Make your content systems sizzle

Good morning, turkeys.

Reporting back on our Halloween mission of ‘monetizing the toddler’s Home Depot costume.’

Maybe not my most shining parenting moment?

The Twittersphere aligned and THE Home Depot (as in, the blue check-marked account) reached out, asking for our information so they could send our lil guy a surprise in the mail.

Ya know, a surprise. A singular surprise.

Three packages later, I’ve replenished my inventory of ‘post-nap’ weekend activities to dangle in front of the toddler, hoping he’ll succumb to a Saturday midday snooze.

I’ll take it!

The wife and I are already taking suggestions for 2023 costumes. Or, at least, in what direction should we influence the toddler’s costume brainstorming?

Early predictions point to:

  • A pharmacist – Daycare bugs take down our house too regularly.
  • A mailman – Because why not?!
  • Jimmy John’s delivery guy – It’s next to the Home Depot… you’re probably noting a theme here.

We’ll see what next year brings.

In the meantime, let’s get to today’s marketing content goods.

P.S. Two weeks from today is Thanksgiving, so expect your next newsletter from me on December 1st!

Today’s estimated read time: 4.1 minutes

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One Idea: Rev That Content Engine

Two weeks back, I wrapped up my ‘One Idea’ with the note that it’s essential just to get started and focus on consistency as it relates to content production.

But I left a footnote:

Once you get up and running, systems become table stakes.

They help you spin the content flywheel faster.

It makes producing more, better content a reality, leading to greater reach and results.

But don’t just take it from me:

twitter profile avatar

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Twitter Logo
October 20th 2022

See, here’s some irony icing on the cake: I used to ‘poo-poo’ on systems.

I chalked them up as another excuse for not getting work done or ‘playing business’ when you should just be writing.

But since I’ve been scaling up Imagine Content, I’ve discovered just how wrong I was.

Like Matt Gray shares above, systems aren’t just the ‘fuel’ to a content engine.

Systems are the:

➡️ combustion chamber

➡️ cylinder head

➡️ pistons

➡️ fuel injector

➡️ spark plug

…to your content engine.

And just like an engine doesn’t exist without all these parts, the same is true of a content engine without systems.

So what are the parts of a content creation system?

While it can vary from company to company based on resources and needs, here are a few essentials:

  • Content / Editorial Calendar: Planning for content is a forcing function. It makes you think critically about the topics, angles, content forms, distribution, etc., beyond simply the cadence of output you’re hoping to achieve.
  • Project Management Platform: It doesn’t matter if it’s, Asana, Trello, or some fancy Excel environment with macros for days. These systems allow you to track and organize your process, keeping you on timelines and bringing together all those who help produce the final products.
  • Content Brief: This is ground zero for any content deliverable. It can be as simple as the topic and an outline. Or you can get detailed, including prompts for SEO keywords, links (both internal and external) to be used, and more.

It’s worth noting that these are just a few pieces of content creation systems.

Any marketing team can build upon it with other assets and guides that include:

👉 An SEO playbook

👉 A content style guide

👉 A link-building strategy

👉 A content distribution checklist

👉 A repurposing handbook

👉 An external review process

👉And plenty more….

In upcoming posts, I’ll detail a few more of these in-depth.

While it can feel like a lot, start with the systems that move the needle, and focus on those that enable you to create a cadence of consistent, high-quality content output.

Work smarter, not harder, and get that content engine revving. 🏎

Three Interesting Finds

1. No Time Like the Present

This recent tidbit from Simon Owens caught my eye, and I couldn’t help but share it in light of my last rant on content creation consistency:

I think there’s this prevalent view that if you dive deep enough into analytics data, you’d come away with the exact optimal time to publish — something like 2:32 p.m. ET on a Wednesday — that will drastically increase your chances of going viral.

He quickly shuts down the theory behind optimizing sending times and perfectly pivots to this reasoning:

Instead, it’s more important from a content production standpoint. If you know you need to publish a YouTube video every Tuesday afternoon, then you have to reverse engineer all the production steps required in order to make that happen. A lack of production schedule is the most common reason that creators fall off the bandwagon and stop publishing. By giving yourself a weekly publication deadline, you’re less likely to fall off that bandwagon.

So, so good. Stay consistent, folks!

You can follow Simon’s Media Newsletter here.

2. Liz Knows Best

“Louder for the back!” 😉

But really… if this is something your team wants to start taking more seriously, it’s Imagine Content’s bread and butter.

Shoot us a note here and let’s chat.

3. Keep It Simple, Email Marketers

I’m a sucker for a clean, simple newsletter layout.

One that lets the storytelling and GIFs do all the work.

Dickie Bush and Nicolas Cole agree in this recent blog, ‘Formatting Techniques For A Newsletter: 5 Simple Tips.’

One extra tip I always follow:

Most folks read emails on their phone. A best practice to increase a reader’s engagement on mobile is simply incorporating more white space.

✅ Break up large chunks of text.

✅ Fire off a single-sentence paragraph.

✅ Mix up the cadence of your words, both in writing style and visually, and I think you’ll be happy with the results.

You’ve reached the end, friends. Between curating and forming some semi-original thoughts, I spend ~3 hours on every newsletter. It only takes 3 seconds for you to share it. If you think a friend or colleague could benefit from subscribing, send them here to sign up!

Chat with you in two three weeks!

Curious how the Imagine Content & Consulting team could help you build your audience and generate insightful, engaging content for your brand? Get in touch today.