What is Agile Content Marketing?

Emily Nielsen
Emily Nielsen

June 17, 2020

Agile Content Management 101

Young and growing companies have tight budgets and very little wiggle room when it comes to experiments that bring few results. When companies need to make room in budgets, data-driven, flexible teams are seen as more productive compared to those just following trends or gut feelings. The marketing team is often one of the first teams under the microscope and must constantly prove their initiatives ROI. But how can the team ensure the content that is being produced is timely, brings value, and that new team members can quickly join the team and start producing content?

Agile marketing has been written about extensively as striking the balance between structure and flexibility. The two main goals of this sort of structure is to create expectations for how fast high quality content can be delivered and to give the team enough freedom to assess whether or not a current approach to content is bringing value. An agile approach pushes the customers, users to the forefront as content marketers are either creating content that is specifically requested by prospects or are coming up with new ideas that create traction (and abandoning them if this isn’t the case).

Although most companies create a tailored framework to their needs, it is usually based off of two frameworks, Scrum or Kanban. Scrum is generally more efficient for slightly larger teams. Kanban tends to work better for smaller teams, less than ten people. If the team is too large when using a Kanban method, it is easy to lose visibility and prioritization. The most important thing about whatever system you choose or create is that it does not get in the way of the goal of the content. The marketing team should try to strike a balance between reactive content which is requested by users or prospects and proactive content which can establish authority and credibility within the industry. One of the most important time management techniques is to think of content and projects in iterations that make it easier to get a V1 off the ground. If the first version gains traction, then it is a good indicator that more time can be invested in it. If not, maybe the team members are better utilized in other places.

Given the constant changes to content needs, priorities, and goals, at GraphCMS, our marketing team has adapted a system that works not only for our current team members but is flexible enough for new team members to get up to speed with. The priority was to ensure that we had both an internal marketing team tracking system and a company-wide content overview, where the rest of the commercial team could see what content is in production and make suggestions based on customer and community feedback. Our method combines the prioritization and sprint structure of Scrum and the Kanban board style overview for our company-wide information. Just as we view content as iterative, we also view this process as iterative. If after a couple of months we notice areas where we can improve, the team and the structure is flexible enough to make those adjustments. In an upcoming post, I will take a deeper dive into our current content process.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is agile content?

Agile content is a flexible, performance driven approach to content. Teams taking an agile content approach create content, test various approaches, evaluate which approaches are more successful, and iterate the content based on its performance. Agile content requires teams to take a data driven approach to content and optimize the content to perform better or reflect the current needs.

What is content marketing?

Content marketing is a style of marketing that promotes creation of texts, videos, images, etc. as a way to share more information related to a topic rather than solely promoting a brand. Content marketing is intended to build trust and authority of the users. Content should help users solve problems related to the topic area and create intrigue around the product and brand.

What is agile marketing?

Agile marketing tries to strike the balance between structure and flexibility. Agile marketing builds expectations for content and project timelines while still giving teams enough freedom to assess whether content is bringing value. Instead of content backlogs being the sole structure for planning, teams using an agile approach are able to plan shorter content plans and then evaluate if the content has brought value.

What is Scrum?

Scrum is an agile project management approach that encourages teams to iterate and test throughout the project development process. Agile methodology began in the software development sphere; however, it has now been adopted across a wide range of industries because it enables teams to work quickly, efficiently, and pivot as new information comes into view.

What is Kanban?

Kanban is a project management methodology that helps teams stay efficient and reduce waste. Kanban is a visualisation of the project management process meaning that each team member has a certain capacity to work on projects and cannot accept more projects until they finish existing projects. Kanban can be implemented through a wide range of visualizations, one popular option being kanban cards.


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