We’ve got plenty of advice on driving ROI for events, building your business’s content marketing strategy, and understanding why content marketing is important. But what if you don’t have the time, resources, or capacity to commit to creating content? Consider making your life easier with templates.
In 2021, 66% of tech buyers expected their content marketing budget to increase in the coming year. In 2022, only 50% expected their 2023 budget to go up, demonstrating the need to do more with less. Starting from scratch every time you need a new piece of content wastes valuable time and effort that could be better spent on the content itself.
Templating content does three things:
1. Save time
By making templates for newsletters, blog posts, case studies, video scripts, ebooks, or any other kind of content, you are saving time spent on structure and planning. The constraints imposed by a template can push people to be more creative in what they create, too. Investing in creating useable, practical templates now can pay dividends in the future, and avoid the paralysis of the blank page.
2. Build familiarity, consistency, and brand awareness
You don’t need to make everything identical or boring, but having outlines for how all your content will be structured and used can build a sense of “this is [Brand’s] content” and develop familiarity with your style. Templates also encourage consistency across platforms and messaging, especially if multiple employees are contributing to content delivery. Having a template can also cut down on errors, making sure your content is professional and polished.
3. Encourage you to produce the best possible content
If you’re making templates for future content, it makes sense to build on your most successful pieces of content to date. Deciding which these are will force you to go back through analytics for various platforms and look at what has historically performed the best. This might include focusing in on particular platforms, types of content, or topics. A template can also highlight or remind people of the need to include keywords, link back to other content, or other strategic moves to improve reach.
To get started, follow these steps:
1. Identify which kinds of content you are producing most regularly
This will help you to choose candidates for the first templates. It is also important to look at which content performs best, as discussed in point 3 above, and prioritise developing templates for that kind of content or platform.
2. Make sure you have a user-friendly filing system in place
This ensures employees can easily find the templates they’re looking for when they need them.
3. Consider upcycling your content
In general, evergreen content performs better in terms of shares and reach than news-led or trend-led content (which is not to say that this isn’t valuable, too). Consider templating these kinds of pieces to ensure that they are consistent and impressive when customers and prospective clients come across them. You can even go back to old pieces and update them in line with your new template.
4. Use templates to boost your brand
You may also wish to ensure that content is consistent across the life cycle of the customer, wherever they are in the funnel. This will increase brand awareness and contribute to the sales. We use templates at Isoline for our presentations, newsletters, and blogs.
5. Shop around
If your main goal with templates is to save time and effort, there are thousands of ready-made options to choose from. You don’t have to invest the time in creating bespoke templates from scratch if something that already exists works for you. Resist shoehorning your content into something that doesn’t quite fit, though – you can always tweak and refine to make it right for your brand.
Looking to develop your content marketing strategy or amplify your content creation process? Get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how we can help.