How To Avoid The Hamster Wheel Of Content Creation #237

Tired of feeling stuck in the endless cycle of content creation, I stumbled upon a powerful solution that changed my approach forever. But little did I know, this twist of fate would offer much more than I ever expected, leading me on an unexpected journey to discover the value of meaningful content.

In my recent episode of The Know, Like & Trust Show, I delved into the challenge many content creators face: the content creation hamster wheel. This endless cycle of producing content can lead to burnout and decreased productivity. To address this issue, I focused on the importance of measuring content performance and making informed decisions for future content. I shared a step-by-step guide for creating a dashboard to track content effectiveness, emphasizing the significance of visually appealing data for better decision-making. Through my podcast, I aim to help content creators focus on the quality of their work and escape the hamster wheel by implementing effective measurement strategies.

In this episode, you will be able to: 

  1. Break free from the endless cycle of content creation for enhanced productivity. 
  2. Harness the power of content KPIs to make well-informed decisions. 
  3. Leverage a Content ROI dashboard for efficient performance monitoring.  
  4. Concentrate on generating high-quality content that drives revenue growth.

Introduction: What is the content creation hamster wheel?

The content creation hamster wheel is exactly what it sounds like. It’s you, the hamster, thinking that if you create just one more piece of content you’ll get somewhere. And then you keep going and going, spinning around on a wheel and never making it anywhere, feeling like you can never catch that elusive “last one.”

No one brags about running a marathon on a treadmill!

If you’re looking to slow how often you’re creating new content–you’re in luck. There are three steps we’re going to cover to hone in your content marketing strategy so you feel balanced, avoid the chaos, and actually see an end in sight.

Content creation can be overwhelming

what content burnout feels like

Cue the overwhelm and burnout here, because realizing there’s no end in sight is disheartening.

Expanding on the idea of why content creation can be overwhelming, it’s important to understand that creating content requires a lot of time and effort. You need to research your topics, plan out their structure and know how to present information in an effective way. Furthermore, the process of creating content can be very mentally taxing since you need to stay motivated and continuously come up with new ideas.

There’s so much pressure to make sure you create content that is valuable and engaging enough for your audience to read. With all of these expectations weighing down on content creators, it’s no wonder the process can sometimes feel overwhelming.

The content creation cycle

Content creators can fall into a cycle of creating and promoting content without measuring its effectiveness due to the increasing focus on quantity over quality when it comes to marketing. 

Ah, yes, the modern-day struggle of businesses vying for attention in the overpopulated digital world. As a result, content creators may find themselves hastily churning out material without much consideration for its actual effectiveness. This, in turn, can trigger a vicious cycle of producing and promoting content that fails to capture the attention of its intended audience.

In order to break this cycle, content creators must take the time to measure their success by tracking key performance indicators (KPIs) such as website visits, click-through rates, and shares on social media platforms. By taking the time to assess the success of their content, they can then make adjustments in their strategies in order to create more effective pieces that will capture the attention of their target audience. Additionally, content creators should look at how their competitors are measuring the performance of their own content in order to gain insights into what works for them. You’ll be left behind if you aren’t measuring your results and others are.

Using these tools and insights may help content marketers break free from the creation burnout cycle of creating and promoting content without measuring its effectiveness.

Key Takeaway:

The hamster wheel causes burnout–and you’re not serving your people well when you’re overwhelmed and tired.

content creation hamster wheel

How to break out of the content creation hamster wheel

Breaking out of the content creation hamster wheel requires a clear plan of action.

  1. Choose a way to measure your content’s effectiveness. Specifically, find a way to automate as much of the measuring process as you can.
  2. Learn how to “read between the lines” of data and make insights with the numbers. Otherwise, you’ve just got a fancy spreadsheet.
  3. Start multiplying your efforts and reuse content that’s performing well–and you’ll step out of that hamster wheel.
  4. Additionally, leveraging tools such as analytics or AI-driven recommendations can assist in streamlining the process and reduce time spent on mundane tasks.

Viola! You’re no longer tied to creating new content and you’re getting off that treadmill.

