Agile methodologies have long been a popular resource for software and technology development. Scrum, in particular, is a concept that has gained popularity in content marketing project management as well. If you’re not familiar with the term, Scrum refers to a process of development that is collaborative, iterative, and incremental. Deliverables are created over short bursts of activities called a sprint. Each sprint has a clearly defined timeline and an equally defined goal. Can law firms use scrum for content marketing? We think so – and here’s why.
Clear Goals and Timelines
Using Scrum, each sprint has a definite beginning and end time. This allows the content marketing team to be on the same page regarding deadlines and helps them to clearly define any increments of work. In turn, modifications can be made to prioritize activities where they add the most value.
Another characteristic of Scrum is transparency and flexibility. The team should have regular periods to review their work, make changes, and adapt to strategy accordingly. Not only that, as sprints are accomplished over time, the group will begin to have a better understanding of the timing of each increment, allowing for better planning in the future.
Finally, content marketing can feel like a never-ending task. Structuring content creation around defined sprints will lend to a sense of accomplishment. As each increment ends, consider it a goal reached and move onto the next phase.
At its core, Scrum provides a great way of organizing work and keeping everyone in the loop on who is doing what, and why. The backlog is a prioritized list of everything needed for a release. In the case of content marketing, that backlog would be a series of content assets created to meet certain business goals – for example, bringing in leads, or converting on a landing page. This backlog includes backlog items that describe any work the team needs to do to create the content assets (copywriting, design, SEO). For maximum organization and transparency, each backlog item will also have a description, order in which tasks will be done, a value assigned by the team, and a time estimate for completion. Imagine how organized your content creation process could be if you had documentation for each of these areas and group buy-in on the degree of importance.
Then, when it’s time to begin a “new sprint”, the team pulls the backlog items needed to reach the next sprint goal into the sprint backlog – a list of ordered backlog items to be worked on during that sprint. For example, a few backlog items that might be pulled into the sprint backlog for content execution might be: Choosing a topic for the next blog post; researching the topic; creating a keyword list; and creating images for the blog post (among many others). An important note is that in traditional Scrum processes, the actual development team are the ones who decide how exactly all of this work will be completed. It’s important that the individuals completing the work have authority and full transparency on the way that they accomplish each task.
Throughout the process, a Scrum board is used to help the firm’s team visualize the work in a sprint. Some teams use an actual board with sticky notes, and others use more sophisticated digital tools. The key is that you’re able to see which backlog items are pulled into a sprint, and which are in progress or need to be started.
Law firms tend to have small marketing departments where employees wear many hats. Scrum is a unique project management process that law firms can use to improve their output. This allows members of the marketing department to remain organized while working on various content projects. To learn more about how law firms can use Scrum for content marketing, reach out to us.