You know about the importance of content marketing. You’ve seen the statistics that show content-based efforts get three times more leads than outbound alternatives. But getting there is tough. You just don’t tend to have time to build great content.
The good news is that you’re not alone. A lack of time, in fact, is one of the biggest challenges digital marketers face today. The reason so many of them can’t seem to solve it is that the solution is counter-intuitive: spending some extra hours on your content strategy actually saves you time in the long run.
That might be difficult to swallow, considering that you might feel like you don’t have enough time for quality content to begin with. In reality, though, it actually plays in your favor. So let’s get specific. Consider these 5 ways in which planning your content strategies actually saves you time and optimizes your results.
1) Defined Time for Brainstorming
Successful content marketing is impossible without regular brainstorming. Put simply, you have to devote time to finding the right topics for your social media, blogs, and other content outlets if you want them to be received well by the audience.
And yet, this is also one of the most difficult steps to take given the lack of time many business owners and marketers face. You cannot skimp on the actual production, so the brainstorming falls by the wayside. You think of a topic quickly and dive in, or don’t think about it at all and fail to write.
The right content strategy can rectify that problem by setting aside regular time for brainstorming. That brainstorming tends to be mission-focused on both audience and goals, improving its chances of delivering the right kinds of focus areas. Finding new topics becomes a regular, collaborative part of the writing and production process.
2) More Focused Content Creation Work
Planning, of course, only matters if you execute the right way, as well. A lack of budget, another common challenge in this field, will likely force you to build much of the content yourself. That means everything you do has to be focused on getting it right. You don’t have the time or resources to take shots in the dark and hope they stick.
Through a content strategy, you can build that focus in a variety of ways:
- Define your target audience so you know exactly who to write and create content for.
- Set and stick to specific content creation goals that help you track your ROI and anchor your content.
- Set timelines for content so you know exactly how much to write in a given month for your blog, social media, etc.
When every part of the creation process is focused by these three anchors, your chances of building content that actually sticks increases dramatically. That means less time spent on irrelevant posts that have little to do with business growth, and more on efforts that are likely to produce tangible results.
3) Content Series and other Connected Efforts
A content strategy, both in terms of setting goals and frequency, also helps you connect your pieces of content to each other. The best marketing plans create results that are more than the sum of their parts; each touchpoint leads to a bigger point about your entire brand and value proposition.
To achieve that feat, you have to connect your efforts. That, in turn, is only possible with a content strategy that builds these connections.
At its most extreme, it might lead to more obvious connections, as well. Through your regular brainstorming sessions, you might find a content series that allows you to post weekly around the same topic. You can then build out those posts weeks ahead of time, saving you crucial time down the road. Who knows? The next #ThrowbackThursday might just come from your account.
4) Content Marketing Roles Across the Business
As you become more strategic about your content efforts, you will begin to see more defined roles emerging across these efforts. There’s the initial, brainstorming phase that builds a framework. The content creation portion actually realizes ideas. And of course, the post-creation stage marks what worked, what didn’t, and makes improvement suggestions.
Depending on the size of your marketing department, these roles might fall to different professionals or all to you. Either way, a more clear definition allows you to save significant time through some strategic planning.
For instance, if you devote a set part of the week to content creation, you can pre-build significant amounts of posts that more naturally build on each other. You don’t need that extra time to dig back into the context of a current post anytime you create it. Similarly, devoting a set time of the week or month to analytics (more on that below) allows you to more easily and quickly build reports that lead to actual learning.
5) Analytics and the Ability to Improve Over Time
Again and again, marketers state their difficulty to measure the impact of content marketing. They know intuitively that it can, should, and does work. But it’s difficult to prove if you don’t know what to measure.
We already mentioned the importance of goal setting above. It’s important to follow up on that step, though. Through analytics, you can measure the engagement and conversions of every post you make. As a result, you can limit yourself to creating only posts and content that’s likely to succeed in the future.
The result is again similar to what we’ve mentioned above. Cutting out the waste means wasting less time on non-successful efforts. Instead, your limited time works more directly towards marketing success and better business growth.
Getting Your Content Strategy Just Right
All of the above benefits, of course, are only theoretical. To turn them into reality, you have to not just build a strategy, but build the right strategy. For marketers who are just getting started with content marketing, that can be difficult to accomplish.
Fortunately, you’re not in this alone. Partnering with the right company might be all you need to get started. Contact us today to learn about our expertise in content marketing, and how we can help you build a content marketing strategy designed to both save you time and grow your business.