Gain an Extra Week in 2015 with These 5 Content Marketing Productivity Hacks
Discover tangible, time-saving tips to help you work smarter in 2015
February 18, 2015
If you are like 70% of B2B marketers, you will create more content than ever this year. So how can you meet greater content demands while still allowing time for everything else you want to accomplish?
Implementing the following “hacks” will not just make you more efficient – they can also make you a more effective content marketer. With more time, you’ll have the bandwidth to work toward personal development goals and take on other mission critical tasks for your organization.
If you are skeptical about how much impact these hacks can really have, think of it this way: Saving just 10 minutes a day can earn you more than 40 hours over the course of the year. That's a whole week of time to focus on a new project you want to take on, a new skill you want to build, or simply on the much needed "me" time you deserve.
Here’s How to Get Your Free Week in 2015
1. Become a master searcher.
Research can feel like an all-consuming task for content marketers, making it a natural place to look for efficiencies. Finding what you need faster can help you cruise through the research phase and get to creating.
Become a “search expert” with Google’s help page, which features information on how to use symbols, punctuation, and advanced search tactics to deliver relevant results to your queries. Google also offers self-paced search education courses that provide additional “power searching” insights.
Even when following Google’s best practices, some information can be difficult to find. When your go-to techniques don’t produce fast results and a time-sink seems inevitable, try these 10 ways to track down answers online.
2. Take back your inbox.
Email consumes an average of 13 hours a week. That’s nearly a third of the work week. There is also the mental energy that goes into thinking about the daily deluge overflowing your inbox -- we know, it can be downright debilitating.
However many messages you must read and respond to daily, cutting the amount of time you spend on email is no doubt appealing. The good news is that this is actually possible.
In My Favorite Part of Email Is Deleting It, LinkedIn's Shannon Brayton explains how she stays on top of her inbox, and it all begins with delete. Brayton suggests that roughly half of all email can be trashed immediately, and that handling other messages with ruthless efficiency can cut down email time. If Shannon’s system doesn’t work for you, LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner offers 7 Ways to Manage Email So It Doesn’t Manage You.
3. Force yourself to learn and use keyboard shortcuts.
Saving a few seconds with a shortcut, when multiplied across hundreds of daily computing actions, can add significantly to your productivity.
Get started by bookmarking shortcuts pages for the systems and programs you use. Some may include:
- Apple’s OS X, including supported applications
- Microsoft products, including Windows, Internet Explorer, and all versions of Office (Word, Outlook, Excel, etc.)
Learning shortcuts for every program all at once can be overwhelming, so try focusing on one application per week. For instance, you might start with Outlook and print a copy of shortcuts you can reference at your workstation.
4. Become an expert note taker.
The right note taking application can serve as a one-stop shop for you and your team to store and find critical information. Find one with features and functions that best align with your workflow needs.
Some popular note taking products include:
- Evernote. This free application allows you to clip web articles, capture handwritten notes, and take photos, among other capabilities.
- OneNote. Microsoft’s license-based cross-platform product enables employees and teams across organizations to store and share notes and information critical to their business.
- Simplenote. This no-cost application automatically keeps your notes up to date across devices while providing search, collaboration, and backup functionality.
- Google Keep. Google Keep is another free note taking option on web and mobile platforms. Color coded notes, image placement, and transcribed voice recordings are among its features.
When you use a web-based note taking product, you can quickly capture and share content ideas and reference notes. Plus you’ll have the ability to access this information from virtually anywhere.
5. Create content with repurposing in mind.
A great way to increase the return on your content marketing investment is to incorporate repurposing into your content planning.
LinkedIn’s Jason Miller advises marketers to create “big rock” content that can be repurposed for greater ROI. With this approach, marketers produce a substantive content asset and then use elements of the asset to continue engagement across platforms. For instance, a big rock piece of content might be used to create additional blog posts, SlideShare presentations, infographics, webinars, videos, and other social media content.
Cartoonist and business innovator Hugh MacLeod suggests that the opposite approach to repurposing can also work. He recommends putting out smaller, thematically related pieces of content that can be rolled together into one “big rock” asset. Regardless of which approach you may select, both of these methods can increase content marketing ROI.
We all want to work smarter, but working smarter doesn’t just happen – it requires focus and an upfront investment. Which of these content marketing hacks will you focus on first?
Expand the reach of your content marketing strategies using LinkedIn to share relevant and targeted content to the world's professionals. Download our Sophisticated Marketer’s Guide to LinkedIn to get started.