I buy the pre-chopped cilantro at the grocery store.
Before you start telling me how it costs $2.99 to buy cilantro pre-chopped; an extravagant waste of money, since you can buy an entire bunch of cilantro for 34 cents. And before you add that it takes less than 5 minutes to wash and chop that 34-cent bunch of cilantro, let me tell you something: I don’t care.
I don’t care that it takes only 5 minutes to wash and chop cilantro. Because I don’t have 5 minutes (or more realistically, I’d rather spend that 5 minutes elsewhere). I’ll pay the $2.99 and take my 5 minutes, thankyouverymuch. Heck, I’ll pay $4.99 for organic chopped cilantro to be hand-delivered to my house in a horse-drawn carriage if it means I can spend that time doing something way more valuable to me.
*Cue a million marketers raising their hands.*
So, we got to thinking… if $2.99 can buy you 5 minutes at dinnertime, what would it take to buy 5 minutes at work? Because, at least in my mind, when you have to fix the retargeting ads and write 2 blog posts and create a lead magnet all before 5 o’clock, 5 minutes is worth a whole lot more than $2.99.
Or even better, what if we could chop an hour—which is $59.80 in cilantro time—off of our content marketing work each week?
Well we can.
Here are 6 easy ideas that can start saving you time right now.
Focus on 1 (or 2 Max) Social Channels
Social is a powerful tool for promoting content, but if you’re feeling like you’re spending more time figuring out how to promote your content than you are creating it, we recommend you channel your social efforts.
Do a quick inventory of which social channel always seems to perform the best for you. For example, if your target market is B2B small businesses, then LinkedIn and Facebook will likely be your best bets. If you’re marketing something that’s absolutely beautiful and appeals to a millennial audience, then we’re guessing Instagram is your go-to.
Once you’ve figured out your best channel or channels, focus 80% of your attention on creating posts that work on that channel. You can throw up a quick post on other channels, but target your creative efforts and creative time on the channels that work for you and your audience.
Write Email and Social Copy at the Same Time You Create Content
Do you sometimes treat your marketing team as an assembly line? We admit that there are some benefits to having one person write the blog articles, one person write the email copy, and one person screw the bolts onto the tires so the car is ready to roll.
But the truth is that with content marketing, working in isolation can sometimes be detrimental to both the quality and efficiency of your marketing efforts.
If you’re finding yourself and your team spending way too much time writing promotional copy, see what happens if you have your content creators make promotional assets at the same time that they write your articles or create your videos.
Use the Facebook Save Feature
If you ever find yourself frantically googling trying to find content marketing inspiration, then this trick is for you.
Throughout the week, use the Facebook save feature to save anything you see that triggers your interest. Then, when it comes time to put together content for your own marketing efforts, you’ll have a bunch of content ready to inspire you.
Splinter Your Content
Similarly, if you have a blog article or video that has done really well for you, try splintering it. Choose one section of the previously published content and build it out into a second article.
This not only will save you time (half of the research and writing is done!) but will also create a great content cluster that will improve SEO on your site.
Create an End Time to Your Content Creation Party
It’s happened to you, hasn’t it? You clearly said that the party ended at 2, but that one guy just stays and stays and keeps on talking, even though it’s an hour after the party ended and all you want to do is make a cup of tea and put your feet up.
It’s frustrating at a party, but even more frustrating when you’re creating content and you just keep going back over that one line over and over again and editing and re-editing and then changing it back to the way it was.
Step away from the blog article. Make yourself a cup of tea.
We’ll let you in on a little secret: That post isn’t permanent.
If you post something that you later decide you want to change… you can do that. So, leave the party at 2 o’clock and let the content be. It was a great party, but it can be over… and we promise, that one line will be just fine.
Try Creative Sprints
It’s amazing how much you can get done in a half hour if you don’t allow yourself to be distracted even a little bit.
Don’t believe us? Try it.
Set a timer for 20 minutes and just create. Don’t get up to get a cup of coffee. Don’t answer your text messages. Don’t stretch your arms a bit. Don’t do anything other than write/design/edit/create.
When you’re done, set that project aside for a bit and then come back to it with a clear mind. We bet you’ll not only save time, but your product will be better.
They key to all of these tips is limits: Time limits, word count limits, limits on how much cilantro you let yourself put on each taco.
Because as the old adage goes, even if you only have a little bit of cilantro, your taco will still taste great. Okay, there’s no such adage, but there should be. Because you need some extra hours in your day. Oh, and some tacos. Everyone needs more tacos.