Creating quality content is a very time consuming task and anyone that tells you otherwise probably doesn’t do it. The biggest problem with content marketing is that you need a ton of quality content to make it work. You can’t skimp on it or it just won’t work.
In a recent survey Content Marketing Institute discovered that most content marketing organizations are increasing the amount of content they are creating.
Even some of the more prolific content creators on the web like Gary Vaynerchuk said he was going to be “Tripling Down” on content – because “doubling down” doesn’t begin to describe how important he thinks it is.
If You Are Always Creating High Quality Content How Is Your Work Getting Done?
Let’s face it, most of us don’t have the luxury of sitting in front of a computer or video camera all day and just creating awesome content after awesome piece of content. But if you plan on succeeding as a content marketer or thought leader you better figure out a way to maximize your quality content or you’ll slip into a coma from lack of sleep.
If you spend any amount of time online you will have noticed that there is a ton of quality content. Ten years ago it was hard to find good articles and blog posts. It was like finding a winning lottery ticket stuck to your shoe. Fast forward a decade and technology platforms like WordPress, Blogger, Typepad, plus many more have made it really easy to publish content. During the same time social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn took off, making it easy to share that content with everyone in your inner circle and even people you have never met.
But therein lies another problem…
How can you create epic shit and not just quality content?
Today, creating high quality content isn’t enough if you want to be noticed. You have to take it a step beyond that and create AWESOME content that people are going to want to share over and over again if you want to make an impact online. As Corbett Barr said in a recent post “Building a raving audience online all starts with writing epic shit. Period. Hands down. End of story.”
Write things that make people think. Inspire people. Change lives. Create value. Blow people away with your usefulness.
Creating “Top 10” blog posts or posts about “The Secrets To” or “Best of” isn’t going to cut it. Wil Reynolds said it best and I’m going to paraphrase it, “Your company needs to be engaged in Real Company Shit.”
Wil did an awesome presentation for MozCon 2012 if you want to check it out.
Real marketing value comes from listening to what the target consumer is searching for and building content around those queries.
When you combine creating Epic Shit with Real Company Shit you don’t end up with an automated pile of shit, you get some truly AWESOME content worth spreading around.
But who has enough time in the day to do that? Not me.
I want to introduce you to a simple time saving concept that I call a “Content Circle.”
With a Content Circle you’ll be able to take advantage of blogging and at the same time create additional related pieces of high quality content to share in social media, all while doing real company stuff to satisfy your business needs.
When creating truly awesome content there is a general process that you follow.
- Research The Topic
- Organize Your Thoughts
- Write or Type a Rough Draft
- Edit and Format The Content
- Optimize for Search and Social
- Add Related Media/Images
- Schedule Post
I’ll cover these in more depth in another post, but when you are doing a really in depth piece steps 1 and 2 can take 6 to 8 hours alone. And the length of the content doesn’t matter.
I created a 4 minute video the other day that took almost 10 hours of total time to research, script, shoot, and edit. The overall length of the content has little bearing on the overall time.
A solution is to use your core concept from your epic content to create different types of content for your marketing.
A Story About Bacon
Here’s a completely fictitious example.
As a caterer you frequently go walking downtown to get inspiration from what you see. As you’re walking down the street one day you look at a poster hanging up in a store window and then BAM an idea smacks you in the head.
This could be really GREAT!
Bacon wrapped around eggs with a tooth pick through it. A little bacon hors d’oeuvre!! Yummy I know.
When you get back to the house you do a quick search and see if anyone has thought of that idea yet. After all, there are plenty of bacon aficionados out there. You find a bacon burrito and the art of bacon weaving, but no bacon hors d’oeuvre with just bacon wrapped around eggs.
You spend the next couple of hours researching the best way to prepare and cook the bacon, making sure that everything is just right. After the research you run to the store and get several different types of bacon to test out what you have found online. A few more hours in the kitchen taking notes and snapping pictures to share around the web and your almost ready to tell the world about your new creation.
Minutes turn to hours as you painstakingly detail every type of bacon, folding style, cooking sheet, and everything else it takes to turn your idea into a masterpiece.
Your game time bacon hors d’oeuvre is complete.
