But that doesn’t mean it’s one of the easiest.
One of the biggest and most common challenges businesses have is the need to continually create new content.
So how can you make it easier, and create new content more quickly?
Here are 5 content marketing ideas that mean you can create content more easily and within a shorter time frame.
Repurpose Existing Content
Businesses tend to build up a lot of content that they have only ever used once, and in one media.
It’s then stuffed into a dark cupboard, and never thought about again.
That’s a waste.
Presuming the content delivered good value in the first place, by not repurposing it into other forms and for other channels, you’re depriving huge numbers of people from ever benefiting from it.
I know—that’s sad.
That’s a lot of people who would otherwise have heard about—and possibly connected with—your business.
Instead, the content can be repurposed, refreshed, reimagined … and all for much less time than it took to create it in the first place.
If you bought an expensive pair of shoes would you show them off once and then hide them away in your closet, never to be seen again? No way! Same goes for your best content. Show it off multiple times, in multiple places, in multiple ways. It’s just too good to take it for a spin once!
Amy Porterfield, AmyPorterfield.com (quoted from trafficgenerationcafe.com)
For example, the presentation you gave last year can go up as a SlideShare. Furthermore, it can be converted to a video, repurposed as a blog post, form multiple social media updates, and so on.
Same goes for that whitepaper you had created—there’s your next blog post (or two).
Or that sequence of autoresponder messages. How many of those can you quickly turn into blog posts or other content?
Sometimes it’s just about refreshing content that needs a bit of a facelift.
Look through your existing blog posts, SlideShares, videos and so on.
How many are now outdated or could do with a bit of a refresh?
It doesn’t mean you have to take the old content down.
Just use the older content as a basis for the new—it’s going to be a lot quicker to create. Add a link where possible to the older content so people know where to get the latest info from you.
How much of the following content do you have just lying around? How much of it could be brought back to life in different ways, and relatively quickly?
- Books / Ebooks
- Recorded webinars
- Autoresponder content and other emails
- Audio content
- Older blog posts
- Help files / Knowledgebase info
Using content resources you already have saves you from needing to continually come up with new content marketing ideas.
Some of the quickest content to create is where someone creates most of it for you—and you don’t even have to pay them.
Simple. Just interview someone.
You not only get content created in a super-efficient way, but you also:
- Increase your own authority. By interviewing someone with more authority than you, some of it rubs off.
- Connect with influencers. It can be a great way to reach out and gain connections with influencers. You’re effectively offering to give them publicity in front of a new audience, and many will be happy to oblige.
- Reach a larger audience. Those you interview will often help spread the word and link back to where it’s published, either from their own blog or more often through social shares.
It can be as simple as sending someone a list of questions via email for them to respond to. You can then convert that into a blog post—which is of course very easy to outsource.
For every question you ask, your interviewee will provide a paragraph or more of original material that you can use as content on your blog … making it an incredibly efficient means of content generation.
Kathrina Tiangco, AudienceBloom.com
As well as publishing the interview itself, it can be repurposed in multiple ways. For example:
- Publish on your blog along with a transcript.
- Add the video to YouTube and other platforms. If it wasn’t a video interview, create some slides for a video based on the questions and answers, and add the audio. Repost the slides to SlideShare.
- Use the audio for podcast content, or video as part of a video podcast.
Get started by thinking about prominent, authoritative people in your niche who you could interview. Make a list of several and approach them.
Just ask if they’d be open to an interview. Let them know how it would benefit them.
Of course, not all will respond, but some will. For those who don’t respond, try following up a couple times. They might have just missed it or have been busy on other projects.
Even better, to really stand out send something through direct mail. Email them after a day or two to make it really easy for them to get back to you.
It does also help response rates to have had some contact with them before, however small. For example, link to their content from your blog and let them know. Connect with them on social in some way.
You could also interview someone within your business. Perhaps you have an employee with relevant expertise for your audience?
List posts can be easy and quick to create. They give you an immediate, ready structure, and one that everyone understands.
Here’s the basic process:
- Create the basic list of X items
- Flesh out each item with more info
- Add an introduction
- Add a conclusion
… and you’re done!
