The Power of Templates: How Simplifying Your Promotional Process Generates More Buzz and Business

4 min read
Photo Credit: Caleb Roenigk

Photo Credit: Caleb Roenigk

Online content has quickly become our main source of communication and entertainment, and there’s a ton of really great online content produced every single day. Whether your competitors are making great steps in good content or they’re mainstream online content producers—like BuzzFeed, Gizmodo, or news outlets—you’re probably wondering how you can also create really solid content. Because of these online content producers, people are used to reading high-quality content, so there are already standards and expectations in place. Here’s the challenge: how are you going to make great, instant online content manageable and doable for your business?

The big online content producers are set up like old newsrooms: they all gather in a central location where they write story after story and get the news out as fast as possible. Where the newspaper used to be the speedy way of getting your news, BuzzFeed and other online news sources have now taken the reins. The staff comprises writers, videographers, and designers. All of these people need to be in that central location when something happens so that they can prepare and publish articles as quickly as possible.

This model isn’t realistic for most companies, especially for small businesses, since it’s costly and draining to assemble such a large team and to properly delegate tasks. That being said, the need for quality online content is still high for everyone.

There is, however, one little trick that can save you time, energy, and enable you to get your content out there as quickly as possible: templates.

Planning Ahead of Time                                                  

It’s hard to stay on top of regularly scheduled content while also trying to make sure you get all news-oriented posts up in a timely manner. There’s a good way to manage this: planning and writing your content in advance. Plan your content a quarter to even a couple of quarters out and then get writing. Have your content ready to go a month or more in advance so you’ll have the time to get things that are time-sensitive up right away. Every time we go to a conference, we plan it out down to the exact number of pieces we’ll want to get out. The best part about planning ahead is it gives you time to develop a template that you can use for immediate publication.

The Power of Templates

Let me tell you about the time my team over here at PERQ went to the NADA conference (the largest automotive conference in the world) with ambitions to create the best, most useful content for those who weren’t able to attend as well as those who were in attendance but couldn’t make it to every event or keynote. Because of the conference’s size, other teams like ours were sure to put out quality content, but we wanted to be the first ones to publish it. We didn’t want to wait until all the information was already out there. We wanted to be the ones who put it out there to begin with. We needed to produce and publish content immediately, and it needed to be engaging, correct, and of high quality. Planning ahead of time allowed us to create templates for the pieces of content we wanted to create. We made templates for quick articles with notes from the speakers, video templates, news templates, and more. These templates made our success possible.

Our game plan was etched in stone before we even got there, and so we already knew exactly what we needed to do and how we would do it. We had small teams go to different speakers and workshops and take notes, record video interviews, etc. Then they’d immediately go to the press room and draft up articles or edit videos according to the templates we’d designed. Then: we hit the publish button. We were able to absorb and turn around the information in a matter of minutes, meaning we synthesized and shared the best information from the conference almost in real time. This boosted our readership from conference attendees and those who couldn’t make it to the gathering.

It’s All About Planning and Simplifying

The success we had at NADA wouldn’t have been possible without planning ahead and simplifying the publication process with pre-made templates. We knew exactly what kinds of content we wanted to create, so we built corresponding templates that made the process efficient. Not only did the templates make our lives easier, they cater to our readers who want information delivered in easy-to-read and –digest formats. If you’re trying to maintain an up-to-date online content resource, think about your process. How can you simplify it? Chances are, if you plan ahead of time and take advantage of the power of templates, you’re going to be able to keep up with the rest of your competitors and give your audience fresh, quality content on the fly.