One of the biggest questions business owners grapple with when they are using social media for their marketing is how to create content. It is a never-ending cycle that can overwhelm you very quickly. Especially when some recommendations for posting are as high as 100X per day. How can anyone possibly come up with 100 new pieces of content every day?
We are here to help you solve that problem. Because it doesn’t have to be that hard. With a little upfront work and a commitment to create at least one large piece of content every month, you can create a content generation machine for your business that will ensure you have something ready to share all the time. Curious? We would be too.
What is considered content creation?
Content creation is the process of making visual, written, and recorded materials for other people to read, view, and watch.
How do I create my own business content?
Creating your own business content doesn’t have to be hard. After all, as a business owner, you are the expert on the product or service that you sell. Yet, this is a major hurdle for a lot of business owners. Why? It could be that you don’t feel like you have anything to share, you aren’t a good wordsmith, or you simply do not have the time. That is why so many business owners outsource this work to freelancers or marketing agencies.
Want to blog for your business? Check out our in-depth guide, here.
But not everyone has the budget to hire someone to create that much content. This is especially true when current recommendations to post to social media can be quite taxing. For example, did you know that some brands post to Twitter as often as 14 times a day? You will ultimately need to experiment with your own pages and see what works in your industry. But the thought of creating that much content is dizzying.
We are here today to provide you with a solution to that problem. You can create a content machine that allows you to post to your social media channels multiple times a day. And the best part is, it doesn’t have to take over your life. In this guide, we will tell you exactly how.
How do I build a content machine?
To build a content machine for your business, it is first essential to know what a content machine is. In simple terms, a content machine is a set of steps designed to help you create and post consistently on your website and social media channels.
Before we get started, we want to briefly discuss an issue that some experts disagree with. There is a belief that you cannot reshare content on social media if you already shared it. And there is evidence that resharing content limits the reach of your posts, especially on Facebook. But this sort of advice is unrealistic and unreasonable for most business owners. Unless you have a huge audience with tons of engagement, it really doesn’t make a difference. So we are going against the grain a bit here. As this article is intended for business owners who are just getting started on social media, we recommend resharing content as you build up your content machine.
Now that we cleared that up, let’s get into the steps you need to take to produce a constant stream of content for your business.
Step One: Create and publish at least four blogs or videos on your website.
Realistically, you need to have something to work with if you are going to start sharing on social media. You don’t need an extensive library of blogs or videos. But if you start with four and a commitment to creating new pieces on a regular basis, this is going to be enough to get started.
Step Two: Create 15-30 pieces of core promotional content.
Create 1-3 graphics and write 15-30 pieces of copy for social media. A great way to do this is to comb through your website and turn phrases from the website into ads for social media. You just want 15-30 phrases that directly sell your product or services.
Step Three: Create 15-30 pieces of fun/informational content.
Go through your blogs and find quotes or statistics that are really powerful. Make them into graphics and then write a little copy to go with them. Do you have a step-by-step guide? Create an infographic. You can also add in some fun questions that will get your audience to comment on your posts.
Step Four: Create a simple sharing schedule.
Decide how many times a day or week you want to post to your social media channels. For this example, we will say you are planning to post to Twitter 3 times a day, LinkedIn 3 days a week, Facebook 5 days a week, and Instagram 2 times a day. Of note, we do not recommend posting to Instagram unless your content is visually appealing and branded. So, with the content you have now, your schedule could look like this.
Post a fun or informational post to Twitter in the am. Share a promotional post around lunchtime. Share a blog in the afternoon.
Post a fun/informational post to LinkedIn on Monday, a promotional post on Wednesday, and share a blog on Friday.
Rotate the types of posts on Facebook Monday to Friday.
Share fun question posts in the morning and promotional posts in the afternoon on Instagram.
Step Five: Schedule your posts
Once you have the content and a schedule in place, all you have to do is schedule it. You can schedule a week in advance, two weeks in advance, or even a month in advance. This depends on how often you plan to create new content and how often you want to schedule posts.
We recommend putting the content onto spreadsheets and then using a bulk upload template for your posts. Most scheduling tools support this function and it is much faster than manually scheduling each post.
Grab our free template for tracking your social media content, here!
Don’t worry if you are repeating content in the beginning. Unless you have a large audience and you are already posting to social media consistently, no one is going to see or care. Except maybe the algorithm. By the time it makes a difference, you will have enough content in rotation to not hurt your reach and engagement as much.
Step Six: Commit to regular blogging or video creation.
This is the hard part, but it is absolutely essential. You don’t have to commit to a crazy schedule. If you can write one blog or create one video a month and turn it into 4-10 pieces of content, that’s enough. Seriously.
Step Seven: Repurpose each new video or blog into new content.
This is similar to what you did in Step Three. Each time you write a blog or create a video, make 4-10 pieces of content from it. This could be a cool statistic that you turn into a beautiful graphic, or a quote from the blog that is particularly compelling. You can create an infographic to illustrate a process you go over. You can take clips from the video and turn them into teasers. One long blog or video can turn into several shareable and fun mini-pieces that are perfect for social media.
Don’t know how to write a blog for your business? Check out our in-depth guide, here.
Step Eight: Add the new content to a spreadsheet to use in future rotations.
Now you have more variety to share with your audience. After a few months, you will have more than enough content and you can start eliminating the stuff that isn’t as good. For now, the content grows as your audience grows and you still don’t have to worry about repeating yourself.
As mentioned before, we recommend using a spreadsheet for this because you can keep track of what was posted and when it was last posted to each platform, which makes it easier to handle. If you are using the bulk upload option (which we highly recommend) it also makes it easier to move the content from one place to another.
Step Nine: Review the content each month.
Ideally, this is through an audit. This way you can see what works and what doesn’t.
Grab your free audit template, here!
If you have never done an audit before, we have another guide that you can follow that goes with our template.
Step Ten: Update and refresh old content as needed.
Rewrite at least a quarter of your copy so you aren’t posting the exact same thing every month. Make sure everything is still consistent with your goals and branding. If you have enough content, eliminate anything that isn’t doing well.
Step Eleven: Fill out a bulk upload sheet for each platform.
Most scheduling tools will allow you to use a .csv to bulk upload your posts. Take advantage of this. If you are posting multiple times a day, a bulk uploader will save you loads of time and energy.
Step Twelve: Upload the content to your channels.
This is the easy part. As long as you’ve filled out your bulk upload sheet properly, all you have to do is upload it and then double-check for errors.
After the initial set-up, this entire process should take you around 8 hours a month. Especially if you follow our guide for writing a blog post. When it’s done, you can rest easy knowing that you have created and scheduled content for an entire month. Yay!
Competing with big businesses on social media is difficult for a small business owner. The investment of time needed to create that much content is not something most businesses have. But with this process, you can get a lot closer. It does require a commitment of time. But after the initial investment, you can reasonably complete all of these steps by committing just one or two days a month to content creation. Less if you adhere to a less rigorous publishing schedule.
Here at The Social Expansion Project, we can help you create new content every month to add to your content machine. If you want to learn more about how we can help you up-level your digital marketing game, schedule a free no-pressure consultation here!