What Is Agile Content Operations?


Content marketing represents a significant part of all marketing efforts. According to the 2021 HubSpot State of Marketing report, 82% of companies actively engage in content marketing, a rise from 70% the past year. In recent times, more businesses are embracing automation while increasing marketing budgets, cultivating brand identity, and optimizing and delivering better customer experiences. 

With the nascent challenge of rising digital channels and increasing customer expectations, organizations must be flexible to meet these demands. The traditional content development approach is no longer sufficient to meet these demands. For several organizations, that has meant adopting agile strategies that enable better content quality and faster delivery. 

In this article, you’ll learn about agile content operations and how you can enable innovation and faster content delivery in a rapidly changing environment.

What Is Content Operations?

With the rise in digital channels and devices, developing a good content strategy is crucial for many organizations. Too often, the content strategy is disconnected or only partially aligned with other business processes. It’s not enough just having a content strategy; you need a content operation team to drive that strategy. So, what is content operations?

Content Operations, or ContentOps is the effective combination of processes, technologies, and people required to create, maintain and publish quality content in an organization. An effective ContentOps drives the content strategy of the organization to deliver better quality content. In addition to that, you get faster content production and ensure better governance and compliance over the three core parts of content: people, technologies, and processes.

At the heart of every user experience lies the content that helps to improve engagement and drive purchase decisions. According to Potent, the first five seconds of page load has a significant impact on the conversion rates. Every piece of content matters, and they go into an overall strategy that helps to drive business value. 

In traditional content management, content teams often face difficulties with duplication. These can mean different people working on the same content as a result of content silos. In other ways, it can result in poor communication lines among various content teams, such as a social media team and a blog writing team. 

Finally, content teams often have separate tools and processes from those of other teams across the organization. In some situations, these tools may accomplish the opposite of what they should do--creating separations and lacking integration with other development teams. For instance the DevOps approach only considers the tools and processes for the development and operations team. It leaves out the content teams. 

Adopting an Agile Approach to Content Operations

A simple definition of the agile methodology will be an organized approach to managing and breaking down projects into chunks to enable faster development. However, this doesn't do it justice. The Agile Manifesto explains it better using the following four core values: 

  • Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
  • Working product over comprehensive documentation
  • Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
  • Responding to change over following a plan

To start with, Content Operations go way beyond a team or a collective group of teams. Remember, it’s a collection of processes that bring together teams, processes, technologies, and distribution channels. Adopting an agile approach to content delivery can open up new channels of productivity and engagement for your organization. With agility, you can adapt rapidly to user needs, address pressing issues, balance out resources, take proactive action rather than reacting, and organize content in a much more streamlined manner. 

The first step to creating an agile content operation is to establish an agile team, outline the content vision and identify an agile approach that fits that vision. The following section will discuss the best practices to deliver agile content operations in your organization.

The Best Practices for Agile Content Operations

For any organization, an agile content team offers several benefits. Hare, you’ll learn to implement an agile approach within your content teams. 

Improve Collaboration

Just like it is in the agile manifesto, collaboration is crucial in any team. The agile approach values communication and interactions among developers, designers, editors, product managers, and subject experts. By prioritizing the people and enhancing communication lines, you can enable better productivity and eliminate silos. 

By leveraging daily standup meetings, or creating open channels for suggestions, recommendations, and corrections, your team can access better feedback and deliver better quality as a result. 

However, collaboration doesn’t stop with the content operations team. It is also essential to prioritize other facets of the business since they are all equally important to driving business value. For instance, developers traditionally impose a content freeze whenever they’re deploying code to QA, UAT, and production. 

With a Git-based CMS and other integrated tools, you can facilitate communication between developers and content authors by simply “shifting code or content left” without any stoppages or pauses in production.

Learn More: What ContentOps Can Learn From DevOps

Prioritize Easier Workflow & Delivery

What’s the point of enhancing content delivery if you have a backlog of complex procedures? A key principle in enabling agility is to simplify the processes to smaller achievable tasks. In this case, the goal is to prioritize the most important tasks and tackle them in sprints of no more than two weeks.

With that, you can make modifications, deliver faster while also getting faster feedback as users engage with your content.

Prioritize Modular and Reusable Content

The modular, iterative approach is an integral part of achieving business agility. An agile approach promotes breaking down complex processes into modular parts you can reuse and combine to create new content, rather than waiting for the end of the production cycle before you make improvements. 

As a result, ensure to take advantage of small, reusable contents that make iteration more efficient and facilitate faster changes.

Track Content Performance

The success of every content strategy lies in the initial goals set by the organization. But what are the best means of measuring these objectives? Track key performance indicators (KPIs). As you create and publish content, you need to track KPIs. That way, you can have better information about content performance such as the ones with the most views or traffic.

Learn More: How Marketers Can Track KPIs Like a Developer

Adopt Headless

Headless simply means backend-only, API-first approach to managing content. Content teams often have to deliver content across different frontend channels such as mobile, web, and IoT-enabled devices. To make this possible without duplicating content, you have to take advantage of a headless CMS platform. That way, you have a centralized repository for your content and can deliver it to users across any channel over an API. 

Similarly, it is frontend agnostic, meaning any changes made to your content will reflect at once across all channels without needing to make modifications to your frontend code.

Streamline Development & Content Authoring Processes

There is no way to discuss content creation without putting forward the channels or platforms on which they appear. A full-fledged application will have a front-facing interface as well as a backend that holds its content. That means these two parts are interconnected and their teams should be too.

You have to enable processes and technologies that bring developers and content authors closer. The DevContentOps approach empowers developers, operations, and content authors to work together efficiently through a sophisticated Git-based repository and developer-friendly environment. 

Integrating Development & Content Operations

Content is an essential part of user experience. For any organization to be innovative in creating the best digital content, agility is necessary. By enabling agility in content development, you can facilitate better productivity, remove silos, and deliver better value. For you to successfully implement agile content operations, you should adopt the DevContentOps approach.

The DevContentOps approach takes the best of DevOps and combines it with the processes and technologies needed to deliver content to enable better collaboration among developers and content authors. That way, you get the agility that DevOps provides and the efficiency of content operations. 

Topics: ContentOps