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Agile content marketing: A smart guide for marketers

by | Apr 1, 2022 | Analysis, Public Relations

Want to learn about agile content marketing? You’ve come to the right place.

In a dynamic marketing environment, it all depends on whether or not your marketing solutions can stand the test of time. You need evergreen content and marketing strategies that constantly work to produce results.

There’s a need to generate more content within a shorter period without altering the quality of your output. How do you match increasing demand for content and still stay within your budget?

Enter agile content marketing.

The agile content marketing structure ensures that:

  • You make constant adjustments to previously posted content to keep it up to date.
  • You make data-driven decisions. Your marketing teams analyze past performance and come up with this data.
  • You make constant check-ins with your marketing team to track progress.
  • Solutions are flexible. What’s working stays and you drop what’s not working.
  • It is written as per the good SEO practices and google guidelines.

So what exactly does this framework look like and how does it work? Read on to find out.

What is agile content marketing?

Every marketer is focused on generating more leads. Agile content marketing helps you do just that, only faster.

So what exactly is agile content marketing? It’s a marketing structure that derives its functionality from agile software development.

With agile software development, functions are iterative and based on team collaborations. Solutions evolve rapidly to adjust to changes in the software development environment.

This concept has been adopted by different departments, including marketing. Each of which has molded it to fit its functionality.

The basic concept, however, remains constant.

Agile content marketing ensures streamlined functions through constant team check-ins. Unlike traditional structures where managers take on most core functions, this concept is based on teamwork.

Marketing teams that work together can share productivity tips that work best for them too. As a result of this collaboration, they’ll be able to optimize their performance and achieve more with less. This is a more flexible structure compared to your usual rigid traditional strategies.

Here’s a deeper dive into this structure’s composition.

Why should you implement agile content marketing?

Agile content marketing is characterized by certain values you, as a marketer, ought to adopt. If your marketing strategy incorporates the following, you’re headed in the right direction.

1. High efficiency

Agile marketing helps you achieve high productivity with minimal, but effective effort. This involves leveraging the strategies that work well to achieve set marketing goals quickly.

A case study on agile content marketing based on a B2B buyer’s journey proved the efficiency of agility in marketing.

As per the study, marketers who understood consumer behavior patterns could successfully create effective content marketing strategies.

The study came up with a simple, yet effective content marketing strategy as shown:

Agile content marketing: A smart guide for marketers

2. Teamwork and collaboration

Marketing strategies here are cross-functional. By bringing a variety of opinions on board, the spectrum of ideas becomes broader.

Teams meet up more often to hold discussions on the next steps to take. During these sessions, team members collaborate even further in person.

What’s more?

There’s also a mix of expertise in the teams selected. As a result, the content curation and creation process becomes even more valuable, as each team member chimes in on their area of expertise.

3. Speedy iteration

With agile marketing, processes are repetitive. Whenever a strategy works, there’s a need to keep at it.

This also involves analyzing methods to establish which ones had the best outcome. This could be from customer feedback, i.e., whether the content was well received by the audience or not.

For instance, if your how-to guides get good reception, making a series of similar content would make strategic sense.

But this comes with an iterative twist.

You’d only need to tweak the content each time to make it even better or make minor changes based on any complaints.

It is a long and repeating process so you can leverage free CMS tools to manage your content in a better way.

This leads to ever-improving content for your brand.

4. Trial and testing

Agile marketing involves a lot of innovative testing of new strategies. Data gathered during analytics help in this process.

Using this data, marketing teams will try different strategies to see what works. These strategies can then be replicated and optimized over and over.

For instance, you could leverage agile content marketing to test which method or tool works the best to generate leads for your business. Based on that, you can further optimize and boost your lead generation.

5. Flexibility

One of the biggest advantages of agile marketing is the flexibility that it provides.

You must be willing to accept that some of your methods may have worked in the past but don’t now. The entire strategy, in itself, keeps changing with time to ensure that you’ve got the best one in place at each moment.

This is the basis for content marketing agility. For instance, with time, you may have to adopt new content marketing tools for your marketing strategy.

The added flexibility helps you accomplish your goals by satisfying customers’ requirements.

Agile content marketing frameworks

Now that you have an idea of what agile content marketing looks like, it’s time to dive into the structural nitty-gritty.

Practicing a few of these values may get you the results you need, but these three structures will take you further:

  • Scrum
  • Kanban
  • Scrumban

The Scrum framework and how it works

The Scrum framework is one of the most celebrated agile marketing models thus far.

This model works by creating a series of team meetings to track progress. These meetings are called sprints. Sprints are spaced out over specified periods, usually ranging from one to four weeks.

At the beginning of these meetings, team members plan out which tasks to perform during this time. These tasks are called backlogs.

Before going deeper into these sprint meetings, there’s more to know about backlogs.

Backlogs need to be detailed enough to give your content team enough information to work with. They also need constant updates if any changes come up, or for any improvements.

They’re like to-do lists that you need to stick to. Whatever the team commits to producing within the sprint, they should have achieved by the next meeting.

Now back to the sprints,

What happens before, during, and after these sprints, you may ask?

Here’s all there is to know:

Sprint planning

This is the meeting that you hold with your team before your first sprint.

It helps plan the details of your future meetings. Including how long the sprints will be, the project milestones, etc.

As with any planning process, goals are estimated during the sprint planning process. Tasks are also assigned and each team member picks their commitment.

This helps give the team a sense of direction.

And that’s perhaps the reason why research by AgileSherpas found that nearly 58% of marketers leverage this agile marketing tactic.

Agile content marketing: A smart guide for marketers

Sprint meeting

After the planning stage, each team member can only focus on the tasks they committed themselves to. They’re not supposed to have any additional tasks given to them.

