Writing & Editing

All, Audience Research, Blog, Community, Content Creation, Content Tips, Website Tips, Writing & Editing

How to Make the Most of Your Content (Without Reinventing the Wheel)


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Keeping up with your business and personal wellbeing is particularly overwhelming at the moment. It’s a constant challenge to try and be productive, stay connected to colleagues, clients and customers, and come up with fresh content ideas. Today, we’re here to help lighten the load by making that last to-do item – content creation – much easier.

Chances are you already have great content on your website, social media pages, video or podcast channels. Content that you spent hours crafting and promoting with tweets, LinkedIn posts and Instagram stories.

While producing fresh content is an effective marketing strategy, it doesn’t always mean churning out new material.

In this blog post, we’ll teach you how to get the most life out of existing content: reusing and repurposing content you already have, and how to prolong the shelf-life of upcoming material.

Let’s start by reassessing your current approach to producing content. Because now, more than ever, is a good time to check in with yourself and your community to see how we can best help each other through the coronavirus crisis, together.

#1 Reassess

Take a step back for a moment. Have you been following the same content strategy for the past few months, year, 18 months? Are your messages still relevant to your audience? Do they align with your business?

Don’t panic. Reassessing your content strategy is as easy as reading your analytics platforms and listening to your community – things you’ve likely been doing already.

First, check in with your audience. Who are they?

  • Gender
  • Age group
  • Financial demographic
  • Where do they hang out online?
  • What media do they consume?
  • When are they most active online?

It’s easy to find out this information. Many social media platforms have built-in analytics you can access for free (Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter for instance). Then try actively listening to your audience’s conversations on Twitter and Reddit to bring timely topics and challenges to light.

Another tactic is to ask your community members directly about their current situation either in conversation or through customer surveys.

Next, determine when and where your audience is most active so you can expand your reach on that platform. This will help to focus your time, energy and effort, and better keep your target audience in mind.

#2 Repurpose

Now that you’ve identified who and how you can help, let’s take a look at your back content catalogue and ways we can repurpose it to catch your readers’ attention.

Think of it as clearing out your wardrobe. Some clothes fit well, suit your style and are in great condition – keep those! Others might need a refresh before throwing them on: restitch a seam, mix and match with a newer item. And some simply don’t work anymore: your style has changed, they don’t fit right and they’re out of fashion.

Before you go off creating new content (or shopping for new clothes), see what’s already there. The creativity comes in figuring out how to repurpose it.

Fresh content, less time and resources.

Just remember to ask yourself, will this new, reimagined content resonate with my audience on their most active platform? There’s no point in repurposing something that won’t catch anyone’s attention!

Here are a few ideas for making ‘old’ content new:

  • Reshare evergreen content (articles, videos, podcasts that your readers will always care about)
  • Reminisce on past events with ‘on this day’ posts
  • Expand on a successful social post and turn it into a blog
  • Repurpose a popular blog as a YouTube video or podcast episode
  • Create a LinkedIn slideshow using existing video content

#3 Refresh

As the weight of coming up with new content ideas begins to lift, let’s finally turn our attention to refreshing your content calendar and long-term strategy.

Start with your social calendar – particularly the plans you had in place for this spring/summer. Do they still resonate with your community’s interests and challenges? Will the content you intended to share be helpful during the coronavirus crisis?

Hubspot‘s social media calendar is a great tool for refreshing your strategy.

The same goes for your blog, YouTube channel, podcast, livestreams, or any other content you produce: what will help your audience? This might not be your product or service – that’s okay. Instead think about how you can be there for your customers right now.

Save yourself time and energy while you reorganise your content plans. Be intentional with your messages and choice of platform. Did your research show your community isn’t hanging out or engaging on LinkedIn or Facebook? Redirect your attention to where they are active and where you’re more likely to gain traction.

Three tips to remember

In summary, here are three simple things to bear in mind when you’re looking to get the most life out of your content.

