We humans value time. We want to do be able to do more of what we love, right? Be it - walking your dog, spending time with friends or minutely tracking the weight gain of your high school frenemies - 'me-time' is precious.
So how, I hear you ask, can you get more of it as a content marketer?
You've come to the right place. We know that all successful content marketing strategies call for a wide variety of content for each of your buyer personas and at each stage of the buyer's journey. But creating loads of specialised content, doesn't mean you have to totally reinvent the wheel with each piece. You need a clear and repeatable process that allows you to produce content like blogs, webinars, eBooks and videos in an efficient way that drives towards your team and company goals.
Luckily for you, I've got contacts. May I introduce you to Content Creation Framework, your newest and heck, your most valuable friend. Essentially a time-saving action plan, it focuses on organisation, flexibility and agility. This bad boy is going to ensure your content is - consistently high quality, within a given timeframe, matched to your customer personas, matched to their stage in the buyer's journey, properly promoted and properly optimised. A friend worth having if you ask me!
So let's start getting into the nitty gritty of building this digital marketing framework, so you can chow down on serious chilling.
Steps to Building a Content Creation Framework
1. Come up with ideas
I'm sure we've all been guilty of doing crazy stuff like going for half-mile runs or teaching our cats to roller-skate to try and get our subconscious mind to do its damn job and think of great content ideas. Luckily though, there are helpful online resources like The HubSpot Blog Topic Generator to help us out so you can keep those trainers in mint condition and remain friends with the cat.
2. Plan and Set Timelines for Content Creation
Once you've settled on some killer content ideas that'll attract any one of your buyer personas, it's important to plan a timeline - which shouldn't be for any more than three months - so you can plan for at least two or three pieces of content you want to create and organise it by the corresponding stage of the buyer's journey.
3. Create a Workflow
Now the wheels are spinning. Put your organisation-hat on, a workflow will help you put a project plan in place, by detailing who will be doing what tasks and when. Ensure these are specific, you need something to work towards and everyone needs to be on the same page. For example, you could have something like:
- Preliminary draft completed
- Editing completed
- Formatting completed
- Final draft completed
4. Review and Edit Content
To get started with creating a process to review and edit your content, you'll need to remember these five best practices.
First off, you need to set clear expectations - help out the reviewer by making sure they know what they're looking for!
Next, you want to allow for lots of edits - perfection takes time, so have between two to four rounds of edits before publishing. As well, have your content reviewer track their changes rather than making direct edits - you want to know what you can fix for next time!
Next, ensure you have an editing timeline - keeping everything on schedule so that you're content creation is consistent and keeps your customers happy!
To make the process easier, use a document like a Google sheet to track the editing process, so you can see the changes and appreciate the result.
Lastly, clearly define roles during the reviewal process, so everyone understands which part they play and how they are contributing. Happy days.
5. Publishing and Promotion
Publishing the content is probably the easiest part of the entire Framework - just take it live, baby!
Your promotion strategy, however, is a little more complex - you have to consider the best channels to use to tell people about our content, where it'll be heard the loudest.
Not only this, you'll need to identify how you want to drive people to your new content from the various parts of your website. To throw a spanner in the works, I'd better remind you to change your promotion strategy as often as your business needs evolve - embodying something of a content chameleon, you need to change the conversion paths you are most heavily promoting on as frequently as your specified persona changes.
6. Organise Content Internally
Make life a bit easier and do some serious organisation with a naming convention for each of your pieces of content, so they are easy to find and re-use. HubSpot recommends developing a clear nomenclature system that follows a 'content format - buyer's journey stage - campaign - year' format. For example, 'eBook-awareness-rockclimbinggear-2016'.
7. Analysing Results
Now that you've done all the hard work, it's time to see if it's paid off. So check to see whether you have new visitors and if they converted to leads. Did they carry on through their buyer's journey to become customers? Is everything looking hunky dory, or do you have to tweak some things for next time?
So, good riddance to wasting time! Creating a repeatable, organised and agile framework to keep your content on track and driven towards goals will get you distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content as well as provide you with the opportunity to take it easy - a win-win situation.