We live in the age of content. From the articles we read online, to the videos we watch, to the TED talks we listen to and the Instagram posts we like, content is part of our everyday life and an essential aspect of how brands communicate with customers and consumers.
If you’re anything like the majority of small brands I work with, you probably have a handle on content already. You know how to create it, what your customers like and have some plans and ideas for what you’d like to create. But if you’re like the brands I work with, there’s also a good chance that there’s one area that you struggle with when it comes to content, and that’s creating quality content to a consistent rhythm and volume.
When content goes off the boil
You know the scene. You’ve committed to delivering the 2 blog posts, a newsletter, email shots and social media posts without fail every week, but in reality, you only manage half of that. Sound familiar?
You’re not alone, if so. There are plenty of reasons that content falls by the wayside or slows down. Sometimes it’s simply down to the fact that you’re busy running other parts of the business. Other times, it’s that the content creation process has become time-consuming and heavy to the point that content feels stale and out of date by the time it’s finished. Maybe it’s because content is just way down on your priority list, or that you don’t really have the resources to create it. Maybe you’ve run out of ideas, or enthusiasm. Whatever it is, I have some good news for you: that can be fixed.
Fast, fluent and fearless: your new mantra
The truth is, when it comes to content, brands need to be fast, fluent and fearless. That means that when you spot an opportunity - something happens in the news, a bright idea hits, a customer asks for something specific - you can jump on it and create current content to compel and convince. And I am 100% certain of one thing: creating content is like a muscle that needs exercising. The more you do it, the more natural and effortless it feels, and the more honed it becomes. So how do you get there?
Welcome to the content machine
The secret to creating plenty of great content that’s fresh and effective isn’t all about making more content - it’s about creating content that works harder for your brand. Picking a theme around which you can create a bunch of content that you can re-purpose, condense, expand upon and innovate. Developing templates that allow you to create certain types of content, quicker and more easily. Coming up with ideas for series and repeatable content that flows easily. Knowing how and when to use user-generated content.
And what that really boils down to is planning ahead. Because once you’ve done the groundwork - you know what your key messages are and how your brand sounds - you can then put some simple plans in place that’ll help you create content easily and consistently.
I call it ‘the content machine’. And by that, I mean the plan, plus the tools plus the basics, like messages, straplines and images. And best of all, you can map your campaigns onto this, which means that all of your content production is not only streamlined, but it has a point, or a job to do. And that makes it easier to know when it’s working and when it’s not.
In a constantly connected, mobile-first world, content will not slow down, so brands had better keep up. Time to oil that content machine and get planning…
If you’d like to talk to me about planning and structuring your brand’s content, get in touch! You can also learn more about my experience, approach and services at www.wisdomandtrue.com.