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By Kristy Sturgill • May 4, 2018

A Marketer’s Guide to Scalability (Without Losing Your Mind)

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The iconic American show “I Love Lucy” teaches us a lot about scalability. Lucy and her pal Ethel go to work at a candy factory to earn some extra cash. Their job was to wrap the tiny chocolates as they moved down the conveyor belt.

Everything was fine at first, but once the candies started moving down the line faster and faster. Lucy fell behind and started eating the chocolate in a desperate attempt to catch up. It’s easy to relate to Lucy. As a small business owner things can become a little … hectic. 

We’re here with some good news.

If you have the right systems in place to manage your business as you grow, you’ll never find yourself eating copious amounts of chocolate to keep up.

Reaching customers in today's rapidly changing world requires implementing scalable marketing strategies.

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Run Your Content Engine like a News Agency

Content is the heartbeat of a successful inbound campaign. We can learn a lot about scalability from news agencies because their business model is also built around mass content production.

Not only do news agencies publish pages of content and thousands of words, but they do so very quickly sometimes daily or even in a few short hours.

How do they do it?

Newspapers depend on writers, editors, subject-area experts and advertising departments. There may be individuals who fill a couple of these roles, but they each have clear expectations and responsibilities. They also have tight deadlines and a precise system from how to take a content idea from conception to completion.

Right now, you might be creating two or three blogs a month, and an ebook every quarter.

But, what if you wanted to do more? Now, you might have a social media platform, mass email creation, blogs, ebooks, white papers and more. How could you possibly get it all done? Easy. Role designation, clear expectations, and deadlines. Here’s the typical roles and responsibilities you should consider for your team.

Writers

The individuals who sit down at their laptop and start typing out content are the front lines of content production. You want to find talented and dedicated writers who can produce quality content consistency.

But success depends on more than just a strong writer.

Managing editor

Next, you need a managing editor or content manager. This individual is continuously looking at the big picture, assigning content, managing deadlines, and coaching writers. This individual is talented at motivating the team and provides regular feedback to subordinates to improve company systems.

Subject Matter Expert

Every reporter interviews subject matter experts or other sources to write their stories. Every expert in your business has knowledge your writers might not inherently know. Give them time to tour the facility and speak to the individuals who are interacting with your products and services every day.

It improves the scalability of your content engine because your writers will have more information to use rather than just research they can conduct online.

Strategy Consultant

This individual is a lot like a publisher. The managing editor is working with the big picture of the quarterly content plan, but the strategy consultant is ensuring the information is connecting with sales goals. They are responsible for ensuring all the content is helping the customer work through the buyer's journey.

This individual is a consultant because they’re work isn’t daily, but rather periodic as strategies are evaluated and created.

Graphics Team

Finally, a graphics team will help the writers have the right visual aids for the content. Not every writer will be graphically inclined so this individual might help all the writers have relevant photos. These individuals might also lay out ebooks and other content on the website.

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Implement Standardization

Consistency is an essential aspect of marketing on a large scale. Every task is a little easier when you know what exactly the steps you need to take to both get started and to finish.

Our team depends on standardization for onboarding new clients. We know exactly how to conduct the first meeting, and from there we can assign the tasks to the right team members. The consistency not only improves our efficiency, but it helps us give clients a better experience.

There are several marketing tasks you can standardize:

  • Blog outlines help writers create new content with effective formats.
  • Templates help you send emails faster.
  • Creating posting schedules for social media can help you publish more frequently.

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Document the Process from Start to Finish

For standardization to really work, you’ll need to document your processes so every team member (especially the new ones) can learn how to complete a task properly. You’ll also need to store the documentation in an easy to find location.

Google docs are a good place to store the documentation for your team processes. If the team uses slack, consider creating a Tettra account. This handy platform is a lot like a Wiki-page for your team. The best part is your ability to incorporate images and videos to make your documentation easier to understand.

Use the Right Tools

Just like Slack, there are dozens of tools to help you with marketing scalability. If you’re writing, editing, communicating or designing, then you can use platforms to improve your processes. Just remember, find tools that compliment what works for your team. Don’t try to make your team change what works to fit a new tool.

Here are some tools our team finds useful:

Google Docs:

What’s great about this tool is the ability to share the document, you can review comments and suggestions, and you can see the revision history. 

Google Sheets:

If you have to organize information in categories or if you are managing a checklist, this tool will help you get the job done.

Slack:

Our team works remotely a couple days a week, and this tool helps us stay in touch when we need to have a conversation.

Asana:

Everyone has tasks they need to complete, and asana helps us tackle big projects, delegate tasks, and track everyone’s progress.

MailChimp:

Do you need to send your audience emails? This platform is free for the first 2,000 subscribers, and it is perfect for segmenting and communicating with your customers.

Snappa:

If you need to create some quick graphics. Snappa is great because it offers templates for various platforms like Instagram and Facebook. You can also save templates so you can create posts like “feature testimonials” even faster.

Adobe Spark:

Are you wanting to create quick and simple videos for social media? Adobe Spark is simple and quick. It’s also free if you keep the Adobe Spark watermark on the video.

Hubspot:

We love Hubspot for posting social media, managing campaigns, and sending out emails. It’s a great “all-in-one” tool perfect for managing inbound campaigns.

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Outsource the Work

Sometimes, growing means hiring more help. You’ll have to measure the costs and benefits of hiring a new employee or partnering with a local marketing agency who can manage this work for you.

We’d love to chat with you in our free 30-minute strategy session. If you’re looking for more resources, then download our blueprint for scaling your business.