Creating content for your website, social networks, and email campaigns is a time-consuming job. You have to identify consumer needs, compose the content, and then promote appropriately. After all of that, you also need to track results, see what is and is not working, and then start the process all over again.
One way to help save time is to create effective content from the beginning. If you are better able to narrow down what your customers want to see, it will take less effort to write the material and return higher results. With that in mind, here are some best practices for effective content creation.
Focus on a Theme
Instead of writing about every topic out there; limit yourself to a small handful of topics. Not only will this help boost your credibility, it will also help attract the group of customers you actually want. It is perfectly okay to throw in fun content – about company culture, sports, pop culture, etc. – but the bulk of your content should focus on a specific industry or two that you have expertise in.
Learn from Others
Many times it takes longer to find a topic to write about than it does to actually create the content. Save yourself some time by subscribing to known industry experts. Follow their lead by using their content for ideas and inspiration (Note: Don’t ever duplicate!). A few of my favorite sources for marketing content are Hubspot, Salesforce, and MarketingProfs.
Automatically Distribute Work
Utilize an online content organization platform like Feedly or Hootsuite to publish articles to several outlets with just a click of the mouse.
Always Credit the Publisher
If you choose to share content that someone else has written, be sure to give credit back to the publisher. A quick “via @twitterhandle” at the end of your tweet is usually enough. Giving credit will help drive traffic and gain the attention of industry experts.
Post on Multiple Channels
Don’t be afraid to share content on multiple channels (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.) because doing so can boost reach and awareness.
Going along with the previous best practice, do not go overboard with your postings. Keep it to 3 – 4 times per day. Some networks like Twitter will appreciate more postings, while others like Facebook might prefer less.
Avoid spending all of your time researching for topics. Instead, actively curate only 2 or 3 times per week and then plan out your content creation.
Utilize Browser Plug-ins
Browser plug-ins or bookmarklets make it easy to do one-click content creation from anywhere you’re reading.
Use Team Tools
Programs like Social Inbox and Buffer can be used to generate content from team members. Your teammates can suggest content for you to post, which reduces the time you need to spend researching.
Spread out Content
After you’ve picked your go-to industry experts, be mindful to spread out their content over time. It would be easy to post content from the same sources several times every week. Spacing it out helps increase your reach.
Finally, make it a priority to share content from partners and prospects. It keeps your company fresh in their minds and shows them that you care.
If you are a beginner in user-generated content creation, check out some additional help and tips from First Site Guide.