Content, content, content.
It is a huge part of any business or personal brand. Without it, there would be no audience, no readers and for some businesses and people, no customers.
Now, if I was to ask you, “How much time of your week is spent creating content, and how organised is your content creation process?”, too many of you would say “quite a lot of time” and “not very structured”.
I see a lot of businesses owners and people creating content as and when they need it. They often create it the same day they want it published, and this often leads to content that is rushed and not actually what their audience would truly benefit from.
We can all benefit from a proper content schedule and proper content research, and that is why today, I am going to be introducing you to the term- content batching.
If you want to know the step by step 5 day process of how content batching is going to 10x your productivity, then make sure to read on!
Also, if you enjoy this blog post, it would be great if you could share it on social media, so others can also benefit.
*I want to be completely transparent and open with my audience and readers. This post may include affiliate links. This means if you click on one of my affiliate links, I shall receive a commission from your purchase. I thank you in advance if you decide to use my links. It helps with the running of the blog and covering costs, allowing me to bring your more valuable content*
The content batching plan I am going to be showcasing to you today is broken down into 5 stages- with one stage completed each day for 5 days. By the end of the plan, you are going to have at least one months worth of social media content created.
Before I begin, let me ask you a few questions.
What would spending only 5 days on social media content each month mean to you? Would it give you more time to focus on your other more important tasks? Would it give you more time to spend with your family on the weekends? What about giving you that competitive advantage you really needed so you can take your business to the next level?
Whatever it means to you and whatever it will help you with, there is a few key things I can guarantee you will get from content batching. You will get more free time. You will be able to look ahead into the month and know exactly what is planned and you will have a greater increase in productivity and a much more consistent content schedule.
So, to show you the overview, I have listed the plan for each day and what you shall be doing. I talk more in depth about each day as the post goes on.
Day One- Research Ideas
Day Two- Create Your Own Content Ideas
Day Three- Write The Content Copy
Day Four- Create The Content Imagery/Visuals
Day Five- Schedule The Content
Now you have seen the overview, let’s hop straight into Day One!
#Day One | Researching Content Ideas
This is one of, if not the most important stage. If you can find content and create content ideas that your audience is going to get value from, you are already half way there.
One of the hardest parts of content creation is actually creating interesting content, and not only interesting content but valuable content also.
The best performing content is that which the viewer or reader leaves feeling like they gained something from it, whether that be knowledge, entertainment or just plain value of their time.
I have put together a two ways you can perform content research:
Buzzsumo is a platform that has a huge database of content pulled from websites, and you can sign up to this database and see the insights for said content.
As you can see from the screenshot below, you simply type in the URL of the website you want to analyse for content (in this case, Buzzfeed) and it shows you a list of site pages/blog posts with its data results.
When creating content for Pinterest, you can filter it by the most popular content based on Pinterest pins. It is then safe to say that the higher performing pieces of content are going to be better for you to then take inspiration from the idea and either repurpose the original content in your own style or create a piece of content that is similar.
You can also see that it shows statistics for other social media networks aswell.
I use Buzzsumo for a lot of my content research as it really is a great platform to get ideas from. If you do want to give it a try, they do offer a free version where you get so many searches per day. Then if you want more access, they offer the premium plans. You can sign up for Buzzsumo here!
Social Media Profiles
Another way you can research content is on social media itself.
This may be obvious when I say it, but you will be surprised how many do not think back to basics when it comes to content creation.
Social media is full of celebrities, influencers, public figures and high profile pages/accounts. They have already amassed a large following, therefore they must be doing some right.
By looking at the content they post, you can then curate some ideas and inspiration for your own content.
For example, let’s use one of my favourite business examples- the traditional coffee shop!
To use this method, you would go onto large food and beverage accounts such as foodys and buzzfeedtasty and see the way that they create their content- the way it is filmed, the way the food or beverage is prepared etc.
These pieces of content automatically do great because of their satisfying nature and that everyone loves food!
Now, apply that to the coffee shop with drinks and you can start creating content that is similar to content that has already been successful in the past.
This gives you a much higher chance of people engaging with it because you can see that people have enjoyed this type of content previously.
*If you do not already have a journal or a notebook, you need one! I put all my goals, visualisations and research notes inside mine, and it really helps to organise everything and have it all in one defined place. Below, I have listed some journals/notebooks that I recommend:
#Day Two | Creating Your Own Content Ideas
So, you have spent day one researching other content, finding out why it was successful, jotting down notes and saving examples for inspiration. Now it is time to put all that into practice and create a library of your own content ideas!
The goal of this 5 Day Content Batching Plan is for you to have one months content planned and scheduled. Therefore, you are going to need to have a list of 30 content ideas.
