Content marketing is one of those things that has a way of eating up way more time than you expect it to. Possibly because there’s so much you could be doing - writing blog posts, creating social media content, filming vlogs. It all takes time.

And I don’t know about you, but time is one thing I - and most of the business owners and marketing managers I know - don’t have a lot of. This is why we’ve put together a list of ideas that will help you save time with your content marketing.

Timesaving tip #01: Do less

This might sound like a flippant answer, but it really isn’t. There are so many ways to engage people through content marketing, the reality is that unless you have a huge marketing department at your disposal, you won’t be able to do all of them. At least not well. 

Take some time to work out what your capacity is in-house - how often you can realistically expect to get a blog post out, for example, or how many social media channels you can successful keep up with? Then focus on doing that consistently and to a high standard.

Timesaving tip #02: Outsource what you struggle with

Another option is to outsource certain activities such as social media or blogging to specialists. Not only will doing so give you more time, there’s a good chance that being specialists they’ll actually do a better job. And you’ll reduce your stress levels too!

Timesaving tip #03: Set brand guidelines

This is one of those jobs that can be shoved down the to do list because it takes a little time initially. But do it now and you will reap the benefits forever. Good brand guidelines, covering both visuals and tone of voice, will be invaluable to anyone contributing content to your business. Whether it’s being done in-house or externally, by giving your creative team detailed guidelines, they’re much more likely to submit work you’re happy with first time round.

Timesaving tip #04: Create an editorial calendar

Again, this is something that represents an initial investment of time that will really pay off. By taking time to think about your content goals, your target audience and your overall strategy, you’ll be fired up to brainstorm content ideas for the next quarter, half year or even longer. Organise these ideas into your editorial calendar, cross referencing between things like your blog, vlog and social media streams, and you'll drastically reduce your day to day workload for the future.

Timesaving tip #05: Batch task

One of the useful things that an editorial calendar allows you to do is batch task, something that is proven to increase efficiency and reduce the time spent on individual jobs. As an example, rather than scrabbling about for a suitable #mondaymotivation quote for your Twitter feed every week, spend an hour getting a couple of dozen organised and you’ll be sorted for weeks. the same goes for writing blog posts, filming vlogs and so on.

Timesaving tip #06: Using scheduling tools

If you get into the habit of writing a few blog posts or planning a fortnight’s worth of social media content at a time, you might as well get it all uploaded and ready to go. Your web platform should give you the option to schedule blog posts, and there are lots of options available for social media such as Hootsuite, Buffer and Sprout Social. Email marketing platforms like Mailchimp do this too, so you can get a head start on the bits of your newsletter that aren’t so time sensitive.

Timesaving tip #07: Repurpose content

Having created all this great content, make sure you don’t just use it once and then let it become redundant. By repurposing content and squeezing as much value as you can from it, you will save yourself an awful lot of time. Use quotes from blog posts as quotable pictures on Instagram, take key stats from your latest white paper and create an infographic, share individual slides from an online presentation as images on LinkedIn. And don’t forget simply re-sharing evergreen content from months or even years ago, if it’s relevant. The #throwbackthursday hashtag makes this especially easy to do.

Content marketing takes time to do well, but by following these simple steps you should find you can claw back at least some of it. And if there’s anything we can do to help, just shout!

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