Assuming you’d put in days of work to generate content that’s relevant, meaningful, and provides value to your readers, they’d sign up as leads and maybe buy something that you have to offer. That’s what being a content creator is. And that’s why we put so much effort into content marketing in the first place?
But content marketing is hard. Creating content is a tedious, arduous process for the best of us; especially as when we’re busy running a business that takes up all of our time in the first place!
As Shannon Johnson of HubSpot points out, you can pretty much forget about anything fancy you might have read about content marketing. As she puts it,
- Forget content marketing “strategy.” Just do the work.
- You don’t need “content creator” for content marketing. You only need hard working people who can think creatively, write well, and those who can think beyond 500 words and SEO keyword stuffing.
- You can cheat (Copy from others who’ve been there and done that).
- Content is not the king, distribution is.
- Quantity Vs Quality? No one wins the debate.
- Writing a blog isn’t like the writing exercises you did in college.
It’s almost like growing your business for free, on auto-pilot, and on the pure strength of inbound marketing.
As your website visitors consume the content you publish (top of the funnel), your brand recall improves, your visitors become regular, and they start to trust you more. They’ll consider you to be an authority (at whatever it is that products and services relate to) and they’d value your word.
Continue to do it right and your visitors, subscribers, followers, and your customers can even be evangelists, spreading the word and passionately suggesting your products and services to everyone else who’d hear.
If content marketing is that hard, are there any easier ways to make this work? Is there a way you could put in much less work but get the gains of an efficient and sustainable marketing strategy? In short, is there a way to be a content creator without putting in the hours?
Of course, yes. Here are some smart ways to do content marketing without losing your sanity:
Don’t Sweat The Start
While content marketing certainly starts with your blog and/or website, you don’t have to look for help for you to develop your web presence.
One perusal of our Build Blueprint, for instance, lets you know exactly how to develop your blog or website from scratch, the exact plugins and software we use to produce content almost on an automated basis, and much more.
Whatever you do, don’t sweat the “start” phase of your blog.
You’ll learn by doing, and you’ll figure out various ways to continuously produce content while on the go.
Start Creating Videos
At the time of writing this, Online Video already accounts for about 74% of all Internet traffic.
While we are aware that a lot of people have a huge difficulty getting in front of the camera and to shoot videos, it is still surprisingly easier to create videos than typing out a 3500-word blog post. For videos in which you appear, all you need is a table tripod and a smartphone (you don’t have to get fancy with the equipment).
If you have a business that revolves around software, services, tools, etc., you don’t even need to appear in the video. Shooting simple screencasts are more than enough to get your video content rolling.
Museums don’t create the amazing things you go to see, such as artifacts and collectibles. People donate those artifacts. Or museum curators make it their job to collect and display them for the thousands of people who visit each year.
And people pay money to get inside museums!
Content curation is much like that. Instead of curating artifacts, though, you’ll collect incredible content (around the niche that your business relates to and for the kind of topics that your audience might be interested in).
See how legendary content creator, Brian Clark (of the Copyblogger fame) curates content for his newsletter called Unemployable and sends it out to his email subscribers regularly.
See? He only writes an introduction. The rest of his content is all curated, collected, and sorted into categories. Because it’s coming from Brian, his subscribers still trust his judgment and end up reading or listening to podcasts or watching videos.
Setup a schedule to curate content, use a tool like Curately, and make it a habit to produce content regularly.
None of this content has to be yours… Sometimes, being a content creator isn’t about writing new content – it’s about arranging existing content into a format that your readers will enjoy, exposing them to a lot of new material!
If you are already writing content for your blog posts, you can repurpose your content. A blog post can be turned into an infographic, a video, or even a podcast. Likewise, a video can turn into a blog post or an Infographic.
Other infographics can turn out to be great sources of information for a blog post.
Blog posts can also be repurposed as slide decks (share on SlideShare) and a string of blog posts on the same topic can be republished as a lead magnet, like a PDF document, an eBook, or a report.
If you have content that’s heavy on data, build an infographic first (makes for great visual content) and then get into detail by explaining the data points as a white paper or as a blog post.
Repurposing content isn’t as hard as creating content from scratch.
Get Into The Habit Of Making Lists
Every conceivable topic on this earth can be put into simple lists. On the web, people don’t read; they scan.
As such, list-type content is like fast food for web users. They won’t tire of them; they need more of it, and such content is easy to create and consume.
- When you create blog posts, think of lists.
- Your email list building giveaway could be a simple list, a checklist, or a sequence of steps for your subscribers to take.
- Provide step-by-step instructions to do something, to achieve something, or to hack something.
- Point to X number of tools, Y types of [Fill in the blank], or Z Reasons Why [ Whatever ] doesn’t work (or works).Lists are easier than academic writing. Lists take almost no time to compile and they are the best kind of content for the web (this is a list post, in case you missed that).
What are you doing to create content for your site? Or for content marketing in general?
If you’d like help to get started or if you need advice on strategy and implementation, schedule a strategy call with us now.