5 Paths To Simple Content Creation
53% of bloggers have named content creation as their biggest challenge. I think it’s pretty fair to extrapolate this to content marketers as a whole.
Additionally, Hubspot recently found that 70% of marketers are actively investing in content marketing.
As this data suggests, content is both in demand and demanding. Business and marketing leaders do recognize the importance of incorporating content into their larger marketing strategy. But creating that content requires a lot of work.
These data points also beg a couple of important questions.
Is effective, yet simple content creation possible? How can marketing teams create content in a way that both generates ROI and protects them from burning out?
Speaking of important questions, here’s another one, recited by the one and only Al Pacino.
My responses to the non-Shakespeare questions are “yes” and “I will teach you how simple content creation can be a reality for your team.”
5 Ways To Achieve Simple Content Creation
There are many ways to create a simple content creation process. In today’s blog, I’ll share the five ways I help clients implement simple content creation for their teams. Above all, remember that what works for one team might not work for yours. Finding the right process for your team can take some experimenting. But simple content creation is absolutely available to you.
A reality in which you and your team produce regular content that generates results without massive amounts of stress does exist. Let these five options guide you in creating a simple content creation process that will work for your specific team.
#1 Repurpose Old Content
An oldie, goodie, yet not relied upon nearly enough. Your older content is hands down one of the best paths to simple content creation. Even if you think that your old content is outdated or even inaccurate, it can still be useful and it’s worth collecting.
It’s pretty obvious why repurposing old content is crucial to simple content creation. Mainly, it saves your team time and brainpower. But there are a couple of less obvious reasons why your company’s old content is so valuable.
#1 Engages other teams. The first step in repurposing old content is to gather all of it in one place. The best way to do that is to put out a company-wide call for all of the content your teams and colleagues have. Create a shared folder and have everyone add their content. This could be sales sheets, ebooks, emailers, newsletters, one-sheets, blog posts, etc.
This process is so valuable because it engages other teams in helping you create new content in a simple way. Your colleagues will likely offer ideas on how to build upon, update or otherwise repurpose the current content. They may also tell you additional topics that customers will find valuable based on their interactions with your target audience.
In short, this process can save you time on collecting your company’s older content pieces, identifying new content ideas and conducting research on your target audience. Plus, when you show your colleagues that you value their input, they’ll be more likely to assist you with future content needs.
#2 Makes your marketing team more organized. A process for simple content creation works best when all raw content, drafts and deliverables are in one, regularly updated location. When you create that single location, you become a more organized team. When you’re a more organized team, it’s easier to create, implement and maintain a simple content creation process. In other words, you set yourself up for success with simple content creation when you have all of your content in one organized place.
#2 Create A Realistic Posting Schedule For New Content
This is one of the easiest ways to simplify your content creation process. Create a schedule for posting new content that’s feasible for your team. It’s easy to feel pressured to post fresh content on your website, social media channels, etc. every day. In fact, data shows that blogging several times per week results in high conversion rates. But producing that amount of content just isn’t sustainable for some marketing teams. It’s especially unsustainable if you’re a team just beginning to use content in your marketing strategy.
When crafting your simple content creation process, lean on this motto: consistency trumps frequency. The path to simple content creation is focusing on high consistency over high frequency. Maybe your team is new to content marketing. Or maybe your team doesn’t have all of the resources you need to implement a full content strategy.
In these cases especially, committing to posting new content 4-5x/week is unwise. It’s an almost surefire way for your team to burn out, then post content inconsistently or not at all. Alternatively, committing to posting new content 1-2x/week is a stronger approach. It’s not as taxing on your team because it’s an easier schedule to follow.
High consistency is key
High consistency with posting new content, not high frequency, makes your company look more authoritative and therefore trustworthy. On the other hand, a sporadic, inconsistent posting schedule can hurt your brand in a couple of ways.
First, an erratic posting schedule can make your company look out of date and flighty to prospective customers. When customers associate you with those things, they are less likely to trust you. There’s also a good chance they’ll never even see your content when it isn’t presented to them regularly.
Second, inconsistent content slows your SEO success For blog content in particular, organic traffic compounds over time. It takes time for Google to crawl your new content and rank it accordingly. When you elongate the time between blog posts, for example, you have to wait that much longer for Google to rank your website. This means it will take longer for you to see regular organic traffic and thus high-quality, long-term leads. Furthermore, you could be blogging so sporadically that your previous blogs are out of date. If you don’t update those blogs, competitor companies who have updated their blogs can beat you in Google rankings.
Simple content creation requires gradual growth
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Simplicity paves the way to consistency. Simple content creation must start with a doable posting schedule for new content. Once your team gets used to posting new content on a consistent basis, they can work up to a higher posting frequency. Below are a few recommendations.
