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5 steps to a scaleable content marketing campaign

There are 2 key points in the life of a content marketing campaign where many fail. The first is the beginning, where you set out to find what your audience is looking for.

The second is when you to scale your content creation beyond yourself. You hire a writer… But the brand loyalty you have carefully built up over time can turn against you here.

Will the audience that you’ve worked so hard to build up still be interested in following content created by someone else? Will you be able to maintain the quality of what you publish? Can you find a writer to write in your voice?

Many content marketing campaigns fail at this crucial stage. But there are a few simple steps you can take to improve your odds and ensure the long-term success of your campaign.

Not scaling your content could be dangerous. What if, after many years, you tire of the topics, but your content marketing is the main driver of traffic to your business? What if you want to sell your company, but the success of the marketing relies on you and becomes a liability? What if you want to spend more time managing your team or improving other areas of your business, but content creation is taking up too much time?

Define your content marketing strategy

The foundation of your content marketing campaign should be a documented strategy. For many content marketers, this seems like unnecessary homework. In fact, according to the 2016 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends—North America, only a third of marketers have a documented strategy.

“Last year, 35% of B2B marketers had a documented content strategy, 48% had a verbal-only strategy, and 14% had no strategy. A documented content marketing strategy impacts effectiveness:

A “verbal-only” strategy is not enough; we’re all humans here, and we know how easy it is to get sidetracked by the latest shiny object marketing trends. Content marketing is a long-term play, and the only way you’re going to get results is with consistency and quality.

We also know how easy it is to misinterpret each other when communicating. If you don’t believe me, here’s a little experiment you can try.

Take a picture of a landscape with distinctive features. Find a friend who is great at drawing and ask them to draw a picture of the landscape for you, but don’t show them the picture, just describe it to them. (If you actually do this, please post the picture in the comments).

If you want to add team members to your content marketing campaign, a written strategy will keep everyone consistent and make sure everyone has the same vision.

In just a few pages, this document should contain:

This strategy will keep you consistent over time. Without it, you’re susceptible to constantly changing your strategy depending on how you feel or whatever shiny object is in your field of view at the time. This is also crucial for sharing the vision of your blog successfully with others.

I have a more in-depth guide to a great content marketing strategy here: How to get powerful results with your content marketing strategy.

Also, here’s a link to a template I have developed to make documenting your strategy a breeze.

Organize your blog around your reader’s core problems

Your core problems will become your category structure for your content. This category structure allows you to do a lot of the time-consuming work that goes into creating good content once, and then use it in many of the things you create.

Here’s an example of some of the core problems we decided on for WP Curve and how much traffic we were getting to our site for each problem.

Have others write in your voice with style and branding guide

Where your strategy handles the big picture of your content, your style guide helps with the day to day. There are many tiny details that are worth keeping consistent if you want to maintain the quality of your content as you scale. The style guide also can give you a predictable creation process, which enables you to plan out content weeks or even months in advance.

A style guide allows other writers to create content in your voice. Here are a few key elements of a good style guide:

Editorial Calendar

An editorial calendar will allow you to plan out content weeks or even months in advance. You’ll be able to anticipate holidays, industry events, product launches, and have content prepared in time to take advantage of them.

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Two common tools for editorial calendars are Trello and CoSchedule. Each has unique advantages depending on your tastes. I have written a review comparing then here: Trello vs. CoSchedule: Editorial calendar review for content marketers.

Here are a few key elements of an editorial calendar:

Great content won’t be seen without great promotion

In the article What to do if your content is not getting traction? Renee Warren, the founder of Onboardly, describes how she focuses heavily on content promotion, not content creation. This is especially important in the early days of your brand building when you’ll need to work hard to get attention and differentiate yourself in your market.

You should have several processes in place that ensure every post gets promoted.

Here’s a few I recommend starting with:

Conclusion

Scaling up your content marketing and building a team that can tell your story and speaks in your voice is crucial to the long-term success of your campaign. With documented processes and the right tools, you’ll be able to scale up your content marketing, expand your reach and grow your business.

Kyle Gray is the founder of Conversion Cake, he helps startups and small businesses build content marketing strategies and teams. He is the author of “The College Entrepreneur” A book for students who want to break into entrepreneurship. Follow him @kylethegray.”