15 Insider Tips for Creating a Content Creation Machine [SlideShare]

by Anum Hussain

Date

April 1, 2013 at 2:00 PM

machine-gearI can't tell you how many times people have asked me, "How the heck does HubSpot crank out such a high volume of content?!" Well, content lovers, today I'd like to share some of our content tips and secrets with you, so you too can create a well-oiled content machine.

First things first: To "do" inbound marketing, you also need to "do" content. Be careful here. Content is not your entire inbound marketing strategy. Yes, content is a vital, irrefutable part -- but so is social media, SEO, email marketing, lead nurturing, and so on.

So to help make all your marketing content dreams come true, we'll be sharing content tips all week long. In fact, the first 500 people to download our latest offer, How HubSpot Does Inbound: Creating a Content Machine, will be entered for a chance to win a free, one-hour blog consultation with one of our blogging experts, Corey Eridon. Grab the ebook now for your chance!

Now, without further ado, check out our 15 top tips for turning your marketing team into a high-quality content machine.

15 Tips for Making Content Creation Faster, Easier, and More Effective


1) Compile List Posts

A tried and true content method, top lists are a mix between original content and aggregation. You aggregate the ideas, and write short blurbs about each (kind of like these 15 tips!). This is excellent content for a new writer, because each blurb in the list can be somewhat brief (just link to other resources for more in-depth information), and the post provides a built-in structure to work with. For more tips about creating lists posts, check out this blog post about the top 10 qualities of high-quality content. (See what we did there?)

2) Teach Readers How to Do Something

If you know how to do something your readers would appreciate knowing how to do, it should be pretty easy to transfer your knowledge to paper ... or your computer screen. Remember -- blogs are conversational by nature. Just write it out like you'd speak it if you were telling a lead, customer, or colleague. In fact, we can teach you exactly how to write stellar how-to posts in this ... how-to post! How meta.

3) Answer FAQs

Think of the questions leads and customers ask you every day, and turn those into pieces of content in which you answer those FAQs. Sit down with your salespeople or customer service reps who are talking to your prospects and customers all the time, and create a list of potential topics from those common questions and concerns. If you spoke at an event or were involved in a Twitter chat and heard some interesting questions, gather them and answer them in a new post. 

4) Curate Remarkable Content

Recognizing remarkable content from others is a core link- and relationship-building strategy. It also just happens to require little original writing, and more aggregation -- perfect for those just getting started with content creation. We often do this when we spot remarkable infographics, eye-opening marketing statistics, or must-read marketing blogs. There are simply some pieces of industry content that are too good not to share. Get more tips about content curation in

5) Forget About Length

There is no optimal length for a blog post, ebook, and so on. Good content is good content, regardless of how long it is. Instead of asking yourself if a piece of content is long enough, ask yourself whether someone will read it and take away enough information to consider it valuable. Ask yourself if your audience will be left wanting more information or feeling confused, or if the content answers all their questions about that particular topic. At HubSpot, we focus more on making sure our content is comprehensive, not long.

6) Take Advantage of Data-Based Content

Whether you have your own original data or you stumble across interesting industry data in your reading, compile original data into a data-based report, or take one or many external data points and compile them into an article. Furthermore, using supporting data can spice up a piece of content, and data in general is very shareable. It also tends to say a lot in few words. If you only come across a few interesting stats, share them and provide your opinion on them.

7) Excerpt Content

When you publish a gated piece of content (typically lead generation content like an ebook that is behind a form on a landing page), a quick source of content is an excerpt of that piece. The excerpt can also serve to promote the gated content, giving readers an idea of what they'll get if they download the full version. This is similar to the preview of a few pages of a book you can view on barnesandnoble.com or Amazon, and it makes for quick and easy blog content.

8) Newsjack

By its very nature, the process of newsjacking needs to be executed quickly in order to be effective. So when a piece of news that impacts your industry -- or for which you could find a relevant spin for your audience -- hits the press, hop on it like white on rice. To learn how to be a successful newsjacker, check out our complete guide to newsjacking here.

9) Produce Evergreen Content

Evergreen content is content that stands the test of time. For example, you may have published that blog post months and months ago, but that doesn't mean it isn't still relevant or discoverable through channels like search engines and social media. Create content that is timeless -- content that even if someone read ten months from now would still be relevant and valuable. For example, if you create an evergreen ebook, that's a piece of content you can promote time and time again and continue to generate results from it. 

10) Use an Editorial Calendar

An editorial calendar -- both for your blog and other content -- can help you stay organized, manage multiple contributors, monitor your keyword use and topic balance, and manage your blog's timing and deadlines. They also allow you to spot any holes in your content variety. Are you discussing the same topic too much? Or are you balancing an introduction of new ideas with historically successful ones? Do you have enough content to generate the leads you need to fuel your sales team? Get started with our free blog editorial calendar template.

11) Turn Presentations Into SlideShares

When you put together a stellar educational presentation, whether for an internal training session, a conference speaking gig, or a webinar, try spiffying it up and turning it into a SlideShare presentation. This gives you an entirely new piece of content to promote or embed in a new blog post.

12) Update Historical Content

If you have content that has performed well in the past but has since gotten out of date, why not update and re-launch it? This can help you continue to reap SEO benefits from your high-trafficked content that has gotten stale. And since this content is written already, making updates to it by swapping in the latest information should be an easy way to publish new content. Learn more in this post about how to revitalize evergreen content for a lead gen boost.

13) Create Video Content

If you're suffering from writer's block, a video could be the way to go. Videos are excellent alternatives to how-to posts in which you talk through a concept like you would to anyone in-person -- no bells and whistles required. You might also schedule an interview, another helpful video format that doesn't require a lot of investment. Or maybe you just create a fun video that shows off your company culture.

14) Invite Guest Bloggers

Not all your content has to be written by you. Guest bloggers can offer a fresh perspective, so be open to inviting other industry experts to write content for your blog, and build a relationship with them for future co-marketing opportunities. You can reward the favor with inbound links -- which every marketer loves.

15) Keep a Backlog of Ideas

Brainstorm all your best ideas and store them in a backlog that you can refer to when you're feeling stumped. Book 30 minutes with your team to shout out their best ideas, and develop the brainstorm with the ideas people share. You can keep those all stored for future content pieces -- perhaps within a tab on your editorial calendar!

To learn more about creating your own content creation machine, check out our new ebook and join us on
HubSpot's Facebook Page
, where our various content experts will be available to answer all your questions about content from 1-2 p.m. ET Tuesday through Friday of this week.

What additional tips do you have for creating a content machine?

Image Credit: kennymatic

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