Streamlining content creation and having an effective content development plan will not only help you save time, but it will ensure the creation process eliminates any time-wasting steps, keep you organized, and help create relevant content that will perform well and deliver real results.
Creating content can easily become a tedious task if you and your team are not properly prepared. Sticking to a solid and effective content development plan will make life easier on the writers, editors, and everyone else working to meet the same deadlines. Below are ten easy and ways to ensure your content creation is streamlined and is done in an effective and beneficial way.
Create a Workflow Strategy
Much like any project, mapping out the steps and clearly defining what is needed – and what is expected, by each contributor – helps avoid tedious spans of content creation riddled with lulls and delays. A well-formed and proper workflow strategy allows you to do an overview of the project, recognize the steps involved, who will perform each step, and assess which parts of the content creation needs adjustments.
The workflow strategy steps should then be placed on a calendar to be put into action. This is a way to assess which parts of the content creation process may need improvement. A workflow also places these strategies clearly for all to see and apply. Creating this is a process in itself and will take a bit of time, but in the end, having a clear strategy applied to a calendar will reveal certain efficiencies you may not have otherwise seen.
Create a Calendar
Where would any project be without a proper calendar? The above mentioned workflow strategy would be nowhere…or at least not as effective.
Creating a calendar – one that is constantly being updated for efficiency – will keep things organized and allow you to mark off as each step is completed. Your calendar will provide an interactive bird’s eye view of the content creation process from start to finish and helps keep your team aligned on all tasks.
Marking off these mini-milestones can also play a motivational role, as you move closer to the deadline. They also let everyone on the project know who is where in the creation process.
Incorporate Due Dates & Deadlines
It goes without saying, creating and meeting all dues dates and deadlines are a must when streamlining your content creation process. The fastest way to throw off a streamlined process is to miss the mark of a deadline. Missed deadlines tend to have a domino effect of slowing down what would otherwise be a project that is on track.
Your project due dates and deadlines should always align with your overall project final deadline. You need to set dues dates for things like rough drafts, edits and revisions, copyediting, fact checking, SEO, etc. Consider the time for adding in any artwork or marketing links, too. Also note that sometimes larger scale projects will have to make their way from department to department for reviews and approvals.
Create a Workable Framework
Think of a workable framework as the backbone of your content creation. This framework clearly states the subject matter and types of content needed. Be sure to incorporate the creation of headlines and subheads in the outlines you create.
Depending on what type of content you are creating, you will want to start building from the headers out. List the key points of each section much like an outline. Once you complete the basic framework, you will just have to fill in the blanks of the specific details.
Know Your Objective & Audience
Consider the purpose and goal of the content you are settling in to create. This is your objective.
This objective is what you hope to get out of the audience for whom the article is written. Are you selling something? Promoting an event? Writing a feature story? Always have a clear vision of the intent of your content.
Then, pinpoint your audience. You can clearly identify your audience by creating a marketing person which will answer who the audience is and how the content you provide will change them. The tone and voice will vary depending on whom you are writing for. Writing for children is much different than writing for an audience of senior citizens.
It’s Time to Brainstorm!
The more the merrier when it comes to brainstorming! Creating fresh ideas and content that is high quality can be challenging. Take the time to brainstorm before you start writing. Throw ideas around with colleagues (or you can brainstorm on your own if you prefer) by jotting down key words or phrases to help trigger new ideas.
When brainstorming, start thinking about headlines first. Once you define a headline, this clearly states the topic of the content and will help make writing easier keeping this in mind.
Keep these brainstorming session ideas in a file so that you (and all writers on your team) can access them moving forward.
Build Yourself a Bank
Often called a “Knowledge Bank” or “Word Bank”, this is a compilation of certain words, phrases, quotes, articles and other templates that are stored and used as a reference for new content. Oftentimes repeat clients will request similar articles or formats and storing these in your “Bank” makes a great reference for future use.
It is also a good idea to keep any current customer feedback in this space, as to have record or specific issues or feedback received in the past. Keeping this “Bank” in one central location makes it and its ideas easily accessible for all involved.
If you’re having trouble coming up with content ideas, a copywriting agency may be your best bet.
First, establish the very basics of the content you are about to create. Are you creating an article? Video script? Press release? Social media posts? Once you identify what you are writing, you can then consider the proper format.
Different topics may require different formats. Some clients will have specific preferences while others will leave it up to you. By transforming your content into a variety of formats, you contribute to the streamlining of the overall content creation process.
The good news is, there are countless format examples available online, many of which could easily work for your content. Staying open to all formats means there is never a reason to limit yourself to one format.
On the flipside, you can customize your own template so that you are more or less dropping in your new content each time and do not have to make any format adjustments.
Use Your Resources
Streamlining your copy to fit certain word lengths and limits is nearly always part of the writing process. This takes a bit of extra creativity sometimes, as these limits can be strict with zero flexibility. Luckily, there are tons of resources available to help make your content clear and concise. These tools can oftentimes help you finish a project more quickly, as there is less time spent on cutting back copy.
Despite the type of content you are creating, keeping things clear and concise is always the best approach. This also makes for less words lost to the editing chopping board and cutting back copy in the end. Remember that we live in an age of information overload, and most people simply skim when reading. Keeping things short and punchy may mean more of your content being read.
Content repurposing is taking already created content and reworking it with a fresh spin and all new language.
When streamlining content, delving into content repurposing is a great way to reformat or reconstruct a previously written piece and mold it into a variety of new formats. You can work to synchronize with the newly requested scenario, audience or channel.
Repurposing content allows you to get creative with previously created content. It also can help wipe tons of time away from starting from scratch. In turn, your new piece then becomes a new, albeit refreshed version of the original article.
Streamline to Excellence
Are you ready to streamline your content creation?
The above-mentioned ways to best apply content streamlining will work as a great guide to making any writing job easier and more efficient. Oftentimes the organization behind a streamlined process results in stronger, higher quality content that is sure to deliver.
Plus it helps you generate fresh ideas for new and upcoming content – and when your content is fresh and on point, you will gain more engagement and interest!
Over the past decade, Liz has worked as a copywriter and digital marketing executive for a multitude of companies from startups to and mid-sized businesses to working as the VP of marketing for award-winning, platinum-selling artists. Leveraging an understanding of the nuance of language in marketing, Liz founded Amplihigher, a content marketing and copywriting agency, designed to connect consumers to companies in a way that results in next-level brand expansion.