Batching Content – how to create content consistently and easily
Batching content is a great way, as a small business to create the content you need to fuel your marketing efforts.
Batching your content will help you to save time and also maximise each piece of content, making the process of creating content much more efficient.
What is batching content?
Imagine you're in a magical kitchen, whipping up a batch of your favourite cookies. Now, let's apply this tasty analogy to your digital marketing.
"Batching content" is like preparing a bunch of delicious cookies all at once instead of making them individually. In the world of digital marketing, it means creating a bunch of content, such as social media posts, blog articles, or videos, all in one go.
What’s great about this approach is the efficiencies you can bring to the process and saving time overall.
It does take a bit of planning but overtime, using systems and simple tools the process can become very efficient.
Why would you bother batching content?
Batching content makes the content creation process smooth and reliable. This has the advantage of:
- Giving you a system
- More strategic output instead of being reactive and in the moment
- Forward scheduled and avoiding gaps in your scheduling
- Avoiding in the moment creation, and as a result higher quality
- Allows you to take a ‘creative’ break to go away and get news ideas instead of trying to think of something every day or week.
It also allows you to:
1. Save time: Batching content allows you to create multiple pieces of content at once, saving time compared to creating each piece individually. You can focus on a specific task, like writing or designing, without constantly switching between different content types.
2. Be consistent: When you schedule content to be released regularly, it ensures a consistent flow of information and engagement with your audience. Consistency is crucial for building trust and keeping your brand top-of-mind for your customers and those pesky social media algorithms.
3. Be better aligned and strategic: By organizing your content into themes and planning ahead, you can align your marketing strategy with your business goals and upcoming events. This strategic approach ensures your content remains relevant and purposeful.
4. Reduce Stress: Batching content is about systems that remove the pressure of last-minute content creation and posting. It allows you to work at your own pace and have a buffer of content ready to go, which can be a relief during busy times – or just when life gets in the way like school holidays!
5. Create better quality content: When you're not rushing to meet tight deadlines, you have more time to focus on creating high-quality content. This can result in more thoughtful, polished, and engaging pieces that resonate with your audience.
6. Be more flexible: While you plan and schedule your content in advance, batching content still allows room for adjustments and last-minute changes. You can adapt to emerging trends or address current issues while maintaining the overall content plan.
7. Be more creative: Batching content lets you immerse yourself in a specific topic or theme, fostering creativity and deeper exploration of ideas. It can lead to more innovative and compelling content for your audience.
8. Maximise your content: With content batching, you can better incorporate repurposing into your systems to make sure each piece of content can be used across multiple channels, or even creating multiple versions.
Summary of the process for batching content
Here's a straightforward step-by-step process for batching content:
- Gather Ideas: First, collect all your content ideas and messages that you want to share on your website, social media, or email.
- Plan your content: Take all the content and plan it across the period and channels, checking that it fits together.
- Identify the repurposing opportunities: For each piece of content note which channel, format and changes you’ll need to repurpose for different channels.
- Create Content: Start producing the actual content, whether it's writing blog posts, designing graphics, recording videos, or any other type of content that suits your audience. This should be a system based on ‘repurposing’ needs.
- Scheduling: Once you've created the content, schedule the dates and times for each piece to be published online.
What tools and systems do you need to make batching content work for you?
Batching content needs a number of systems and tools to really make it work effectively.
You will need:
- A scheduling tool for publishing
- Templates for your socials and video formats
- A content formula or pillars
- A forward view of your content plan eg. What campaigns, seasonal moments or days do you want to talk to or incorporate into your content for the coming period.
- An editing tool like Grammarly to help edit and spell check.
- A library of ideas that you’ve captured during the period (handy to have this your phone to pop ideas as you go along rather than tyring to remember everything at the end.
- A content creation process eg. Long form video that is transcribed into an article, then edited into three short form videos and three different posts.
Step 1 Gather Ideas
The batching content process starts with ideas. This is where having a content formula (or strategy or pillars) of the categories or themes you need to write to.
Start with your annual calendar and identify any content needed for
- Dates or events of relevance.
Examples: Pre-Christmas gift buying, Christmas/ New Year closure, New year, International Hug a Friend Day, National Day of Reconciliation.
Examples: Conferences or industry events that you are attending, increased need or awareness in your market eg. summer is coming, time to get fit, end of financial year etc.
If you don’t have a calendar of topics or campaigns already, creating one will help make this step easy. It has the added bonus of making the next year, and following easier and provides a basis to enhance and improve on what you did the previous year without continually reinventing the wheel.
An annual calendar of content will capture all the key dates, activities or seasonality related to your business. Start with just the twelve-month view and jot down everything you know you need to create content for or do a campaign on. Don’t overcomplicate this process. A simple template can get the job done quickly and is a perfect way to help you stay on track with a system for your batching content.
Make sure you incorporate topics of relevance to your business eg. Promoting Key lead magnets, special offers or events that you are running. These are useful to include in the content annual plan so you can establish a rhythm of when and what you are promoting across the year!
Then refer to your themes or content pillars and start to generate ideas for each group.
