Agile Content – Content Marketing Strategy Made Simple

Agile content is how digital marketing teams are adapting to increasing demand and decreasing lead time for deadlines. 

Traditionally, the term Agile as it relates to business operations was reserved for software teams to help describe an effective management strategy for planning, organizing and executing software integration. 

However, in recent years, the strategy of Agile workflows and business operations processes has made itself into the various realms of business management including content marketing.

In this article, we’ll be discussing the basic methodology of agile content strategy and how this strategy can benefit any size business.

What is Agile?

what is agile content

Agile content is a term used to describe content that can be easily adjusted, refined and broken into manageable “pieces” in order to fit a range of content marketing objectives. 

Historically, agile was a term used for software developers to manage the development of software products into three manageable parts – iterate, test and learn. 

In this context, a product is broken up into smaller tasks so it can be completed in smaller, more manageable portions of time. This concept of redesignating resources to make projects more manageable, time-bound tasks that can easily be manipulated into other project work and development, is called being Agile.

It is important to note that there is a major difference in being agile and Agile. As a marketing team, being agile is the ability to adapt quickly to shifting priorities and change. 

By contrast, being Agile is a working strategy that is organized and methodical and is developed with the intention of constant testing, improvement and amended development.

What is Agile Content?

Agile content is the process of segmenting content to fit a variety of business needs and goals. 

Agile content may be created using the Agile working method, or it may not. The idea behind Agile content is the process of segmented content that can be used across various forms of marketing initiatives to help maximize the tone and voice of your brand. 

The development of this type of content is dependent strongly on the ability to review and adapt content to fit a variety of needs. 

Think of it this way: having access to Agile content is a way of working efficiently so as not to “reinvent the wheel” every time a new project, goal or challenge arises. One critical way that a content strategy might integrate Agile content is through a key message bank, reference materials and proactive messaging created to adapt to a variety of circumstances.

What Are The Benefits of an Agile Content Strategy? 

Fresh ideas don't exist in isolation. Collaborate with other creatives for great content ideas. (ShutterStock)

In the world of content strategy, Agile content has many benefits for any sized company or brand. Agile content can exist in two realms – the agility of your content and the methodologies of Agile marketing being applied to your marketing or content team. 

When developing an Agile working strategy for your content team, there are a few key benefits to keep in mind, including:

The ability to focus on one initiative at a time

Agile content strategies have the undeniable benefit of prioritizing your own projects without the outside influence of other teams or stakeholders. As part of the Agile model, all stakeholders work together to determine priority projects and organize the work within a defined span of time. 

When one priority task is complete, the collective decision is made to move on to the next. Everyone is aware of the projects and priorities on the go and the work that needs to be done collectively to complete a project and move on to the next.

Another benefit of this type of workflow is the ability to manage and limit interruptions. Under the method of Agile working strategy, unless an urgent priority is critical to the overall well-being or success of the company, late coming tasks cannot be integrated at the expense of the Agile workflow. 

This sounds like an inflexible process, but in fact, it increases a team’s ability to pivot to shifting priorities, projects and goals.

Increases Value

agile content

By working in shorter, bite-sized pieces at a time, you’ll be able to increase the value of each subsequent iteration. Instead of creating a massive content asset over a longer period of time and evaluating it after to make improvements, you’ll be making smaller content assets and reiterating on their performance to improve the subsequent piece.

You’ll be able to figure out what works and what doesn’t with greater speed and efficiency compared to the traditional content creation process. 

Evergreen content is content that’s timeless and increases in value over time. Learn more in Evergreen Content: Full Guide with Tips, Keywords, and Examples.”

The ability to adapt

Working within an Agile content development strategy is focused on developing and releasing confirmed projects within short bursts of time. 

An Agile strategy is a 100-yard dash, not a marathon. With this strategy of short bursts of work, there are plenty of opportunities to review your content for improvements and relevance. The ability to test your content and integrate changes in an Agile content strategy is based on the team’s synchronicity on priorities and work planning.

What does an Agile content strategy look like?