Understanding Content Measurement and Metrics

Ahh, the ever-important topic of content measurement and metrics. These are the trusty tools that content creators (read: anyone using content to market their business) use to keep tabs on how well their material is performing and gain a deeper understanding of its impact. They are used to measure the success of online content initiatives, track user engagement, identify opportunities for improvement, and adjust strategies as needed. Content measurement involves gathering relevant data points such as:

  • page views
  • click-through rates
  • time on page
  • shares and saves
  • organic search rankings

Metrics are then calculated from these data points and used to assess the effectiveness of content.

Commonly used metrics include:

  • reach
  • engagement rate
  • conversion rate
  • cost per acquisition (if paid)

By applying content measurement and metrics to ongoing campaigns or pieces of content, marketers can make better decisions about which types of content work best for their audiences and how they should be promoted in order to get the desired results.

The importance of understanding and analyzing your content performance

Understanding and analyzing your content performance on a regular basis is key for understanding what type of content is resonating with your audience. By getting feedback from your viewers, you can make the necessary changes to increase engagement and reach.

If you want to ditch the hamster wheel, you absolutely have to know what’s resonating and what is not.

Analyzing the data also helps inform decisions about when and how often to post certain types of content. This can help to increase effectiveness and ensure that you are getting the most bang for your content buck. Additionally, monitoring content performance helps identify potential opportunities that could be explored further – such as new formats or topics that might attract more attention than what is currently being posted.

Using tools to measure your content

In order to gain valuable insights into the performance of your content, it is important to use tools that measure and track it. These tools can help you understand which pieces of content are resonating with your audience, and which are not. Additionally, they can provide you with detailed analytics on audience engagement, such as how many people have viewed or shared your content.

In-app content measurement

Most social platforms have some form of analytics you can access for free. Some platforms, like Instagram, will require you to use a business profile to see them and this is well worth the switch. You’re going to want to measure how many shares and saves a post receives, how many profile visits (for Instagram this is the only way to measure click-through rate), and you may also want to measure impressions or comments.

Third-party content measurement

Most social media schedulers like Buffer, Later, and Metricool have built-in analytics that aggregate your chosen social platform data into one place. This is an important time-saving function! Realistically, though you can log into three different platforms to check your stats, you’ll not regularly do it.

Seeing your data all in one place means you’re more likely to regularly do it. As we’ve already covered the importance of knowing your numbers when you do create content, making it easy matters.

Creating a Measurement Dashboard

Now that we’ve acknowledged the importance of seeing all your numbers in one place, you can see how having your social numbers and your website numbers together would aid your content strategy even further.

Whether you’re using Google Analytics or one of their competitors, there’s always been an embargo between social data and website traffic data. UTMs can bridge the gap, but you still can’t see what ties to what–until now. A content measurement dashboard brings all these things together.

Key Takeaway:

Having all your numbers in one place means it’s less likely you’ll procrastinate when it’s time to look for them.

use a content measurement dashboard to keep track of your content analytics

Setting up a content measurement dashboard

Setting up a measurement dashboard involves many steps.

  1. First, the data related to the key performance indicators (KPIs) must be identified and collected from multiple sources.
  2. When I create a client’s Content ROI Dashboard in Looker Studio, I use several things called data connectors so I can pull in analytics from Instagram and Facebook, for example.
  3. After all of the necessary data is gathered, it must be filtered and organized into meaningful categories so that it can be effectively analyzed.
  4. I also compare and contrast certain platforms against each other, which can only be done by filtering.
  5. Once all of the data is in an organized format, visualizations such as charts or graphs should be created to present the data in a format that is easy to understand.
  6. I use pie charts to break up the numbers and visualize where viewers are coming from. Typically, I also brand in a client’s colors.
  7. Finally, these visuals should be incorporated into a user-friendly dashboard with built-in filters and customizable settings so that stakeholders can get real-time insights into their KPIs.

How to use a dashboard to assess your content performance

Content insights are essentially “reading between the lines” of the data so you can get off the content creation treadmill. Why did one post perform better on LinkedIn last week than another? Why is this YouTube video on my favorite topic not getting the reach as these other three videos–what’s different and what’s the same? Why didn’t the Instagram post I labored over for 45 minutes do anything?

And hey–if you don’t like data? That’s fine. I can manage the data so you don’t have to. But I need the data to provide guidance on beefing up your content strategy so it’s actually doing some heavy lifting in your business.