It can be helpful to use tools like:
- AI chatbots like ChatGPT
- A keyword research tool like Keywords Everywhere
Our handy article gives you tools and tactics to generate 30 content ideas in 30 minutes made super easy.
Of course, if you have a document that you have been capturing ideas over the last period then make sure you incorporate those ideas into the mix.
Batching content timing
Consider chunking the processes into separate sessions. When batching you can either do the entire content creation process in one sitting or you can chunk it down into separate tasks, and do it across a number of sittings.
Regardless, think about breaking your work up into the steps. For example, you might find that you one-day doing idea generation and planning and then creating/ writing and producing content on another day.
When thinking about the timing, ensure you are ahead of schedule with enough time to ensure your content is ready to go before the ‘publish’ date. For example, you may choose to create your content for the coming month in one week, or a few consecutive days. Or you could choose to do it across multiple weeks.
Another benefit of this process around chunking the work into distinct phases is that it allows you (eventually) to start outsourcing elements of it!
Step 2 – Plan out your content
The next step in the batching content process is to plot the content ideas into when and where. A simple table will be all you need to see if you:
A) Have enough content to cover the period
B) The flow off the content and that you’ve captured any synergies eg. This goes with that or too much of a similar thing.
You can skip this stage, but it helps with the overall question of ensuring you’ve got all the ideas and pieces you will need.
This allows you to :
- Identify any dependencies eg. . photos that need to done, people that you need to talk with or any supporting documents like lead magnets that need to be captured
- Have the information you need to understand the next step which is repurposing content .
Create your content outlines
Before moving onto the next step for batching content, you may like to create content outlines of the planned content. While this step doesn’t need to happen now, quite often when your creating these ideas, you will also have a heap of dot points in your mind that you should cover.
You can capture these now – or at least a high level set of points that will help you when it comes to writing/creating the content.
A content outline can be comprehensive or just 3-5 dot points of the key information you want to include or talk about. You can create your content ideas and the outlines in one sitting. By taking the time to do this, you make the next step fast and smooth. It also helps you to see whether your content is repetitive or working together as part of an ongoing stream for your audience to follow.
Step 3 – Identify the repurposing opportunities
You should find this step in the batching content process pretty quick if you’ve followed the first two steps. The content plan should help you quickly identify which pieces of content are going to be perfect for repurposing.
What is repurposing content?
Repurposing content is the process of taking one piece of content and reusing it for other purposes. An example of this would be:
- A long form video for YouTube
- Transcribed and edited into a SEO long form article for your website
- The long form video cut into three short form videos for Shorts on Youtube and Reels or stories on Instagram.
- The article turned into three or four posts and carousels for usein Instagram and Facebook
- The long form video turned into a mid length video for Facebook and an ad
See! One piece of content in several ways.
Knowing which content needs to be repurposed from the beginning (and even designing your content plan around this need) helps you to create more with less effort!
This step also finishes off your planning step the batching content process. You know what, where and any particular things you will need to make the creation of the content happen smoothly.
Step 4 – Write the content
Getting the content written is the next step in the batching content process. This should be made easier if you prepared content outlines previously. The content outlines will help you get down to work and be focused rather than pondering what should go into each particular topic or piece of content.
Write drafts first
It can be helpful to view this round of content as a draft only. This can be helpful if you tend to experience writer’s block and you will be able to review and edit it again. Professional copywriters will never produce a piece of content, whether it’s a post, ad or long-form article, in one sitting. There will always be a draft or two, or three or more!
The time to write the content will likely vary depending on what you are creating for example, writing a series of posts for your socials, writing an email, video script or blog.
If you’re doing videos, then do a script or prepare talking points to help you stay on point!
Create your supporting/promotional images
With the content now written, you will need images or record and produce if you are doing video or another format. A few handy tips to make this easier are:
- Get a set of professional templates created so that it’s easy to mock up a post/story/ header image as part of helping to promote and put your content out there.
- Use a tool like Canva to make it easy to either apply a template or copy for each new image that you need
- If you are doing video, and you are not using a videographer, consider using a gig platform like Fiverr to do the editing as a cost-effective way to get the editing and good production values done.
Review and critique
If you are working on your content yourself, you need to leave time between finishing the content and publishing so that you can have a fresh eye to check for spelling, grammar, sense and quality. Distance from creating and editing will allow you to spot things that you become blind to after staring at it for a few hours!
Step 5 – Schedule content
Schedule your content into a social media scheduling tool if appropriate so that it can roll on out the door without you having to spend time. Using scheduling tools is super helpful to make sure that you are strategic with the time that you post, as well as consistent. Depending on the content you are creating, scheduling is not always an option, but where possible if you can, make use of any of the many scheduling tools out there.
Once you have done the above, you can rinse and repeat the batching content process at regular intervals, being sure to build up your processes, templates and other tools that will help you refine and improve this process with each go!
By batching content, you can be more efficient, plan ahead, and ensure a steady flow of fresh content without the need to constantly create and publish new items. It's a practical approach to managing your digital marketing efforts effectively.