The holidays are nearly here, which means that the children are on break and long-awaited vacations are around the corner. When it comes to creating content, however, holiday seasons can be tricky. You may want to take some time off, but you don’t want the progress you’ve made all year to suffer in the interim. So I’ve put together this five-step workflow so you can really recharge while staying top of mind with your customers, and maybe even land some new leads for when you’re back in the office.
Consistent content builds trust, establishes credibility, and keeps your audience engaged over time. By maintaining a consistent presence, you’re investing in nurturing your brand image, increasing recognition, and fostering a loyal following. The good news is there are plenty of ways to streamline the content creation process so that you can avoid panicking about what to post and enjoy that beachside cocktail with peace of mind.
Let’s get started!
Step 1: Use your content pillars and understand your data
Going in blind to create a post or two might work but when it comes to creating a month’s worth of content, you need a plan. Avoid overwhelm by taking in what’s been working for you so far. First, dust off your content pillars. If you’ve not set them up yet, here’s your chance.
Content pillars are those key categories central to your brand and values – identifying them is the first step to streamlining your content marketing.
Build your content pillars around the topics that would be the most helpful to and resonate with your potential customers. For example, if you’re a coach, these could be buckets like “education,” “inspiration,” and “industry news” for your niche. If you’ve already got these in place, keep reading, as we go through how to calibrate your content for best results. Yes, even while you’re on holiday!
Next, it’s time to analyse what’s working and what isn’t.
Check out the metrics from your various posts, emails, blogs and website elements to understand how they performed. You’ll need a good understanding of what topics are resonating with your target audience and which formats are getting the most traction. Understanding the type of content that works best can help you adjust the core topics to focus on and ensure you’re responding with more of what your audience is finding valuable.
Remember, it’s not always about the likes. Note down which posts led to high engagement and which may not have necessarily got as much interaction but led to sales and build a plan that has a good mix.
Here’s a quick list of channels to check in with:
As a page admin on LinkedIn, you’ve got access to the native analytics tool. It gives you a deep dive into how your page is performing. To get started, just head to your company page and hit the Analytics tab. From there, you can choose from a range of options, including Visitors, Updates, Followers, Competitors, Leads, and Employee Advocacy, to see all the insights and data you need.
If you’re posting from your personal page, note down the types of engagement–likes, comments and shares–as well as the time and days of posts to see what’s working for you so you can repeat those variables.
Looking to track your account’s performance over a certain time frame? Insights has got you covered. With the ability to customise time periods up to the past 90 days, you’ll have a comprehensive overview to help guide your marketing decisions. It’s well worth investing a few hours into learning how to interpret and make the most of your data–it’s easier than you think and will pay off in results.
By using tools such as Google Analytics, you can get real-time data on how users interact with your website. This includes information such as which pages are most popular, how long visitors are spending on each page and which devices they’re using. This data can then be used to optimise your site, but it can also tell you what your customers are interested in. Knowing what they’re searching to find your website or which platforms they’re clicking over from to read more will help you directly address their pain points.
One final step is to take a look at the competition. See what topics they’re covering and how their content is performing. This can help you identify new strategies or areas where your content could be improved. Analysing competitor content can give you ideas for creating better posts, emails and blog pieces of your own that stand apart from the competition.
Step 2: Brainstorm with ChatGPT
ChatGPT can be a great tool to help you come up with new content ideas. Once you have identified your content pillars, you can use the AI tool to start exploring topics that could fit under each pillar.
For example, if one of your core topics is “social media marketing” you could brainstorm specific posts about Twitter tips or Instagram strategies.
Simply enter your core topic or pillar and the tool will generate relevant topics you can use for creating content. You can also niche down from your pillars by entering more specific topics. This will provide you with potential titles, angles or keywords that could be used for posts, emails and blogs.
Here are three prompts to get you started:
1. Generate [number] unique blog post ideas related to [content pillar]. These blog posts should provide valuable insights and engage the target audience of [insert audience].
2. Craft a series of [number] social media posts highlighting different aspects of [content pillar]. These posts should be attention-grabbing and encourage audience interaction.
3. Write a comprehensive guide on [topic] within the [content pillar] category. This guide should provide step-by-step instructions, tips, and resources for the target audience.
(Do remember to always fact check, edit and make sure your posts are authentic to your brand!)
The paid version of the tool can also help you find topics that are trending in your industry and give you ideas for how to create content around them. GPT-4 has a built-in search engine which can be used to discover new topics related to your main one. This can help you stay up to date with the latest trends and ensure that your content is always relevant and engaging.
Step 3: Plan a few months ahead
Stay with me. You don’t necessarily need to create all your content for months at a time now but having a 3 to 6 month plan is a good idea. A forward-looking plan will engage readers and keep you timely and relevant, and that generally means more leads and sales. Start by identifying the key topics you’d want to cover and match them up with specific sales cycles or seasonal events. This is your big-picture plan.
