Why Agile Content Creation Is More Important Than Ever
In recent years, consumer behavior has substantially changed. One of the most significant aspects of this transformation is the take-off of online platforms. Online shopping has reached sectors of the global population that were previously unattainable. Similarly, the Internet has become the first channel of information for making a purchase decision. This is a major challenge for companies, requiring quick responses to the interests of their audience which creates the need to ensure agile content creation.
What is agile content creation?
Today, more than ever, brands need content that can attract new customers and build loyalty among existing ones at the same time. Digital platforms have become a priority channel for any marketing strategy. Content is the main medium driving online activities.
To stay in the game, it is essential to apply agile content creation strategies. This refers to optimizing the process and eliminating technical bottlenecks. The key is to embrace the innovation that agile technologies offer.
Agile content creation transforms processes and organizational structures. It focuses on the author’s experience and seeks to streamline workflows. According to the CMI’s 2021 Content Management and Strategy Survey, this is one of the biggest concerns of marketing leaders.
The outlook, however, is not as bleak as one might expect, as agile content creation brings a glimmer of hope to the situation. This methodology allows writers to focus on delivering valuable pieces and making necessary adjustments in a timely manner.
Fundamentals of agile methodologies
Agile methodology takes a different approach to managing and executing projects. The traditional organization of work is based on division by competencies and a sequential approach. In this, each team has a particular objective and works independently. Once these components have been completed, the project drifts into a new phase where it has other managers.
Agile processes are characterized by interdepartmental collaboration and the alignment and concurrence of execution. Everyone involved in the project participates, more or less, from the very beginning. Thus, this requires coordinated actions and open and constant communication channels. By replacing the waterfall work model with an agile scheme, inefficient breaks and waiting periods are eliminated.
With agile content creation, both the definition of roles and responsibilities and the work planning stress flexibility as an essential feature. The speed that characterizes agile processes makes it necessary to design adaptable and easily measurable strategies. Instead of outlining ambitious long-term plans, an author tackles challenges and produces almost immediate results.
However, this does not mean that you should lose sight of your objectives. Agile content creation must address them in stages and evaluate them continuously. Your audience will dictate the pace and direction of activities. Therefore, you should analyze your company’s behavior and incorporate insights into your strategy as soon as possible. Agile content creation consists of hypothesizing, experimenting, evaluating, adjusting and iterating.
In agile processes, visibility is critical. The entire team should be aware of the project status and the next steps at all times. Information management and process documentation are indispensable. For example, in agile content creation, this could mean sharing the results of the marketing plan with the author. This will enable you to understand what is meaningful to the audience and, consequently, improve the quality of the content.
The digital environment, in and of itself, is very unstable. Technological changes, the volatility of audience interests and the speed with which competitors produce content demand quick responses. Relying on a perfect and secure plan is a pipe dream and a direct road to failure. You must be willing to experiment, assuming a controlled risk.
In agile content creation, however, these experiments must be innocuous. They should not put a business at risk. Objectives must be well-defined and executed content must provide quick insights. Thus, experiments should be adapted or discontinued at the slightest suspicion that they might affect your brand.
The results of your experiments will allow you to determine when and how to replicate your efforts. A proven idea is very powerful and increases in quality as it enables you to add value to each new application.
This is a great advantage for agile content creation. If a piece has performed well on social media, you can turn it into a lengthier and more detailed blog post. An iterative process enables you to nurture your customer relationship, delivering more relevant and personalized experiences at every step.
How to apply agile methodologies to content creation
Agile methodologies emerged in the software development environment but have been adapted to content marketing. In fact, the two disciplines have much in common. These are comprehensive projects involving different disciplines. Contrary to what one might think, content creation is not a stand-alone task. Writers, editors, designers, analysts and managers are required to carry out a content marketing plan.
Together they must ensure that content pieces respond to the changing interests of the audience. A static or cascade process will hardly produce relevant content for users, as their needs are constantly changing. Teams cannot wait weeks or months to measure results and make adjustments.
Agile content creation breaks the project down into smaller, isolated tasks that can be adapted quickly. In addition, the workflow enables collaboration among various stakeholders, resulting in higher quality content. Beyond the alignment of tools, it involves the concurrence of operations which eliminates bottlenecks. This requires the application of the three basic principles of agile content creation:
Focus on the author’s experience
The ultimate goal of content authors is to provide the audience with a memorable experience. The greater the author’s own experience is, the more the author can do for your content creation. However, the simple combination of keywords does not guarantee that a content piece is relevant. You need to create a story that resonates with your target audience.
