As we advance further into the into the age of constant connectedness, producing branded content is no longer a just nice touch. It is an absolute requirement for businesses to spread their messaging.

A recent study by PQ Media noted that content marketing is forecasted to be a $300 billion industry by 2019. In order to stay competitive, the trends are telling businesses to step up their production.

By no means does this equate to creating more content simply for the sake of boosting output. A good content marketing strategy has been (and always will be) about providing a profound level of value to consumers and improving lives.

With this in mind, it can be difficult to meet an increased production requirement without sacrificing quality. Chances are, your approach might require a number of tweaks and fixes to get to the next level. Here are five ways you can ramp up creation efficiency while maintaining the essence that makes your content stand out.

1. Set Aside Time for Ideation

As many content marketers will attest, the hardest part of the process can be coming up with topics and outlining pieces. For this reason, you need to dedicate a certain window of time each week strictly for ideation.

More than likely, there will be times when you need ideas on the fly. This is why having a list of conceptualized topics will make these instances much easier without derailing your schedule.

Start by creating a spreadsheet with tabs corresponding to each aspect of your niche. For example, your specialty might deal with web design, e-commerce, or email marketing. These can be the subjects of which you will brainstorm possible content directions.

During this stage, it’s best to let the ideas spill out. There will be time to pick out winners later. If you need some help kick starting the process, check out one of the numerous title generators available on the web. By simply entering in a keyword relevant to your topic, you will be given hundreds of titles to work with. Not all will be spectacular, but it can help get the creative juices flowing.

2. Use Web Monitoring to Your Advantage

Perhaps the biggest goal of content marketing is to put the right messages in front of the most interested eyes. Making a powerful impact that resonates with the audience requires a good deal of research.

Luckily, we live in a time when marketers and business owners don’t need to go to the streets or produce countless surveys to gauge consumer opinions.

These days, people are less than shy (to put it lightly) about posting their thoughts online for the world to see. This digital phenomenon is a gold mine for content marketers. Not only does it provide a fantastic vehicle for inspiration, it helps companies get the root issues within their industry.

There is no shortage of social listening tools on the market to make this aspect of content marketing simple. Glean.info allows you to test the waters of social media and news monitoring. Keeping tabs on over 60,000 online news outlets, in addition to the major social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, you can create custom streams and segment this information by media type, criteria, brand name, or campaign.

From here, you will get a glimpse at what people are buzzing about and how you can create content to jump in and provide your unique solutions to pressing issues or concerns.

Qualitative research is that vital ingredient of marketing which content marketing agencies like ours will swear by. Failing to take advantage of the resources at your disposal can kill your efficiency quicker than anything else.

3. Stick to an Editorial Calendar

Consistency is a factor in content marketing of which cannot be undervalued. The trick is finding the perfect balance. On one hand, if you don’t publish enough, people can forget you exist. On the other, if you are constantly flooding your audience with updates, they can easily get annoyed and the value of your content will be lessened. If you go through spells when publishing is frequent, and times when it is seldom, your strategy can appear unfocused. This is why it is critical to stick to a distribution calendar.

Doing so can be momentous to the efficiency of your content production in several ways. For one, your team has set goals for the number of pieces to complete in a given day. Two, it makes it easier to segment time blocks and appropriately assign pieces to content creators so nothing falls through the cracks.

Coschedule is an industry favorite and is no stranger to helping organizations become more efficient across the board in content and social media marketing. This editorial calendar tool makes it incredibly easy to plan out each and every move in one connected workflow.

The key to an efficient system is organization. By arranging your content scheme weeks in advance, all teams involved have a unified roadmap to help keep production levels on track.

4. Create a Bank of Timeless Posts

Once you have established an optimal schedule for distribution, one of the hardest tasks is producing meaningful content day-in and day-out to meet deadlines. Under no circumstance should you be rushing to complete pieces. When this happens, quality almost certainly will suffer.

As creative as you and your team may be, there will always be times when there aren’t a lot of breaking developments in your field. Or, you may run into writer’s block. Some days, it’s simply harder to create content than others.

While publishing content up-to-date with the current landscape of your industry is crucial for gaining traction, you should always keep a number of more general, non-time-sensitive posts in your back pocket. This way, even if your efficiency might be stalling internally, it won’t appear so on the outside.

Building a library of evergreen content is surefire way to keep your publishing rate moving at a steady pace. Depending on your industry, try to make it a point to dedicate a percentage of your time to creating these types of pieces.

5. Incorporate Data into Your Planning

Content marketing and big data go hand-in-hand. According to a recent survey by Gartner, analytics rank in the top five areas of technological investments by marketers.

If you want to increase the efficiency of your content production, you need to know exactly where to focus your efforts. Start by isolated each of your distribution outlets. Then, calculate the ROI to see which ones are the most effective in promoting your messaging. Even though some platforms may not show big returns in the short term, they can have an impact on this measurement and should not be forgotten about.

Once you have found your most useful distribution platforms, you can focus your budget and manpower accordingly.

Other metrics to consider during this process would be conversion rates, engagement, and visibility. Additionally, there are features that examine heat maps and click patterns to provide information on how you can optimize your content for more engagement.

Final Thoughts

As a content marketer, you always need to be looking for ways to improve the status quo. The trends are indicating that content production will need to be a priority in the near future. The most important thing to keep in mind, when stepping up your internal efficiency, is that the positive impact of your messaging must stay consistent. In content marketing, quality over quantity will always reign supreme.