September 8, 2021

Timing Isn’t (Quite) Everything: How to Achieve Content Velocity

Photo of woman's hand drawing wireframe for website

It doesn’t matter if you have the best ideas if nobody knows about them. But how do you get them out there and seen?

Content Velocity
The simple definition of content velocity, a current buzzword, is that it’s an equation of quantity over time: how much you’re publishing, and how rapidly you’re publishing it.

But that isn’t quite right.

The truth is, there’s more to it than that. This isn’t just a rallying cry for “maximum output!” and “more content faster!” It’s not about your team becoming Lucy and Ethel at the chocolate factory, as the conveyor belt speeds faster and faster.

Still shot of Lucy and Ethel in the chocolate factory

It isn’t even about quality, although that’s a given. It’s about strategy; it’s about knowing your audience; it’s about inclusivity and accessibility. It’s about having not just more good content, but a wider, deeper, broader, more diverse portfolio of content.

Today’s content must meet today’s expectations.

Whether I’m on Netflix or Instagram, reading my email or asking Alexa a question, I expect the content I consume today — and the platform on which it’s housed — is likely to understand who and where I am, and what my needs and concerns are. To meet those expectations for today’s patient, caregiver, and healthcare provider (HCP), brands have to improve their content velocity.

If you think about a single topic that matters for your brand, you need a variety of content about that topic: for different devices, at different lengths, relating to different needs, aimed at different audiences, cognizant of different consumption patterns, using an appropriate approach for different channels.

The good news: Pharma has nailed quality content.

It’s all we do. We’ve nailed it because we have to be precise and accurate about life-changing medicine. But the way we’ve nailed it is by doing it in slow batches. We launch a site, pop the champagne, and think the work is done. Maybe it gets updated once a year. Maybe it gets optimized twice a year. But this entire mindset needs to flip. The launch should be the easy part, or at least just the beginning, with a soft launch and a phased plan to add many assets often over many months.

Making It Happen

  • Allocate budget.
    This comes with a real need to reconsider how the marketing budget is being managed, to ensure that adequate content is being developed. Often, content ideas are a tiny portion of a marketing budget. Can that proportion be adjusted?
  • Find new review processes.
    It comes with a need to update MRL processes to handle that cadence – and to investigate the structural and technical solutions to make that happen. The pharma company who can streamline their review process to put out large amounts of content quickly is going to win the next five years. 
  • Work with the right partners.
    It also comes with a need for agencies to understand how to move faster from idea to market. You need a diverse portfolio of quality content that reflects reality. You need to leverage dynamic websites and tools to serve up that content. And you need an agency with the strategic and executional capability to produce, publish, promote, and improve that content consistently. 
  • Update what you have.
    It also comes with a need to re-examine existing content and realize it in different ways. Are you making your whitepaper content into “snackable” blog posts? Into glance-able social posts? Are you taking your quick summaries and providing deep-dive content for those who do want to learn more? Are you optimizing your content for accessibility?

Today, we’re all accustomed to finding an unending stream of content everywhere. Getting your content to land with as much impact as possible requires constant optimization and improvement. Stay tuned for more on this topic!

Author information: Nathan Stewart is a VP of content strategy and SEO at Intouch Group.