  1. Reassess your audience. Find out where they hang out, what they enjoy and when they’re active online.
  2. Flip through content you’ve successfully produced in the past, and see how you can repurpose it, give it new life and help your audience in a new way.
  3. Refresh your short-term approach and let it guide your broader strategy. Make sure your content fits your core values and aligns with what your audience values – that will give it longevity and make it ideal for repurposing in the future.

This blog is the third in a mini-series about getting through the coronavirus crisis. The first post is all about checking in with yourself and your community, and the second helps you get creative and stay connected through this period!

All, Content Creation, Content Tips, Writing & Editing

How to Immerse Readers in Your Content


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When we arrived at the Music Box Village, people had already taken their seats.

The film hadn’t started yet but it was plain to see that the show had already begun. We were the actors and actresses, lovers and mistresses, dancers and revellers, dressed as Voodoo maidens and Rio Casanovas.

Coinciding with Valentine’s Day, the night was a tribute to the tragic love story of Eurydice and Orfeu. We were invited not only to celebrate their romance but to take part in their fabled fairy-tale.

View from above at the Music Box Village.

Besides showing up in costume, the evening didn’t come with any instructions. So while the movie screens were still blank, my friend and I made our way up to an improvised treehouse.

There were lots of huts and hidden alcoves around the open-air venue and if you looked close enough, you could see instruments attached to doorframes, windows, walls and ledges. Little did we know, they would be ours to play at the end of the night.

So how did the Music Box Village turn a group of festive spectators into performing musicians? By following the three golden rules for immersing readers in your content:

1. Invite Them In

Although my friend or I had never been to this venue, the invitation told us exactly where the party was located.

The only other explicit details were to dress up. Which helped because once we saw people in costume, we knew we were in the right place.

The Casa Samba group wore elaborate costumes.

Try and do the same for your online community and give your content a way to stand out.

If people can’t find your tech video review, instructional webinar or latest podcast, then how can they watch or listen to it, much less immerse themselves in it?

That’s why the most important thing to consider when publishing your piece of content is, how will my readers and prospects find it?

Come up with a plan for sharing your content, whether that’s on social media, your own site, someone else’s blog or via a newsletter. And think about how you can use a combination of these, such as sending out an e-newsletter and posting it to Instagram.

It’s also a good idea to give your readers just a taste of the content like you are letting them in on a secret. That way they have to click through to your website or landing page to experience the piece in full.

Then they are more likely to explore other pieces of content and potentially sign up for one of your services (the ultimate goal!).

2. Show Don’t Tell

From the moment we entered the experimental village, our senses were filled with colorful costumes, Brazilian music, samba dancers, Capoeira performers and more.

This perfectly set the scene so when the movie, Black Orpheus, began you felt like you were being transported to Carnaval in Rio de Janeiro.

Carnaval with a Voodoo twist.

Although the Music Box Village could play to our senses a bit more easily, you should always consider different ways to engage your audience.

Catch their attention with compelling imagery and headlines. If it’s a travel narrative or lifestyle feature, describe what you saw, how you felt, who you talked to as clearly as you can.

The more you can bring your content to life (include photos, embed a video, link to your products or services) the better you can capture and hold their attention.

3. Hand Over The Reins

After the Casa Samba performers finished their group dance, the Brazilian beat drummers opened up the circle. It was our turn to join in.

They pointed us to the dance floor with their drumsticks and soon enough people were making their own music all around the village.

That’s the same response you should be going for with your content. Keep them entertained throughout the piece and seamlessly guide them to the next step.

Whether that is asking them to leave a comment, share it on their social media, sign up to your newsletter or purchase one of your services, make sure your viewers and readers know what to do next.

Remember, signposting your content with relevant links and tagging posts by category will not only help your audience learn more about your business and area of expertise, but it will also improve your company’s search ranking.

As you can see, being able to immerse readers in your content is a powerful achievement. One that the Music Box Village has so masterfully demonstrated.

