Content marketing: Telling Meaningful Stories

How to scale content marketing (or any) strategies 

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One person presents a new idea, concept or technique to a group of people (dare I say committee members?).

Another person – often one with a fancy title – chimes in: “But, but, but how do we scale that?”

“Um, I don’t know. I was just coming up with an idea.”

And with that the idea was killed before it was even born. Leaders (and everyone really) who gets caught in the “how do you scale that?” trap hurt innovation and collaboration. Don’t punish people for having ideas. They won’t all be home runs.

Scaling, of course, means to come up with a process that is easily expanded and duplicated. Things that scale easily are also easily commodized- aka copied by others.

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I’m all for everyone sharing their authentic stories and scaling it in their organization – so to speak.  But scaling shouldn’t mean taking shortcuts or using techniques that are potentially inauthentic. It also doesn’t mean to put a bunch of writers in a room where they come up with marketing stories not in line with authentic storytelling.

Jumping to “how do you scale that” is just a nice version of “we can’t do that” or “we don’t want to” unless we use it as a jumping off point to flushing out the idea. And some things that are worth doing aren’t that easily scalable – especially before you figure out how to do them.

Sharing authentic stories isn’t something everyone can do without some training and once they are trained it’s a hugely personal affair. Two people or organizations sharing their stories may both be very authentic but go about it completely differently. But it works for both and their communities.

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I’m all for adapting things worldwide and at a large scale but let’s focus on the what  we are trying to do and why before jumping right into the how. And let’s stop the shutting down of ideas completely. At least we should listen.

And some things aren’t as easily scalable as others. And some may take decades to take off.

As long as it’s worth it.

Here are my six steps to scale when the time is right:

  • Encourage the sharing of ideas
  • Collaborate and give flexibility for experimentation. It might work. That’s how new things are created.
  • Find some early successes.
  • Keep fiddling with the process.
  • Automate the tasks that lend themselves to automation.
  • Hire more experts on the tasks that can’t be automated and let all build the idea and program together.

Scaling meaningful things is great, but not everything can be industrialized. And that’s okay, since we aren’t working with industrial age workers, but knowledge workers. Scale where it helps, but don’t think it’s the centerpiece of all success.


Christoph Trappe

Hello and thanks for stopping by. I'm Christoph Trappe and I'm the Vice President of Content Marketing Strategy, Americas, at ScribbleLive, which is based in Toronto and is a global content marketing software company. Before I started at ScribbleLive I was VP of Content Marketing and Conversion at MedTouch, a Boston-based company that helps healthcare organizations with digital marketing. I've written two books, speak at conferences around the globe and blog frequently on here. I love sharing my stories and helping organizations share theirs. If you need help, just visit the Contact Me page in the navigation and drop me a note. I'm always happy to chat! Thanks for reading! - Christoph ctrappe@christophtrappe.com 319-389-9853

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