  • Content insights help marketers to understand the minute details of their content and campaigns.
  • By examining the data, such as likes, shares, views, etc., marketers can begin to develop an understanding of what their audience responds to and how they can improve future content.
  • Content insights also allow marketers to draw comparisons between successful and unsuccessful pieces of content. Through this analysis, trends in engagement, audience preferences, and even competitor strategies can all be picked out.
  • Content insights provide answers to questions like “why did one post perform better than another” or “why did this podcast episode get twice as many downloads as other this month?”

Armed with these answers, marketers are able to make effective decisions when creating their next piece of content or campaign.

Taking Action Based on Data and Insights

Okay, you’ve waded through all the data talk. Here’s the thing: let’s get to banishing that content creation hamster wheel for good by choosing which topics that will repeat well as part of your evergreen content strategy. Old content doesn’t have to stay old!

content measurement dashboards help marketers

What type of content works for you?

Data and insights from a measurement dashboard can be used to improve content performance by identifying areas where there is room for improvement. The dashboard’s key functions should be to generate insightful analytics reports that shed light on how each article or piece of content is performing. After all, what’s the point of creating content if you don’t know how it resonates with your audience?

Analyzing this data can reveal patterns that:

  • give an idea of which topics resonate most with the audience
  • what type of content is performing best
  • what time and day works best for publishing, etc.

Armed with this knowledge, content creators and marketing teams can adjust their strategies accordingly. For example, if the data shows that long-form articles are performing better than shorter ones, then content creators can focus on writing longer articles or creating more in-depth resources. Additionally, marketers may decide to post these longer articles at certain times when readership is higher. Founders can improve their content performance over time by reviewing the data regularly and making changes based on what it reveals.

It’s time to multiply your efforts and reuse content

Once you know the topics that your best client target loves, it’s time to multiply that content by repurposing it. This is where you get off the content hamster wheel!

There are three ways to repurpose content:

  • Recycling the key idea and pairing it with new examples or hooks
  • Regurgitating what you’ve already posted–this gets it in front of new eyes that just found you
  • Reusing content in new ways to make it relevant for another platform (like the difference between YouTube content and Twitter threads)

Your dashboard will provide you with the content insights showing not only what topics your people prefer, but also what formats–some businesses lend really well to short-form content on TikTok and others want a detailed blog post. You may not be able to use all three repurposing “R’s” on each piece, but you have a plan right there in your dashboard data.

Key Takeaway:

You don’t have to stay stuck on the content creation treadmill. You can get off anytime when you’re paying attention to patterns and taking action on them.

step off the content creation treadmill for good by honing your content strategy

Creating better content in the future

Data-driven campaigns are becoming increasingly important in the marketing world. By leveraging data, visionary online business owners and their teams can streamline their content creation process and target their audience better. This, in turn, leads to their audiences making better and informed decisions about working with them. From there, your content production leads to better results for both you AND your clients.

To create a successful data-driven campaign, there are several steps to consider:

1. Understand your client – As with any type of marketing campaign, it’s important first to understand the demographics of your customer base. Analyzing your past sales data or survey results can help you gain insights into customer interests, motivations, needs, and behaviors.

2. Set clear goals – It’s also important to have specific goals in mind for each campaign so you know what metrics need to be tracked and measured throughout the process in order to determine success. Goals should be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timely) and tie back to quantifiable objectives such as increasing engagement rates by a certain percentage or increasing website traffic from a particular source or platform.

3. Utilize current technology – As customers become accustomed to receiving personalized messages and offers across multiple platforms in real-time, companies must utilize up-to-date technology and tools for tracking

Conclusion

Honing in your content strategy through the measurement of content is the only way you’ll step off the content creation hamster wheel. By measuring your content, you can step off the treadmill of continuously producing new content without having any real understanding of whether it is resonating with your readers. Instead, you’ll be able to make data-driven decisions about what type of content should be produced and how it can be promoted to maximize its reach.

Do you need help creating a content marketing plan that allows you to shine?

We offer complimentary one-on-one consults to help determine if a done-with-you or done-for-you approach is best for you and your business right now.

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Resources Mentioned

Music by Michael De La Torre. Thanks, Mikey!

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