- Post to your social media platforms 1-2x/week. Create a great post that gives your followers real value. Copy/paste that post across all of your platforms, making only minor adjustments. Work up to posting 3x/week, then every weekday.
- Blog 1-2x/month. Create a long list of valuable blog topics that will really benefit your customers and prospects. Choose one-two topics per month to write. Please note. Make sure to either blog once or twice per month, not once one month, then twice the next, then once. Choose one frequency and stick with it for a bit. Work up to blogging 1x/week, then 2-4x/week. Not sure if you should even have a company blog? Here’s how to decide.
- Create a lead magnet 1-2x/year. What’s a longform, highly valuable piece of content that can provide tangible benefits to your customers? Maybe it’s an ebook, infographic, trends report, template of some kind, etc. Make one or two of these per year. Work up to launching a lead magnet every quarter or one per month.
Did you know Hey Sarah can create and launch strategic content for your company?
#3 Mine In-House Teams
The next tip for simple content creation harkens back to using what you already have. Your in-house teams, such as sales, product, customer service and leadership, are goldmines.
These teams have unique, firsthand insight into your target audience, products and/or your company’s mission and trajectory. All of that insight can and should be turned into valuable content pieces. Furthermore, using these raw insights can save your marketing team time on research or thinking of topic ideas, thus speeding up and simplifying content creation.
How do you engage your in-house teams in your simple content creation process? Here are a few recommendations:
- Organize team-specific brain dumps. Create a shared document for each team. Have team members list common questions, concerns, goals, product features, company updates, etc. that they hear from customers or want more customers to know. Refer to these documents when creating content and topic ideas.
- Ask for edits and feedback. Before launching a new piece of content, have the relevant team review it with their expert eye. For example, maybe you’re writing an email to your company’s email list. Maybe the email is about how your customers can get more out of the product/service they purchased from you. Have your product team send you the key items readers should know about maximizing their product usage. Ask the product team to review the email before you send.
- Conduct expert interviews. Position your colleagues as industry experts and feature them in your content. Interview them about a specific topic in which they have specialized knowledge or a particular strength. For example, maybe one of your customer service reps happens to be great at providing highly technical assistance. Interview them about three common problems customers experience and how to troubleshoot them. Turn the interview into an expert blog or lead magnet that features your “technical expert.”
#4 Delegate For Simple Content Creation
For simple content creation, I almost always recommend hiring a writer. Expanding your team is crucial, especially if you’re working up to a robust posting schedule. The rest of your marketing team can focus on executing strategy and fulfilling their other duties. Meanwhile, a part-time or contract writer can ensure that your team is never without fresh content.
Additionally, when your team creates topic ideas, they can simply send an outline to the writer. Your writer can do all of the writing/editing so that your team can then proof, post and fit it into the overall strategy.
Hiring a writer or even a skilled intern makes content creation so much easier on the rest of your team. You know by now that creating content requires a lot of time and effort. Having a dedicated content writer removes that work from your team. Your team can then implement the content strategically and get results for your company.
If you don’t have the budget to hire a part-time or freelance writer, there are a few things you can do. First, take stock of your marketing team. Do you have any strong writers who feel confident in their ability to produce a lot of new content on a regular basis? If so, can you reprioritize their tasks to give them more bandwidth for writing? Alternatively, you can hire Hey Sarah (pardon the shameless plug).
#5 Attend An Industry Event
Just like your internal teams, industry events are goldmines for simple content creation. Whether in-person, virtual or hybrid, industry events provide raw, cutting-edge data that can be turned into endless content pieces. A single business trip to an event can fill up your content calendar for the next three to six months. In fact, with so many virtual and hybrid events available, you don’t even have to travel.
My top recommendations for simple content creation via industry events are below.
- Live social media coverage. Assign someone on your team to live-tweet the event and post regular stories on FB and/or Instagram. Have them attend sessions, walk the exhibition hall and go to networking or social events. At the end of each day or after the event wraps, have them write a recap of industry insights on LinkedIn. Those recaps can then be repurposed into longer blog posts.
- Turn sessions into blogs. Speaking of blog posts, think of every event session or workshop as a potential blog. Position the speaker or panel as subject matter experts. Take notes during the sessions so that you can insert direct quotes. If you attend multiple sessions with similar topics, turn them into a three-part blog series or even a lead magnet.
- Get sources for future content pieces. Remember how internal sources can assist with simple content creation? Same goes for external sources. Make a point to introduce yourself to session speakers. Additionally, take note of anyone else you meet who could be a great subject matter expert. After the event, email everyone you met. Ask them if they’d consider being a source for your next blog post, lead magnet, podcast, etc.If they produce great content themselves, or they have an upcoming event, share it on your social media platforms and tag them. Even if they never agree to being featured in your company’s content, they may support you on social media if you share about their content, company, etc.