However, in case there are emergency tasks that have to be completed, the team can move things around.

There are daily meetings as well that you hold to check in on the progress of each member’s work. Any upcoming difficulties mid-sprint are tackled during these meetings.

At the end of each sprint, the team should have content output. This ensures consistency.

Retrospectives

The team meets to reflect on their tasks and showcase what they worked on during the sprint.

They review what the process was like and whether it’s working and find out what to build on.

This feedback is then incorporated into the next sprint. The process iterates, as the team now plans for their next sprint.

Scrum works best if teams are in a position to constantly meet and effectively work together.

Kanban agile content marketing

Kanban is a simpler strategy than Scrum.

Unlike it, Kanban focuses on getting more done by assigning fewer tasks to team members.

It uses a system that acts as a visualization board, for every input, output, and work in progress. This way, the team is aware of what tasks are at hand. Everyone’s able to track their progress through it too.

Here’s an example:

Agile content marketing: A smart guide for marketers

How does a Kanban board work? Here are a few must-dos:

  • The information on the system must accurately reflect the work that’s been done.
  • The structure should begin and end with reasonable tasks. Each project should have a valid start and endpoint depending on the team member’s role.
  • Keep the structure as simple as possible.

As a result,

  • Hurdles can be eliminated to improve efficiency.
  • Your Kanban runs smoothly

A functional Kanban has a balance on its work in progress. Such that each team member has work to do and there are no tasks stuck in the system queue.

Achieving this balance, however, is the tricky part.

One way to go is to start by assigning fewer tasks to your team in each phase. Set estimated time limits within which you expect these tasks to be completed.

Then, gauge how much output they produce. Based on this, you can start optimizing their efficiency.

Also, have labels in place for items such as priority tasks and emergency tasks. There should also be clear deadlines for each task

Advantages of Kanban agile content marketing framework:

  • Suitable for teams with remote workers, freelance workers, or agencies.
  • Can function with teams of any size.
  • It’s easy to blend into any existing marketing system.
  • It’s easy to adapt to and produces faster results.

Scrumban: The ultimate combo?

Scrumban combines the functionalities of both Scrum and Kanban frameworks.

This essentially brings together the best of both worlds.

In essence, your marketing team has a Kanban board but still holds sprint meetings.

The former tracks progress while the latter schedules content release.

What’s more?

It also gives you flexibility and allows you control over content you create.

The functions you choose to combine all depend on what will work for your team.

The most important aspects of both frameworks that shouldn’t be lost, however, include:

  • The board to track your progress (from Kanban).
  • Regular sprint meetings to set time frames for tasks (from Scrum).
  • Periodic meetings to reflect on projects (from Scrum).

The functionality looks something like this:

Agile content marketing: A smart guide for marketers

Scrumban is the most flexible of the three frameworks. It allows you control over which aspects to keep and which ones not to.

Benefits of agile content marketing

Now that you know all about the various agile content marketing frameworks, let’s take a look at some of the benefits that you can reap from them.

The same research by AgileSherpas ranked the top five benefits of agile marketing as below:

Agile content marketing: A smart guide for marketers

Here’s a more detailed breakdown:

1. Increased productivity

Using agile methods of content marketing increases your team’s productivity as the processes become optimized. This creates confidence within your team members in their abilities.

And a motivated team is a productive team.

Also, having done away with ineffective marketing strategies, agility directs this added effort towards other methods.

The focus shifts to more valuable practices, which equal better outcomes.

Result? Increased productivity.

2. Creates room for innovation

This room is created in the iterative and experimental phases.

When team members implement strategies that work, they’ll need to improve them even more. A real-time search API helps your team to get actual data for your content performance in the serps.

There’s room to be creative with how they can boost performance using existing content. But even more room’s available when a strategy fails and new ones have to be adopted.

During the testing phase, the analysis provides data that can help drive innovation. Here, your team will have to come up with alternative data-driven strategies.

Hence, ideas are pitched, and new strategies are hatched.

3. Achieves more with less

Agile content marketing plans for both the short-term and the long-term. It uses short-term strategies that will achieve consistent results in the long run.

These results are also quantifiable, and your team will know exactly how much they have achieved.

At the end of the day, the focus is on the results, as opposed to how much effort has been put in. Agility is thus often linked to fast results.

4. Encourages growth

Agility in content marketing is dynamic. Therefore, marketing teams grow both in their ability to adapt to changes and in the quality of their results.

For instance, the pandemic presented its fair share of challenges in the marketing industry.

About 65 percent of marketers admitted that frequently shifting priorities was their top challenge.

Agile content marketing: A smart guide for marketers

Agile marketing strategies, however, present solutions to these new challenges.

Hence, teams that already had collaborative marketing tools had an upper hand adapting to the new norms.  This approch helps in regularizing recurring revenue for the B2B SaaS businesses by retaining subscribers.

In fact, the previously cited report by AgileSherpas found that most marketers chose agile marketing because it helped them manage shifting priorities and other challenges.

Agile content marketing: A smart guide for marketers

Time to start applying those agile content marketing strategies

Yes, it’s time for you to create that competitive advantage with your marketing team.

With this guide, you have all the information you need to get started with your agile content marketing strategy.

All you have to do is pick the framework that works for your team and customize it to your needs. This would, of course, depend on the size, composition, and nature of your business.

Or, you could simply start small by applying those agility values. So, get started with it now.

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Reena Aggarwal
Reena is Director of Operations and Sales at Attrock, a result-driven digital marketing company. With 10+ years of sales and operations experience in the field of e-commerce and digital marketing, she is quite an industry expert. She is a people person and considers the human resources as the most valuable asset of a company. In her free time, you would find her spending quality time with her brilliant, almost teenage daughter and watching her grow in this digital, fast-paced era.

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