One of the main reasons that website owners do not produce enough content is because of lack of time. How to save time with content marketing is one of the most frequent topics that website and blogging teams ask about.
Time pressures for content marketing are significant. Not only do you have to produce a great deal of content to be noticed online, but that material has to be published quickly, preferably before your competitors cover the same topic. This is a dual time pressure on website owners and bloggers. You have to produce a lot of content in record time.
Here are five ways in which you can save time with content marketing:
Plan and schedule
Vast numbers of bloggers and content producers fail to plan. They react to events and have to find the time to squeeze in some content production around their other activities and work. Lack of planning and proper scheduling wastes time. In a recent exercise I conducted with students, I asked them to organise some material. Without planning, it took the students 20 minutes to sort out the information provided. I then asked them to do a similar task, but this time, to plan how they would do it. They took six minutes to plan and then completed the task in two minutes – a total of eight minutes, compared with 20 minutes without planning. The time you take to plan and schedule content is time well spent as overall, it saves time. The best way of planning and scheduling online content is with CoSchedule. That works whether or not you use WordPress.
Create systems and workflows
If you don’t have systems or workflows in place, you will waste time. That’s because each time you produce a new piece of content, you will do it in a slightly different way. With systems in place and established workflows, this speeds things up tremendously. Indeed, content production is akin to being in a “content factory” and as every manufacturer will tell you, they save time and money when they have efficient systems and workflows established. With an established set of procedures in place you will find that you get images when you need them, that approvals arrive on time and that content is edited and checked when it needs to be done. When content is produced in an ad-hoc way, it just wastes time.
Review your structure
Many blogs and content-driven websites are too complex. They have a range of features on each page; they have cumbersome and difficult navigation and tag arrangements too. What this means is that the producers of the content have to perform a number of additional tasks, on top of writing the material in the first place. Are all those tasks necessary? Do you need so many tags or categories? Simplifying your content’s structure can save significant amounts of time. Often, blogs and websites expand and change over time, adding in tags, categories and functions that seemed like a good idea once-upon-a-time. Many website owners or bloggers do not review what they have done to their sites over time and the various features that have been bolted on over the years could now be time-wasters. A review of the structure of the site and the pressure that puts on content producers could be a major time-saver.
Create a bigger team
Many businesses already have people who could contribute to material, but who are not part of the organisation’s content team. Often, there are subject-matter experts within the building who could write blog posts, for instance, but they are not asked to because they are not in the content team. Time can be saved when a member of the content team becomes an “editor” and the content production is farmed out to “reporters”, who are other members of staff in different departments. The editor of your local newspaper couldn’t produce the 96-pages they need each week without a team. Sure, they have a small team of reporters, but even they could not provide the amount of material needed unless they too had a long line of contacts and “stringers”, feeding the system. Many websites suffer from time management issues because they do not extend the content team beyond the obvious.
Encourage guest posts
Good guest posts, clearly focused on your website or blog topic also help you save time. You are getting free content that you do not have to find the time to produce. You need guidelines for contributors and you also need clear editorial policies for the kind of external content you are willing to include. For instance, you can be a guest writer on my website if you wish. Not only do guest posts save time with content marketing, but they also enhance your website or blog by adding credibility from external sources. Furthermore, the guest writers will publicise their content, thereby providing you with additional traffic to your site.
So, there you have it. Five ways in which you can save time with content marketing. As you will have guessed, much of the time-savings you can achieve come from having an attitude that planning and organisation are probably more important than the content production itself.
Graham Jones is an Internet Psychologist who studies the way people use the online world, in particular how people engage with businesses. He uses this knowledge to help companies improve their online connections to their customers and potential customers and offers consultancy, workshops, masterclasses and webinars. He also speaks regularly at conferences and business events. Graham is an award-winning writer and the author of 32 books, several of which are about various aspects of the Internet. For more information connect with me on Google+