For example, if one of your core topics is “email marketing” you could plan a series of emails for a particular holiday or season. You could also take advantage of key dates in your industry such as conferences, webinars, product launches or awards ceremonies. This way, you’re being proactive and ensuring that your content is always fresh and up to date while creating it ahead of time. It’s a win-win!
Step 4: Batch create
Once you have your overview, you can streamline your content creation process and get started with batch creating content so that you’re producing quality pieces of work on a regular basis.
Here’s how you could approach that:
First go long….
Start with longer form content first. These key pieces are often “evergreen content” that will represent your brand for the long haul. This could include those 2000+ word articles that are SEO optimised, a key LinkedIn or email newsletter or even videos. These types of content require more time and effort to create but they can be well worth it in the end. You are likely to need just a few key pieces each quarter so you can plan your resources and avoid scrambling when you’re busy servicing your clients.
…Then split it up
Once you have created longer form content, it’s a great idea to repurpose these pieces into shorter pieces of content for social media. This can save you time and effort in the long run since you don’t have to start from scratch each time.
Take the key points from your longer form content and create shorter posts for each one. This could include snippets from the article, visuals, quotes or even mini versions of the original piece. By repurposing your content in this way, you can make sure that all your pieces are consistent and engaging across different platforms. Additionally, it can help to reach a wider audience since you’re taking your content to different channels. This is an easy way to streamline your content and take the pressure off your vacation deadlines.
Let’s say, for example, that you have written an in-depth blog post about “10 Effective Time Management Strategies for Entrepreneurs”. Here’s how you can break it down into shorter content forms:
- Snippets: You could take a point from your blog post, like ‘create a daily schedule’ and create a separate, shorter post. Repeat this for each strategy. This would give you 5 distinct pieces of content that could be shared on platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook.
- Visuals: Extract key information or data from your blog post to create infographics or other visual content. These visuals can be highly engaging on platforms like Instagram or Pinterest.
- Quotes: Identify powerful or inspirational sentences within your blog post that could serve as standalone quotes, or find quotes from respected thought leaders on the topic. These can be turned into attractive quote images for Instagram, or used as thought-provoking tweets.
- Mini versions: Condense the main ideas of your blog post into a shorter version that can be shared on platforms with word count limits, such as Twitter.
While repurposing your content may initially seem like a substantial undertaking, it’s important to remember that this strategy can save you significant time in the long run.
Here are some best practices to set you up for success with batch content creation.
- Plan and outline your content. Gather your plan and outline your content. How much of each type will you need for each platform? This will help you stay organised and focused during the creation process. Determine the topics, subtopics, and key points you want to cover, and create a content calendar to guide your efforts.
- Gather your resources. Make sure you have all the resources you need before you start batch creating. This includes research materials, images, graphics, and any other assets that will enhance your content. Having everything prepared in advance will save you time and prevent interruptions during the creation process.
- Set aside dedicated time. Block time in your schedule. This will let you fully immerse yourself in the creative process without distractions. You’ll get much further this way.
- Work in batches. Batching all the captions, graphics and videos related to a single topic can make your content creation process more efficient. Once you’ve identified what topics you want to focus on, create all the captions, graphics and videos related to that topic. If you’re creating videos, record multiple videos in a single session. This approach allows you to take advantage of a focused mindset and streamline your creative flow.
- Use templates and repurpose content. Templates like those on Canva can be personalised to your brand and help with batch creating content. Develop reusable templates for blog posts, social media graphics, or email newsletters to maintain a consistent brand identity and save time on formatting. You can also repurpose content by adapting it for different platforms or mediums. For example, transform a blog post into a video script or extract key points for social media captions.
Step 5: Schedule and automate distribution
If it’s not on the calendar, it doesn’t exist.
Finally, it’s a good idea to schedule your posts in advance. This way, you can make sure that your visibility doesn’t take a hit even when you may be taking a break. Create a content calendar and set up all your posts ahead of time so that they are automatically posted on the day. This means you avoid the mad scramble for wifi at the resort and ensure that your content is reaching the right people at the right time.
Each channel has its own parameters for scheduling posts and these can change often so look into the latest functionalities and schedule your posts to save time.
Your big picture calendar also makes it easier to keep track of what’s going out so you can pop on and reply to your comments and messages.
Planning and streamlining your content creation ahead of the summer holidays will save time and energy and also ensure that your audience isn’t left hanging while you take that well deserved break from work.
Have I convinced you yet?
By implementing these tips, you can streamline your content creation process, save time, and maintain a consistent flow of high-quality content to engage and connect with your audience.
Need some extra help transitioning back to work after the holidays?
I sometimes have a tough time getting back into work mode after a break. As a business coach, I help my clients get over a slump by taking a look at their sales and marketing performance and adapt their strategies accordingly.
I find that having a clear idea of where we’re at makes a huge difference to the effectiveness of their outreach.
Let’s connect on my free discovery call to shake those post holiday blues and get reactivated.
Your business and marketing coach,