Content Marketing

How to scale a one-person content marketing team

Everyone wants to get in on the content marketing act these days.

According the Content Marketing Institute’s 2015 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends Report, 86 percent of B2B marketers are now using content marketing as a tactic, and 70 percent of those surveyed are creating more content than they did a year ago.

It’s not surprising — given the impact that can be significant — with high profile startups like Buffer and Hubspot and more established SaaS companies like Moz all crediting a large part of their success to content marketing. Non-tech brands like GE, Red Bull and Marriott have all bet big on content marketing too.

But not everyone has the budget to create entire in-house agencies like Red Bull or Marriott. So what if you can only recruit a single content marketer for your small business?

Can one person really have the impact you’re looking for? How can they scale their role without adding headcount? Here are eight ways to amplify the impact of a single content marketer.

1. Find regular guest bloggers

Inviting subject matter experts to write regularly on your blog is one of the most cost-effective and efficient ways of producing more content in limited time. It’s not time-free of course — you still need to find those experts, reach out to them and convince them it’s worth their time to write for you.

But once you have a few confirmed, you’ll find you can produce a lot more high-quality content with very little additional resources beyond some light editing and relationship upkeep. Plus, there’s an added benefit that they’ll be sharing your content with their network too.

2. Use freelancers

If you do have some budget — just not enough to add another permanent headcount — freelancers are a great option for the time-poor content marketer.

Take some time to find the right person (or people) to work with, but once you’ve established a relationship, you should be able to significantly increase output without also increasing your input.

3. Tap into your team

This can be easily overlooked, but just because you’re the only content marketer, it doesn’t mean you can’t enlist the help of others across your company to produce great content.

Reach out to subject matter experts in different departments, educate them on the value of content marketing to both their own profile and the business, and then work with them until they become comfortable as regular contributors.

4. Get really efficient

“Work smarter, not harder” is a typical business refrain, but how many people actually take it to heart? If you want to squeeze more results out of the same resource — you, the sole content marketer — then you need to be relentless about efficiency.

Are you using the latest tools and processes? Are you dropping the least impactful tactics to focus on those that create business impact? Are you genuinely working in a flow that maximizes output or constantly keeping busy on things that don’t really add value?

5. Be great at tracking effectiveness

You can’t get really efficient unless you’re able to track what works and what doesn’t. The Pareto principle holds that 20 percent of your work probably produces about 80 percent of the results, so you need to figure out what that 20 percent is and do more of it.

To do this, use everything you can to understand what content produces the best results — with Google Analytics being the first place to start. After that, if you’re using a marketing automation system — and you should be —  this will provide great insights, as will social media monitoring tools such as Hootsuite, Buzzsumo and Topsy.

6. Use formats that are impactful but less work

Related to the above point, smart content marketers looking to get more bang for their buck will focus on the content formats that take less effort, relative to their results, than other formats.

These will differ across markets, businesses and audiences, but crowd-sourced content, compiling influencer quotes, written Q&As with industry experts and other types of content where you frame the questions and others fill in the meat will often give you outsized returns on your time invested.

7. Repurpose, repurpose, repurpose

And when you do go to the trouble of creating wonderful, bespoke content, make sure you’re maximizing it for all it’s worth.

Turn longer videos into shorter bite-sized chunks, let people download the audio as a podcast, get it transcribed into text, craft that transcript into a blog post or two, pull out key quotes and turn into tweets. There may even be slideshare potential.

If you’ve got multiple blog posts on a similar topic, why not compile them together into a Best Of list, an eBook, an online course — even record them so they can be listened to as a podcast series. Or do all of the above.

You get the picture — create once, repurpose as many times as you can.

8. Curate

If you’re time-poor and just cannot create enough original content, then look to curate something you already have.

To make a curation content strategy work for you, there still needs to be added value — you can’t literally compile other people’s work and hope to see a great return on investment (it can happen, but it’s rare).

Instead, consider repurposing someone else’s work into a new format and then share it with them, or add context as to why you’ve curated this particular content and how it could benefit your audience.

With a few simple tools, good processes and the right mindset, a single content marketer can always scale their impact way beyond the confines of their own person and drive business results to be proud of.