How to produce high-quality content, faster

Lee Dussinger, Senior Content & Product Marketer | Opal

Content creators understand the challenge of being asked to create more high-quality content in less time. Indeed, research shows that marketing leadership primarily evaluates the success of a content program by how much and how quickly content is produced.

On the one hand, it’s great to know that our content is being seen as a value driver for business outcomes. However, executing the request to build more exceptional content – without sacrificing quality – can feel daunting.

But, with the right strategies, processes, and tools, you can actually do more than ever in less time. Even better, done correctly, you’re going to get faster by eliminating roadblocks and implementing smart solutions – not by watering down the quality of your work.

Here’s how to do exactly that by leveraging four key tactics. These tactics are universal across a variety of different mediums. So, these core principles still work whether you’re writing long-form blogs, creating social posts, or anything else. These tactics also make sense regardless of the size of your organization.

This means you can start producing better work, faster, whether you’re the only content creator in the building or part of a large production team!

Tip 1: Start it off right

One of the most common reasons creating content can be slow-going isn’t your fault! Think about how often you’ve had a task or project that you didn’t quite understand – or didn’t have enough context or information to execute. That’s not your fault as a content creator, but it is a challenge that slows down your process.

Now, think about how natural it feels to draft content when you know exactly what you need to write. That’s the power of a good marketing or content brief. Therefore, ensuring you have a complete brief before you begin working is one of the best processes your team can implement.

Here are some examples of what an effective brief should include:

  • Goals/desired outcomes

  • Examples of similar work

  • Audience/reader description

  • Desired word count/limitations

  • SEO keywords (if applicable)

  • Supplemental visuals

  • Relevant data or statistics

  • Relevant quotes or testimonials

If you start putting (virtual) pen to paper when you have a brief in hand, you’ll be able to work faster and produce even more potent content. And, not only will it allow you to work faster, a complete content brief prevents you from totally missing the mark, requiring time-consuming rework cycles.

Get more content best practices, tips, and tricks with this guide.

Tip 2: Use AI the right way

If you’re wondering how to write faster in 2023, then AI help must absolutely be mentioned. While human input is still very necessary to create market-worthy content, AI is a powerful tool, especially when it comes to creating content at scale.

Some content marketers are still hesitant to trust AI for true, long-form content writing. That’s understandable. While AI writing has come a long way in 2023 alone, using it to write content isn’t required.

Still, there are three distinct ways that you can use AI to write content faster:

  1. Ideation – One of the most effective ways to use today’s Large Language Models is AI brainstorming. An AI can provide you with a near endless supply of relevant ideas. While all (or even most) won’t be usable, you’ll get a few gems that can spark your human creativity.

  2. Creating first drafts – With effective prompting, AI can be effective at writing social posts or long-form content. However, this output primarily serves as a first draft, by giving you something to refine and modify. There’s no question that adopting this practice can help you write faster!

  3. Editing – Another popular way to employ an AI sidekick, this is a way to save time on the editing process. Consider using AI to handle your proofreading or even to condense content – or change the tone.

Tip 3: Better review process

Reviewing content is meant to be a positive thing. Thanks to knowledgeable advice and insight, it should be a way for strong work to get even stronger. In practice, content reviews can completely sap your speed. That’s because the standard way of handling content reviews is a recipe for a roadblock.

In a typical marketing setting, you send the first draft of the content to the approver via email or chat. The approver reads the content and writes up a long-form response, highlighting their issues. The difficulty here is that the feedback is often not direct and not actionable, so you’re left scratching your head…not making the work better.

Changing this step of the process often requires buy-in from your editors and approvers. But the outcome makes a difference for everyone. A better approval process involves leaving comments directly on the content itself. Seeing their edits in context with the rest of your content ensures you understand their feedback – and gives you a way to communicate in real-time with them.

When you’re writing long-form content, switching reviews to a Google doc format can be enough to expedite your feedback. Being able to leave live comments seriously can make a world of difference. However, when the content review of your social posts is the issue, you’ll need a more sophisticated system. Dedicated social media approval software showcases exactly what your posts will look like when they’re live.

Plus, this suite of tools gives approvers the ability to make comments directly on any piece of the post, from the visuals to the copy.

Tip 4: Repurpose successful content

Reusing or repurposing content is an excellent way to get more for less – while giving your audience what they want. While this is possible to do with longer white papers and blogs, content repurposing is arguably most effective as a way of creating social media posts more efficiently.

Some content specialists have concerns that recycling their social posts undermines their brand or hurts them in-market. That couldn’t be further from the truth. When done correctly, recycling content allows you to work faster while creating a richer experience for your audience.

These are the five steps to recycle social content in a way that serves your purposes and your audience’s appetite for high-quality content:

  1. Find content worthy of recycling – Select top-performing content based on the metrics that matter to your organization.

  2. Understand why it worked – Analyze and understand why the content was a hit with your audience. Doing so helps you make it a hit the second time around, too.

  3. Mix it up – Change the copy, images, audience, or other factors to make the content different enough to republish.

  4. Schedule for the right time – Even though a recycled piece of content is different enough to stand alone, you’ll still want to set it apart from the original.

  5. Analyze again – See how the new content performed and decide whether it’s appropriate to recycle it again – or to retire it altogether.

Bringing it all together

This is an exciting time to be a content marketer. The role of content in the marketing ecosystem has never been more prominent. Along those lines, executive leadership increasingly understands the role of content as a potent business driver.

However, this ongoing prominence of content will continue to fuel the paradox content specialists face, having to create more and drive more impact without sacrificing quality. Fortunately, in addition to impactful tips like we shared above, purpose-built tools are evolving, too, offering increasingly effective ways to overdeliver on demand.

This guest post came from our partner Opal, a marketing planning platform that countless brands use to create national and international content programs. Since content is at the center of their platform, they understand the many successful strategies that some of the world's best content producers use.

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