It’s pretty safe to say that we are all in agreement that great content is an important pillar of a great marketing strategy, right? Great content, whether its written, video, graphic, or whatever makes sense for your company, is something that connects with an audience and communicates your value to them. 

Even with that in mind, content creation continues to be a challenge for many of us. Finding the time to just sit down and write or edit video is a struggle for some. Getting time with the subject matter experts at your company is a challenge of others. Even just thinking of relevant topics can be hard. 

Today we’re going to share how we tackle each of those challenges in our own business and with our clients. 

Document, Don’t Create.

For those of us that just don’t have the time to write content (or produce video, create graphics, edit images, etc … you get the gist), perhaps it’s time to rethink the entire content production process. Maybe it’s time to stop creating content from scratch, and instead just document your work-life.

This tip comes straight from Gary Vaynerchuck, the founder of Vayner Media and YouTube/Instagram/Snapchat entrepreneurial celebrity known for his hustle attitude and daily YouTube vlog called DailyVee. Whether you like him or not, dude can create content. Although, he may not agree with us that he’s a creating content at all. Instead, what he’s doing is documenting his life and day to day. The content creation happens from there.

As marketers we’re all living and breathing what our companies do on a daily basis. We’re learning how the subject matter experts create amazing solutions and products for our customers and we’re continually educating ourselves on the market and industries that we serve. It’s time that we document that process and share it with our audience. 

Here are a few practical ways that you can employ the “document, don’t create” method in any business:

  • Photograph
    Take pictures of your team at work, the production busy and working ahead of schedule, the executive team in an all-hands planning session. When you’ve documented what is happening day-to-day you’re creating a huge asset library that you can lean on in the future but you’re also creating great ephemeral content that you can post on social media that same day, or turn into a blog post down the line.
  • Film Video
    If possible, consider filming a strategy session. You’ll be surprised what may come of it. You may find a snippet of content that you can pull from that conversation and post directly to your blog or social media, or you may find something that was discussed that can be essentially transcribed and turned into a blog post or piece of premium content.
  • Show Your Product
    Next time you’re doing a site visit or if you see your product out “in the wild,” document it! Show that your product is being put to use and people are loving it. A little reminder never hurt anyone.

At first it might seem strange to document things like this, but after time it will become second nature and you’ll be happy that you’ve developed the habit.

Interview Once, Create Content Later

This tip is going to be especially helpful for those of us that are creating content with the help of others in the company. It can be a struggle to create great content, especially if you’re in a technical business, without the help of subject matter experts (SMEs) in your company. The struggle often is just getting time to sit down with them and extract valuable knowledge and content from them. Another challenge a lot of us face is having these technical experts actually create the content themselves. (Hey, by the way…. if you’ve figured out the solution to this one, let us know!)

But at the end of the day, valuable content often comes from those that know the product, service, and industry the best and working with them to create it will usually lead to a better end product. If this sounds like you, then we hope this solution will help you get over the content creation hump.

Use This Content Creation Process:

  1. Develop your topics and talking points
  2. Schedule time with your SME to have a conversation about the topic(s) you’ve chosen
  3. Record the conversation—on video or just audio
    In this conversation you should not focus on outlining an article or creating a complete, ready to publish piece of content. Instead, make your goal to be educated on the subject. Ask questions. Be curious. Dig deep. Challenge yourself to think like a customer and get to the bottom of things.
  4. Reflect on the conversation and outline your content based on what you’ve learned and what you and the SME discussed. 
  5. Put together you rough draft
  6. Have the SME review it and make modifications as needed
  7. Go to final draft. Edit, revise, rewrite. Make SEO-friendly. Publish

Wash, Rinse, Repeat. This is how we create awesome marketing content when working with other (busy) professionals.

Build a Better Brainstorm

We’re huge fans of brainstorming, but we also know that they can be wildly unproductive or can lead to groupthink if not carefully managed. Here’s why we love brainstorming for content marketing topic development:

You can increase your marketing miles per gallon by expanding your topics.

Here’s the way that we brainstorm topic ideas: 

  1. First, take a sheet of paper, whiteboard, or even an excel sheet and write your main topic on the top of the sheet.
  2. Along the first row, write your related topics out
  3. In the columns beneath each related topic, write out your offshoot subtopics — each of these can become a piece of content like a blog post, social media, or email content.
  4. That’s it! 

Make Your Marketing Count

There you have it. How we create content for us and for our clients. If you have a great system for managing your idea generation, you’ll never stress out about content again. Need help? We’re here for you. Just give us a shout and we’ll set you up for success.