For a lot of us the term “content creation” is nearly synonymous with “time consuming”. Getting a virtual assistant onboard to manage content writing for your small business will relieve the pressure and provide a massive time saver.
Now you may be thinking, “I don’t want to outsource all of my content creation, it won’t sound like me” – and I completely get it! But, as you know, there are so many elements to the content creation process. A lot of this work can be easily outsourced to a virtual assistant without losing that personal touch, here’s how:
Outsourcing Content Research
Possibly one of the most time consuming elements of content creation is simply brainstorming ideas that will be relevant and resonate with your audience. You can easily spend hours researching your competition or perusing your audience’s online hang-out spots to start the creative wheels turning. This initial research can be passed to a VA. All you need to do is quickly review the research and/or their suggestions and jump straight into creating content that will engage your followers.
To get them started, the best things to do are to point them in the direction of your past content, your competitors’ content and content of non-competitor companies with similar interests (related industries etc). Your VA could also review recent events, news and articles about topics relevant to your industry. You may also want to have them consider writing frequently asked questions for your website, updating existing content or revising product reviews for improved SEO.
Expanding the initial idea into creative content
Content can come in many forms, but no matter the form, it all requires expansion of the initial idea in some written format. Content marketing usually brings to mind blog posts – but there are several of other formats you should consider when creating a content campaign, including:
- Video scripts
- Photo captions
- Social media updates
- Podcast scripts
- Slideshare/Powerpoint presentations
Depending on the kind of content you are creating, who your target market is and your personal preference, this stage can either be outsourced to your VA or predominantly self-managed. If you do decide to get your VA involved in this step, I recommend hiring someone with content writing experience and exceptional English skills. (Ensure you complete English language testing and sample project work before hiring them.) Once you’ve got the right VA they can manage the grunt of the content creation which is going to save you a significant amount of time.
Reviewing content created by your virtual assistant
If you involve your virtual assistant in content creation – whether expanding on your initial draft or writing new content – incorporate this editorial step into your process. It is always important to do a final review to make sure the content represents your business, you agree with what has been written and to ensure the grammar and formatting is as you like it.
Sharing content with your social networks
This is another step where your Virtual Assistant can manage everything on your behalf. Some of this may include creating graphics to go along with your text, editing photos, video editing, setting your blog up on your website and scheduling social posts for future sharing.
From ideation to promotion, a complete content creation process has a lot of steps. If you’re delegating this work to your virtual assistant, start slowly. Add 1-2 new tasks with each new writing project, and you’ll get to a point where your assistant can manage the majority of your content development and publication. Eventually, you’ll be able to just approve content ideas and give the final go-ahead once new content is ready to go.
Bonus Tip – Repurposing Content
I find it extremely helpful to have my virtual assistant involved in repurposing content. This is a great tactic for those of you who have already created a massive library of content or have been consistent in sharing content to your social networks. (It can also be helpful to business owners who are just getting started – especially if you’re looking to get as much out of your content investment as possible.)
But what is repurposed content?
Repurposed content is adapting an existing piece of content into a new format. This is a great tactic if you’re looking to expand your existing audience. Some people prefer to watch videos, while others are more interested in reading a comprehensive blog post. Repurposing your content allows you to more effectively reach more people in a format they prefer.
For example, if I filmed a 10-minute informational video, I will ask my virtual assistant to create 3 1-minute videos of certain parts that I have highlighted. These shorter clips can be used as teaser videos or flow-on content. I will also ask them to turn key highlights in the video script into quote posts to share on social media to generate more views. And lastly, I’ll ask them to revise the script into a blog post.
Content repurposing is the easiest way to get your virtual assistant started in supporting your content creation. They don’t need to come up with any initial ideas, and the need for new writing is minimal. They can spend time turning the one initial piece you created into a variety of other content ready for sharing – with minimal additional investment.
For more tips, be sure to check out our new book, The Virtual Assistant Advantage.