The Perpetual Content material Calendar: A 3-Step Framework to Generate Content material with a Lean Crew
We can confidently say that we are not the only ones to tell you that content matters. You've heard about it in the marketing world and how business owners, agencies and marketers talk about it. It seems like a big deal.
It also seems like a huge (huge, huge) amount of time.
I mean, there are so many platforms that require consistent content:
- Gated content
And there are several types of content within each of these platforms:
If you slowly withdraw from this article and want to pretend you never read, you don't have to make such a massive commitment – we understand. But don't get lost too far, because we'll show you how to make it a ein.
Creating all of this different content for all of these different platforms may not be a problem for a large company with a huge team of people dedicated to content creation. But what about the rest of us?
What can a small, lean team do?
At the end of this article, you have a three-stage system with which you can efficiently develop consistent, high-quality content with a lean team.
This is how it works.
The 3-step process of eternal content
Is there a way to pump out more content – good content, mind you – without sitting at the keyboard every waking hour, staring into a microphone or standing in front of a camera?
Yes, there is … and it's called a 3-step process for eternal content.
Here is a brief overview of how it works:
- Idea: Regularly come up with good ideas and topics for content that appeals to your audience.
- Production: Once you have a list of topics, turn those ideas into great content.
- Splinters: This is my favorite part of this system. It's about turning great content into several different assets that you can use on all of your different content platforms.
Let's take a closer look at each of these steps so that you can produce damn good content.
Step 1: brainstorming
The first step in creating content is to decide which topics you want to cover. How do you find out?
Many people are overwhelmed at this stage. They don't even know where to start. However, it is fairly easy if you follow this three-step process.
# 1: Find out what questions people in your industry are asking
Would you like to know how to quickly and easily develop great content ideas? Start with the questions your customers are already asking.
And as long as you know where to look, it's easy. Find places where you can find great ideas for content for your business:
- Quora:: This is a great place to find real questions asked by real people. The questions are sorted by topic so that you can easily find the questions relevant to your company. This is a fantastic place to find out what problems your target market is having.
- Reddit:: Reddit is one of the largest websites on the Internet and is full of dedicated sub-communities (so-called subreddits) of people who are interested in a variety of different topics. Another great resource.
- Facebook groups: Nowadays there is a Facebook group for almost every conceivable interest – from digital marketing to Harry Potter fan fiction and much more. So find and join some groups that are relevant to your business. You get instant access to insightful conversations between your audience.
- Ask your real customers: This seems obvious, but it is so obvious that it is easy to forget. You already have access to a group of people in your industry … your customers! So you can reach them. Have conversations – whether it's an email, a survey, a survey, etc. Find out what you think and what you would like to know.
These are great places to find out what questions people in your industry are asking. And there is another tool that I can recommend in conjunction with these sources – and that is a keyword planner.
You can use a keyword research tool (such as Keywords Everywhere or SEMrush) to find the search volume for the questions discovered above. When you search on Google, the "Keywords Everywhere Chrome" browser extension shows approximately how many searches are carried out per month for the term you are looking for:
You can also use the keywords anywhere to find new keyword ideas related to your existing keywords. Just scroll down and you'll get related keywords and other searches related to this topic:
Once you've got a list of relevant blog topics from the sources above, it's a good idea to do a bit of keyword research to find out which questions are asked most frequently. This allows you to prioritize your content creation to start with the highest volume questions first.
# 2: Split each question into several topics
OK, at this point you have a list of questions – things your customers want to know. At this stage, however, you will find that each question in your list can lead to several content issues.
A question, for example, how to get more B vitamins can lead to all possible content topics: symptoms of a vitamin B deficiency, why B vitamins are important, recipes with a high vitamin B content and so on.
Next I take my list of questions and break them down into as many potential ideas as I can imagine. And when I'm done with that, I'll move on to …
# 3: Turn each topic into a headline
Now you have a list of specific content topics. Finally, you need to convert these topics into headings. The headline is the title of your content, what people see when it appears on Facebook or in Google's search results.
Some people may wonder: Why do you have to write the heading first? Can't you write the content first and give it a headline later?
Well, technically you can. However, I recommend writing the heading first and creating it yourself for several reasons:
- A good headline gives your content a "catch", which makes it interesting. Knowing your hook in advance will help you create better and more interesting content.
- The heading is the most important part of your article. So it's worth taking the time to make a good article out of it.
- If you outsource the blog writing process to a ghostwriter, a good headline can ensure that he knows exactly what type of article to write.
When doing this, remember that your headings match the end result you want. Think about what the person wants to make happen. You want to talk about that in your headlines.
And whatever you do, don't write about yourself here. Instead, try to think about each topic from the perspective of your ideal prospect: How do you feel about it? What problems do you have? What do you want to know?
Before proceeding to step 2, let's go through an example of step 1 so you can see how this works in practice.
Imagine the examples in this post, we have a vegan dinner subscription service like BlueApron for the vegan industry.
We want to create content that appeals to our target market – vegans who want to subscribe to our service.
1) Find out what questions people in your industry are asking
Let's look at the questions people ask about veganism on Quora. Search for "vegan" on Quora and here are some answers you'll see:
Since there are many questions about vitamin B12, this seems to be a great topic to write content with.
2) Split each question into several topics
The next step is to turn this question into several topics. Brainstorm just as many relevant topics as you can imagine. Here are a few examples:
- Where to get vitamin B12
- Why B12 is important
- What can happen if you don't get enough B12?
- Vegan recipes that you can make to get enough more B12
- Whether it is better to get B12 with supplements or with foods
3) Turn each topic into a heading
Finally, we want to turn each of these topics into a heading. Here are some examples of headings that I could create based on these topics:
- What is vitamin B12 and why do we need it?
