How can content marketers use their time more effectively?

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Do you ever feel like you are wasting your time, or that you could be spending your time more wisely when you are creating and publishing content?

I know that many people who have been creating content for a while question how they are spending their time, and know that their content could be performing better for them.

So what can you do to get more from your content marketing activities? How can you be a more effective content marketer?

In this episode I cover these four areas:

  1. Spending more time choosing your ideas
  2. Relaunching your old articles and optimising them for traffic and conversion
  3. Outsourcing and delegating what you shouldn’t be doing
  4. Writing content for your prospects

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DFTBA!

Chris.

Full Transcription

Hey, welcome to the Content Market Academy podcast, it’s really cool to be back. I hope you’ve had an amazing day so far. Let’s get stuck into this episode. So this is something I want to talk about, I’ve been wanting to talk about this for a while. And I’ve got tons more to share with you on this topic as well, so there will be more I guess in further episodes. But this is all about using your time more effectively. Rather than thinking about productivity and doing more, this is actually about doing less and getting more from the work that you do.

So looking back at the podcast that I did last, in the last episode, which was I don’t have the time for content marketing, that’s typically an excuse that people give when they don’t get content marketing, they don’t fully understand content marketing, and they definitely don’t treat it as a priority. But this episode is really for people that are past that excuse already. You know that it’s important, you know that it should be a priority, and that you do put a lot of time and effort into it. But maybe you’re thinking to yourself that you’re spending too much time on content marketing, or perhaps you’re not sure if you’re spending your time wisely.

So you might be saying to yourself, I feel like I’m spending a lot of time here, is it worth it? That’s what I’m really talking about in this effort. So feeling like you might not be doing the right work. Or you want to feel like you’re doing more of the right work, and you’re using your time in the most effective way so you know that the work that you’re doing, the content that you’re creating, or the articles that you’re writing, are going to have the best chance of success of moving you forward and growing your business.

Now, just as a side note, we all measure some kind of ROI, or return on investment. Or at least we all should be. In other words, if you’re putting your time and effort into creating content, you should be measuring a set of metrics to determine if it is achieved, if that content is achieving what you hoped it would achieve. So is your content achieving your objectives? Is it helping you to reach your goals? Your content should be aligned to your business goals. Content marketing should be a strategic and commercial activity.

So we need to have those metrics. But in most cases, even the content marketing surveys that we read and all the evidence points to people not spending enough time thinking about this. How does content marketing align with our strategic business goals? So it’s no wonder that a lot of people think they’re wasting their time, or they stop creating content, or they just generally feel like they could be making better use of their time because they haven’t got this big picture. They aren’t thinking about, well how does this content lead to sales? How does this content align with our business goals? Should we be spending our time doing this, or something else?

So they’re always question whether or not they should be spending their time on this, so this is really for the people that are past the novice stages of content and you’re now looking at how to improve your content. So this might be contradictory to some of the other stuff that I’ve talked about in the past, like to be really consistent and to publish on a schedule, and things like that. Which is really, really important. So there’s kind of this debate, this old debate about quantity over quality. And what I’m leaning towards in this episode is quality. What we’re wanting to do is to create the best work.
One of the things that I want to really push forward with is saying to people that the content that you’re creating today should be the best version of that content that exists online today. And really pushing the benchmark up, the bar up, to push you to do your best work.

Now there’s a couple of quotes that I want to share with you, things that hit me like a lightning bolt late in 2017 from a gent called Andy Crestodina. And I was sitting in one of his sessions last year at B2B Marketing Forum and he said, you don’t need 1000 articles, you need 100 great articles. That was one of the things he shared with us. It kind of hit me like a lightning bolt and I was like, right that makes so much sense. We’ve created all of this content, but is it the greatest version of that content that exists online today, or could we do a lot better?

And that’s really what Andy’s message was. Was you don’t need 1000 articles, you need 100 great articles. So focusing on creating the best content we can, making better use of our time, more effective use of our time.

He shared something else as well, which is a quote from Brian Dean from BackLinko. If all my content is up to date and ranking where I think it should be, I’ll write something new. If not, I’ll update and relaunch an old post. And I love that as well. So basically what he’s saying is, don’t create any new content until your older content is doing the best work that it can.

And the Bruce Lee quote which is, I fear not the man who practiced 10 thousand kicks once, but I fear the man who’s practiced one kick 10 thousand times. That really kind of emphasizes exactly what we’re talking about here, is to make sure that all our work is the best work that we can do, and we’ve given it the best chance of success online today. That is the benchmark for all of us who are out of that novice stage of content marketing and really getting into that intermediate space. We need to be doing better work. We can’t do surface level work anymore, we need to raise the bar, we need to challenge ourselves to do better work.

So my advice in this podcast is broken up into four things. Four things that I think that can help you to achieve this, this point of being more effective with our time. So firstly, we need to spend more time planning and choosing our topics. So not just even looking at just simple questions, but the whole topic, the topics as a whole to write about. We need to really challenge ourselves to cover whole topics rather than just questions. So that’s one big part of this, is to really explore this.

