and not every article needs to be written by an SME. Instead, you can build a team of SME reviewers who will check over the blog posts and content your writers produce.
The target audience or search engine will see the SME’s qualifications on the page and trust the content. Meanwhile, a non-expert writer can produce the actual content piece, and the reviewer will make sure it’s accurate. This is the best of both worlds.
Rick Leach is a Director of Content Creation at Crowd Content, Inc. He has years of experience helping companies scale their content production using fully managed teams of content writers and editors, having previously managed advertising teams in the newspaper industry.
You can learn more about Rick Leach on his LinkedIn profile.
Content is one of your most valuable resources. However, scaling your content creation up can decrease your content efficiency if you aren’t careful. Takeaways from this webinar include:
- Develop your strategy in advance. Think about your target audience and your existing content, then build a scalable content strategy that will work no matter how much content you want to produce.
- Focus on building consistency. Develop briefs that cover all the important details of each piece of content to help every writer create content that fits your style and needs.
What you should do now
When you’re ready… here are 3 ways we can help you publish better content, faster:
- Book time with MarketMuse Schedule a live demo with one of our strategists to see how MarketMuse can help your team reach their content goals.
- If you’d like to learn how to create better content faster, visit our blog. It’s full of resources to help scale content.
- If you know another marketer who’d enjoy reading this page, share it with them via email, LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook.