There’s no denying the value of content marketing for your business. For one, it generates three times as many leads as traditional outbound marketing, but costs 62% less money.
Still, content marketing can be time consuming and difficult to scale. But if you create the right processes and find the right resources, any size business can grow their content strategy and business in the process.
Systemize Your Processes
Before you can start scaling your content marketing, you need to have a clear understanding of the processes involved. Before even thinking about scaling, you need to document a process for each of these things so that anyone else can pick them up and run with them.
Let’s take a look at the key areas of your content strategy that you will need to start documenting:
How much content will you create?
This is a big question for a lot of businesses, and 70% of content marketers have plans to create more content in 2017.
What’s realistic for you?
How will you come up with content topics? Have you created buyer personas you can target with different content types? What kind of seasonal content should you create?
You’ll want to put together a content calendar to ensure you have the right variety of content types planned.
Research and writing
Do you plan to do initial research for your content before assigning it to a writer? Will you write certain pieces yourself?
You also need to decide which SEO research tools you’ll use to come up with headlines and target keywords.
Where to promote?
If you do content marketing the right way, promotion will be a much bigger task than content creation.
Decide which social platforms will be a part of your promotion strategy. Where does your audience spend time?
- And more
Leverage Media has a nice infographic comparing the merits of popular social platforms:
Will you promote on bookmarking sites like Reddit and HackerNews? What about Q&A sites or forums? Which ones?
Promotional tools and assets
Identify exactly what tools you’ll need to promote and analyze your results. You’ll need a social media automation tool like Buffer or Hootsuite to start. These will provide you with some analytics, but you may also want to add UTM codes to your links so you can track them in Google Analytics.
There’s also the question of assets. You’ll create attractive images designed for sharing on different platforms. Will you use Canva to create these or another tool? Will you create GIFs to go with your Facebook posts or use Twitter Cards?
Systemize how you will reach out to influencers for each piece of content you create.
For example, you can:
- Email people you mentioned in the posts
- Reach out to people who share similar content
- Tag or Mention influencers on Facebook and Twitter
- Message influencers on LinkedIn
Once you’ve done everything you can to promote your content initially, it’s time to repurpose. Turn your original content into something else to get more juice out of it. For example, you can:
- Turn it into a video
- Create an infographic
- Turn it into a slide deck
- Republish on Medium or LinkedIn Pulse
Systemize your content creation and promotion process by breaking it down into small, manageable chunks. Then it’s easier to make decisions that will help you scale.
Options to Scale
You only have so many hours in the day you can devote to content marketing. So if you want to scale your processes, you’re going to need some help.
Luckily, there are a lot of different ways to do it: outsourcing to specialists and freelancers, hiring your own team, or doing a bit of both.
Outsourcing to specialists and freelancers
Hiring specialists or freelancers is a great option because you can select people with the perfect skills you need to succeed.
According to a study by SkilledUp, finding skilled expertise is one of the biggest challenges businesses face when implementing content marketing:
Now that all your processes are systemized, it’s easy to identify which tasks you want to outsource and hire the right people.
To find freelancers or experts to work with, you can post a job on a freelance site, such as:
You can also find writers, designers and other freelancers on niche forums or job boards. ProBlogger is a popular site that connects businesses with writers.
If you’re not enthusiastic about sifting through hundreds of applications from your job postings, then I suggest finding freelancers on social media.
Ask your members of one of your LinkedIn groups or your Twitter followers for referrals:
Hiring a team
Hiring a full-time centralized team within your organization is the most popular way businesses scale their content strategy:
According to Content Marketing Institute’s latest survey, more than half of organizations have a small or one-person team in charge of their content marketing.
One of the biggest benefits of having an in-house team is that they’re always available to work on your strategy. Freelancers have commitments with other clients that slow things down.
And it turns out being able to quickly make changes to your content strategy is a success factor. 87% of the most effective content marketers are able to quickly adjust their content marketing strategy when needed.
The hybrid approach
The hybrid approach is the best of both worlds. Hire one person or a small team of people to work in-house on your content marketing strategy. If their skills are limited in certain areas, turn to freelancers to fill in the gaps.
It works best to hire a team to work on your every day content marketing tasks, like social media management, responding to comments, etc. For big projects like writing a research report, enlist the expertise of freelancers.
In the end, just make sure the people working on each of your systemized processes is the right person for the job. Content marketing that scales is all about quality and efficiency.
Broaden Your Reach With Ads
Once you have a team creating the best quality content and promoting it thoroughly, scaling becomes a matter of broadening reach.
A few years ago, online ads were limited to traditional outbound strategies to promote your business. But today, there are plenty of ways to promote your content.
First, you can distribute your content on popular platforms as paid advertisements. These kinds of ads tend to get a better response than traditional ads because they promote valuable content that might actually interest the reader, instead of directly pitching products and services.
According to MediaPost, consumers interact with native ads 20% to 60% more than they do with standard banner ads.
After you’ve attracted some traffic to your site, you can use ads to remarket to your site visitors. Try to attract them back to a targeted landing page on your site where they can convert.
Here are some platforms you can use to implement your strategy:
Social media promotion
Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn all offer paid options to promote your content. They allow you to target by demographic information (location, age, gender, etc), specific interest categories, and even behavior. For example, target people who are (or aren’t) following your business.
Facebook’s Page Post Link ad type is probably the best for promoting your content:
Facebook advertising also has re–marketing capabilities. Bid on cost per click (CPC), impressions, or cost per action.
LinkedIn gives you three promotion options:
- Sponsored updates
- Text and image ads
- Sponsored InMail
Sponsored updates is probably the best for content promotion. With LinkedIn you can target specific industries, employers, LinkedIn groups, and more.
Twitter offers Promoted Tweets — basically regular-looking tweets that go out to a wider audience.
Twitter lets you target your ads based on audience interests, what accounts someone follows, specific keywords, and more.
Google Display Ads
Use Adwords to advertise on the Google Display Network. It’s made up of more than 2 million sites around the web (including YouTube), where you can promote your content as a targeted ad.
Create text, image, video or rich media ads and distribute them to sites with a very specific target audience. Adwords will also help you re–market to your site visitors.
Content discovery tools
Content discovery tools are the perfect paid advertising option because they’re designed just for content promotion (not business promotion).
Ever scroll down to the bottom of a popular site and see a section called “Related posts” or “You may also like”?
That suggested content is promoted from a content discovery tool:
Taboola and Outbrain are the two most popular content discovery tools out there you can try. Use one and get your content recommended on major publications like MSN, USA Today, Business Insider, and more. That can drive a lot of traffic back to your domain.
That’s a fast overview of how you can scale content marketing and your business in the process. It’s a lot to remember, but that’s the thing with content marketing:
The more time and resources you invest in it, the better it works.
So systemize your processes, get some affordable help, and start building a strategy you can actually scale today.