The digital revolution continues to put new demands on industries, employees and organisations. How will your company use an agile approach to ...

An agile approach to content marketing

The digital revolution continues to put new demands on industries, employees and organisations. How will your company use an agile approach to achieve even greater results with your content marketing?

Content marketing is a long-term investment that requires courage and strong organisation. CMI’s report from 2016, however, shows that 77% of B2C marketers plan to produce more content, while 46% of them struggle to create content on a regular basis.

In other words, marketing departments that already have trouble producing engaging content, plan to create even more content. This is an equation that does not add up, and is a cause of concern.

One way to face this challenge involves working with an agile approach. For many companies, such as Google and Amazon, this methodology has contributed to their success. But what does it mean to have an agile approach? And how can your company become more agile?

An agile approach to content marketing

The agile approach has its roots in the computer world and consists of three simple principles:

  • Prioritise your work tasks.
    The Pareto principle or the 80/20 rule suggests that 80% of a company’s profits can be traced back to 20% of its activities. Do you know which activities they are? For instance, launching a new product or service can be good, fast or cheap. You can at most choose two of these options. What will your priorities be?
  • Work in focused sprints.
    Programmers are known to work intensively during short periods, so-called sprints, that last one to two weeks. Focus is on completing the prioritised tasks. Other assignments end up in a backlog and will be completed at a later stage. Work tasks are only re-prioritised when needed.
  • Make steady improvements.
    Co-workers receive direct feedback after each new iteration, so they quickly learn what works and what doesn’t. New insights are generated and used to improve the project (the product, the good or the service, etc.)

In short, the agile approach is about testing ideas, learning from your mistakes and iterate fast, which makes companies more quick-footed and adaptable. To succeed with an agile methodology, employees need to collaborate closely with each other and avoid traditional silos.

A close collaboration

A good example of a company that understands the value of an agile approach is Marriott’s content studio M Live. In this editorial room, all marketing managers and communicators sit together, which means they can act proactively on various events in real time. Their agile approach helps them act fast on unexpected opportunities and make the most of them when they arise.

In summary

In conclusion, the agile approach rests on a ”less is more” mindset. Companies put more emphasis on testing their ideas in front of a real audience, in real time. Eric Reis popularised the term Minimum Viable Product (MVP) to characterise this movement of successful digital start-ups that successfully use this methodology.

When will your company start to adopt an agile mindset, that is, a more focused, prioritised view on work that takes place in close collaboration with each other? The digital age we’re in now seems to reward companies that dare to test their ideas in a series of small (but fast) iterations.