The Role of Agile in Balancing Quality and Quantity in Content
Time is key when it comes to website content. It’s a tricky balance between taking time to get content right and making sure it’s not stale and irrelevant when it goes live. It’s also a critical factor in visitor engagement.
Consider the length of time a customer spends on a particular post or page on your website. The more time they spend there, the more likely it is that that they’re engaging with your brand and its content.
However, getting them to stick around is a battle that a lot of brands can relate to. In fact, an astonishing amount of website sessions last less than fifteen seconds, which leads us to believe the attention span of most users is similar to that of a goldfish.
This is why time is also key when it comes to the development of the content itself.
Think of it like driving a car. If you go slow, you have a lot of time to think about the small details and pay attention to the road and everything around you — but you’ll probably end up at your destination much later than planned. If you’re going fast you’ll hit your ETA, but if your concentration breaks, then you’re in big trouble.
In some cases, clunky processes slow content to crawl, leading to stale blogs and bland social media copy. But in other cases, leadership demands an unrealistically quick churn, burning out marketing teams and producing content that is ultimately low-value.
Finding the right cadence and balance of energy spent on content can be difficult, but it’s not impossible. In fact, CMOs can take a page from the Agile methodologies that are increasingly accelerating the pace at which websites and applications are deployed.
Use Agile as your content marketing bible
We’re aware that writing code is a world away from developing good marketing copy, but following some of the methods that Agile has to offer can have a huge impact on your brand:
- User acceptance testing
User acceptance testing (UAT) is one of the most important elements of Agile development. Giving end-users the chance to test software or an application to determine whether it works as desired helps developers know whether the software or app is ready to be deployed.
Applying a similar method to reviewing content will help solve one of the biggest issues faced by content marketing teams — objectively judging what is and what isn’t quality content.
While checking for grammar and style, editors can also incorporate other elements into their review for approval. For example, does this piece contain enough internal links? Are we using the right keywords? Do we have any additional content like videos or images that could break up the text and provide context to tell a cohesive story?
In the same way that good development teams don’t deploy buggy and incomplete software, content teams should not post rushed or inept copy. Therefore, by taking a page from the software development book, marketers can ensure that only the best high-quality content is produced and shared.
- Make approval processes more efficient
Ask any copywriter and they’ll tell you that producing good content takes time. Agile is particularly effective in saving time by streamlining workflows and making processes more efficient.
What tends to slow the content process is spending too long on approvals. Whether it’s having too many people with different opinions reviewing the same content or relying on those with very little bandwidth for review, getting content signed off can be a struggle. Not to mention leaving the writer with the task of incorporating all the feedback.
Reviewing the approval process to take stock of who really needs to see content and setting clear guidelines for those responsible for reviewing can massively speed up the approval process.
Accelerated processes in this way means that more time can be spent doing the important elements of copywriting — research, writing and curating the content.
- Measure, iterate, repeat
Often, content teams are scratching their heads about what makes a particular piece of content perform better than others. This tends to be the case when the brand doesn’t have a good system or metrics in place to measure success.
The chance are, if you’re uninformed about what is working and what’s not, your copy creators are equally unaware about what has been successful.
Being able to easily measure success creates immense opportunities to improve your content. For example, an understanding of the keywords and topics that have positively driven engagement in the past mean they can be included at the beginning of the creative process. Entire forward-looking calendars can also be overhauled to make sure any new content gets people back to your site time and time again.
By adopting an iterative process of creating content, creatives can have a clear goal in mind, while ensuring their output is continuously improving.
- Harness the power of CMS tools
For content teams, the content management system (CMS) is critical and they can benefit considerably by harnessing a CMS tool that’s aligned with Agile principles.
What consumers want is changing faster than ever and solutions that are truly Agile are key to providing great customer experiences and keeping audiences loyal to the brand. Look for a solution that’s adaptive and future-orientated in order to stay ahead of the competition.
If applied correctly, each of the Agile methods outlined above can have a significant impact on the delivery of quality content — without compromising on quality.