Content marketing is not for the faint of heart.

It’s a time consuming job that requires planning, patience, and flexibility.

The beautiful (and frustrating) thing is that you can never know how big your content needs will grow. You may maintain a small following, or you may find yourself delivering content to millions of people each month.

Either way, a content framework is important to have.

A good content framework will grow with your needs.

So how can you build a scalable content framework? Here is the four step process I recommend.

Step 1. Plan

What kind of content do you want to deliver?

That is the biggest question you will answer during the planning stage of this process.

Beyond the type of content, though, you also want to consider how it will be delivered (e.g. on a blog, via newsletter) and when. This is where a content roadmap comes in handy.

It’s at this stage you will also want to consider how content will flow through your system. This means from ideation to publish to maintenance. Will you use a workflow management system like a kanban board? Will different people oversee different parts of the workflow?

This step can be one of the most intensive steps, so feel free to take your time and to reevaluate as needed.

Step 2. Analyze

It’s not enough to consider your content management needs. You also must consider how customers will interact with your content.

After all, who are you building the content for if not your audience?

So how can you incorporate your target audience into this framework?

There are a few techniques you can use.

First and foremost is creating user personas. This is building out profiles that cover subsets of your target audience.

Now that you have user personas, you can build out your customer journeys. How do you want your customers to interact with your website and your content?

And finally, you can analyze current customer interactions and behaviors. That is, looking at how customers currently interact with your content. You don’t want to alienate current customers just because you’re building a new framework. So consider your current customers’ needs and ensure there is room for them in your new framework.

Step 3. Develop

Now that you know the framework you want to build, it’s time to build it. This step assumes you have access to the tools and systems you will need to build and govern your new content framework.

If possible, work from a clean slate. This means setting up your framework from scratch in whatever systems and tools you will use going forward.

Here is the time to build out your workflows and processes, like setting up your content workflow kanban board or creating blog post templates in your content management system.

If needed, you can also go back and tweak your plan. Sometimes what we initially envisioned doesn’t work out, so be flexible.

Step 4. Maintain

You have deployed your new content framework. Congratulations!

So, now what?

Well, content needs constant maintenance. From article updates which are beneficial for SEO to redirects, you need someone on your team who is responsible for maintaining your framework.

Fortunately, because you planned ahead of time, you know exactly who that is and what tasks they will undertake on a regular basis. For example, publishing updates every three months and updating internal links as new content is published.

Your maintenance needs may change over time, so try to consider all possible content maintenance tasks and their implementation when developing your framework.

How can we help you on your journey to building a scalable content framework?