One of the most important factors for any content marketing activity is scalability. Say you’ve launched a campaign or single piece of content that has resonated with one of your target audiences. It’s generating plenty of click-through traffic, people are sharing it on social media and contributing to the discussion thread on your site. So, how do you take that success and expand it to reach an even broader audience? And, most importantly: how can you do that without multiplying your investment of time and money?
In this article, we look at seven tips for scaling your content marketing activities. These tips are all about getting more out of your existing content.
Why is scalability important for content marketing?
Scalability matters because it helps you reach more and more customers and leads without having to multiply your investment proportionally. In other words, you get “more bang for your buck.” Once a piece of content is created, you can modify it, reposition it, repurpose it and use different channels to promote it. These are all effective ways of reaching more people using virtually the same content.
7 tips for scaling your content
Tip #1: Use personas to define your target groups
Scalability all begins with planning ahead and knowing which audiences you want to reach. The key is to know how these audiences relate to each other. Suppose your company is based in the UK but wants to eventually reach an audience in France, Germany and the Netherlands as well. How can you figure out the similarities and differences between these various target audiences?
Start by developing a clearly defined persona for each audience you want to reach. A persona is a mock-up of the real life leads and customers that you are trying to reach. Your persona has all the characteristics of the ideal customer, including their education level, income, family life, interests, gender, age or any other relevant factors.
Importantly, you should also know which keywords and search terms are likely to appeal to your audience members. Which questions are your personas likely to type into a search engine?
Once you’ve got your various personas worked out, look for areas where these audiences overlap. These are “sweet spots” where you can focus your content on reaching more than once target group at a time.
Tip #2: Reposition existing content
If one piece of your content is performing well among one target audience, see if you can modify it slightly to make it more appealing to a different audience you’re trying to reach. This saves you from having to create all-new content to reach the second audience.
Refer back to your personas. Look for a slightly different angle for framing the content. Try adding slightly different keywords and questions to the title or headings so that you’re more likely to catch the eye of additional target audiences.
Tip #3: Use repetitive processes and workflows
Before you start creating content, make a sustainable content marketing plan. This means setting goals for how much content you want to create each month. Write out a content calendar, so that you have clear deadlines in place for when you want to release new content.
By working with repetitive processes, you can eliminate guesswork and avoid “reinventing the wheel” each time you want to produce a new piece of content. This turns your marketing team into a content-producing machine.
Tip #4: Create a content style guide
To make the content creation process even more efficient, adopt a style guide. This keeps all your content creators on the same page and ensures that they all write in one consistent voice.
Your style guide should contain clear references and guidelines for appealing to each of your target audiences. Actively encourage your content team to play into the sweet spots that trigger multiple audiences at once. That means using keywords with a broader appeal, or using language that is more universal.
However, make sure that your writers know how to walk the fine line: if the content is too broad, it will not resonate with any audience.
Tip #5: Work with a content creation team
Content creation is time-consuming. If you want to scale your content, then it takes a team effort. Your best option is to get multiple people working on your content marketing activities at once.
Work with a team of professionals who understand how to reach multiple target groups. It’s ideal to work with a fixed team who are familiar with your company’s content strategy and audiences. This ensures a smooth content creation process and allows you to create effective, authentic content.
Tip #6: Choose scalable topics
When picking topics, always start with your target audience in mind. What are the main keywords that will appeal to your audiences? What are the questions or pain points that your audiences face? Look for the similarities between your various audiences.
If you have an international audience in mind, then don’t bother with creating content that targets only one country. Start from an international perspective, but focus on the keywords and topics that resonate equally among your various personas.
Tip #7: Repurpose existing content
As your content library expands, you’ll find opportunities for repurposing past content. Sometimes it’s simply a matter of updating an existing piece to account for new developments. For example, your popular “Top 10 trends to watch for in 2019” piece can probably be transformed into a “Top 10 trends for 2020” with relatively minimal effort. Let successful content from the past serve as a template for creating new content.
The same goes for scaling from a national to an international audience. Reframe your existing content to make it relevant in the other country or countries you want to reach. If you’ve originally written a piece for a UK audience, it may contain culture-specific references that don’t work in other countries. Be sure to find alternatives that will make sense to the international readers you have in mind. This may involve working with creative translators to truly localise the content.
Scalable content is sustainable content
By following these tips, you’ll reach a larger audience without multiplying your content creation efforts each time. That is the key to creating high-performance content that reaches a broad audience.
As a marketing professional, you want every activity to deliver an optimal return on investment. That’s why scalability is so important. In short, a scalable content marketing strategy is a sustainable one. Save time and money and get more out of your content by adopting a scalability mindset.