If you’d like help creating this type of experience for your readers, I would love to hear from you at celeste@cbacontent.com or through this contact form.

All, Content Creation, Content Tips, Marketing, Writing & Editing

The Crystal Ball of CBA Content: 5 Bright Visions


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It’s only natural, or supernatural rather, to look at the year ahead each January.

In the past, I kept my goals largely to myself, but now that I’m fully responsible for the direction and success of my work life, I’ve decided to spend some time reflecting on the past year and set goals for this one.

So let’s gather around the crystal ball of CBA Content and look into the future. With a little imagination, you will see five visions have already appeared!

So, what are they and what do they mean?

Here are five bright plans for CBA Content this year:

1. Pitch more articles

Writing is at the core of CBA Content. Whether it’s in the form of proposals, brainstorming sessions, compelling headlines or marketing materials, writing is how I communicate, create and bring ideas to life.

While writing will remain the foundation of my business, I plan to use it more as a research, reporting and journalistic outlet. That means pitching more articles to more publications in the hopes of getting rejected more (yes, rejected!) and published more.

The fear of being rejected is what usually held me back from not pitching articles in the past, but those days are over. My “Pitch Log” gained its first entry of 2019 yesterday and will soon see its second.

*scribbles down “New story idea” on to do list*

2. Be patient

Failure and success — landing that byline or new client project — require patience.

The first part of the equation, not hearing back or being turned down, is all too familiar to the seasoned freelancer. But for me, someone who is still learning the ins and outs of this independent work life, understanding that the next collaboration will take time to secure and get off the ground will be key in 2019.

In the early days of CBA Content, I was quick to say yes to anything. Even after a client project was in motion, I’d accept new responsibilities and take on more without batting an eye because that comes with the territory, right? Be flexible, balance your time, be the solution even if you don’t have one yet.

Yes, those are important, but so too is patience. This year, I will remember that you don’t have to jump on every single opportunity. Instead, I will practice putting myself out there more, worrying less about silent prospects and dedicating more time to building quality partnerships.

Which leads me to my next goal…

3. Focus on quality over quantity

The most obvious way to grow a freelance business is to take on as many clients and new projects as possible. Jump from one marketing campaign to a social media update to a blog post, whether for the same brand or not.

Because the reasoning goes, the more work you do, the more money you’ll make. But, there is another way.

Instead of piling on each request that comes your way, take a moment (read: be patient) and list out the pros and cons of the project. Ask yourself: How will it benefit you in the long run? Can you leverage this type of work to win new business or grow your existing partnership? Do you have the bandwidth to take it on? etc.

It’s easy to be distracted by the numbers game, thinking because you have more to do, the more successful you are; however, this year I will be more discerning about the types of projects I take on. Having one quality client partnership with a clear path forward is better than having three short-lived ones.

4. Embrace my creativity

This vision is based on another astrologer’s predictions which means it’s doubly important (stay with me!).

Time Out London, one of my weekly tube reads, published a 2019 cultural horoscope this week and I love the way CBA Content’s stars (aka mine) have aligned: “Expect new-found courage and creative energy over the next 12 months, Leo.”

So besides visiting the National Gallery and V&A more often, I plan to use these artistic adventures as opportunities to think in new ways, connect the dots and grow my work.

I’ve got my notebook in hand. Now, time to follow the stars, explore and absorb.

5. Celebrate!

After all, how are you supposed to achieve your goals without celebrating along the way?

The kind of celebration I’m talking about is showcasing my work and sharing it with all of you more often. Whether that’s through my website or on social media, this is something I really want to get better at.

In the short term, that means creating a portfolio of the marketing projects I have worked on so far. It also means keeping my list of published work up to date.

In terms of the big picture, I want to celebrate the fortunate opportunity I’ve had to start CBA Content and pursue my passion for helping others tell their stories, all in a city that I love — London.

Now that’s something worth celebrating. Cheers to 2019!