I thought I’d take a look at the process from content creation to posting. I often find that this can be a real barrier for people when it comes to digital marketing and especially for social media. They have plenty of content but the process of creating it into something to be posted and actually posting it can become a real hurdle.
As you might have picked up on, I’m all about making things easy. Like I always say, you run your business and that’s where your expertise lies. Being able to showcase your business and post great content is achievable but put up against everything else you’ve got going on, it’s going to need to be an easy workflow so that it doesn’t get forgotten or just missed off the list when other things become more pressing.
You have plenty of content for your business already
Firstly, you have all the content you are ever going to need. Believe that. If you run a successful business, or have a great idea that is fast becoming one, then you’ve got it covered. Trust me. I even wrote a blog post about it.
Take a good look at your business and find your content. Do you have any documents that you give out to clients about your process? What do you talk about most with customers? What are their FAQs when they start working with you? Are you always taking pictures of your products, your office, your meeting room, your staff? Are there things you could be taking photos of that you don’t document – new projects, new team members, new business won?
When you work directly with clients, take a moment after meetings to write down a few notes. You don’t need to be giving away confidential things that they tell you or all the ideas you’ve given them for their business, or whatever it is that you offer. You’ll find that there are common themes, or something interesting that came up and this can often spark some thoughts about content you’d like to share. Also, stories that talk about your work ‘I had a client who was struggling with XYZ’ are very relatable and people often like to read these as a first step to considering work with you.
It might be worth keeping a list. You’ll find you can probably easily put together a page of ideas right now. Just note down everything in your business that you would be happy to share with a client or customers and you’re off to a flying start. Keep adding to the list as you go, once you get into the workflow of creation and posting it’ll get easier and easier to find new ideas to put on your content list.
Creating your Content
Right, you’ve got your list of ideas. What now?
Now is the time to create your content. OK, so in a way it is already created, but this is the moment when you are going to craft the ideas into content that will work for the content and social media channels that you have.
Those FAQs, the things that most people ask you about your business, they’d make a great landing page on your website, or a good long form blog. Once you’ve written them out, you could cut them up into shorter pieces to post on your social media channels. Or present them more as a ‘did you know that…’ about your business and what it’s like to work with you. Couple that with a great picture of you having coffee with a new client and you’ve got a great Instagram post. See how it works?
Think about how you can make your content eye catching – that blog post could do with some great photos. Images on your website can also be given a title that has your keywords in, giving you another way to be found in search. You can also make your content more skimmable – put in titles and highlight key phrases so people can see what it is that they are looking for if they don’t have time to read the piece in depth this time around. If they are able to skim down to what they want to know right now, you’ve just got their attention.
If your content includes writing, make regular time to do it. Nothing gets written first time, most of my written content has been a scribbled mess, a less messy outline, a first draft, and then a couple of tweaks to get to the finished piece. Don’t look at it as something you need to put aside large chunks of time to do. Little and often gets the momentum going, and you’ll soon see your writing style and habit emerge.
If you don’t feel like writing is your thing, can you explain what you want to say outloud? If so, why not record yourself talking about the subject you want to write about, and then use an online transcription service to make that into text and edit it into the blog / post / ebook content you were aiming for. Plenty of people struggle to write things down directly, but that need not be a reason not to produce written content.
Images are great to include on most social media channels. There are many ways you can edit them before they are posted which might help present your content. If you have a grid pattern on Instagram then web-based apps like Canva can help you edit your pictures with borders, text or design touches. Other phone apps like VSCO give you the chance to play around with your exposure and colours.
Check the size requirements for images on the social media channels you are using. Whilst it can seem like a pain to resize images there is nothing worse than having an image cropped where you don’t want it, or displayed in an awkward way with the main focal point off to one side. Unless that is what you are trying to achieve!
Again, try out different ways of editing and creating the content you want. Often I find a new app that I try out but for whatever reason it doesn’t work for me and the way I create and post content. Keep your consistency in mind, your goal here is to get the content posted so don’t let creating the content be a barrier to that. If you don’t enjoy creating the content, find another way to do it, this shouldn’t be a horrid chore.
Posting – getting that content across the line
This is the crucial step. Let’s face it, if you don’t post your content then you won’t be seeing the results in your digital marketing!
With a blog or webpage, you could just be hitting Publish – and there it is! But don’t forget to share written content on your other channels. Do you have an email list you can send your latest blog post out to? Can you use one of your wonderful images to illustrate it and share it on Facebook and Instagram. If you mention clients or customers, why not send a link to them directly with a personal email, showing them what you’ve created and asking them if they’d like to share it with their audience too. Social media is all about connection, and people love to be mentioned by business and brands they like.
For social media, posting can also mean scheduling. Scheduling posts to social media can be a useful way of keeping a flow of content going. It can also help if you create content in batches, this way you can spread out when the content is shared.
I’ve always been a big fan of Buffer and it was first introduced to me as the best option for small businesses with one account on a few social media channels. I would definitely say that is still the case. If you any combination of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn then it’s a great way to easily get set up and try scheduling to see if it could work for you.
You write your posts for your channels and then choose when they will be posted, so you could write 5 posts on a Monday and choose to have one sent out each day for the rest of the week.
It’s good to note that you don’t need to do one or the other. A lot of my clients schedule content that isn’t time sensitive and showcases their business and will then post during the week as things happen, from client meetings or other events.
What no video?
The main text of this blog is taken from a series of emails that I sent out in 2019. Rereading it now, it occurs to me that there is something missing that has massively taken off since then.
Not only are there so many options for posting video to sites like Facebook and Instagram – videos on your feed, reels, stories – there’s a whole new app (and more besides that aren’t as popular) in the form of TikTok. Even if you don’t have a TikTok account, it has accelerated the rate at which we’ve become used to seeing content from any creator as a video.
Does this mean that you should be doing video? Not necessarily. Whilst platforms are pushing it, you are far better off being active on any platform and making the most of it, than not posting because you think you need to be using video.
On the flip side of that, if you apply exactly what I’ve written about above, and video is an easy way for you to capture and share content that you like creating and find fun, then yes, video is absolutely for you. If you are going to talk about your FAQs and transcribe these for a blog, why not video yourself talking through them and share them too? Storytelling is key in all content, but especially in video, and finding a flow of telling your story can really increase reach.
There are also ways to make videos without making a video (stay with me on this!) I had an Instagram account for a while where I shared recipes. To start with I took a series of photos as I was cooking and then wrote up the recipe and share it as a post with multiple images. When reels became popular I used these to make a reel instead. I put each photo into a reel and then recorded myself talking about the recipe and cooking over it and posted it – voila, reels with no video recording required!
The main take away here should be – don’t wait to get started. There is no perfect way to do this, the best way is the way that you can find time for right now. Start small, set aside a bit of time to get something done from start to finish, post it, and then go back and repeat the process. It won’t take long for it to feel more comfortable, and you’ll start to have ideas about other directions to take things in.
If you’re looking to have someone work with you on content creation then do get in touch!