In my last blog post, I covered the questions to ask in order to find out where your content marketing time sucks are coming from. In this post, I’ll cover five great ways to reduce the time spent on content marketing without sacrificing results.
1. Batch tasks
If you’re like most people (myself included), multitasking is a huge part of your life. Unfortunately, it doesn’t usually work. What does save time, however, is blocking off time and tackling the same kind of task again and again. So outlining several upcoming blog posts in a sitting or lining up next week’s tweets in one go is a great way to save time and mental effort. Michael Hyatt gives a great overview of the costs of task switching and outlines a popular batching process called the “Pomodoro Technique” in this great blog post.
2. Get outside help
Don’t try to shoulder the entire content marketing process yourself. Use guest blog posts, Q&As, article curation, and interviews to incorporate others’ writing, content, and ideas. And since people will usually share content that they’ve created or that features them, they end up also helping out on the content promotion front. Some additional ideas for incorporating others in your content include:
- Ask staff members to draft a guest post or be interviewed. This can be a great way to give your audience alook at the people and activity behind the curtain.
- Twitter chats can yield a bunch of great insights that are easily compiled into a blog post. Look for popular Twitter chats (they usually happen weekly at a given day and time), and then use the hashtag to monitor responses to the questions. Pick the best and—giving full credit to the host and participants—use them to create a blog post. Added bonus: since you’d be citing a number of people, it’s a great way to raise your profile.
- Given the huge amount of content others are producing daily, it makes sense to build content curation into your strategy. Whether it’s a weekly roundup of the best stories in your issue area or sharing individual pieces of content you find helpful, this is a fantastic way to both build relationships by promoting others' work and to lighten your content creation load.
3. Automate judiciously
Tools like Paper.li can be a great way to augment your content marketing efforts with automated content curation that is regularly shared with your followers. While automation doesn’t replace thoughtful content creation and interaction, it can add another element to your content stream.
4. Standardize and routinize
Never underestimate the time-saving benefits of systems and routines. A simple checklist can speed up the blog creation and promotion process by standardizing the sequence of action—especially when you’re working with a team of people who might not all be up to speed on your content marketing process.
Similarly, incorporating serialized content (e.g., weekly article compilations, monthly interviews, or any kind of regular content format) into your content marketing will save time by creating routines and structure—as well as eliminating the “what should I write about next?” time drain.
- Q&A with industry leaders
- Customer stories
- Event or book reviews
- Overviews of helpful tools or apps
I bet you’re sitting on a lot of great content. Got any past blog posts, white papers, notes, and/or PowerPoints? Turn them into smaller posts or tweets. Record them for podcasts and videos. Compile them into larger reports. Update and re-release them.
The same concept goes for sharing content on social media. Your followers are seeing a tiny fraction of the content you post, so don’t be afraid to share material more than once or cross-share on different platforms. And this brings us back to task batching: after publishing a blog post, line up several tweets and posts for the coming weeks. (I’d recommend playing around with different text and day/time posting combos.)