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Keeping Up with the Content Machine

Digital marketers must create and curate a lot of content to be heard among the noise. Are you feeling overwhelmed about writing a blog post every day or posting 4 times a day to Facebook? The Digital Marketer has some tips for managing it all.

By
Diane S. Thieke,

I'm often asked how much content digital marketers need to produce. My answer: It's a lot. Recommendations vary, but ideally every day you should be updating your blog, posting 2-5 times on Facebook, sharing about 15 pins on Pinterest, and tweeting 8-10 times. Every digital marketer needs to be a content machine.

I find that the actual posting of content isn't what takes time. It's the creation process. This includes coming up with fresh new ideas, researching the background, writing and producing the content, and then editing and polishing until it's ready for prime time. I've learned that it's helpful to have a routine and some clear processes to keep my content machine humming.

Here are some tips for keeping the content flowing - without the stress:

  • Have a plan. Remove the stress from the creation process by mapping a plan for what you'll produce over the next week, month, or even year. There’s nothing worse than staring at a ticking clock and realizing you don’t have content to post.
  • Create an editorial calendar. Add specifics to your plan by detailing each post, status update or tweet and determining the time and channel where it will be distributed. This will help you identify gaps and the resources you'll need to create your content.
  • Schedule regular features. Mixing labor intensive items with those that are easy to produce can allieviate the pressure. And don't confuse simple content with low-value. Some of the most shared items are inspirational quotes borrowed from great thinkers. Many bloggers publish meaty posts in the middle of the week, and leave Fridays for a best of the web wrap-up. Others share cartoons, images, or videos from their favorite content producers.
  • Set a work schedule. This is probably the single most important step you can take toward a more efficient process. Nothing sets my focus faster than dedicated time to meet a looming deadline.
  • Read news daily. If you're stuck for ideas, make industry trades, blogs, and news media your go-to sources. You'll find inspiration from world events and the latest trends. An additional advantage is that people are probably talking about what's happening in the world, and your take on it can generate some clicks. Be sure to set aside an hour every day to read and curate.

There’s nothing worse than staring at a ticking clock and realizing you don’t have content to post.

  • Carry a notebook. Have you noticed that all artists carry a notebook? You should too. When you think of an idea for a blog post, write it in the notebook before you forget. Better yet, if you're near a computer, enter it as a new post in your blogging platform, then write as much as you can and save it to finish later.
  • Create content in batches. Some bloggers and marketers set aside one day a week to write and record several blogs or episodes at once. Then, they schedule them for the week ahead. Batching in this way frees up the rest of the week for other work.
  • Chunk the work. Some may find it daunting to sit down and create a single piece in a day. In fact, putting time between your first draft and your final will help you create better content. For example, you can draft your post on day 1, edit on day 2, and upload and format on day 3.
  • Invite guest bloggers. There's no rule that says you need to create all of your own content. In fact, bringing other experts on board can greatly extend the reach of your digital marketing platform. When customers, vendors or partners contribute to your blog, they're likely to promote their content to their followers, so you save time and get a larger audience.
  • Create a content team. Enlist other employees to help out and take a turn keeping your social channels updated. For example, give everyone on your customer service team a “shift” on Twitter. Let them manage the conversation for an hour or two a few times a week.
  • Reuse content in multiple places. Yes, it's a best practice to tweet 8-10 times a day. But that's more doable when two of those tweets can be about the blog post you've just published. While you’ll want some made-for-Facebook only content, most of what you post can be repurposed from and for other channels.

These practices will not only help you feed the content machine, but they can also help you create content that is interesting and compelling. Get more tips for creating great content by checking out my earlier posts at quickanddirtytips.com/digital-marketer or following me on Twitter.

Photo courtesy of Tim Wilson via Photo Pin cc.

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