Productivity Time Savings Tips For Content Marketing
Most of us wish there was either more time or fewer things to do in a day.
This has been a worsening problem for years but even more so now since we entered a global pandemic.
Content marketers face the same problems at work like everyone else and job stress is one of the most common types of stress according to the American Institute of Stress.
The most common cause is workload and it is clear we need less on our plates.
Do you want to increase your productivity and reduce your stress levels?
A few simple changes in your work habits can make a huge difference.
How many of us work in a company culture that prioritises mental health and self-care enough to give us fewer projects when we are burnt out?
Unfortunately – not enough therefore we need to come up with solutions to streamline, organise and optimise your marketing processes to get the same results without working so many hours.
If you are one of those who can never find enough time in the day to finish everything you want to then this article is for you
There are ways to do this at every step of the content marketing process and for every type of work you do which can add up to saving hours per week.
Here are a few tips to help you save time and make the most of your working hours.
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How to Plan Content More Productively
Let us talk about setting the idea stage. Planning and idea creating can be done more productively without compromising any cost to creativity or effectiveness.
Here we will be providing you with some of the most essential tips or hacks how to increase productivity whilst saving time when creating your content marketing strategy, plan or ideas .
1. Plan Before You Create Content
Jumping into content creation without an outline or overview of what you want to achieve will result in you having to do more revisions later or even re-do some of your work from scratch.
Save yourself time in the long run by investing a few minutes in making an outline when you start working.
When you know which points you want to cover you will be able to produce the piece more quickly and easily.
Always plan in advance how you are going to promote and repurpose your content.
That way you are not scrambling or wondering what to do next once you hit publish on something new.
This planning can include:
- Where you are going to post or promote your content.
- What format that promotion will take.
- When will the promotion take place and it can be both short-term and long-term.
- How are you going to repurpose that content?
- When is that repurposing going to happen?
In fact there is more planning and project management at this point in the content lifecycle than there is in the writing process.
2. Know Your Audience.
You can save yourself time and revisions by knowing who you are creating content for in the first place.
Make some audience personas if you have not already and keep them in mind as you work.
Think about what kind of tone and approach will be most effective with your existing and future target audience.
3. Set Clear Goals.
Goals give you a road map to follow which means that you will spend a lot less time fiddling around with any unimportant work thus saving you time.
Set weekly, monthly and yearly goals for your content marketing strategy and make a step-by-step plan to achieve them.
If a job on your to-do list does not help you to move toward your goals then rethink whether you really need to be doing it.
4. Use To - Do Lists.
To-do lists are a great productivity tool – they let you organise your priorities and see at a glance what you still have to finish.
Be realistic with your to-do lists. If you try to cram a week’s worth of work into one day then you probably would not get half of it done and you might end up discouraged at yourself.
All the day-to-day customer feedback and insights need to be captured in an idea file to reference when it is time for your next dedicated brainstorm.
Focus on finishing two or three main tasks every day where possible without putting any pressure or stress on yourself.
5. Brainstorm Content Ideas in Batches
When you or your team sits down for dedicated brainstorming or idea sessions make the most of that focus on creative thinking.
Once you get into the zone do not stop at one idea. Come up with as many as you can as this will save you time in the future.
For example – sit down and come up with the appropriate content marketing ideas until you run out not just for a post at a time or for a week.
Because if you have ever had a deep brainstorming session you will know that the first idea is the hardest one to come up with.
Take the first idea and follow it down whatever path it takes you since this will help you plan and come up with content marketing ideas for a whole content marketing campaign rather than one by one.
6. Capture Ideas as You Have Them
Even with dedicated brainstorming sessions you are still going to come up with a lot of ideas on the roll.
In fact – we recommend it.
We have dubbed it living in practical idea mode and you need to be sure to capture those ideas as it pops into your head.
For example – say when you are chatting to a colleague or customer and you realise that this could or should be a blog post then write that down immediately.
So when your brand receives a social media mention that makes you say the same thing – screenshot it and save it for later use for content marketing on social media.
The content creation process is still a lot to streamline to save time. And is still the continuation of productivity time saving hacks for content marketing.
Let us talk about a few of the ways you can do that.
Know what kind of worker you are and take advantage of it.
If you are a morning person then tackle your tough jobs as early in the day as possible.
Outlines are essential and a lot of people think it is a waste of time to think and map out what you are going to say before you tackle the task.
This is like saying it is a waste of time to figure out your route or look at a map before starting a road trip.
Realise that for every five minutes you spend outlining your content you are more likely save 10 or 15 minutes during the writing process.
We call outlining content as developing a skeleton before adding meat to the bone.
Multitasking might make you feel productive but according to neuroscientists it is actually just distracting you from both of the things you are trying to do.
It also depletes your energy, leaving you with less will power and motivation for later.
No matter how full your to-do list is – do not be tempted to multitask. Always knock out one task at a time as this will save you time in the long run.
4. Do Similar Tasks In Groups
Try to do similar tasks all at once instead of spreading them out over the day or week.
Once you hit your rhythm with the first task then all the rest of them will be easier.
For example – if you need to make several phone calls – block off half an hour to get them all done.
5. Separate Research from Writing
Another way to save time on the actual writing is to perform any research and collect any links you need before you start forming full sentences.
