3 Easy Types of Content Perfect for a Time Crunch
In an ideal world, you would have several weeks of time to prepare each of your new pieces of content. They could be grandiose works, filled with original research and accurate, double-checked statistics, accompanied by custom photography, professionally edited videos, and of course, the most concise, beautiful writing you’ve ever done. Each one would be award worthy and demonstrative of all the hours of effort you put into them.
Unfortunately, the world doesn’t work that way. Content marketing is highly competitive, highly demanding, and ever changing. As a result, you have to work quickly and act quickly, pushing new material on a weekly, if not daily, basis and working with a limited budget set by your or someone above you. This is why, more often than not, you’re forced to produce a new piece of content in a matter of hours—not a matter of weeks.
Still, the flexibility of content marketing and the favoritism toward diverse strategies means not every piece of content you create has to be a home run. Each piece has to be high quality, and must favorably showcase your brand (otherwise, why would you post it?), but when you’re in a time crunch there are a handful of content types you can produce quickly without compromising your brand’s integrity:
Interviews are handy because you don’t have to do much actual content creation for them; that burden lies with your interviewee. All you have to do is come up with the questions, and if you’ve done an interview before with someone in your industry, you may even be able to recycle some of those older questions. Essentially, you’ll be writing about ten lines and getting ten paragraphs of information to publish. If you record the interview, you can have an embedded audio or video in your post, and then the only burden left is to transcribe the actual dialogue.
The only problem here is finding the right person to interview on such short notice. Influencers and industry leaders typically have busy schedules, and won’t be able to squeeze you in for even a half hour if you’re expecting a same-day turnaround. But remember, you don’t always have to shoot for the top—why not search for a more peer-like contemporary? Heck, you could even look within your own organization and interview your CEO or the head of one of your departments.
2. Quote-Driven News Pieces.
These pieces are boiled-down rewrites of news material that already exists. You’ll be reformatting the news and presenting it on your own blog in your own way, so the piece will be unique but most of the legwork is already done for you. The first step is to find a quality news piece you can take advantage of—start browsing industry news sites and forums for anything newsworthy that your own fans might like to read about. Then, paraphrase the article in your own words, citing heavy chunks of quotations and attributing them to the original source. You can throw in your own opinions and analysis of the current event if you have time, but the bulk of your material can come straight from the original (reworded, of course).
This type of content actually has a limited advantage because of the time crunch. Since you’ll be publishing it immediately, you’ll get the benefit of responding to news within hours (or at most, days), and you’ll appear more authoritative and timely as a result.
3. Old Piece, Revisited.
This type of content should only be reserved for when you don’t have any other options, but in a crunch it can work quite nicely. Take a look back at some of your older pieces—preferably ones more than a year old. Are there any that attempt to make predictions about the future? Revisit them and evaluate why your prediction did or did not come to fruition. Are there any that analyze a new product or trend? Revisit them and talk about how that product or trend has changed over time. You’ll essentially be introducing the same topic, which you’re already familiar with, and adding a brief new spin on it, giving you an easy, yet new and informative piece.
A Handful of Tips for Quick Turnarounds
Of course, there are a few other considerations you’ll need to bear in mind when drafting your lightning-quick piece of content:
- Focus on one section at a time. Staring at a blank page might be intimidating, so try and break it down section by section. Focus on the introduction, then body paragraph one, then body paragraph two, and so on. It will help you manage your time and reduce your stress.
- Attribute anything you copy. These types of content lend themselves to heavy quoting and borrowing, so don’t forget to give proper attribution. Cite the original author or the original article plainly.
- Don’t forget to proofread. It may be tempting to hammer it out and send it to production, but it’s always worth the time and effort it takes to do one final read-through (and edit, if necessary). You don’t want a simple mistake to harm your reputation if it can be fixed proactively.
- Start work on your next piece. Sometimes, time crunches are unpreventable—but most of the time, they’re easily preventable. As soon as you’re done with your pressing article, start brainstorming other works in your pipeline.
Time crunches are never particularly pleasant, but they go much smoother when you have a relatively easy piece to create and a functional understanding of how to write a quality article under pressure. Don’t let the stress get to you; just do the best with the time and resources you have, and take steps to ensure the time crunch doesn’t pop up again.
Want more information on content marketing? Head over to our comprehensive guide on content marketing here: The All-in-One Guide to Planning and Launching a Content Marketing Strategy.
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