I get it, great content is difficult to produce. It is even more difficult to consistently produce day after day and week after week. But consistent content production is critical to reaching your content marketing goals. It allows your readers to get comfortable with your voice and your business, and reach the “Trust” step of your marketing hourglass.
Creating content takes time, and you don’t want to waste time thinking about what to write or produce. It’s going to happen, even I’m sitting here wasting time thinking about to write while finishing this post, but you want to minimize that wasted time. The key to achieving this is all in the planning.
At Duct Tape Marketing, we use several strategies to help maximize our production of content, and these can be easily implemented by any business using a content marketing plan. Here are three tips for maximizing your content creation efficiency:
Create a content calendar
We’ve preached about the importance of a content calendar in the past, but I can’t stress how important this tool is. If created at the beginning of the year or month, a content calendar can help you guide every piece of content you create, and help you stick to your marketing strategy and plan.
In order to create a great content calendar, you must include the dates you want to plan to produce content as well as what type of content you want to produce. If these are blog posts, you can keep a line for the title or general theme, and a place to write thoughts or notes. Once you’re done distributing the post, you can add links for an easy reference to share in future posts.
Here is an example of the style of content calendar we use at Duct Tape Marketing. You’ll notice it isn’t structured in the typical “Grid” pattern you see most calendars, instead as a line-by-line, color-coded spreadsheet. Because we have multiple people involved in content creation here at Duct Tape Marketing, we use the color-coding to keep track of who’s writing what. We created ours in Google Sheets, so that everyone can update their lines as they create their individual pieces of content.
Themes can be a great way to keep you from asking yourself “What should I write about today?” You can have monthly, weekly or even daily themes across all of your content distribution platforms.
But how do you come up with themes? A great place to begin is to think about key local search terms in which you want to improve your ranking. Are you a mechanic that wants to improve your ranking in “engine repair” in local search. Spend a month creating content that specifically focuses on your engines. Posts like “How to keep your engine running well beyond 100,000 miles” or “How To” posts for general engine fixes will help increase your mentions of your keyword.
Use varying formats
If you’re a regular reader of the Duct Tape Marketing blog, you know John use formats every week. On Tuesdays, John writes a blog post. On Wednesday, we post our podcast, and every Saturday John posts his weekly favorites. Every week, three of our posts are dictated by the formats we use for those posts. Essentially, we know what to post.
If you create regular formats, you’ll have a great baseline to create content. Maybe you can do a “Mailbag” post where you answer regular questions posed to you by customers or fans. Maybe you can post infographics or other multimedia content on the same day every week. Combine this with your monthly themes, and you’ll know what you’re posting every day and the topic you are covering. Your content calendar will practically fill itself in.
Having a plan when approaching your content creation will result in better, more consistent content that helps you achieve your goals. Besides, who wants to sit around wondering what to write?