Something we’ve found out through the years is that every company that creates content has its own unique process for doing so. However, not every idiosyncrasy is necessarily a badge of honor. There are definitely best practices that we’ve implemented with clients that have helped to streamline content production, eliminate stress, and, ultimately, create better content in less time. Effective content requires good workflow with your team, even if you’re the person in charge of most things content-related.
Every few months (such as on a quarterly basis) you should put your team’s heads together and assemble some ideas for what your content should cover in the coming months. Even if you’re the primary content creator, we want to encourage you to include other members of your team in this process. If you yourself work out of the office but you’ve got reps in the field that you would never think of asking about content ideas, you might be in for a surprise. The people who interact directly with your customer are likely to have great ideas about what the customer might want to read about.
Scheduling of Topics
If you’re creating more than one piece of content per month (and that includes emails and social media posts) you should really have a content calendar that lays out your content ahead of time so you can see how things are distributed through the month. The content calendar lets you see what’s coming, how you can tie it in and cross-promote with company events, and lets you space out different categories of posts so your customer isn’t getting too much of the same thing.
It also helps you have a central location where your whole team can keep track of upcoming content. This set you up to be able to delegate writing and publishing to your team or a freelancer. Finally, and maybe most importantly, the content calendar takes a lot of stress out of the content creation process. Instead of just “maintaining a blog,” you’ve got all your topics nicely laid out ahead of time and know exactly what you stand in any particular month.
After you’ve done the thorough planning above, one great way to save time on content creation is to write your posts in bulk for the next month or even quarter. If you think about it, once you know your topics and your schedule, there’s no reason to wait until the day before publication to write these posts. It’s much less stressful and more effective for you or your writer to get in “writing mode” and do all your quality writing in chunks at the same time. By writing everything at the same time, you may even have time to build in extra steps like proofreading and fact checking to ensure higher quality of content.
When you’re done with your writing, you or one of your employees can mass-schedule posts to go live using automation tools on your publication platform of choice. That takes even more guesswork out of the equation.
You can even schedule social media posts to promote the content you’ve created using one of the many social media scheduling platforms available. Make sure you’re getting the most out of your content by promoting it not only when it publishes, but also a week or even a month later—that content is no less relevant then, and you’ll get extra mileage out of every new word you write.
Need to streamline your content creation process? Check out our free Content Calendar download that can help you get on track.