- 7 foods rich in B12 for a healthy vegan diet
- How to integrate B12 into your vegan diet
- What happens to your body if you miss B12?
- 15 vegan recipes full of vitamin B12
And voila! Here you can see that we answered 1 question and turned it into 5 new content ideas. Any of these headlines would be a great contribution to our vegan meal subscription service.
# 2: production
At this point we have a list of great ideas for new content. Now let's turn these ideas into real content!
The process that I follow and that I recommend to others is to start with a video first. Then turn the video into a blog post. If you follow this process, you can quickly and easily split these two pieces of content into all kinds of content elements in step 3.
So let's create a video first (and then turn that video into a blog post).
How to create your video
Now some people might be intimidated by the prospect. Isn't video difficult?
Not really. Video doesn't have to be difficult at all.
Remember that this does NOT have to be an elaborately produced video with special effects, music, voice-over and animations. All you really need is a computer with a microphone and screen recording software such as Camtasia (for PCs) or ScreenFlow (for Macs).
If you have these two things, you only need to (1) create a slide deck on your topic. And then (2) sit in front of your microphone, start recording your screen and talk about the topic as you walk through the deck.
(I've found that 45 minutes is the sweet spot for this type of video.)
After all, you are a marketer. You know your industry well. And I'm willing to bet that you are perfectly able to sit down and talk about the issues that are relevant to your business.
Trust me, it's easier than it sounds. Just try it. Remember, if you slip on the way, you can always start over or work out your mistakes.
How to create your blog post
After you've created your video, you can easily turn it into a blog post. You can either write the article or outsource it to a professional content writer. You can use platforms like Upwork or Fiverr, or connect with authors using The Writer Finder or DemandCurve.
Just send your video to a ghostwriter and have it turned into an article. There are many options for you, so you are sure to find a good writer that fits your budget.
To attract a good writer but don't break the bank, you have to expect $ 250 per post with 2,000 words. Trust me, $ 250 per post is a lot cheaper than hiring your own full-time content writer.
If you follow this process, you will receive two high quality content: 1 video and 1 blog post. Before we move on to the final step, splintering, let's look at how to turn your video into a blog article.
We recently launched our YouTube channel. This means that every instructional video we publish becomes an article for our blog. Here is an example of a YouTube video titled "Creating a Customer Avatar in 5 Easy Steps":
And here is the article we wrote based on the video "Creating a customer avatar in 5 easy steps". Pretty cool stuff, isn't it?
Let's continue with the last step of the Perpetual Calendar Framework.
Step 3: splintering
If you're not familiar with the term splinter, it's basically the process of breaking off your existing content and releasing it through your sales channels.
In other words, here you turn 1 content into a lot of content. And we will do this for both your video and your blog.
How to split your video
You know the 45 minute video you made? Here's what you want to do with it:
- Splitter the video into a blog post. (You already did this in the last step 🎉)
- Use the video as content itself. I recommend using it as a closed webinar to collect leads
- Cut the video into tempting social media clips
In other words, if people want to see the entire video, they can do it for free! You just need to sign up to get it, which will help you expand your email list.
In the meantime, you can post parts of this video on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, etc.
How to split your blog post
Your next step is to fragment your blog. Here's what you need to do:
# 1: Read your blog and identify important quotes. This can be any insightful sentence or sentence – basically you will find all of your quotable moments.
# 2: Next, identify any interesting statistics or key numbers that are quoted on your blog.
# 3: Finally, identify any important lists or processes that are explained in your post. This can be a step-by-step guide, a list of items or ideas, something like that.
Now all you have to do is convert these things (your offers, statistics and lists / processes) into social media images using Adobe Spark or Canva.
Let's see how this splitting process works.
Let's imagine the 45-minute video we created was about vitamin B12. How would we split it up?
Well, we would go through the entire video and pay attention to everything that could make a good, self-contained clip on a particular topic. For example, maybe we will discover …
- A 3-minute section on the best natural foods to get B12
- A 5-minute section on your favorite B12 supplement
- A 2-minute segment that explains your favorite vegan recipe with a high B12 content
Simply use your video editing software to turn each of these small clips into a separate video. Then post them on your sales channels. Short videos like this (e.g. 1 to 5 minutes) usually work very well because they are short enough for people to stop and watch on a whim, but they are long enough to have meaty content .
For example, Billy Gene ran a video workshop on how to create video ads that sell. We visited this workshop and made a blog post out of it:
Then we converted this blog post into an Instagram post:
To further fragment it, we could turn it into Instagram stories, tweets, LinkedIn posts, etc. until we get the most out of what we can make from this one video (kudos to Billy Gene!).
This type of image is usually very good for social media because it is visually bold, stands out in a news feed, and contains an expressive message.
Now let's summarize everything in your perpetual content calendar.
Create your content calendar
Now is a good time to stop and look at what you have achieved.
You sat down and created content – a 45-minute video in which you just spoke about a topic that you are already familiar with.
From there, you outsourced a blog post and then split each of these assets into several smaller pieces of shared content.
In addition to the blog and video, you may have received 3 splitter videos and 5 social media images yourself. The result is a total of 10 content that you can publish and publish:
You're almost there – but you're not quite done yet.
Next, you want to plan these content items in a content calendar using a planning platform like Hootsuite, ZohoSocial, Buffer, etc.
Basically, you decide in advance when you want to share each individual asset.
In this way, you can determine how often you publish content on this topic. Your calendar could look like this:
The coolest thing is that all of these social media posts come from ONE content that it took you only 45 minutes to capture.
It is a really powerful system that allows you to create the maximum amount of high quality content in no time.
Even if you don't have a large team, you can still keep track of your content game. Use the Perpetual Content Calendar to create endless content that increases awareness and converts content viewers into subscribers.