Crafting great content takes more than brilliant ideas and random bursts of creativity. To bring your best work to life, you need to create a streamlined and optimised content creation process. It can be overwhelming when you consider what you could create, so you need to narrow it down into strategic, targeted chunks. In this guide, we’ll look at how to optimise your workflow for maximum efficiency and effectiveness.
Importance of Content Marketing
Here are some stats that show the importance of content marketing:
- Compared to traditional marketing programmes, content marketing costs 62% less and generates approximately three times the volume of leads.
- Millennials spend an average of 11 hours per day engaging with digital content compared to the average of 8.8 hours.
This shows the power of content and the fact that its impact is only going to increase as the years go by. Now is the time to create content for your marketing plan if you want to increase your sales and boost brand awareness.
A Content Creation Process that will Create Powerful Consistent Content
Use a 30-Day Calendar
A 30-day calendar helps you visualise the next month and plan your social posts, blog posts, podcasts, videos, and other content accordingly. You can get a physical planner if you like or use an app to create a digital calendar instead.
One of the problems some business owners have with content creation is that they are not strategic about it. They come up with ideas and post them immediately. But this means they are wasting a lot of good content by not posting at the right time, not plotting it, not recycling it, and not building on it.
When you have your planner in front of you, you can make sure you have the right balance of content going out and that you have covered all the bases you wanted to cover during the month.
Note Down National Dates
By piggybacking on national dates, you can gain a lot of traction. They give your content a sense of the day and make it seem current. In addition, they often come with a lot of search potential and hashtags that help new people find what you have created.
Pick the national days that relate in some way to your business and plot them into your calendar. These help you create content marketing more easily because they spark an idea, rather than requiring you to come up with gold from nothing.
Highlight Your Promotions
Your content marketing should feature a range of types of content. You don’t want to make it too salesy, but you do need something in there to push those potential customers through your sales funnel.
With a marketing plan, you can ensure that you space out these sales pitches accordingly. If you have promotions during the month, make sure that you add them to the content mix and guide people who have been hooked by your engaging blogs, videos, and social posts toward making that first purchase.
There are all sorts of different ideas about what makes a good ratio of sales content to other items, but you really have to take them as a base to start from and work out what your particular audience responds to best for your posting schedule.
Research & Brainstorm
Before you start the actual creation process, take time to research topics and brainstorm ideas. Researching your topic allows you to gain a deeper understanding of it, which will help ensure that your content is accurate and well-informed. Brainstorming can help kickstart your creative process and provide an abundance of inspiration for content pieces.
Take advantage of free resource tools like social media platforms and news sites to discover fresh perspectives on trending topics and fresh angles for your blog posts or website content.
Outline Your Content Using Themes for Every Month
Once you’ve identified and researched a topic, and factored in any major promotions, events etc, it’s time to begin outlining your content. The purpose of an outline is to provide structure and direction for the development of your content piece. Think about the type of content you plan to create for the month and determine what information needs to be included. An outline allows you to easily visualize the shape of your idea before jumping into creating more in-depth content.
We like to use a theme every month to help keep our content focused. For example, you might decide to center all content for the month around content creation.
When you could literally post and write about anything, it makes it so difficult to settle on subjects. When you have a theme, it focuses your attention and helps you generate ideas within that niche.
Create Pillar Topics
A great way to order and repurpose your content for the best effect is to create pillar content first. This is your longest piece of content, usually a Blog post, YouTube Video, or Podcast.
So, let’s say you create a new blog post every week. Your next step is to take your Theme for the month and break this down into x4 relevant content pillars that your readers will find valuable to think about.
The theme for January is – Getting Organised
4 content pillars for January might be:
- How to organise your Dropbox Folder
- How to organise your Inbox
- Why being organised helps productivity
Can you see how they stay all connected?
Schedule one per week throughout the month (this may look different to you), whether it is a blog, video, podcast or some other major piece of content.
Create Micro Content
For each pillar topic, there should be some pieces of micro-content that support it. Use your content calendar to schedule social posts promoting the topics, email marketing, infographics, and even create blogs using the transcript of the video or podcast.
This way, all your content connects together and seems cohesive to your audience. Each piece promotes another, and that keeps people travelling around your content and soaking up the value that your brand is offering.
- How to organise your Dropbox Folder
- Create a carousel providing a few key tips from your blog
- Share a link to your FB page using the intro of your blog as the caption
- Create an Instagram reel/Story directing people to the blog
- Create a LinkedIn post taking one tip from your blog
- Create a couple of Story polls relevant to your blog
- Create a motivational post relevant to your blog post
- Create a Pinterest pin that clicks back to your blog
Once again, this helps you create content marketing more easily, as you don’t have to conjure up a new ‘purpose’ each time. The idea is always the same – guide your audience to the important information they need to know.
It’s Time to Write Your Content
After you are confident in the structure of your outline and have completed any research needed for your content, it’s time to write. If you have followed the above you will have a pool of content topics to cover.
Start by writing without worrying about grammar or spelling – if your sentences convey your ideas coherently, there is no need to worry about perfecting these at this stage. Writing both quickly and efficiently keeps up the momentum and helps prevent writer’s block. If a particular section is giving you trouble, you can always come back once the rest is complete.
The Final Step Of the Content Creation Process
The final part of your content creation process after you’ve spent time creating and it has been reviewed and edited, is to publish and promote it. This may involve posting it on your own website or social media accounts, submitting it to online publications or newsletters, or even pitching it to other websites. Once your content is published, start spreading the word about it – sharing links on social media and telling colleagues so that they can share the news with their network too.
The great thing about your content creation process is that you have designed it so that your content is not forgotten, shared, and talked about consistently.
Finally, once you have all your content scheduled, make sure that it is engaging. You need to tell a story, entice people to find out more, and provide them with real value. We love storytelling, which is why it is the oldest and most effective form of entertainment. If you cast a spell over the audience, you will ensure that they become fans of your brand and customers too!
Ready to Create a Content Creation Process with Ease?
From mapping out content to creating images for socials and crafting beautiful and effective email marketing, we have created some must-have digital templates that will help you create content marketing with ease. Visit The Time Freedom Lab today if you want to start working smarter, not harder.