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Simple Content Creation in 2023 for B2B Service & Nonprofit Executives

This is it. The year you FINALLY get a handle on your content marketing plan. Sure, you've created a content marketing strategy in the past.


You even stuck with your complicated editorial calendar. Woo hoo! You mastered new social media platforms. You wrote email newsletters dutifully each month. You penned blog posts.


And then you ran out of steam.


But this year, you tell yourself, it will be different.


Why is Content Marketing So Hard?


Content marketing requires two key ingredients that many of us lack: consistency and time. Content may be king but it requires a troop of foot soldiers to keep your content marketing plan humming along week after week and month after month.


As a B2B service provider or nonprofit executive, chances are you have a lot of other things on your plate.


We all have good intentions. We go to trainings and conferences, learn new information about how to improve our content, and immediately implement it. It's just that over time, many of these routine tasks fall by the wayside.


You can't be busy running your business or nonprofit organization and staying on top of all your content creation at the same time. Unless you work 80 hours or are superhuman.



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A Simpler Way to Stay On Top of Content Creation


Even if you don't have a content marketing manager on staff (and chances are if you're reading this you don't), you can make your life much easier in the online realm.


Let's look at some content creation tools that will improve your online marketing efficiency. I chose three simple, relatively easy-to-implement tools. And I broke each one down by the number of hours it may take you each week to complete.


Content Creation Tool #1: The Content Calendar

Time commitment: One hour or less per week


I'm not going to lie. This one is time-consuming if you do it all at once. I'm also not going to tell you that I faithfully create and/or stick to a content calendar.


Remember the shoemaker with the barefoot kids? That's me more often than not. When I do take the time and energy to create a content calendar though I'm very grateful.


If you're not familiar with a content calendar, this is it in a nutshell: you break down the types of content marketing topics you want to cover and how you will distribute the information.


It's very similar to an editorial calendar that magazines and book publishing companies use.


Let's say you choose "Stellar Customer Service" as your topic in January. That month, all of your blog posts, newsletter articles, and social media posts will somehow tie into that theme.


The calendar itself can be as simple or complicated as you like. You can do a fully digital version which is then shared with team members. Or you can create a simple Google Sheets or Excel spreadsheet and capture the information that way.


Here's a photo of a very simple content calendar I created for a client, a fantasy author:


Example of Content Calendar for a Fantasy Book Author


The most important part of the content calendar, other than its creation, is referring to it and altering it as needed. Throughout the year, you might change the calendar multiple times. That's OK.


It's meant to be a working document. Better to be messy and full of helpful information than set in stone and forgotten.


So, when you think of a content calendar, think of a tickler file/content schedule and editorial calendar all rolled into one.


Time commitment: I'd estimate less than an hour each week to review and designate tasks. If you're the only one creating content, however, you'll need to beef that number up significantly. Account for time to write blog posts, newsletters, articles on LinkedIn, sharing on social, and more.


Content Creation Tool #2: The Brainstorm

Time commitment: 30 minutes per week


This is one of my favorite content marketing tasks. I love to brainstorm and imagine all the great content I can create for my clients. It's like a fun game!


Part of the reason I believe so many people struggle with content creation is that they're trying to draw water from a dry well.


"I don't have anything to say!" is a complaint I hear often. I get it. Sitting down to work on content creation and then staring balefully at the screen is no fun. Brainstorming will help you prime the pump and get the water gushing.


How to Brainstorm for Content Creation


Start with reviewing the pain points of your clients. Next, look at the ways you help solve these. I'd recommend that you start a tickler file ASAP if you don't have one already.


When you're meeting prospective clients, rubbing shoulders with peers at conferences, or simply reading posts and articles via LinkedIn or other professional online sites keep an ear tuned to what people are saying. Listen for the problems and issues people are struggling with.


Next, capture that information. You could take shorthand on the back of a business card, record a voice memo to yourself on your way home from an in-person event, or start a dedicated digital file like Evernote or OneNote to keep the information together.


During your content creation brainstorming session, review all of the information you've collected. Make notes about what you'll need to research. Jot down important dates, events, or holidays that might come into play as you work on your content marketing calendar.


Look at your big-picture and smaller business goals. Think about how each topic might tie into those.


I suggest setting a timer as it's easy to lose track of time when doing this. Put on some music and let your mind go. You might be amazed at how productive this brainstorming session will be.


Following the brainstorming session, make it a practice to transfer all the necessary dates and projects into your content calendar. If there are specific people you need to ask questions of or delegate tasks to, include those too.


Time commitment: 30 minutes per week (but take more time if you can).


Content Creation Tool #3: The Case Study

Time commitment: Six or more hours per study


Case studies are wonderful, nearly magical tools that can really set you apart from competitors. A case study provides great insights into how your business solves its customers' pain points, provides credibility, and ties in storytelling.


They can be as long or short as you'd like. Typically, an effective case study would provide an overview of your work with at least three clients or customers and maybe run 6-8 pages.


I have some examples on my website. Mine are very short as they're meant to provide a quick overview of how I've successfully helped my clients with their content writing needs.


If you're interested in writing your own case study, keep in mind these key elements:


Key Elements in Writing a Successful Case Study

  1. Have a clear objective. What do you want to get from the case study?

  2. Select potential clients to feature. Set up an interview.

  3. Post-interview, compile the information, making it as streamlined, readable, and engaging as possible.

  4. Include statistics, infographics, and other compelling images.

  5. Include a tempting call to action (CTA).

  6. Highlight how/why/what/where/when you helped your client or customer.

  7. Make sure to include the result ("After my program, XX client saw three times the number of customers inquire about their product.")



I've created a free Case Study Template that covers all of these steps--and more. You can get a complimentary copy here.

I hope this helps you as you look at your content creation strategy this year. If you have any questions, please reach out.


 

Joy specializes in writing simple, clear content for busy service providers and nonprofit leaders. When she's not working, she loves being in the woods with her family, drinking hot beverages while reading, and helping on the Tech Team at her church.

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