So how does this relate to the Content Circle?
First, let’s define the different parts of the Content Circle.
With a blog at it’s core you have:
Over the years working in the kitchen you started taking notes by recording them on your phone. It was easier and a lot less messy than trying to write down what you discovered with pen and paper. You transcribe the audio and now you have text to work with and organize your thoughts for your blog post later on.
To aid your memory, you also record video at key parts during this process explaining what you are doing along the way. You also have a camera set up taking pictures every few minutes. You supplement the pictures with screen shots from the video along the way.
Together with your audio notes you use the pictures and screen shots to make a presentation that you can share at your local foodie meetup group. Not leaving anything out, you take audio clips of your notes and pictures to create another video.
Now at the end of the day you have several thousand words of text from your notes, plenty of pictures, several videos, a presentation, and enough information to create an infographic if you wanted to.
You have now completed the Content Circle. You have something for everybody who would be interested in your creation. For those that read you have the blog. For those that just want to salivate over the pictures you have plenty of those. The people that want to see you do it you have a video. And for the curious mind you even have a presentation for them to lust after over and over again.
Every aspect of how someone could engage your content and your business has been covered. You’re now able to generate leads from every type of person and you have plenty of social media content to share for a while AND plenty of ways to get links back to your website.
Content Circle Demystified
With the Content Circle you are able to take different types of content to create another type of content while still maintaining your core idea. All the different types of content can support one another or stand alone as a quality piece of content all on its own.
You can take audio and create text, text and images create a presentation, a presentation and audio make a video. The circle continues in both directions always feeding off of itself.
The time saver is using multiple types of content to create another so that your time is better leveraged.
Your time is the most valuable asset that you have. You don’t want to waste it.
The bacon story was fun, but now what? What’s a real world example that you can use?
I’m glad you asked.
Let’s start with something a little more challenging because of the creative nature of it. Infographics have come on strong in the past few years because of their ability to visually tell a story that’s easy to share. The amount of time that goes into creating a high quality custom infographic is enormous.
In 2011 an infographic was created to tell the story of “How Your Sales Messaging Affects Conversion Rate.”
Creating an infographic like this is also expensive because of all the custom graphics. How can they maximize that investment in the graphics? Answer: Make a video out of it.
Now ZippyCart has a couple of ways that share the information and graphics that they created. It becomes a win-win for them and anyone who finds their information. ZippyCart took an infographic and turned into a video.
Have You Heard of Mixergy?
Andrew Warner at Mixergy spends a lot of time interviewing really awesome people. Each show is jam packed full of super high quality information. If all he did was do the interview Andrew would still have awesome content. But he takes it a few steps further. For his interviews Andrew has each one transcribed, but he also has just the audio stripped out of the video interviews so you can listen to just that.
Andrew now has several ways to share his content including audio, video, and text that all complement his blog post. Each piece of content stands alone as a quality piece of content, but they can be used together for a much greater impact.
Andrew shows again how to maximize your time when creating high quality content.
What About Small Business?
You may not have a larger budget like our past couple of examples, but that shouldn’t stop you from completing your Content Circle. Add a little creativity and content curation and you’ll be able to do the same.
Our next example of this is from a small flower shop in Siesta Key, FL, called Flowers by Fudgie. Their business provides flowers for all types of events with weddings being a big part of their business. Siesta Key is one of the top destination spots for weddings in the US.
The owner started a blog a few years ago, as many small business owners do. She quickly found out that finding high quality images is time consuming and expensive, and they never featured their quality creations and floral arrangements.
What did they do?
They approached the wedding parties and photographers and asked if they could feature them on their blog. They told the unique story of the wedding and coupled it with stunning photographs taken during the event and got to feature their beautiful bouquets. A win-win-win for everyone involved.
Flowers by Fudgie curated these special moments with supporting content provided by others. They ended up with a unique story, stunning photos, and an awesome blog post.
What Did We Learn?
No matter what your business or website, with the proper amount of creativity you can create more quality content by completing the Content Circle. Because you are taking the time to create epic shit to complete the Content Circle you make it truly remarkable for everyone.
What’s your story? Leave a comment below.