Do you ever feel like you never have enough time and you are lighting your hair afire to keep things running for your business? I mean, running a business is hard work but when you add content to the mix, it’s a whole new beast.
(Insert hopeless cries)
How on earth do you have time to write up a whole month worth of content while balancing the rest of what you need to do for your business? (I mean, do you really have the same amount of time as Beyonce in a day?)
If this stressed out, overworked, and time-deprived person is you, read on!
Marketing can be time-consuming if you do it the wrong way. It’s all about working smarter, not harder…
Luckily, there are some hacks to streamline your content marketing, so that you can get on with growing your business: It’s called batching! Say goodbye to the pressure of pumping out content each week!
This is an article sharing everything you need to know on how to create content when you’re busy and how to use batching, automating and repurposing to speed up your content marketing!
What is Content Marketing?
We have all heard the statement, “Content is King”, but what does it actually mean? What is content marketing?
Content marketing is strategic marketing that creates and shares valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and retain a target audience in a way that builds brand awareness, nurtures potential customers and eventually helps convince them to buy.
Content marketing can really be anything you choose to communicate your brand, such as posters, magazines, images, videos, blog posts, etc. Regardless of what content you choose, it all represents and communicates your brand to viewers.
Though, know that running an ad or posting organic content that just tells people to buy without providing value first isn’t content marketing
Content is all about communicating value and educating people in ways that allow them to develop the right perception about your business. So, if you are an ecommerce business that sells weightlifting gear, you would want to consider content like:
- Blog posts answering industry questions, how to’s, interviewing famous weight lifters, how to get started tutorials, etc.
- Videos that introduce your brand, show how to use your products, influencer collaborations, etc.
- Social media schedules sharing valuable tips, statistics, images, videos, blog content, polls, etc.
- Video and PPC Ads with specific content, call to action and images targeted toward your target audience.
The list can go on and on, but the rule for content marketing is to inform, inspire and engage your audience with the information they want. Eventually, after developing that relationship, the hope is to have them confidence enough in your business to purchase.
This will require you to learn what type of content they want and roll with it! So how can you roll with it exactly, batching!
What is Content Batching?
So, you might be thinking or you might already experience the feeling, “how do I have time to create quality content?!”
Meet batching, it will be your new best friend!
Rather than rush to create new content the same day or during the week when you are already strapped for time, the art of batching involves writing everything in one sitting. So, for a day, sit and create all your social posts, blog content, video content or visuals.
The idea is to do a whole set of something at once. This might seem like a lot of work, but by focusing on batching all at once, you will actually be a lot more efficient and creative since you don’t have to switch your brain from task to task.
Just think about how long it takes to get going each time you sit down and create different types of content. A lot of the time it might even take us 10 minutes to warm up ideas so “context switching” where we have to find our place each time we start a new task, costs us the valuable time we could be using on other things.
Batching solves this. Batching not only saves you time, it will help streamline thoughtful content that can work better with all of your marketing. The mad rush of getting content on your blog or other business platforms might hurt your ability to thoughtfully connect content pieces for a holistic experience.
How to Slay Content Marketing with Batching
To be able to batch your blog content effectively, you need two core things: a schedule and a system. Your system may vary depending on if you do everything on your own or if you have a team, but knowing the steps in advance will help you create an approach to batching that works for you.
In this section, we will go through the content batching tips you can use to make this process easier! Take these tips and adapt them to a batching schedule that works for you and your schedule!
Here’s to creating content into manageable chunks!
See What Content Works
In order to “batch” content, you will first need to identify content that works best for your business. I mean, who wants to waste time creating content that your target audience does not like?
I know I don’t. Plus, like many people claim: Time is money!
So, before you hop into creating content and spending your valuable time, test to see what your audience responds to. Is it video? Is it written blog posts? Is it polls or surveys? Is it images? Let your audience choose the content you focus on.
Yes, every now and then you will have content that breaks the mold, but generally focus your marketing efforts on content that successfully meets business goals and adds value to your target audience!
Hold a Brain Dump Day
Have you ever had the experience of looking at your screen wondering what you’re going to create?
Not cool, and definitely a buzzkill on batching content. So, it’s important to schedule a “creative brain dump” day.
On this day, brainstorm topics, questions, images, interactive ideas, influencers and other ideas that can educate and add value to the lives of your target audience. Do not limit yourself and let the creativity flow, because you never know if you can use ideas later!
Make an excel sheet of running content ideas that you can come back to whenever you need a topic or when inspiration strikes!
Do Yo’ Research
When brainstorming you also need to think about your target audience and research your competitors. Check out what’s already been written and reverse engineer better content.
By taking this step, you smash what your competition is doing!
The research will greatly help you sharpen a unique voice in your industry, so make sure you take the time to not only create new content but to create more valuable content for your target audience.
To start, think about your niche or industry and compile some key information or terms that will be helpful and interesting to your audience. From there, Google these ideas and terms and see what pops up. Read and ask yourself how you can create better content than what is already out there. Is there a twist you can create? Is there a question you can better or more fully answer? If so, do it!
Set a Number and Set Quality Standards
It can be easy to feel overwhelmed when creating content topics but set a number of content pieces you will want to create in a set amount of time and work within those limits. Do not try to imitate how often other people post content, focus on your quality and schedule!
For example, you might look at Neil Patel or other well-known bloggers and want to post as often as they do, but do not make this mistake. You will most likely publish a lot of quantity with little quality.
Yuck! This does nobody any good!
No one wants writer “burn out”, so be realistic with your ability to create quality content. Grow your content marketing by focusing on quality, not quantity. Be realistic with your creative limitations.
