5 Ways to Make Content Creation Easier
Tips to keep your content strategy on track.
Sometimes content creation feels haphazard and chaotic. There are so many things to keep in mind: audiences, messages, channels, timing, and staying current with trends and the world. Sound impossible? Here are a few tips to make content creation easier and help your brand be more strategic at the same time.
1. Map it out
When it comes to communications, one of the most successful ways to stay on track is to create a content calendar. Being intentional about the content you need and assigning accountability to creators will help you not only manage it all, but also find ways to create efficiencies and consistencies with messages and methods. It can be as simple as a month-by-month listing of article or social post ideas and assignments for each contributor on your team.
When designing the plan, be sure to follow the 75/25 rule—plan 75 percent of your content in advance but leave room for 25 percent of the content to cover new ideas as they arise. This will help you stay current and relevant to your audiences while giving you creative freedom to adjust things as you go.
2. Limit yourself
A lesson many brands learn the hard way is that they try to be in too many places and cover too many topics all at once. It’s like cooking, if you throw in every spice you own, you end up with a dish that’s muddled. A brand with focused communications is likely to have more loyal followers. Take time to determine the channels where you will get the most bang for your buck and the topics that are most relevant for your brand to cover. It’s likely they will be related to your brand values and your product or service offerings. That’s where you will have the passion and expertise to have a relevant voice and where your followers will care to listen.
Once you’ve got your channels and topics figured out, then you’ll be ready to populate your new content calendar with specific content ideas that fit within those categories. Content creation will not only get easier with this focus, your followers will also be more clear on what they can expect to see from you.
3. Set deadlines
Many of us are procrastinators—I prefer to call it deadline driven. Frankly, we need a timeframe to help us prioritize everything we are expected to do. Creating deadlines, including the anticipated cadence and amount of time you will spend on all your communications, will keep you accountable and on task. Make sure you set your timing and workload at a realistic pace.
Remember content creation within social media also requires time for reading and following others. Think about ways you can create mini deadlines throughout the week to make tasks more manageable or splitting work between different people to keep your commitments on track. If you are finding the workload is too much to handle, go back to tip #2 and consider limiting your efforts so you can do less but be more effective.
4. Get more traction
Every piece of content you create likely has more than one use. You may need to edit your message or delivery, but you usually don’t have to recreate everything from scratch. This doesn’t mean you should take your blog and repost it word for word on every social channel. But it does mean you can take that blog and pull out a great quote to use on Twitter or a compelling image on Instagram or a statistic on Facebook.
Think about who you are trying to reach, what they care about, and what type of content will speak best to them. Then use the right channel to get the message out. One story could be turned into dozens of posts that could be spread across multiple channels and multiple days. Again, this is where your content calendar is a great tool to help you plan your content and get the most traction with the least amount of extra effort. Before you create something new make sure you’ve already maximized the content you already have.
5. Aim for authenticity
Communications used to require rounds of formal proofreading, legal reviews, and top-level signoffs for every word that got released into the world. Those days are gone. Today, brand communications are anything but perfect. In fact, people generally like brands that are more human.
Putting out timely and authentic communications is more important than perfectly crafted and typo-free content. Now I’m not suggesting you should do sloppy work. Please do proofread your content. But don’t let bureaucracy and old habits get in the way of creating content that comes from a genuine place and a voice that is real. You’ll find it’s actually easier to write. Plus, removing layers in your process will make it easier to get content created and out in front of your audiences (which is ultimately the goal).
Guide Your Readers with Layers
Layering content with a combination of visual and verbal cues will increase engagement and comprehension.