Depending on how much research and effort you put into day one, will determine how hard day two becomes. You should be able to come up with 30 ideas fairly easily after all that research.
If you do end up struggling to come up with ideas of your own, then you can either simply replicate the content you found during your research day (Do not copy the content, there is a difference. By replicating, I mean use that content idea for inspiration and then create your own content around that same idea) to make things slightly easier.
*Tip- A good thing to remember when you want to create content based on already successful content is to choose ideas that are performing well across the board, for example, the piece of content is doing well on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram etc. and not just one specific platform. This will mean you can share you content across multiple platforms and it has a higher chance of performing well across them all.
That is however a last resort if at the end of Day Two, you have not been able to create and plan out 30 ideas yourself.
I find that a good way to create plans for each idea is to use a spreadsheet. By having everything organised properly, it makes the physical creation of the content that much easier.
I use google sheets to create all my spreadsheets, so even if you are at the park or on the bus, you can still get access to your spreadsheets on your phone. No excuses now, hey?
#Day Three | Create All The Content Copy
Going into day three, you have now researched content and hopefully a lot of inspiration and insights. You have also came up with your 30 content ideas now and you have a plan and brief written down for each one, all nicely stored in your beautifully organised spreadsheet.
Next, it is content copy time. This is the point where you need to start crafting the written copy that is going to go alongside your content pieces. Whether it is blog posts, social media graphics or just a tweet, all content needs to have proper written copy attached to it.
The way I find best to create content copy is to write a longer piece and then take bits from it to use for the different mediums I am going to be publishing that content to.
For example, let’s say I have chosen one of the social media content pieces to showcase a blog post I wrote.
I would create a long form piece of content copy and then take a few sentences of it to use for my Pinterest Pin, and then another part of it to use for my Instagram Post. I might use the whole thing for my Facebook Post and then just the first sentence for my Tweet.
I have found this a really effective way, because instead of spending ages writing out content copy for each social media network attached to this one piece of content, you can just write a paragraph for each content piece and then break it up into snippets to distribute across your social media channels.
By the end of day three, you should have 30 pieces of long form content copy. Give yourself a pat on the back, you are doing great! and working hard!
#Day Four | Create The Imagery/Visuals
Now, we have hit the more fun part, the graphic creations! This is where your creative side can really come out. Creating nice visuals and ways of packing your content is fun and probably the most enjoyable bit of content creation (at least in my opinion)
All you are going to need to focus on today is creating 30 designs. You may want to go the extra mile and use the same design for each social media account that you post to but it change the size of the canvas to match the sizing for each social media network. This will mean, that you will need to create 2-3 size variations for each design, making the content imagery/visuals a total of around 60-90 posts to make.
I use a piece of software called Adobe Illustrator to create all my graphics however this is a more complex software so if you want to make the process easier, I highly recommend using Canva.
It is very simple to use, includes some great templates and even has the social media sizes built into the templates. You can create a high quality social media graphic in minutes using Canva.
I have listed some good post sizes below for each social media network:
At the end of day 4, you will now have all the research done, the ideas created and planned, the content copy done and the social media graphics. All that is left to do now is schedule the posts to be published throughout the month!
#Day Five | Schedule All The Content
Okay, so you have all your content created. You may have gone down the route of creating blog posts or videos to go along with your social media posts, but whatever ideas you found and used as part of your months content plan, you are going to have 30 posts created all linking to content (new or old blog posts, videos on Youtube etc.) or are the physical content themselves.
You now need to get all this content scheduled. I advise to schedule content from the 1st of each month. The reason being that it is just easier to track and starts the month off right.
To schedule your content, I recommend using either Hootsuite or Buffer. Both platforms allow you to schedule content on multiple social media channels. However, if there was a winner, I would choose Buffer, as this content scheduling platform allows you to schedule posts directly for Instagram, which is a huge timesaver.
Once you have scheduled all your posts in your content schedule platform of choice, you can now sit back, grab a nice drink and have a well deserved break.
Congratulations, you have now researched, created and scheduled an entire months worth of social media content! You have now completed the challenge, well done!
Was it difficult and hard work? Of course it was. Was it totally worth doing so that you don’t have to worry about any content for your social media channels for the entire month? Hell yeah!
I hope you got some value from this. If you are not already following me on Instagram, you can check me out by clicking here.
Before I go, I just want to let you know about a little something that I have put together for you.
It is my FREE Instagram growth cheatsheet. If you liked this blog post and want to find out some more tried and true, tips and tricks, then you can download my FREE cheatsheet below.
One last thing. Thanks for being here, I genuinely appreciate it :)