Sometimes it seems like on agile marketing teams everything moves at a sprint, which makes content marketing seem like a slow marathon runner. The reality is, though, that content needs to move with the market and be responsive and improving – in other words, it needs to be agile too, but at its own pace. How do we get content to benefit from an agile methodology but still ensure its quality and consistency? This article will explore just that.
Parallel content marketing
There is a technique of running content marketing sprints parallel to each other, which can be managed by using the Scrum methodology. One of the teams’ responsibility is the content, and the other team takes care of marketing that isn’t about content. There should be a joint meeting once a day to make sure both teams are informed and on the same page. Otherwise, the teams remain separate with no overlap. According to Eve Laidlaw, a content marketer at Best Writing Services and UK Top Writers, “this works really well if your agile marketing strategy is on a rapid sprint lasting under 4 weeks. Sprints that are really short like that run the risk of putting stress on the content creators to meet deadlines, and quality of content can suffer.”
How to run the sprint
The content marketing team doesn’t need to change the structure of the sprint because the whole thing is guided by Scrum principles. You do need to monitor some tasks that have to be adapted for content marketers, including creating the right user stories, honing your definition of ‘done’, aligning your sprints with the types of content, and finding your ‘run rate’ for content. We’ll explore each of these now.
1. Creating user stories
Some of the best agile tools for content marketers are user stories because we know that the content we create will be a hit with the audience. Similarly to the rest of the agile methodology, user stories come from software development where they discover new features and updates for user needs. It can be hard when you’re just starting to have a user story for all content, but you’ll see that it’s worth it because your content will be higher quality and more relevant. The best way to make sure that all the content you create is aligned with your overall content strategy is by having a master user story about your whole strategy. This is an epic story that won’t work within just the spring and has to be separated into smaller pieces.
2. Define when content is ‘done’
The content review process is really subjective so it’s important to be very clear about when content is done. As per Monica Benson, a tech journalist at Assignment Services and Best British Essays, “the definition of quality content can be quite different between team members so having established guidelines means that you can be more consistent. One way to solve this issue is by holding biweekly content review meetings so the whole team can review and address possible weaknesses.”
3. Length of the sprint should match the content type
Your content sprint length has to work with the type of content you’re producing, so shorter content requiring less work should be done in a shorter sprint, or longer content needs a longer sprint. Some content can be done in one-week sprints, like blog articles and press releases. Larger projects, like infographics and ebooks, need to be handled like you would an epic and broken into smaller segments so you can complete it with multiple sprints. If your sprints are four weeks long, though, it changes the definition of an epic and a bigger project can be done in one sprint. Find the length of sprint that works for your team based on the projects you produce.
4. Determine the ‘run rate’ for your content
It’s very important to be able to accurately determine how much content you can produce within a certain time frame. Being able to run your content sprints separately from other agile marketing and tracking your run rates can be very useful for your team.
Marketing and content marketing are intrinsically linked now, but with agile methodology, you need to treat content marketing a little differently. Consider establishing separate springs for content marketers that work for your team.