The task of an author is to convert brand data into information that provides value to the customer. That is, it should provide solutions to their specific requirements, needs, interests or situations. In addition, they must deal with a dynamic reality, which makes customization even more difficult.
At this point, the demand for content can snowball, causing the strategy to falter. More and more content is needed, and it needs to be supplied faster and be better focused. This is where agile content creation comes into play, as it allows for more effective management. Optimizing the workflow will allow your author or authors as well as your team to focus on their task and produce more satisfactory results.
Providing the right tools and technologies
Technology is an indisputable ally when it comes to improving the speed and efficiency of processes. This cannot be more true in the case of agile content creation. Identifying the suitable tools and technologies is the first step to improving your workflow and optimizing your results.
While speed of execution is a common requirement in different industries, your business strategy and objectives should guide you in this. It is advisable to audit your channels or media and identify bottlenecks. Consider, for example, in what aspects or stages should you reinforce your capabilities. Think about how the different solutions are integrated and how they contribute to your business goals.
Ultimately, the overall objective of agile content creation is to optimize the process. The automation and synchronization of tools and technologies will allow you to offer your users better experiences across all your platforms. In other words, more relevant and personalized content will help them make purchasing decisions.
In this sense, technologies that offer dynamic executions and facilitate content adaptation will be useful. This includes everything from artificial intelligence applications to online approval tools. Any phase of the project is susceptible to optimization.
Enable the teams
Enabling your teams does not simply mean providing the proper training. The concept is much broader, as it involves providing your employees with the skills and the tools they need to accomplish a task. Of course, training is indispensable, especially when it comes to digital environments, but there are also other aspects to consider.
Agile content creation must address the integral management of the process. As this is a dynamic activity, all employees must have the necessary skills to adapt to change. This includes clear project governance and well-defined communication structures.
As this point is often overlooked by companies, it is one of the stumbling blocks. Companies tend to pay attention to training and forget that, without proper management, all their efforts may be in vain. Agile content creation requires a holistic approach that empowers stakeholders and makes the process more flexible. It must also address aspects such as technology, operational gearing, communications and alignment with ROI objectives.
Why is agile content marketing important?
Agile methodologies benefit virtually all types of projects. They help to reduce costs and increase efficiency. In addition, agile content creation has particularly significant advantages.
As mentioned, to connect with their audiences, companies need to offer individualized experiences. With the diversification of platforms and devices, this challenge is becoming increasingly arduous.
You must deliver relevant content to your audience continuously, across all touch points. Missing an opportunity to interact to your customer can mean losing a sale.
On the other hand, agile content creation facilitates the recycling or repackaging of parts. It is much faster and easier to adapt your content and leverage powerful keywords in different formats. Collaboration, experimentation and iteration are the heart of any agile content creation project.
When you hire a content creation company, it is logical that you have to assume a learning curve. It will take some time before your supplier has a thorough understanding of your needs and can offer you a custom-made solution. Therefore, any initial long-term plan presented to you will likely have a wide margin for error. The same is true when it comes to integrating teams from different departments in your company.
Agile content creation allows you to mature collaboration without sacrificing immediate results. In addition, close cooperation between the various stakeholders reduces induction and adaptation times.
Agile content creation simplifies processes and maximizes productivity. In addition to streamlining project management, it provides immediate data, allowing you to adjust and iterate executions.
No less important is its effect on innovation capabilities. This is suggested by the results of the third annual State of Agile Marketing Report. It cites that 74% of the interviewees stated they were satisfied with the implementation of agile methodologies in the marketing department. Team satisfaction results in increased engagement and reduced creative burnout.
You might think that these methodologies have been applied in marketing activities that have little or nothing to do with agile content creation. Yet when we look closely at the research data, we find that creative services come out on top. In fact, 77% of the participants claim to actively apply them in the management process of these projects.
Why outsource agile content creation?
Although agile methodologies enjoy well-deserved popularity, their application is still in its infancy in the content marketing environment. Like any other technique, it requires significant effort in terms of training and technology. This gap could be the breaking point for many companies.
Fortunately, there are specialized content creation and management providers that know and use these practices. Outsourcing content production can be the fastest and most effective way to get an agile project off the ground.