We’ve all heard the phrase time is money, but the newsfeed blocking extension I use on all my computers introduced me to another variant of the phrase.
“Time is more valuable than money. You can get more money, but you cannot get more time.”
- American entrepreneur, Jim Rohn (1930-2009)
We are looking to spend less time and money on the content while producing the greatest possible impact.
We don’t want to cut corners, nor do we want to get mired spending a ton of time on a piece of content that isn’t effective.
What makes for effective content?
The first question to ask on this journey is to determine what makes content truly engaging? What makes it effective?
Part of this equation is defining efficacy. What makes your content effective?
Effective content is content that achieves the goals you set for it. You need to decide what goals your marketing strategy achieves. A good marketing strategy has already considered these things, but if you don’t yet have that solidified, it’s the perfect time to start.
Effective content aspires to drive the following goals:
- Increased website traffic
- Increased impressions/views
- Increased shares
- Brand visibility
- Provides value
- Provides thought leadership
How long should you spend on content?
Marketer Derek Halpern says that you should spend 20% of your time creating content and 80% of your time promoting it. That means that in a 40-hour workweek, assuming that content creation is your entire job, you should spend 8 hours a week (or one full workday) creating content, and the remaining 32 hours promoting that content.
Does that sound right to you?
Sometimes as marketers we overfocus on the amount of time we spend on content creation to the detriment of that same content’s promotion. In the following section, I’ll outline the types of content that are high impact, low effort content that will make it that much easier to nail the 80/20 rule of promotion vs creation.
Identify how long you think a type of content might take, then use that guess to budget the amount of time you spend. Try to aim for 20% creation and see if perhaps the amount of content you’re trying to make naturally exceeds that. If you need more time, honor that. Maybe make less content or try a different form.
Types of High Impact, Low Effort Content
Here are some great examples of low effort, high impact content that you can use to maximize your time.
Have a set of data points? Maybe a table of information? Maybe it’s time to whip up a quick data visualization.
You can use data visualization on a single statistic, or with a set of data points that you’ve found a trend on.
Data visualization can be a very short endeavor or a quite long one. We just wrote a post on getting started with data visualization. Check it out here.
Shareable/Chain Visual Content
Create content that is shareable by creating posts that are interesting and unique and contain an element that makes people want to reshare them.
I really like the “this or that” story posts, or posts that ask users to share their favorite photos. Keep your interactive element simple and easy to share. Make people want to pass it forward, don’t force it.
If your customers make content either with your content or without, consider packaging it for distribution on your feeds. Not only is content like this easier for you to share, but also helps the customer you’re promoting.
This increases their reach, your reach, and strengthens the relationship your brand has with another.
If your employees post online, they have content that you can share. Maybe that’s sharing pictures of their animals, their personal work, etc.
It can be helpful to gather employee social media accounts to keep an eye out for content to share. Just ask before you repost content from personal social media feeds. You can also ask employees for content, but they’re less likely to send you content.
Turn feedback into reviews that make your company look good. Is a customer super satisfied with your offering and tells you?
Consider creating content off that review. Ideally make it something simple to consume with a human face. That could be a video of the customer reviewing the service or simply a picture of them with their review next to it.
As always, consent is important. Ask the customer if you can share their review and if they’re really satisfied, maybe they’ll even make video content for you.
Interviews don’t have to be long or intensive. You can email them to the person you want to question, do a video or phone interview, and present them in any form that makes sense.
My advice? Keep it short. Videos should only be a few minutes. Keep podcast-style conversations within 15 minutes long. For interview blog posts, a little length is okay, but don’t spend too much time interviewing or writing up the interview. My best interviews are typically 15 or 20 minutes long, touch on a series of questions I wanted to be answered, and then it takes another 30 to translate my notes/recording into the actual content.
Guest posts require a little finagling and so aren’t as low effort as you’d imagine. You have to find someone willing to write a guest post for your blog, then edit it to ensure it meets your style and brand guidelines.
But you don’t have to write them and their impact is quite hefty. Not only will you have a diverse voice as part of your content you’ll also get backlinks to another website, build partnerships with other brands.
Have a hot take on an industry topic? What about a fun set of advice you can spit out quickly? TikTok and other trendy short video platforms make it possible for you to create super short videos that are easy to share.
Content shouldn’t eat up your whole day. Learn to create content that makes a splash, without spending your whole day on it. Remember, not all content ideas have to be new ones. Repurposing content into smaller chunks or fleshing it out to something longer form is also worthwhile.
Work smarter, not harder in 2021. Spend less time making content, and more time honing and promoting the content you’ve worked hard on.
Let us know what you think:
- What is your favorite kind of low effort, high impact content?
- Are you interested in trying any of the forms we mention here?
- Which forms of content makes the biggest splash for you?