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5 Best Practices for Using Scrum for Content Marketing


46% content marketers will spend more time in creating content, as per a survey conducted by Content Marketing Institute. Most companies still struggle with creating content. Often, hoping they had more time to meet the deadlines. Marketers have started using scrum for content marketing as it enables the team to develop predictable deadlines.

Scrum is an agile framework which is used for complex projects. Scrum was initially formalized for software development, but it works well for other complex projects as well.

How Does Scrum Work for Content Marketing?

  • A Scrum Master (Head of Content Marketing) develops a prioritized wish list (Content Calendar) called a product backlog.
  • The content team pulls a small chunk from the top of that wish list, a sprint backlog during sprint planning, and decides how to implement those pieces.
  • The team usually gets two weeks to complete the sprint, but it meets each day to review its progress which is referred to as Daily Scrum.
  • Along the way, the ScrumMaster keeps the team focused on its goal.
  • At the end of the sprint, the content created should be potentially publishable: ready for go live or should reach the final draft to be reviewed by key stakeholders.
  • The sprint ends with a review and retrospective.
  • As the next sprint begins, the team chooses another chunk of the product backlog and begins working again.

5 Best Practices for Using Scrum for Content Marketing

Take Small Steps

Start by taking small steps for beginning your sprint. Once the goals and product backlog (Content Calendar) is agreed upon stay focused on completing your first sprint. Your first sprint review and retrospective should set the expectation and decide if there is enough mutual respect between the team members to begin the next sprint.

Create the Vision & Product Backlog Together

Before you begin the sprint, develop the vision and product backlog (Content Calendar) together along with your team members. Also, involve your key stakeholders in the initial workshop as it fosters mutual respect and sets expectations.

Iterative Process

At the end of each sprint review, ask yourself and your team. ‘How can you perform better as a team’, and ‘What steps should you take to remove any hurdles affecting the sprint.’ Do not stretch the sprint because you have many big stories being worked on in parallel or because your team has not planned well enough at the start of the sprint. While stretching the deadline might help the team to develop a positive outlook it certainly doesn’t help with the larger goal of improving the whole exercise.

Don’t Compromise on Quality

As content marketers, you have to always focus on the quality of content published which doesn’t mean you have to compromise on the deadline. After every sprint review and retrospective also review the quality of content developed. The easiest way to assess quality would be to look at both vanity metrics and objective metrics.

Design an Effective Communication Plan

It’s important to maintain an effective communication and synchronization between your team and other stakeholders. Define daily and distributed stand-ups, retrospectives and sprint review time.

In the end, using Scrum for content marketing is all about trust. From creating the vision & content calendar together, estimating the backlog to determining the business value are all best practices to build this necessary foundation of trust. When there’s a foundation of trust it becomes easier to sell the entire Scrum Team and sell Sprints with a focus on business value.

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