Content Marketing workflow optimizations that will save you 10’s of hours a week

It’s Tuesday and I don’t have much time today. You probably don’t either, so that sets the theme for today’s blog. You want to build an audience with content marketing, but that’s very time consuming. Let’s look at how you can optimize your workflow.
Why content marketing though? It takes a lot of time and creativity. It’s difficult to produce unique content.
Yes, but the benefits are endless: You’ll organically build an audience, out of people that actually care about your business, because they derive value for the free content you post. There is no better way to build trust with potential customers. This will not only make monetization easier and more fruitful, it also works wonders for building your brand and scaling it. It’s also one of the most effective ways to use your website and feed your funnels.
This applies across all business structures – freelancers, small to medium, online and local businesses.
So how do we make sure we reap the benefits as efficiently as possible?

Plan your schedule

The number one principle to follow is consistency. No matter which main platform you choose (we will come back to this in the next chapter), algorithms across the board love consistency. And if you want to generate a lot of reach without sponsoring posts, you will want the algorithm to love you. 
That’s why it’s important to invest some thought into preparation. It’s better to post 5x a week consistently, than to post 10x in 3 days, run out of relevant content ideas and time and then not post altogether for the rest of the week. Not following a set schedule is the #1 mistake beginners make, and it can result in catastrophic failure. Eagerness quickly turns into burnout and sadness.
It’s also a necessary step in your research, especially for local businesses: On average, at what time do your posts generate the most reach? Important question to answer.
Planning isn’t just important in your schedule, the biggest results are achieved by planning the content itself.

Plan your content workflow and hierarchy

This will ensure your content quality is high, while spending the smallest amount of time possible. In most cases, but especially if you don’t have a dedicated social media team posting for you, you want to have a main platform. Ideally, on this platform you should be able to publish long-form content. This isn’t a necessity though, I’ve seen people publish short-ish form blogs in their instagram captions and have plenty of success with it. The two most common ones would be a written blog or a channel on a video sharing site. Youtube for example. 
Most of your effort will be spent on this platform and we will then take bits and pieces from there and spread them across other platforms. Why? Because you want to reach the largest target audience possible, with the least time investment.

Let me give you an example: You’re marketing a service to house owners. Maybe you’re an interior designer, mortgage expert, you run a gardening business, it doesn’t matter for this example. You have identified your target audience to be 30+ year olds living in X country who have searched for X keyword. You enjoy making youtube videos about your topic, but your target audience is best represented on facebook.
Following this method will allow you to generate organic growth and build an audience where your target group spends their most time – without creating content specific to facebook.
Here’s another example, how this distribution could look in the field: You write a blogpost. You take the blog, cut it up into multiple pieces. Maybe you’ll turn one piece into a reel for instagram and two more into instagram posts. Instead of just sharing the blog on twitter, you will write a TL;DR and turn it into a twitter thread. Spread out the content in a way that makes sense for the given platform. If you paste the same pieces across all your accounts, it will get repetitive and it makes no sense for your audience to follow them all.
To diversify the content, you can play off the blogpost, for example create a thread or carousel associated with that blog. “Best tools to achieve X goal” Or “common mistakes to avoid when…” and so forth. The possibilities are endless. And since you’ve already written an extensive piece on it, actually creating the posts itself should be a breeze. If you’re into videography you could even take that blog and turn it into a video script and go from there.
We just took 1 blog post or video and turned it into social media posts for a whole week. And that’s not even counting general content you can share, like actual work you do or maybe pictures/stories from the office. Maybe you’re also selling ebooks or courses. You could take the part from your blog which highlights a problem, put it on pinterest and drive your affiliate sales. Ad spend: 0,-.There’s even more to plan out: Build your content around the audience you want to attract. Ask yourself: Do you want to build content that attracts contributors from your niche, or do you want to attract consumers/clients? A mix of both usually works best.

Establish processes, find out which tools suit you best

Some people have success with just winging it, I believe in writing stuff down, so that’s what I’m going to recommend here: Write down the idea for the post in the notes app of your choosing. Once you’re ready to continue with it, plan out the post specifically. Say, you’re working an instagram carousel: Plan out the content for each slide before you even open your image editing app. Doing this will not just keep your posts comprehensive and easy to follow, it will stop a lot of mistakes from happening and save you tons of time in the long run. It will also make the process much smoother.
I’m not going to suggest specific programs for the tasks, that depends on the skills and resources you have available. In general you want apps for writing, notes, planning/mind mapping, image editing and video editing. A lot of people also swear on social media scheduling apps. Do your own research and try out a bunch. Maybe I’ll name some recommendations in a future blog.

Don’t be arrogant – Use frameworks and templates

Nobody was born a master writer, marketer or designer. You will get better with practice, but it doesn’t make much sense to spend half a year learning how to write before you start posting to promote your  startup. People have already figured out methods that work and created frameworks for pretty much everything. Blogs, twitter threads, instagram posts, you name it. 
Adding original content to tried and tested frameworks will work wonders for everybody who doesn’t have a marketing team at their disposal. Learn from others, give credit where credit is due and have fun with it.

Featured image by Nick Morrison on Unsplash




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