Section 3: Implementing your content strategy
3.1 Create content according to plan
Creating, planning, and publishing content takes time and effort, but it shouldn’t feel like a full-time job! Organizing and prioritizing your content topics will make the process flow smoothly (without taking up a lifetime!)
With a whole month (perhaps several months, even) worth of content planned, there’s only one thing left to do before sharing your awesome content with the world: create!
There is no magic formula to creating content because everyone’s creative process is different and in many ways unique to who you are, what your subject matter is all about, and the people you help. So I’m not going to tell you how you have to create your content. But I will share with you some best practices to help you become a content development pro!
Build a buffer
Give yourself at least one week of content creation efforts before you begin executing your content plan. For example, if your plan kicks off on 2 August, make sure you start creating as many of the assets for that month the week of 26 July. Starting a new process can require some adjustment; by creating some (or all if possible) in advance, you’re mitigating some of the rush and pressure you may feel.
I suggest you pick the low-hanging fruit and build your buffer with the content that takes less time and effort. Which ones are those? Let’s take a look:
Effort relates to the skill you need to create the content, and time is how long it would take to make. For example, an update to an existing blog post would be a relatively quick item to produce in a short period. On the other end of the spectrum, an online course will require multiple instructional design and content development hours and need higher technical skills to set up and deliver.
Don’t use not having lots of content ready as an excuse not to start posting. If you’re already thinking about needing a whole month to create content for the next month, stop. Your task is going to be to prepare one week of content for the following week.
Get your content toolkit
In the beginning, you’re going to be stretching yourself simply because you are not yet familiar with the process; therefore, you’re stepping out of your comfort zone. But you will also very soon find yourself enjoying the process immensely (remember what I said about creativity being a muscle?). For that to happen, you need to get busy creating.
One contributing factor to becoming this creative force that loves to produce tons of content to help potential clients are the tools that elevate your content to new heights and make your life easier along the way. Many entrepreneurs have such an uneasy feeling about technology simply because of how daunting the landscape is and how there’s always a new app promising to revolutionize your life every day.
The apps below are a great place to start to create your swiss army knife of content development tools. They could also be the only tools you’ll ever need to create content.
Plan monthly, work weekly
I advise you to create a monthly plan to give you a big-picture view of your content strategy and where you will need to allocate your efforts. But putting the plan in action is a weekly task. That weekly “Plan and schedule next week” task is when you’ll do the maintenance of your content machine to make sure it keeps running.
What do you do during that time? You can use it to organize and create the content for the following weeks. You can rearrange some of your planned content based on some last-minute events or news. You can use it to set up your next week’s schedule (more about this later). That’s why it’s a fixed task on your monthly calendar.
One handy tool to manage your content strategy and publishing calendar is Asana. It’s a project management tool that can help you keep track of every piece of content, when you need to have it ready, and when you work with others who need to take care of it. This platform is not only for marketing-related tasks; you can project manage all sorts of activities here.
You can use Asana as your content calendar and track each asset’s development there. Here’s a way you can use it.
You can also use some existing templates, like this Editorial Calendar one, and start from there.
Adhere to a content style
Many large organizations use a content style guide, a collection of rules and guidelines that outline how they express themselves as a business through content. Writing tone and voice, grammar and spelling, writing for different channels, and other important aspects of a company’s brand are included in these guides.
These style guides can be a part of more extensive guidelines that specify brand identity elements such as logos, color palettes, fonts, and imagery. It’s not the idea that you spend weeks building these guidelines, but it’s worth considering how to incorporate some elements into your content and consistently represent your brand personality.
- Grammar and spelling: Make sure you are consistent with grammar and spelling across all your content. For example, if you write content in English, decide quickly whether you need to write in British or American English.
- Dates and numbers: Day-Month-Year or Month-Day-Year? Spell out the month names or leave them as numbers? AM-PM time or 24-hour format? Consistency can come in pretty handy, particularly when you run events often.
- Logos and color palette: a good logo with the right color palette to complement it can do wonderful things to boost your brand. Using a tool like Canva can help you create color palettes that suit your logos and overall brand identity.
- Images: like with your grammar and spelling, it’s all about consistency. It’s good to experiment with different visual styles, but try to do it in batches. For example, do a week’s worth of content using illustrations rather than photos, then switch around. Once you have that happy place you find most comfortable, try to apply consistently across all your assets.
Ready to get started?
Get in touch, or create an account