It’s Not That Simple: The Difficulties of Scaling Content Marketing
There is no such thing as a shortage of content on the internet. According to WordPress, its users publish more than 59 million posts each month for their over 409 million viewers. While many of those posters likely have personal blogs, plenty of companies are among WordPress’ users, including IZOD, Best Buy and UPS. With this much business-related content available, it’s crucial that business owners, small and large, have a plan for launching and scaling their content marketing efforts if they want to compete in the modern business world.
Even if you have a current content marketing strategy, at some point you will likely want to scale it to reap even more benefits of this marketing tactic. The main difficulty with scaling content marketing programs is that the more you try to produce, the more costs can get out of hand, and quality can suffer. If you’re trying to expand your content efforts, you must be aware of the potential negative effects on your business so you can make a plan to avoid them.
In-House Writers Can’t Handle the Load
How much content can in-house content writers put out in a day? It depends on the individual writer, but if they’re efficient and also focused on producing top-notch content, they might be able to put out one to two sizeable, well-researched posts in one day. Add in the other duties that are usually grouped in with business writing positions (social media, tracking the progress of content efforts, creating larger pieces of content) and factor in the effort it takes to write non-stop and you might be able to get four to six quality pieces of writing a week out of in-house talent.
If you want to double your content production, you can try to make your writer twice as productive, but that could quickly result in burnout and a decrease in the quality of their work. You could also hire another writer, but this would essentially double your costs. If you need a large amount of content in a short time (for instance, you’re re-writing all the product descriptions on your website), you may risk shelling out large amounts of money or overloading in-house content writers with too much work.
Mistakes Are Inevitable
Let’s talk about consistency and quality for a minute. When scaling content efforts, you might try first to get more work out of your existing, in-house content writers. Unfortunately, people aren’t machines and, when pushed to the limit, they make mistakes. If you’ve ever written a term paper one day before the deadline, you know how true this is. Here are some things that could happen if you try to produce more content without having adequate resources and processes in place:
- Spelling and grammar mistakes slip by if you’re taking shortcuts with proofreading.
- Your brand voice loses consistency when you have standards that you don’t have time to enforce.
- Writers forget to cite information (or commit the blogging sin of plagiarism), which creates legal risks for your business.
- Your blogs, ebooks and social media posts become repetitive and boring because creativity takes time that you no longer have.
Undefined Processes Fall Apart
If you’re only trying to produce a few blog posts or pieces of content a week, you might be able to get by without having defined editorial processes in place. When you try to double or triple your content production, cracks can begin to show. There’s a reason that news outlets have a formal process for creating, editing and publishing content. When you scale content marketing efforts, you can’t make things up as you go along.
Big Benefits if You Can Make Content Work
The benefits of business blogging are numerous. Here are a few key stats compiled by Ignite Spot:
- 126%: The increase in leads experienced by small businesses who use blogs
- 61%: The percent of people in the U.S. who have decided to make a purchase because of a blog post
- 81%: The percent of consumer that consider blogs trustworthy sources of knowledge
Business owners and CMOs would be crazy to ignore the obvious benefit of having a strong content program in place. If you do choose to create or scale content marketing efforts, be aware of the inherent difficulties and have a plan in place to avoid negating the positive effects of a large content marketing initiative.