Content marketing is a vital part of a digital marketing strategy. Anyone can do content marketing. However, not everyone can do it well. The companies and individuals that casually approach content marketing often find it ineffective and challenging, so they quickly give up.
In truth, the only reason their efforts fail is that they do not employ a strategy that guarantees the consistent production and promotion of engaging content. In this post, you will learn how to increase your productivity as a content writer and marketer, develop article ideas, and maintain consistency. This knowledge will substantially increase the success of your content marketing efforts.
First, you’ll need to evaluate your approach to idea development. Even planning and brainstorming can be done more productively, and it doesn’t have to come at the cost of effectiveness or creativity. Here’s what you need to do
Develop several topic ideas at a time
When you and your team sit down for dedicated brainstorming sessions, use that opportunity to maximize your creative potential. Once you get going, don’t stop with one idea. Develop as many as you can. For instance, instead of developing content topics a post at a time, or even a week at a time, you should think of as many ideas as possible until you are exhausted. If you’ve ever had a serious brainstorming session, you know the first idea is always the hardest. Take that first idea and pursue it down whichever path it leads you. This will help you plan and develop content ideas a few months at a time instead of one by one.
Learn to record your ideas the moment you get them.
Even with brainstorming sessions, it’s likely that several ideas will come to you at awkward moments.
This is a good thing.
You must capture those ideas. If, for instance, you are talking to a client or coworker and suddenly realize your discussion could be the topic for a blog post, write it down. When your brand receives a social media mention that gives you the same impression (that it could make a good blog post), take a screenshot. These insights and discussions will be strong points of reference in your next brainstorming session.
Plan a promotion strategy before you create the content.
Planning shouldn’t end with your long-form content pieces like newsletters and blog posts. You need advance preparation for how you will repurpose and promote those content assets. In that way, you won’t scramble, or worry about what you’ll do after you’ve published something new. Your plan could involve:
- The digital channels where you will promote the content.
- The format that your promotion will take
- Commencement dates for both long term and short term content promotions
- How your content will be repurposed
- When that repurposing will occur.
In fact, there is more planning and project management in the content lifecycle than there is in the writing process.
How to improve your content creation efficiency
Content creation can be a hassle. Fortunately, the process can be streamlined to save time.
Here’s how you can do that: use your outlines as skeletons.
Outlines are important.
Most people think that it is a waste to conceptualize and map out what you’re going to communicate before writing.
But, that’s the same as saying it doesn’t help to consult a map before embarking on a road trip.
You should know that for every five minutes you invest in developing an outline for your outline, you will avoid between 10 and 15 of confusion during the writing process.
Creating an outline is like developing a skeleton before adding meat to the bone. It helps you stay organized, and gives your work a helpful narrative flow.
Separate research from writing
Another way to improve your speed to do all research and link gathering before you start writing. Research may comprise;
- Saving the links to resources you intend to reference
- Finding examples that illustrate the points you want to make
- Conducting interviews with professionals or making requests for written quotes
You’ll also want to take steps to ensure that once you start writing, you won’t need to open a new tab in your browser to conduct a search. Research isn’t always straightforward; doing it while you write will expose you to distractions that will hinder the writing process.
Develop long-form content in manageable sessions
When it’s time to start creating content, you should avoid marathon writing as much as possible. As it is with finished content, there is a limit to how much you can write at one go without a decline in quality.
If your content is going to take over a few hours to produce, then cut it into shorter sessions with breaks in between. For instance, you could try writing for 25-minute intervals with 10-minute breaks in between. If 25 minutes isn’t enough for you to focus, then increase the duration of your writing sessions until you find an arrangement that works for you.
How to increase your efficiency at distributing content
There is still a lot to do after you publish a post. Unfortunately, many marketers do not have a standardized approach to deal with it.
If you’re one of them, you should know, standardization saves time. In fact, it does so in an exponentially beneficial way.
Create a repeatable process.
First, you’ll want to organize the entire content promotion and distribution process. Choose a general system or checklist to use as a guide for each piece of content. It should include things like:
- when and where to publish on social media.
- How to schedule those posts
- A list of forums and communities that can be used in the distribution process
- Relevant influencers to contact
- How to convince your email subscribers to engage with the content
Your plan may still need modification for particular campaigns or pieces of content, but having a basic setup in place will save time.
Reuse old content
You shouldn’t try to write all your promotional and social content from nothing. You may copy some of your posts. Admittedly, you will need to customize the copy as you copy it from one platform and paste it on another.