This research can include:
- Pulling the links to any existing blog posts you want to reference.
- Finding examples that prove your points.
- Interviewing experts or asking for written quotes.
You want to do whatever you can so that once you get into the zone and start creating without opening up Google in a new tab to look anything up later.
Research is like rabbit holes and is another way to get distracted from focusing on writing.
6. Take Comfort Breaks.
Pushing yourself too hard is counterproductive and you will get mentally fatigued, make more mistakes and need longer to recover later.
Keep your energy levels up by pacing yourself.
Take a few minutes every hour or two to get up and stretch, make a cup of tea or read a few pages of a book and drink lots of fluids.
If you tend to forget to take breaks then remind yourself by using a timer or an alarm of some sort.
7. Divide Long-Form Content into Short Sessions
Finally when it is time to start writing – do not spend hours and hours on writing if you can help it.
If your content is going to take more than a few hours to produce then break it up into shorter sessions with breaks in between.
And feel free to extend your writing sessions to what works best for you.
As we mentioned earlier there is still a lot to do once you press publish and yet so many of us lack some sort of system or process for doing it.
Therefore any method of organisation or systemisation will save you time and effort in the long run.
And since this has a compounding effect so the sooner you do them the more time you save.
First get the overall content distribution and promotion process organised.
Decide on an overall checklist or system to use as a starting point for each piece of content and that includes things like:
- Where and when to post on social media.
- Where to schedule those social media posts.
- List of communities or forums that can be used in distribution.
- Relevant influencers to email with outreach.
- How to email your newsletter subscribers about the content.
This can be customised for specific campaigns or pieces of content but having a system to start with will save time spent scrambling.
All you need to do is search the web for any repetitive tasks that can be automated and try to use it to your advantage thus reducing and saving some time.
Not all the things on your to-do list are equally important so weight them accordingly and try to complete tasks with the highest return on investment –ROI first.
If you are not sure what to prioritise then look at your data.
Notice which types of content drive the most traffic, leads or conversions and put most of your energy into those.
Delegate the less important jobs – if possible or do them after the bigger tasks are finished.
If you are not getting any results from something you do on a regular basis then stop doing it.
Put that time towards something more useful instead that produces a sense of accomplishment.
Evergreen content marketing is a long-term asset so creating it is a smart investment of your time.
It is still fine to create some seasonal or time-bound content but make sure some of your content will stay fresh and useful for months or years to come.
Do not try to write all your social and promotional copy from scratch. Take advantage of copy and paste.
Yes – you will need to customise the copy a bit after you paste it from one platform to another and it will still take less time than starting from scratch.
Great content is hard to create so why not get all the use you can out of it?
Look for ways to repurpose your best pieces so they will keep on working for you.
For example you may want to turn a how-to blog post into a slide share presentation or turn the information from a chapter of your e-book into an infographic for your website and more.
If you need an idea for a quick blog post or email newsletter then pull together some of this week’s best content in your field and publish the collection of links with your commentary for your readers to enjoy.
This is a good way to fill a gap in your posting schedule and it is also an easy way to network with your peers and thought leaders in your field.
Everyone appreciates a good inbound link and a shout-out.
Social media is a crucial part of content marketing strategy so make sure you are using it for maximum returns.
Focus your efforts on platforms you know your target audience are using most of the time.
Do not waste your time on platforms that are irrelevant since too much work will result in too little or nil returns.
For example there is no point in crafting your tweets every week if your target audience is mostly on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram.
Give yourself some time to block out say a month to three months after a piece of content has gone live.
This gives you time to re-promote, repurpose and update or optimise things to keep them fresh.
Optimising and repurposing tend to be one of those things that easily get pushed to the back burner or tomorrow’s to-do list because we do not plan for it in advance.
These buffer time blocks can change that.
There are tons of productivity tools and apps that will help you stay on task and work more efficiently.
Creative blocks can be a real time-waster.
To prevent your mind from going blank when you need a good idea- always keep a small notebook with you all the time.
Write down all the ideas that cross your mind -big and small. You never know which one will be just what you need later.
Keep your stress levels down by staying ahead of your content marketing posting schedule.
If you have got an emergency content stash then you will be covered if something urgent comes up the day before your next blog post is due.
So you do not have to pull an all-nighter to get everything done.
Usually finding good ideas for content is as simple as checking in with your audience.
Poll your readers on which topics they would like you to cover or pay attention to what your target audience is talking about amongst them.
Use that as your jumping-off point for your next email or blog post.
If you work with others then make sure you have a clearly defined schedule and everyone knows what is expected of them.
Communicate as often as possible so that you do not hit any unexpected snags or get held up waiting for someone else’s feedback or edits.
Know which jobs you need to do yourself and which ones you could outsource to somebody else.
When you have a task that falls into the latter category, do not feel guilty to pass it on especially if you have a lot of other things on your plate.
Be Productive and Start Saving Time
Content marketing is a busy and often stressful job. If you are not careful then your work can eat up all your time and still leave you feeling like there are no hours left in the day.
Good time management can go a long way towards fixing this problem and improving your work-life balance.
So while you might not see a huge immediate difference – just be aware that you will be saving your future self-days and weeks of stress over the next few years or more
Use these tips as a starting point to save time and see what works for you of productivity in content marketing.
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