In content marketing, there’s never enough time. It’s like a grandfather clock.
Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock.
Before you know it, the time’s run out. If you’ve got a bit of extra budget, and the right ideas on board, you can make plenty of content in a lot less time.
Using other people’s expertise
1. Freelance copywriters. If you’ve got the budget, you could hire in freelance copywriter who specialises in your industry. They can come up with article ideas, and will have the time to put great articles together.
2. Dictaphones and freelance transcribers. Get your top staff to record themselves talking about an issue. And then hire a freelance transcriber to put those words on paper.
3. Ask people to contribute. There are likely people in your company who love what they’re doing, so they can write articles.
4. Freelance editors. If you’ve got people to contribute (with speaking or writing), you may want to knead their thoughts into shape. You could hire a freelance editor to tidy up their work.
5. Ask your designers for amazing imagery. If you’re in a larger company you may already have a designer who’s putting things together. You could ask them to illustrate images to add a bit of sparkle to your content (if they’ve got spare time).
Coming up with ideas for content
6. Find Trending Topics. Use websites like Topsy to find the topics that everyone is talking about.
7. Talk to people in your company. Even if you can’t get them to contribute – just drop an idea with them, and ask them what they think. Their opinions can be transformed into articles quickly.
8. Go to events. If you go Meetup.com you’ll be able to find relevant industry meetups, and get their ideas and perspectives. Speakers are typically at the cutting edge of the industry. So they generally set the tone of what everyone’s talking about. Diffuse those ideas.
9. Case studies. In a B2B business, look at how your company helped a client through their problems. People don’t like hearing that “you should do this”. They like to hear “company X did this, now their sales have risen 20%”. Now that’s an easy sell to their boss.
Making the most of your old content
10. Re-headline your content. If it had an unsexy headline, it’s probably better that you relaunch it than let it become stale on your website.
11. Repurpose your existing content. Maybe you write about a certain topic. Think about angles which you can develop it along. If you’ve written article about ladders for tradesmen, why not write the same article but around DIY builders. And adapt it for that purpose.
Only making content people want (lean)
12. Look at what performed well in the past. Was it a certain topic? A certain theme? A certain idea? Create more of the same of what worked.
13. Check out this article on Lean Content Marketing about how to reduce waste in content marketing.
14. Tweet headlines to your friends or customers. Ask them what they think would be the most interesting article.
15. Use your content as a way to qualify leads. Marcus Sheridan, the poster-boy of inbound marketing, said that if people hadn’t read 30 pages on his blog, they weren’t ready to speak to a salesman. They didn’t know enough. This separated the curious people, from the serious buyers, and freed up his sales team a lot more.
Making content more quickly
16. Read Rework. In his book, he talks about how you can get a lot more done with a lot less time. It’ll change the way you think about doing work. It’ll only take a couple of hours to read and you’ll manage to get much more done afterwards.
17. Understand the 80/20 principle. 20% of your effort creates 80% of the work, this is the writing. The rest is editing, finding relevant links etc. etc. You can make more content quickly if you focus on the core. And worry about spelling mistakes, typos & adding every link possible at the end.
18. Freeflow writing. Staring at a blank page is the toughest thing to do in writing. So you should just write. Don’t go and correct typos while you’re writing. Just flow. Don’t stop writing. Just start. And keep going. Even if you can’t think of anything to say, just write. Then at the end you can cut out the dross.
19. Put a time limit on how long it takes to write your article. For example. I’ve said that I would put this article together in an hour. After an hour, I’m going to cut myself off – and ship it.
20. Flesh out a skeleton of your main points. Start with a topic direction for your article. Write the headlines for the main points of your stuff. Then flesh them out.
21. Check how you’re doing every 15 minutes. When you keep putting harsh time limits on yourself, you just have to empty your brain onto a page as quickly as possible.
Alex Clifford is Marketing Executive at Virally. Virally is a content marketing platform which helps capture leads from your whitepapers, guides and reports.