We are all trying to figure out how to get things done as efficiently as possible.
The important thing to remember about publishing online and on social media is that it is a never-ending, greedy maw of demand … if you want to stay competitive and visible. That is the reality.
However, that is no reason to post garbage content simply to keep up, or to run yourself ragged trying to be everywhere, all at once, all the time.
I talked with some old friends at Freelance Austin recently about how to create more content in less time – here is what I recommended, plus my presentation slides are at the bottom of this post.
Four ways to be more efficient with your content….
1) Share One Story in Many Different Places
The first time I really learned how to do this was a visit a few years back to Health Camp in Waco, Texas, which is neither healthy nor a camp (it’s a burger joint with great shakes.)
I took photos of the vintage exterior, my artfully arranged peanut butter shake and corn dog, and a few other items.
Those became a blog post, a Facebook Page post, a tweet, a post on the now-defunct site Foodspotting, a Pinterest pin, a Flickr photo (I’d use Instagram today,) and I could have used Animoto to turn all of my photos into a video.
Sharing content on different social platforms isn’t a new idea, of course, but what I DIDN’T do was share the exact same thing across multiple platforms all at the same time.
Craft the content to fit the platform.
It’s important to include hashtags in tweets and Instagram posts, but nobody cares about them on Facebook. Pinterest requires some thought about keywords, because it’s more of a search engine than a social network. A video file should be uploaded directly to Facebook and Twitter, but it should also sit on YouTube with a solid title and description, for SEO purposes.
Mix up what you share from a single place.
When I visited Pittsburgh’s Mattress Factory Museum of contemporary art recently, I shared one photo from there on Instagram, a different one on Facebook, and a third one on the Tourism Currents LinkedIn Page with a caption tied to experiential travel.
That’s a lot of mileage out of one visit, and I haven’t even written the blog post about it yet.
A small business or organization could also share content as a post on their Google My Business listing.
2) Take One Idea/Story & Present it With Different Media
Think of a story you want to tell or a point you want to get across to your audience, then consider different media formats you could try.
Think about how you could present it as text.
As a photo.
As a photo with some sort of text overlay – try Canva.
As a video.
As an Instagram or Facebook Story.
As a presentation on SlideShare.
Here is our blog post about content repurposing, because the process of doing this project is also content!
3) Use Your Archives: Re-Share Previous Work
Even though I’ve been blogging since early 2006, it took me way too long to appreciate my blog post archives.
Maybe you, too, have forgotten all of the great stories you have in there, but re-sharing work you’ve already done is one of the easiest ways to fill the content publishing calendar. I assure you, a lot of people missed it the first time.
Posts need to be checked and updated before you re-share, of course, but that is a lot easier than coming up with all-new material.
Lean on your archives for evergreen and seasonal posts, and be prepared for “news-jacking” opportunities when there is renewed interest in a topic. For example, when Game of Thrones started up again, our posts about GoT filming destinations starting showing up in the increased volume of search results, resulting in more traffic to Perceptive Travel without any extra work.
Use your archived posts for internal linking (good for your SEO,) to re-share in email newsletters, and to answer questions and provide information on social media.
I use a simple manual system of adding re-share reminders to my Google Calendar, based somewhat on this Buffer blog post about re-sharing on social.
Re-sharing more often works on Twitter, which is very noisy plus you need to hit different time zones. My personal schedule for Twitter re-sharing is:
- Day of publication
- Next day
- Next week
- 1 month later
- 3 months
- 6 months
- 9 months
- 1 year later
Re-shares on Facebook and LinkedIn need to be spread out more, or the algorithms will suppress them in the News Feed. After the initial publication and push, try re-shares three or six months later, then again after a year if it’s still relevant.
I also list key anniversaries on my Google Calendar, like May 23 as the date in 1934 that gangsters Bonnie and Clyde met their end, so that I’ll be reminded on that day to re-share the post I wrote about going to their ambush spot in Gibsland, Louisiana.
4) Re-Purpose Work You’ve Already Done Into New Content
First, scan your photo archives – is there an image there that you forgot about that could be a springboard to a great post?
Same with any video files you have laying around.
Then, think about creatively re-packaging chunks of previous content into new posts. For example, over a couple of years I’d mentioned local breakfast places when I wrote about a destination. I realized that I could take each photo and descriptive paragraph from those blog posts, and make it into a new post, 5 Places to Live Like a Local at Breakfast.
Those are sometimes called round-up posts, and they’re an easy way to make more content in less time.
You may find yourself writing content when you don’t even realize it. A long email in response to a question is a potential blog post. So is a lengthy response to something on Facebook or LinkedIn. When you find yourself writing sentence after sentence, you’re onto something. Copy and paste it into a draft blog post. Here are 5 ways to come up with blog post ideas from, yes, this blog’s archives.
Even this blog post is me re-purposing a presentation slide deck and my outline notes. 😊
Did I miss anything? How do YOU get more content in less time? Share your ideas down in the comments….
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