Even on an Agile team, content creation is a long-term, ongoing effort that can seem out of sync with the constant experimentation and iteration that characterizes an Agile team. And yet, content needs to roll with changing market forces, respond to emerging opportunities, and constantly improve.
Basically, content needs to be Agile, too. It just needs to run at its own pace. One way to allow content to benefit from Agile methodologies while still maintaining quality and consistency is to set up separate – parallel – sprint processes for marketing and content marketing efforts.
The technique of running parallel content marketing sprints assumes that your team is using the Scrum methodology to manage your Agile marketing efforts. If you need some background on adapting this approach to your marketing team.
- One team focuses exclusively on content; the other handles all marketing efforts that aren’t related to content.
- To simplify the process and make sure that all team members are fully informed at all times, the teams should have a joint standup (check-in meeting) every day.
- Otherwise, the teams meet separately with very little overlap.
This arrangement works particularly well if your Agile marketing team has adopted a rapid sprints lasting less than four weeks.
Pay special attention, though, to the following tasks, which need to be adapted to the needs of content marketers: User stories are among the best Agile tools for content marketers because they help us create content that our audience wants to read.
Like most parts of the Agile methodology, user stories originated in software development, where they serve a similar function: Forcing yourself to write a user story for each piece of content that your team produces can be a difficult exercise at first, but it’s worth doing.
This exercise pays off in the quality and relevance of content that you produce. It also saves time in the revision process because strong user stories help authors hit the usefulness mark sooner.
There’s also no better way to ensure that each piece of content you produce is in line with your larger content strategy than by crafting an epic user story that covers your strategy.
“Epics” are big stories that won’t fit into a single sprint and must therefore be broken down into smaller pieces that the team can tackle one by one.