These are difficult times. And they are lean times.
Just as we try to stretch the days between venturing out to the grocery store by being more efficient with our meal preparation, we must also try to stretch our content marketing budgets.
The need for content generation is as great as ever. Some might argue that need is even greater now that the majority of the world is working from home and operating as history’s most captive audience.
This could be the perfect time to drive traffic and build rapport with new and current customers.
The need for content marketing might have grown during this crisis, but the content marketing budget most certainly has not. So, if you’re looking to generate effective content with fewer financial resources, you must optimize efficiency of the process as well as the creator. Consider the following best practices and tips.
Optimize Efficiency of the Process
1. Provide a behind-the-scenes peek into your organization.
Producing content about your business and your experiences requires no research and, especially in a time like this, will come from the heart. Your customers will appreciate hearing about how hard you are working to get things back on track and finding out that you are genuinely concerned about your relationship with them.
Consider the point of view of your current audience. What will they want to know and what they will find interesting?
Actionable tip: Pull the curtain back and incorporate poignancy into the content whether through storytelling, photographs, videos, etc. Even if you don’t consider your business to be the most exciting, it is possible to leverage the power of emotion in order to bring content to life.
2. Recycle valuable content.
The COVID crisis provides a perfect opportunity to recycle your best evergreen content. It may very well be applicable today. Review that content with the unfortunate perspective that we all now have.
Update the content to ensure it provides information that your audience is unlikely to find elsewhere.
Consider and utilize different formats, like checklists and how-to articles.
Actionable tip: Add commentary that tailors the content for the current environment, addresses challenges at hand and provides value for your audience.
3. Conduct interviews.
Conducting an interview is an efficient way to generate content. During this pandemic, interviews can also enable us to learn from and remain connected with one another.
Actionable tip: Develop a series of questions about positive solutions others in your industry are finding effective. You can add your own insight to the responses to increase the value for readers even further. In addition to typical industry experts, consider interviewing employees, competitors and customers.
Optimize Efficiency of the Creator
4. Identify your windows of optimal productivity.
It’s no secret that different writers have different windows of optimal productivity. You probably already know whether you are a morning person or a night owl.
However, because those terms are quite general, it’s important to dig a little deeper. For you, does morning mean pre-dawn or 10am after a run? Does night owl for you mean after dinner or midnight?
Actionable tip: Identify your optimal productivity windows by determining where your word count output is highest. Try writing during blocks of time that make the most sense for you and see what the numbers say.
Once you find those “sweet spots” do everything in your power to remove barriers to writing at those times and get to work!
5. Don’t self-censor.
From time to time, writers all hear that critical inner voice that can kill productivity.
If you’ve ever stared at a blank page after writing and deleting a sentence multiple times, you have that voice. Here’s the advice: ignore it. For now.
Of course, this is not to say that we should reduce our standards. The critical nature within every writer is vital. It helps us eliminate errors and achieve solid content. However, when left unchecked, the cost of that voice can outweigh its benefits.
Actionable tip: Establish a process that includes a rough – really rough – first draft and a final edit. Knowing that final editing process is there helps give yourself permission to just write and let go of the pressure to get it right the first time.