An Agile content strategy is a way of working that synchronizes a team’s priorities and tasks into segmented sections in order to maximize short bursts of work and leave time to review, adapt and integrate changes. When developing an Agile process for content creation, it is important to keep a few key distinguishing factors in mind. This Agile approach includes:

Content strategy and defined goals

The first step of any effective content marketing strategy is a clear and defined content calendar along with SMART goals. 

It is important to understand your ultimate goals and priorities in order to effectively integrate an associated Agile process and team management approach. In order to understand the comprehensive vision for your content marketing, we recommend creating both short and long-term goals so all work is aligned and designed to deliver on those goals.

Content road maps

editorial-calendar-example
An example of an editorial calendar in the project management app Asana. (https://asana.com/templates/for/marketing/editorial-calendar)

An Agile content road map allows for flexibility and a defined plan to reach your goals. We recommend a thematic content calendar that first identifies major content themes, cohesive messages and both short and long-term goals. 

Once you have your thematic calendar established, you can organize your team’s calendar by time, including by the week, month and key timelines for your organization. It is also important to organize your content road map by social channel or marketing initiative to carefully manage concurrent (and sometimes conflicting) priorities.

Content creation is at the forefront of many marketing strategies – do you know how to stay on top of your content goals? Check out How to Manage Your Editorial Calendar For Timely And Relevant Content” to stay on top.

Streamlined workflows

When your entire team can see the work that needs to be done, it is easier to take action and iterate projects. Having a defined and efficient workflow that all team members reference will help to align your goals and deliver on projects. Workflows should include the status of each project or task, activities to be completed and progress update. A streamlined workflow plan is critical to track and collaborate on projects in order to deliver content quickly and effectively.

A process for reviewing content and integrating feedback

When your entire team can see the work that needs to be done, it is easier to take action and iterate projects. Having a defined and efficient workflow that all team members reference wil

When working through projects and deliverables, it is important to understand what measures success for your business or organization. For content creators, important metrics could include social media followers and engagement, website visits and conversion rates. 

This is valuable information to understand in order to track and identify your content’s successes and challenges. This performance data should guide your content marketing road map and subsequent Agile processes.

Using this feedback data is a process of actively listening and interacting with your customers. Adapting your content to fit customer preferences is an excellent way to put Agile content marketing to use for your business. Working collaboratively with internal teams, such as sales and customer service teams, can help to signal the successful and less than successful elements of your content marketing strategy. 

Without an Agile streamlined workflow process, this type of integrated feedback can be difficult to manage and take advantage of opportunities.

liver on projects. Workflows should include the status of each project or task, activities to be completed and progress update. A streamlined workflow plan is critical to track and collaborate on projects in order to deliver content quickly and effectively.

A team focus

An Agile strategy is based on the integrated work of all teams in one common goal. In the context of a content development strategy, working in an Agile workflow brings all stakeholders to the table so priorities can be collectively identified and managed within a defined workflow. Using this method, all internal teams are aligned on the priorities of the overall business, so the focus can be directed fully to one project or task at a time.

Key Takeaways on Agile Content

Segmenting content to fit a variety of business needs and goals is necessary in order to keep up with the fast paced demands of the digital business world. While conventional project management processes still have their place, an agile content strategy is needed to keep your content relevant, fresh, and top-performing.

This kind of strategy doesn’t need a large team in order to be effective. In fact, it might even be more efficient with a smaller, more closely-knit team.

The goal of any Agile Content strategy is all about improving upon each iteration, and being ‘agile’ enough to adapt to changing objectives in the digital landscape. . 

No matter your company or marketing goals, an agile content strategy is an excellent way to maximize resources and adapt content to suit a variety of campaigns, communications needs or content marketing initiatives.

 

Vincent Lee

Written By Vincent Lee

The Managing Editor at Advesa, Vincent is a mechanical keyboard enthusiast, a lover of cats, and a purveyor of fine roasted matcha teas. When not writing, he enjoys exercising and biking around his beautiful hometown of Vancouver. He is also a strong supporter of the oxford comma.