That said, it still beats starting with nothing. Remember to have the original content on hand in another browser tab as you draft a promotion so you can pull quotes and wording. Creating new content is more complicated and resource-intensive than rewriting or recycling it.
There are several ways you can repurpose or reuse existing content:
- Convert old blog posts into e-books or related information products.
- Rewrite old posts so that they stay fresh and achieve better rankings
- Break up old content to create micro-posts that can be shared on social media. Share old content with new followers and social media fans.
Use an editorial calendar.
Sometimes, creating and promoting massive amounts of content can be as detrimental as not producing enough. When you saturate your audience with content, they don’t have enough time to study or appreciate its value. On the other hand, when you produce too little, your audience may forget you exist or even un-follow or unlike you. This is why editorial calendars are so beneficial. Having a plan for how often you will develop and promote content will save you lots of time. It doesn’t need to be flashy, it just needs to work.
Set time aside for reviews, updates, and repurposing
You should set a day a month or three months after your content has been published to review its performance. This offers you the time to repurpose, re-promote, update, and optimize your post and keep it fresh. Repurposing and optimizing are often relegated to a list of unimportant things because they aren’t planned. Setting aside some time changes that.
Use a formula to develop engaging topics.
One of the most challenging aspects of content marketing is finding new ideas. You need to continually develop new angles on old topics that remain of interest to the public or your target niche. The best way to do this is to identify what your audience wants to read and then write captivating, un-ignorable headlines.
Obviously, this works hand in hand with writing and promoting the content. Besides brainstorming, which has already been discussed, to ensure that you have a steady flow of ideas, use tools like buzz sumo to find popular topics.
Study popular websites for headlines that you could modify to suit your topic. Create several variations of the titles for your post, then have a colleague or friend pick the best one.
Use Digital productivity tools to stay organized.
Content marketing is time-consuming, but with the right tools, you can do it in a faster and more effective manner. A little research will unearth digital tools that help you avoid distractions, develop content ideas, and schedule social media and blog posts.
Here are the most useful:
Evernote web clipper: it will pin posts, images, and pages you find interesting as you browse the internet. You may use these as inspiration for new articles.
Ommwriter: this minimalist word processing tool will help you block all distractions as you develop content.
Hootsuite: it will help you schedule your social posts and track brand mentions, so you’re aware of what your audience thinks of you.
Trello: it allows you to plan new blog topics in one place, either individually or with a team.
Outsource some of your content marketing
If you are the reason your content production is slow, consider outsourcing some of your content marketing-related responsibilities. By hiring skilled content writers, social media managers, and editors, you’ll achieve a significant improvement in productivity, efficiency, and speed. There are several agencies you could consult for digital marketing in Uganda. Examples include Kawande digital solutions, Sadja webSolutions, and Optibrave.
Automate repetitive tasks
Machine learning and artificial intelligence have revolutionized the software industry, and there is no reason why they can’t help you with your marketing duties. Though they haven’t gained mainstream popularity, there are several marketing automation tools available that will lighten the load for you. Examples include:
Infusion soft: this is a Customer relationship management suite that makes social media campaigning and email marketing really easy. It is designed for small-medium sized enterprises and can create a repeatable sales process that allows you to track leads, appointments, and quotes, all from your CRM dashboard. Its campaign builder can be configured as you want it, and it will automatically capture and tag new leads, assign new tasks, and send emails to convert those leads into paying customers.
snip.ly: sniply will add your custom call to action to any page on the internet, allowing you to engage your followers through every link you share. For instance, you can attach a custom button to any page that links to your own website, so people can discover your brand while reading your content.
Zapier: This tool automatically tracks leads from tools like Google Ads, and Facebook leads ads, eliminating the need for data entry. It can also integrate all your marketing tools and automate the processes between them; your marketing tools will be worth more than the sum of their parts.
Sprout social: it is a social media automation tool that creates a comprehensive schedule for all your social posts across several channels. This means you don’t need to switch between different platforms, and can prepare your messages months or weeks beforehand. The tool also offers instant access to your brand’s hashtags and assets. There’ll be less pressure to find images and creative illustrations. You can repurpose and recycle posts, thereby ensuring that you generate as much engagement as possible with your content. Sprout’s automation tool also comes with a viral post tool. It can determine when to publish social messages based on the time when your followers are most engaged. This offers the double benefit of increasing engagement and saving you the challenge of identifying the best times to post social content.
The advice shared in this post addresses the root causes of your productivity problems. So, although you may not feel much of immediate improvement, things will get better over time, and you will also save your future self-plenty of stress.