The content cookbook: Getting long-term value out of your content

4 great ideas for getting greater value out of your content operation.

An efficient content team is much like a well-oiled kitchen operation. It’s a combination of the right ingredients, the right skills and the right processes to help you produce effective content to order, time and time again.

And like any kitchen environment, content teams are often faced with stretched resources and limited time.

Here are some ideas we’ve cooked up to help turn your content operation from Kitchen Nightmares into MasterChef.

1. The power of the leftover

Waste not want not. Whether it’s last night’s curry or leftover veg, it’s a great time and money saver.

It’s much the same with content. Repurposing older content or revisiting ideas from previous campaigns is a great way to come up with something quickly.

Top tips:

  • set up an ideas bank to hold topics you’ve cooked up in idea generation sessions
  • look at repurposing some of your white papers into a series of blog posts. Or, to flip it on its head, you could bring some of your blog posts together into a white paper

2. Tried-and-trusted recipes

Everyone loves a staple. Apple crumble, bangers and mash, chicken pie. They’re fuss free, you know they taste great and you can go back to them time and time again.

In content, we call these tried-and-tested formulas a copy format, or copy template. It’s a way of structuring similar types of content to give you a repeatable structure your writers can follow every time.

Why are copy formats effective?

  • you can streamline your content creation process and get plenty of people to muck in
  • they build familiarity – readers get used to the format, making it easier to understand and find what they need
  • they can improve SEO – with all those headings and subheadings, you’ll be able to bake your keywords in to every piece without them appearing out of place

3. Grow your own

Whether it’s planting veg or picking fruit, growing your own is cost-effective and good for you. So why not grow your own content by looking internally?

Build a content garden by making content curation a part of your business, encouraging ideas and insight from all over your company. The more people you can get on board, the more ideas you’ll have flowing through your operation.

Top tips:

  • encourage experts to suggest ideas for content topics
  • buddy-up people from your team with those from other areas of the business – it’s a great way to come up with new ideas and fresh perspectives
  • prepare case studies and presentations to promote content and show how effective it is to bring people on board

4. Avoid having too many cooks

We know what multiple stakeholders can do to a broth, and they’ll have the same effect on content if you let them.

Stakeholder feedback can lead to Frankencontent. But if you manage them proactively, you can avoid the endless loop of feedback and amends.

Top tips:

  • collate the feedback – this allows you to address conflicts in one go rather than fire fighting as each piece of feedback comes through
  • set your limits – give your stakeholders strict deadlines to stick to
  • be the expert – try to avoid going round in circles over points of grammar and style. Explain that when it comes to content, you’re the expert and tell your stakeholders exactly what aspects of the content you need their input on

So what are you waiting for? Let’s cook!

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