Create a Plan
Your content plan is more than an editorial calendar. The goal isn’t for you to just come up with a list of 12 ideas and check it off, but for you to look strategically at what’s happening during a set time period and plan your content accordingly.
Questions to ask as you come up with your content plan:
- What am I selling or promoting?
- What do people need to learn from me?
- What does my brand stand for?
- How can I work my customers through the selling funnel with valuable content?
- What are the steps for my target audience to understand my products enough to purchase?
Ultimately, your content posts should support your business goals and be a key part of your customer journey so your content helps to create the know, like and trust factor.
From there, have scheduled times on the calendar to complete content. By visualizing a full month or time slot of your choice, you can see how your content can be used and what flow of materials you want to create. Potential customers love consistency so is there a type of blog post, social media content or other weekly occurrences you can create?
Think about popular hashtags, topics and other trends that happen on certain days you can piggy back off of.
You can also think of ways you can organize content to be helpful for your readers for a product promotion which will move them down the sales funnel.
It’s always a good idea to create a calendar of content batching days and what you need to cover. Seeing your content batching visually helps you project content or the month in a thoughtful way!
Outline Yo’ Stuff
Because you have already done your topic brainstorming and subject research, it’s easy to sketch out several blog and other content pieces in a short period of time. These are just outlines where you plan out the basic statements you want to make, in the order you want to make it.
Creating this outline helps get all of your content ideas in order. Here are some questions you will want to consider when creating content outlines and ideas:
- What’s the goal of your content piece?
- What’s the #1 thing you want potential customers to learn from your content?
- What are the key details?
- What do you want them to do when they are done reading your post? What call to action will you have?
- What images and supplemental elements do I need to prepare for this content piece?
- Am I making this content easy, fun and valuable to my reader? Can I add any type of hook to attract more eyes?
When it comes to my outlines I typically:
- Decide what’s important to include in specific content posts
- Narrow it down to minimal main points
- Add a few bullet points under your main points.
- Find images and inspiration for the post
- Think of ways to make the most visually engaging as well (GIFS, IMAGES, VIDEO)
After you are done considering these key elements, it’s time to rough out your content.
Use Your Creativity
Now that you have everything laid out, it’s time to create. Whether that means sitting down and writing out the blog posts you outline, creating images for the Instagram post or creating 2-3 videos in one sitdown, let the creativity flow!
If you are a writer that struggles with design or the other way around, there are tons of resources you can use to help streamline the creative process like:
- Easil: Service that has tons of pre-made creative templates that you can adapt in seconds with simple drag-and-drop tools.
- Fact Check: Program that checks that your statistics are 100% correct (major embarrassment moment if they aren’t).
- Canva: An online photo editor which was created to allow the average person to edit their photos and create graphics without the complexity of software like Photoshop
- Subtle Patterns-Toptal: A database of subtle patterns, all of which are perfect for the backgrounds of your creative design
- IcoMoon: An icon databases on the web with thousands of icons available for no cost
- DaFont: An archive of freely downloadable fonts. Browse by alphabetical listing, by style, by author or by popularity
- Note & Point: A gallery of beautiful PDF documents and slideshow presentations, perfect for giving you inspiration for your next creation
- Adobe Color CC: Adobe’s color wheel helps you find a palette that’ll make you scream with joy
- AwesomeScreenshot: Stores all of your screenshots in one place and then easily annotate them in a simple to understand and intuitive way.
- Pageruler: plugin for Google Chrome that allows you to draw rulers onto the web page so that you can figure out the dimensions and size of elements on the page
- Colorzilla: Program that gives you an eyedropper that you can use to grab the hex code of any color on the web page.
- iStock: A website for millions of exclusive, royalty-free, stock files
You will also want to make sure you add some meaningful bells and whistles like:
- Header Images
- SEO Keywords
- Meta Descriptions
- @ Mentions
- Social Sharing Call to Action
Between your creativity and the help of resources like above you can quickly create meaningful content for potential customers, they will love!
Schedule time to review and proof your content before it goes out. If you are the voice of your brand but have your team facilitating parts of your content strategy, this is super important to ensuring brand alignment.
Schedule in Time
Alright, so you have your schedule, methods and creations all set to share with the world but now you need to post them and sign into each platform you will choose to use.
Batching can easily be paired with services like Buffer or Hootsuite that can streamline your content sharing!
Buffer, and services like it, are a new and smarter way to share what you want to share on your social platforms.
What it does is simple. Posts in your queue will be sent out automatically by Buffer, according to the posting schedule that you put in place. So, say you have 5 amazing blog posts you want to put on your site, your Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn pages—Buffer allows you to share the images and content you crafted easily!
Instead of picking the date and times for each post, Buffer will automatically send out the posts added to your queue, according to the posting schedule you put in place. Of course, you can still go in and adjust them.
Instead of you having to go to open an app, you can add to your queue from anywhere you are reading! Awesome sauce!
Slay All Day: Content Made Easy!
As you can see, batching your content can have tremendous benefits for your sanity and your business.
Instead of sliding by, you can now slay content like a #boss!
If anything, I hope this article helped you develop a mindset to section off, organize and ponder how content can flow in a schedule that works for you!
By following these tips, you can save time and make valuable content continuously by streamlining your time, creative and sharing! By having this mindset, it can also help you build lasting habits that carry over into other aspects of your business!
What has helped you streamline your content process and creation? I’d love to hear some of your resources and tips! Coment below!
Cydney is a polka dot wearing business owner, photographer, cupcake enthusiast and writer, who through her work, shares her personal passions about visual marketing, branding and business strategy.