Industry insights

Top tips for scaling digital content creation in 2022

by Canto  |  February 24, 2022

  7 min. read

Hotel promotional video being trimmed to scale content production.

Creating and managing digital content has become an increasingly complex business problem. As demand for content increases, content creation processes have become decentralized – with both internal and external content creators in the mix. Complicating matters even further, most creative teams are working remotely at least some of the time.

In short, teams are under pressure to create more content faster, and that content is coming from everywhere. So how should marketing and creative teams scale content production to succeed in this environment? Most successful strategies have five basic elements in common.

1. Get your digital assets in order

Before you can scale, you need to establish a solid foundation. Teams need systems in place to manage the digital assets that serve as the building blocks of their content strategy – assets like photos, documents, PowerPoints, PDFs, and videos.

Do a content audit

First, make sure you have all your current, relevant content in a central location. To create and deploy content at scale, you need a single source of truth, where everyone in your organization can find the content they need.

Label everything with metadata

Having all of your content in one place only gets you so far – you can’t use it if you can’t find it. Labeling content with tags, keywords, and other metadata makes it searchable and ensures the information that goes with your content is stored right alongside it. Adding metadata doesn’t have to be a labor-intensive process. Image recognition, text recognition, and other AI-tagging tools can add much of this information automatically.

Align your team, and optimize workflows

Once you have a single source of truth set up for your content, get your team accustomed to using that central repository. That way, everyone’s always working from official versions, not outdated copies saved to their own devices.

2. Create an editorial calendar and brand guidelines

If you’re not already working with brand guidelines and an editorial calendar, now’s the time to start. As you scale, you need a set of guidelines to keep everyone on the same page. Most organizations have multiple teams in multiple places creating content. Having some structure in place ensures all those moving parts come together seamlessly for a cohesive, on-brand body of content that serves your organization’s goals.

Editorial calendar with video and image content for a luxury property brand.

Why you need an editorial calendar

An editorial calendar keeps everyone aligned on priorities. With a central overview, it’s always clear who’s working on what, and when content goes out to specific audiences. A calendar also keeps things running smoothly, so there’s no confusion about deadlines and lead times.

Why you need brand guidelines

No matter who’s creating it, all of your content needs to reflect your brand identity and tell a cohesive story. Creating (or updating) a solid set of brand guidelines creates consistency across every touchpoint, no matter how many people are working on content in parallel.

3. Build the right tech stack

The right software unburdens your team, so they can focus on what you hired them to do. That means selecting tools that help people work efficiently and don’t get in the way. You’ll also need to ensure your tech stack is flexible enough to adapt to how your team works. For example, maybe your sales team only needs access to finalized sales collateral, whereas your agency partners need to access and update works in progress.

So what tools do you need, exactly? Every team’s needs are different, but there are some general areas you’ll want to ensure you cover.

Project management and editorial planning

A good project management tool helps everyone keep track of who’s doing what and what’s coming up next. Your team can prioritize their workflows, and you get an at-a-glance overview of all your team’s projects and progress.

Content creation tools

Once you’ve planned your content, your team needs to create it. Having the right tools for the job helps content creators work efficiently, without getting slowed down by needless extra steps or workflow bottlenecks.

Digital asset management

You’ll need a place to put all of the content your team creates, as well as the information that goes with it. A digital asset management platform provides that system of record, and is the core of any content-focused technology stack. It’s where all your digital content lives, and where it originates from once you’re ready to deploy it.

Image from a luxury hotel showing approval status in a digital asset management system.

Content publication tools

Rounding out your tech stack are the platforms through which you publish your team’s content. These might include tools like a CMS linked to your website, social media channels, and email marketing platforms. Linking these solutions with your digital asset management platform can improve workflows even more.

Overall, your team’s tech stack should streamline content production, enable collaboration, and drive speed to market. With the right tools in place, you shouldn’t have to actively manage every operational and administrative detail day-to-day. Let your technology do that for you.

4. Reuse and repurpose existing content

One of the easiest ways to scale your content strategy is to get more out of the content you already have. If you’ve got great content already, why not use it?

The key to reusing and repurposing content is to start with long-form formats like eBooks and webinars and plan in advance how you can break them up and repurpose them. Maybe a chapter from an eBook would make a great blog post, or a demo video can be trimmed into engaging clips for social media.

This is where a centralized content library really shines. Once you’ve created a longer piece of content, you can just go in and grab a clip from a video or crop a photo down to the right size. And because digital asset management systems group related content together, al of the metadata like tags and licensing information stay intact. You can repurpose content for new channels, without losing the security that comes with having all that information in one place.

5. Use data to inform content decisions

Marketing is all about data, but too much of it can quickly become overwhelming. One of the most common mistakes people make is collecting too much data, and then getting lost in it as they look for patterns and insights. This can easily lead teams to the wrong conclusions.

Instead, use data purposefully and intentionally. Start with the business decision you’re trying to make, and ask yourself what you would do differently if you had a specific insight. Once you know that, you can go after the right data.

Are you interested in what content performs best on a specific platform? Look at engagement, or web traffic from that medium. Trying to decide what copy converts best? Maybe it’s time for some A/B testing. Want to pin down what type of collateral is most useful to your sales organization? Use download rates from your digital asset management platform to see what types of content sales reps keep coming back to.

By starting with the right questions, you can escape data overload and zero in on what’s really helpful.

Once you have those insights, you can set priorities for your content strategy, focusing your resources on content that will have the most impact. That paves the way for a more focused approach to deciding how to fill your editorial calendar.

Good systems and tools set you up for success

You’ve probably noticed a common thread throughout these five tips. Investing time upfront to get organized, put systems in place, and build a solid foundation is absolutely crucial to successfully scaling digital content production.

With Canto’s digital asset management solution, teams can do just that with an out-of-the box tool that adapts to their needs. Canto is a single source of truth for your whole organization and external partners – removing bottlenecks, reducing friction, and making it easy to create and manage content at scale.

Want to see how Canto can help your team work quickly and strategically? Book a free, personalized demo with a digital asset management expert.