You already have your product or service nailed down, but what about your business’s content? Your content forms the backbone of your company: it tells your audience what you do, what you value, and what it’s like to work with you.
The downside? Content creation takes a lot of time. From planning blogs, videos, podcasts, emails, and social media to actually writing or creating the content… who has the time? It’s easy to get overwhelmed and let your content fall to the back burner, but we all know that can hurt future growth and lead generation. What’s a business owner to do?
The key is to find a content system that works for you and that helps you stay consistent. Here, we’ll go through 4 easy steps to manage your content and turn your business into a well-oiled content machine.
Making the blueprints: Content ideation
You don’t need to be a creative genius to make some really great content — and you definitely shouldn’t be waiting for inspiration to hit to create said content. The best content comes from creators who are consistent and strategic with their creation methods.
Start with the plan first. Schedule some time on your calendar to devote solely to content research. It doesn’t have to be often — once a month or even once a quarter is plenty! Set this time aside to just sit down and think about content ideas.
You know your own creative process best but, in general, spend some time thinking about common questions you get, things that happen in your industry that make your blood boil, and what projects you want to tell your audience about. You can even look through past customer reviews or call transcripts if you’re really stumped for ideas.
During this process, take notes on whatever comes into your mind (as long as it aligns with your business). Create a brain dump of ideas and make a plan to flesh out those ideas from there.
Schedule a time to outline your blog drafts, video or podcast scripts, or social captions. You can probably batch-outline a couple of blogs or video outlines, but you may even be able to create a whole month’s worth of social caption outlines during this time. Once you have the outlines, you can assign tasks to write blogs, record videos, make Reels, etc.
Piecing it together: Content execution
This is where most people get stuck: actually creating the content! Here’s the thing, though: once you decide what you want to create (which you did in the ideation phase), actually executing the content becomes so much easier.
Remember to connect your content with your overall plan or strategy and pull from your ideation phase only the things that support it. Think: What are you promoting? Why are you delivering this piece of content? What do you want your audience to do after consuming it? Choose the topics and outlines that align with those goals.
Then, schedule creation time in your calendar and maybe even invite someone else to that invitation, so they can see when you cancel or delete the event. Accountability for the win.
Once it’s time to start creating, make sure you have everything you need at your fingertips. That means your scripts are written, your lunch is made or ordered, your makeup is applied, your camera and lighting is set up, etc. Make it as easy as possible to do the one thing (create your content) that day.
And don’t forget that, if you have a team helping you with this, you’ll want to make sure everyone knows what’s coming and when things are needed. Include tasks and publish dates for them, too.
Getting it out there: Content distribution
At this point, you have some amazing content ready for your audience. Now, you need to actually get it to them.
Make sure you have a plan to disperse that content. The “bombard your audience with a bunch of content one day and then go dark the next day” approach won’t work. For your content to be truly effective, you’ll want to tailor your approach to your audience and what you’re actually sharing. Certain media does better on particular platforms. For example, short and succinct graphics may do great on Instagram, while your written story will work better in your newsletter.
There’s also good news about content distribution: You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. SOPs, or standard operating procedures, are great for distribution so you can hire a VA or make the process so much faster for yourself. With an SOP in place, you can make sure you have a keyword-specific title for your blogs, that you have your description and all necessary tasks done for your YouTube video, or that your email is for sure going out to the right list.
SOPs speed up content distribution, so don’t overlook them!
Tracking content success: Content reflection
The content is out in the world now, so why are we still focused on it? You did your job!
Just remember: good machines need maintenance. For your content machine, that means you should go back and see how your content is performing. See what resonates and what maybe missed the mark. You can find this out from customer feedback, DMs, comments, emails, or even Google Analytics. Which was your most saved Instagram post? Your most shared Pin? How much traffic did that blog get in the last month?
This data is going to come in handy during your next ideation session. As you go forward, you can fine-tune your strategy and help make future posts that get you to your goals. (And don’t forget, KPIs are important!)
Speed up your content machine with the right tools
I know that content creation can feel so overwhelming that it just becomes one of those things you never do — and that makes you cringe every time you think about how you’re not doing it. Hopefully, these four simple steps help you overcome that overwhelm.
Just focus on staying consistent, being strategic, and providing value with your content. If you do, you’ll be better able to connect with your audience on a deeper level. That drives growth and revenue, even if it’s a longer game.
Need an extra boost to get started building your content machine? If you need help managing your content machine, check out my content tracking & planning system templates to kickstart your creative process and keep you on track.
With these templates, you’ll be able to:
- Plan weeks’ worth of content so you only have to think about it once
- Keep track of all those ideas that come to you right before you go to bed
- Monitor the efficacy of what you’re publishing online and identify points of improvement
If you’ve been feeling stuck when it comes to your content, then these templates are a simple and powerful solution.