We’ve all been there. You just got pinged from your regular reminder that it’s time to write a blog post. You’ve probably procrastinated at least a few hours, if not a few days on this one. So now it’s crunch time and you’re staring at a blank document on your screen and your palms are starting to sweat. What the heck should you write? What is there even to say? What do people care about these days? While all this is running through your head, you’re also starting to question the value of your content strategy. So much so that now you’re not totally sure why the heck you even HAVE to create content.
If only creating content didn’t have to be so dang hard!
First, a quick reminder that creating regular content is super important. It’s good for your SEO ranking, it can elevate your brand as a thought leader and it will engage and delight your audience, keeping them coming back for more.
Secondly, don’t question your content plan, instead make it easier to execute. Use these three tips to make your content plan manageable, and maybe even a little fun!
1. Choose a single message
We know that a person typically needs to hear a message at least seven times before it actually starts to resonate. So when you’re really tired of saying it over and over again, that probably means that your audience is just starting to hear it. Keep going!
When we use multiple key messages, with multiple CTAs, we end up confusing our audience. Be clear and concise in your messages. Look at your content strategy and make sure there’s only one key message that all other supporting messages layer up to.
This will help you quickly focus your content strategy so every vehicle on your content plan has the same message, and thinking of topics to write about won’t feel so difficult.
2. Don’t start from scratch – you probably already have great content
There’s a misconception in content marketing that everything needs to be new. That’s not true at all! Your content is not a one-and-done, ever! (I’d be hard-pressed to believe that your content is ever actually done.)
Look for ways to execute your content plan with your existing content. First, review the things you’ve already created, like presentations, speeches and newsletter articles. Next, look for ways to repurpose and repackage by adding something new like a timely or relevant example, or a user download, tool or key takeaway. Finally, change the keywords you’re using to target the piece.
To repurpose existing content, ask yourself questions like:
- How has my intended audience changed since we first published this?
- How has the industry changed?
- What information has emerged?
- How is this topic/information timely/relevant now?
- Is there a repurposed role for this content?
3. Less is more
When you create new content, think about how you can repackage and repurpose it for the long haul. With a bit of content planning you can create once and share multiple times.
Example: a newsletter may have five different features in it, and each can easily be repurposed as a story for a different area of your website. Those stories can also become at least five blog features and social media posts.
Another example: a five-minute video can be split up into shorter 30-second teasers, its transcript posted as a blog post and the content from the video used to generate impactful quotes for different areas of your site.
Repurposing and repackaging content is good content marketing practice. If your audience sees every piece you put out there, you’ll be certain that your message is connecting with them (remember, they have to see it seven times!). On the flip side, if they didn’t read the entire original piece, then you’re making sure those messages find them on the channels they’re using.
When we create a content strategy with our clients, we’re always looking for ways to get the most mileage from the pieces we produce. Check out some examples of these strategies executed with our University College and Tower Grove Park projects.