Okay, in the real world it’s not always quite so simple—but you get the idea.
This post is of course a list post.
So was the previous post on 23 awesome video tools. While there were 23 items on the list, it didn’t take as long as many other posts to create. It was simply a case of:
- Listing the tools
- Creating and adding an image for each
- Adding a descriptive paragraph or two for each.
Of course, list-style content isn’t restricted to blog posts. The same principle applies to other types of content too.
And you don’t want all your content to follow a list format. That would get a little dull!
I don’t follow any set regimen here, but something like a quarter of my posts are list-style.
List-style content also adapts itself very well to content repurposing. For example, each new list item can become:
- A social post, including perhaps an image as part of a series
- A different slide on a SlideShare that can itself then be turned into a video
What’s more, it’s easier to create unique versions of list-style blog posts for posting on say Medium or Quora. The order can usually be jumbled up, adjust the wording, and you have a different article.
Curated Content Posts
Curating content from other sources can be another quick way to create content. Much of the work has already been done, you’re just compiling it all together.
For example, you might want to put together a post on a particular topic. Rather than come up with potentially thousands of words of original content, do some research and find say ten top posts on the topic.
Don’t worry if they contradict each other. That adds value and interest.
Summarize what each post has to say and/or quote directly (use a reasonable word count limit if quoting directly). Link back to each post so the visitor can get more information.
With 200-250 words for each curated post, you’ve just created a 2000-3000 word high-value post relatively quickly.
Plus it helps you get traffic and publicize your blog …
Contact the owner of each blog you’re quoting from. Say how much you loved their post and check it’s okay for you to quote from it. Let them know you’re linking to their post, and that they’re free to share it if they like it.
Don’t expect responses from everyone. However, presuming the post is well presented, you’ll find a few will share it to their networks.
Here are some other ideas for curated content posts you might like to try:
- News and events related to your industry
- A links round up (e.g. some of the best content you’ve shared on social from other sites in the past week)
- Pick a topic and invite opinion on it from key influencers in your industry. As you start getting responses, go back to others who are yet to reply. Drop a few names of those already involved to encourage them along. You’ll have created a highly shareable post—go back to all the contributors, thank them for their involvement and invite them to share.
With the latter, let potential contributors know you’ll also be repurposing the content across different media, perhaps sharing a schedule for doing so.
The more exposure you provide them with, the more willing they will be to spend time responding to you.
(Just make sure you do actually repurpose in line with your stated schedule. Go back to them as soon as you do to keep them updated, showing them you’re keeping your word. By doing so, you’ll build a lot of trust, help encourage further contributions from them in future and possibly open up additional opportunities for collaboration).
Survey Your List
By conducting industry-relevant research, you build authority while creating a highly shareable, linkable resource. Plus it can be relatively quick to put together.
The easiest way to start?
Put together a survey, with a list of questions relevant to your industry. Invite your list and social media audiences to take part.
It helps to offer some kind of incentive for doing so, such as early access to the results, some prizes, or perhaps access to a special online event of some kind.
Use a tool like Survey Monkey to run the survey and summarize the results.
You’ll need a good lead time to allow for enough responses. However, the actual time spent on creating the content from the results of the survey is relatively low.
You’re basically just reporting your findings in an appropriate, engaging way. Make good use of visuals such as charts and graphs to add visual appeal and encourage inbound links.
The whole process gets a lot more efficient—and even quicker—if you start running similar research on an annual basis. By doing so, you’ll also build more authority.
Most of the set up, such as compiling the questions and setting up the survey tool, will be done in the first year. You’ll then just use the same system in future years, with the odd adjustment as necessary.
Research like this can also form a powerful lead magnet. Present some summary findings in the blog post, with the full, more detailed report available via an email optin.
Let’s be honest—content marketing gets results but it can also be a hard task master. The need to continually create new content is an ongoing challenge that many businesses struggle with.
It’s worth the struggle—but anything that helps make the process easier has got to be welcomed.
So get out your content calendar, go back through these 5 content marketing ideas for quicker content, and start testing them out.