So it really comes down to brainstorming your ideas as well. I think a lot of people pick their first idea. They’re like, that’ll do, I’ll just go on with it and write it. At least I’m publishing something today. We’re going through the motions, we’re ticking the boxes. But don’t just pick your first idea. Brainstorm 10 or 20 ideas and pick the best one.
How do we pick the best one? We have to qualify our best ideas as well. We need to do our keyword research. We need to do Google trend research. We need to look at what our competitors have created and published that are writing this content as well. What could be better? Let’s look at related searches, let’s give this piece of content the best chance of success. Let’s create the best version of this content that exists online today.
So spending more time planning and choosing our topics is going to mean that we’re spending our time in the right place. So instead of just picking the first idea and running with it, we’ve actually said to ourselves, here’s 10 or 15 ideas. I’ve picked the best one that I can do just now, feeling much more confident that that is going to be a better use of our time. So already, just by doing that part, would should be feeling more confident about how we’re using our time, and feeling like we’re using our time more effectively.

Secondly, so there’s four parts, this is the second part, is to review and audit your content. Relaunching your articles or going back and look through your content. So like what Brian from BackLinko said, if all of my content is up to date and ranking where I think it should be, I’ll writing something new. If not, I’ll update and relaunch an old post. I think that’s great advice. That’s really what I’m talking about here, is to before you start thinking about any new content, let’s review what we’ve already done.
So the challenge is, especially for those that have got a lot of blogs already, is thinking, could they be performing better for me? In other words, could they be driving more traffic? Could that traffic be converting better into leads, into prospects? So we need to look at it from two different places, driving more traffic, getting better position in Google, and performing better in terms of conversion as well.

So we need to look at our top performing content. What’s driving the most traffic to our website right now, and is that content the best version of that content? There’s loads more I want to share with you on this. I will go deeper into this at another time. In fact, we’re running some live training within the Content Marketing Academy membership community this month, in February 2018, on this exact subject. It’ll probably be a 90 minute training, definitely not something that we can cover in detail on the podcast. If you want to get into the Content Marketing Academy, let me know. Just email me, Chris@cmauk.co.uk, I’ll open up a space for you. Come in, do the training, and get involved. And this is the kind of stuff that we do at a deeper level in CMA.

So back to the second part here, the second part of four, is to look at your top performing content and optimize it for traffic, conversion, leads. And also to look at the content that’s not performing all that well. In other words, looking at the content that you rank in page two on Google for, and optimizing that for traffic and leads and sales too. Like I said earlier, content in 2018 is about creating the best version of that content that’s available online today. Really push yourself to go deeper, be more helpful.

Also, we’ve got to keep in mind as well, if you’ve created quite a lot of content over several years that you are going to be better. You’re gonna have better writing skills, better SEO skills, better content marketing skills. We’re gonna take that learning and those skills that you have now, go back and apply what you’ve learned to your older best performing content. And like I said, this is the stuff that we go into really, really deep detail in CMA on as well. So if you want to get in on that just email me, Chris@cmauk.co.uk, we’ll get you in, and we’ll get you better results for your content this year that last year. So that’s part two. Part two is really relaunching your old articles and optimizing them for traffic, leads, sales.

The third part of four is thinking about outsourcing what you shouldn’t be doing. So what do you not like doing, do you hate doing, what shouldn’t you be doing, and focusing only on what you are good at. And really thinking to yourself, what is the most effective use of my time when it comes to content marketing? Is it strategy? Is it ideas? Is it creative? And in most cases, it’s not admin. It’s not everything that surrounds publishing and promotion. So we need to think to ourself, where is the best use of our time? What could I do to make sure that I spend most of my time in that space? Could I outsource some of the work? Could I delegate some of the work? Could I let go of some of the work so that I can spend my time in the place where my strengths are? Make sure my time is being used in the most effective way.
I don’t know what that answer is for you. It could be a number of things. But really think to yourself, what’s my strength, where is my most effective use of time? And really giving yourself … really creating an environment for yourself to focus on that thing that you are good at.

And part four of this, the final part, is to only write content for your prospects. Stop writing just whatever you want. Stop writing content for your peers, they don’t pay your bills. Stop writing content for your competition, to be seen by them. Listen to your prospects, those that are already interested in what you have to offer and they want to buy what you’ve got. Write the content that they need. So listen to the questions they have, the challenges they have, the buying objections that they have. Write that content, share that content, get that onto your blogs and into your videos. This is the type of content that will speed up your sales process and create better, more qualified customers.

If you get asked a question think to yourself, how could I create an article for that for this person, but also get it out to your other prospects as well? Write content for your prospects, for the people that are already in your sales funnel.
That’s my big four pieces of advice on how to use your time more effectively in content marketing. So to wrap up, we’ve got point one, which is to spend more time planning and choosing your topics, go deep on that. Part two, review your older content, audit your older content, relaunch your old articles. Number three, outsourcing or delegating what you shouldn’t be doing. And finally, only writing content for your prospects.

We only have so much time in the day. We all know already how important content marketing is for the growth of our business. But are we focusing on the most effective work that we could be doing? Are we spending out time in the most effective places? I’m sure the same as me, you don’t want to work any harder than you already do. I don’t want to work any harder than I already do. In fact, I want to do less. And I want to be not only doing less, but getting more from the work that I do as well. So if being effective is the keyword to this whole thing, how could I be more effective, get more from what I do, so that in time I can possibly do less? Let’s get the most effective use of our time. Let’s do the most effective tasks.

So take some of these ideas, apply them to what you do. And my hope is, that when you’re spending time on your content, that it not only feels effective, but it also feels like it’s worth your while. If you’ve got any thoughts, ideas, or questions drop me an email, Chris@cmauk.co.uk. And if you want to get better results from your content this year than you have ever, then join the Content Marketing Academy. Email me, Chris@cmauk.co.uk, we’ll open up a space for you. I’d love to work with you this year. And I hope you have an amazing day.

Don’t forget to be awesome.

Chris.

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