An excerpt from Booms and Peents, Nighthawk’s little magazine. Read or download the full magazine for free »
From day one, Nighthawk’s focus has been to use simple and effective techniques to make a lasting impression on our clients’ organizations and lives. These are three tried-and-true ways to save time and build consistency in your organization’s marketing.
Repurpose your content
Hours of work can go into a single social media post that’s lifetime is barely more than a day. Instead of repeating the same time-consuming process over and over while constantly trying to come up with new ideas to engage with your audience, make the most of the time and effort you put into all the content you write by having a plan to repurpose it.
The next time you have a great idea for a social media post or think of something your customers would enjoy hearing about, start by publishing the content on your website. That way, your writing, photos, and videos have a home that you can point your audience to over and over again — which also leads to increased website traffic and higher SEO. Then, post a teaser or a few sentences on social media and link to your site for the full story. The same tactic can be used in your emails and other channels that you use to communicate with your audience.
Why not house content on social media?
In short, because social media is not built for it. Your social media accounts are no more than digital “rented real estate” because they can change at any time to the whims of those companies and their shareholders. Instead, social media can be used as channels to drive traffic to your content.
Repurposing can go way beyond linking website content on social media. The same topic can be used in writing, photos, videos, print materials, presentations, and many more creative ways. But starting with easy-to-implement methods is a realistic way to simplify your content creation process.
Streamline and save time by using templates both for the content creation process and for the content itself. When creating content, find methods that work for you, and stick with them. For instance, start with the topic idea, and briefly write out why this is interesting or helpful for your audience. Then, outline subtopics, even if it’s a short piece of writing. Once the outline is written, add a paragraph or two below each subtopic. Add an opening paragraph and closing paragraph on either end of your outline. Proofread your work and make sure it flows. Then, turn the outline into headers and subheaders in a post, and add the paragraphs throughout. Ta-da!
Build out your content creation template with steps that fit your needs, such as placing photos, adding a few relevant quotes, or finding related content that already exists on your site and adding links to it. Once you’re happy with the steps, make a checklist with each of your template’s steps to use each time you create content. This improves consistency for your readers and minimizes the thought necessary for you to create a post, so your effort can be focused on the content itself.
Don’t be afraid to update your content!
One fantastic aspect of digital content is that it can be updated at any time — which means new sections, quotes, lengthier descriptions, subtractions, revisions, and more can be made to your original work. Don’t think of a blog post or piece of content as a static webpage — imagine it as an evolving piece that can grow and improve continuously over time. This removes the pressure to have something perfect and extensive from the start and can improve the overall quality of your content over time.
Repurposing content goes beyond pointing multiple links that point to the same location. When your content lives on your website, you can reference it over and over again on your other outlets, meaning that you don’t have to create new content each time you write a post or send an email. It’s no secret that only a small portion of your audience sees each social media post, so posting about a single piece of content more than once will reach more people overall without increasing your workload.
Creating a pattern to follow to promote each piece of content removes guesswork and increases consistency. For instance, consider posting about each piece of content you publish on the day it’s ready, two weeks later, and one year from the publish date (yes, a whole year later!). You can use your preferred reminder system to make this happen, but it’s more efficient to use one of many free social media scheduling tools to write three posts in a batch when the content is ready to be published, scheduling the spots, and happily knowing that content is automatically going out over time without you having to revisit the content. Choose a pattern to follow that makes sense for your schedule and preferences.
If you’re low on time and manpower, focus on this:
Begin by focusing on evergreen content, or content that will always be relevant and not become dated. That way, you’ll have more flexibility to reuse and repurpose it in the future. When you’re ready to create more timely content, don’t just consider what’s in the news. Match content with things that are going on in your audience’s universe, corresponding with activities that they are participating in at that time of year, events they are attending, cultural happenings they are following, and holidays that they celebrate. Also, don’t forget to review your existing content. You may have some that are ready to go—if so, great! And if you can turn something into effective content with some tweaking, then you’re off to a good start.
Want to go deeper into this process?
The Content Fuel Framework by Melanie Deziel uses methods like the ones described here to “generate unlimited story ideas.” I highly recommend this guide to find ways to quickly and easily brainstorm and create content. And, as always, Nighthawk is here to work with your business to create a full marketing strategy.