Creating fresh and exciting content on a regular and consistent basis can take up a considerable amount of your time.
Reinventing the way you approach content creation each time you need to publish can result in costly mistakes. The barrier to producing content may seem too high, as other business priorities take over. Sorting out the mechanics of what you need to do can be daunting.
Introducing simple content creation processes will make you more efficient with the time you have. It is not the sexiest subject. You may groan at the ‘processes’ word, but getting content creation processes right will liberate your thinking and enhance your productivity.
A simple stepped process motivates you if you have writers block. It will bring down the overwhelm barrier to make content more manageable. And it will get you started on auto-pilot for those times when content creation looks like a mountain to climb but can be broken down into a series of molehills.
Setting up content creation processes that work for you
Taking time to set up working processes that will save you time and money takes an initial investment before you see the benefits. As with all content marketing, there is no silver bullet and no quick fixes. But taking time out to invest in your processes will pay you back many times. You can set up a well-oiled machine to increase your ability to produce relevant targeted content for your audience.
Before you start
Start with an open mind and a blank sheet of paper. Answering these questions will get you ready to make progress. Trying to make a process piecemeal won’t give you the framework you need. Viewing the range of intended output provides the overview you need to really make those savings on time and resource.
- Remember your why – it’s important to have a documented strategy for what you are trying to achieve as a framework for what content you create. This will help prioritise and provide context for what’s important to your business success.
- Who are you targeting? Keep your audience at the forefront of your thoughts and your content will be more effective.
- Have a structure for your content – mapping the content you need to support your lead generation, sales and support areas means it is easier to address gaps and ensure full coverage.
- Set out guidelines so that you don’t need to reinvent yourself and your approach each time. Tone of voice and style guides free you to concentrate on the content, and not the delivery.
- Keep an ideas list and approach everything as a content opportunity. Go to a networking event – what content can you create from that? What questions are prospects or customers asking you? Is there something good – or something bad – you have noticed a competitor doing? With a change of mindset and a reframing, you can be picking up ideas in multiple places. Organise ideas in one place and use them as inspiration to plan out future content for your audience.
Mapping your process
One process won’t cover all of your content needs. Dependent on the amount and variety of content you will need a number of different processes. Make sure you are maximising the resource and time you have available for content creation by breaking down the stages.
Divide content into categories such as blog posts, product pages, press releases etc. Tackle each type of content individually. Look at how you can repurpose content for different uses. For example, if you are writing a blog post it will be easier to write five tweets that can later be used to promote the content. This is easier than addressing it separately.
Questions to ask:
- When is the deadline for publication? Is it to coincide with an event, a product launch, whatever reason. Always have a date to aim for.
- What stages can this be broken down into? For example breaking down into research, draft, approvals, revisions, SEO, entering into CMS, etc with deadlines for each task. This gives a realistic view of how long each piece takes and what dates you need to hit in order to make a publishing deadline.
- What resources do you have to create this content? Think about the different actions that need to be taken if you are a small team. Even if you are responsible for all the stages just now, it will make it simpler to scale up the process once you have access to more resource.
- However many people are involved, you will need to assign responsibility and have clear ownership for time needed and dates that need to be met. Everyone involved will need to understand your strategy and goals so that everyone is working together.
- What approvals does this need? Make sure you leave enough time for this and also make sure you are alerting each resource in advance of what you will need from them and when.
Putting a structure in place – who to involve, what additional resources you need to succeed – will help you to be realistic about what you can achieve. This also helps with how you can scale up as your business develops.
Ready to start?
Setting up the framework is a good beginning, and will quickly demonstrate to you the value in doing it. But you will need to keep it going. Make sure you have a good governance framework in place to support your content creation processes. You will be well on the way to saving time and money while serving your audience exactly the content it needs.
When you have been through this process you will see where your gaps are and what help you need. If you need help in setting up content creation processes, we have lots of experience in establishing the right framework and getting buy-in from stakeholders.
We can also help with strategy, planning, writing, editing and promoting your content. If you are still daunted by the prospect of better organisation but can see how it would help you succeed, get in touch with us today, and see how we can support you.