Creating social media content is not an easy task. It involves creativity, strategy, and analysis to consistently create new and relevant posts. If you're a business owner, it can be even more difficult, because you're dealing with so many other responsibilities at the same time.
So, how can you make the process of creating content easier and more efficient? The answer is batching your content as you're creating it.
What is content batching?
Content batching is creating a lot of content at once—including all visuals, written copy, and captions—so it can be scheduled to be posted later. You can batch content a week, two weeks, or a month ahead of time, according to your business needs, your availability, and the platform you're posting on.
Platforms such as TikTok, Twitter and Instagram are better for weekly or bi-weekly batching so you can stay on top of trends as you create your content. On other platforms, like Pinterest, you can batch create your content a month ahead of time or longer. Because Pinterest is meant to work as a visual search engine to drive traffic to other websites (such as e-commerce, blogs, or other social platforms, like Instagram), trends there tend to last longer, following seasons and holidays, so it's not as important to jump into timely trends there as it is for TikTok and Instagram.
Step-by-step guide to content batching
Here are the steps to follow to successfully create content batches:
- Determine your content pillars. Pillars are four to five topics that represent your brand; these are the topics you'll talk about most often on social media.
- Get inspired and find new trends. Research similar topics inside your niche and spend time spotting new trends that you can use as inspiration for your own content.
- Make your content list. Make a list of topics you plan to create content for, based on your research.
- Write your copy. This includes any text you want to include in your posts such as titles, captions, call-outs, quotes, and hashtags.
- Record videos. Record all videos and audio in one day.
- Edit. Edit videos and photos to ensure great quality, smooth transitions, and perfect focus.
- Schedule your posts. Use your platform to schedule posts and videos to be published when you want them to be.
Step 1: Determine your content pillars
Content pillars are the topics that represent your brand and the things you'll most often post about on social media. Having these topics narrowed down will help reduce brainstorming time tremendously.
Here's an example: Imagine you're a fitness coach whose goal is to book more clients. Your social media content is about inspiring people to eat better, exercise frequently, and achieve their fitness goals in a sustainable way. In this case, your content pillars could be workout tips, nutrition tips, sustainable weight loss, self-love, and client transformations.
When you have a clear understanding of your content pillars, it's straightforward to post about them in different formats, such as videos, images, and infographics.
Step 2: Get inspired and find new trends
This is your time to brainstorm. Explore other people's posts in your niche and new trending sounds, hot topics, and anything on the news that you can use to bring it back to your topics. Make sure to save every post, sound, song, or news article that you find relevant and want to use or reference for your content.
Don't forget to analyze your previous content. Look back to your old posts and see what performed well. Was there a post that had a lot of questions in the comments? If so, do a follow-up. Did another post get a ton of likes and shares? If so, recreate it using a different format or create another post like that for one of your other pillars.
In the case of my TikTok video in the image below, the number of views, shares, and saves shows me viewers are interested in learning what is currently trending on TikTok. Making more of these types of videos will likely interest my viewers and bring new exposure to my page.
Step 3: Make your content list
Once you're done your research, it's time to strategize how you'll use your new ideas to support your batch content creation for your content pillars.
Create a content list using a spreadsheet app, like Excel. Here's an example of the info you'll want to include:
- Date when you want the content to go live
- Content pillar you're targeting
- Reference info or links
- Written copy to go on the image or video
- Caption to post along with the content
- Hashtags you want to include
- Done status so you'll know at a glance which items are posted
This list will give you a clear vision of all the content you need to work on for the next week or so.
Step 4: Write your copy
In your batched content list, write out all the text needed. This includes any text you want to include in your posts such as titles, call-outs, quotes, and also all captions and hashtags.
Instagram allows for longer captions (over 2,000 characters!) so take advantage of the space to write about your topic. Longer captions aren't bad as long as you're providing value to your audience. On TikTok, however, your captions should be short and to the point (no longer than 500 characters).
When writing captions, make sure they're engaging by adding elements like questions for your followers to answer and include a CTA (call to action) at the end. Some examples of CTAs are "Comment your favorite below," "Save this post for later," and "Share this with a friend."
Finally, make sure to add all the hashtags you want to include in your post. The number of hashtags will vary depending on the platform, but a good rule of thumb is to keep your hashtags related to the topic of your content and your niche.
Let's continue to use the fitness coach as an example. If posting about a client's weight loss transformation, some good hashtags would be #weightlosstransformation #weightlossbeforeandafter #onlinefitnesscoach #onlinefitnesscoachforwomen.
Here's a visual example of a caption and hashtags based on one of my Instagram posts about the difference between a social media strategy and content plan:
Step 5: Record videos
Set aside a day to record all the videos you plan to post. Here are some tips to make sure your videos look clean and eye-catching:
- Take advantage of natural light by facing a large, north-facing window while recording. If you don't have a window that works well, a ring light can be a great solution.
- Have a clean background. It doesn't have to be white and plain, but make sure it's an organized, cohesive space that doesn't distract viewers from what you're talking about.
- Don't stand too close to the camera. Be sure to leave space around you (especially over your head), because this is the best place to add your video's copy. The platform will also place things (like icons and links) over your video, so take that into account when recording.
- Bring high energy. If you're feeling down or tired, a good idea is to start a playlist before recording and dance around to loosen up and brighten your mood.
Here's an example of a good angle to record videos while talking to the camera:
Step 6: Edit
Once all videos are recorded and all photos are taken, it's time to edit. Here are tips for editing videos and photos.
- Trim out all unnecessary pauses.
- Add text overlays and make sure your timing is on point so any audio or trending sounds sync to the clip perfectly.
- Add closed captions to help with viewers who are hard of hearing and those who prefer to view with the sound off.
Photos and infographics
- Make sure the photo is high quality, enhanced, cropped nicely, and matches your brand's look.
- Create eye-catching infographics using your brand's colors and fonts.
Step 7: Schedule your posts
Now it's time to schedule each item so it's posted when you want it to be. You can use the scheduling tools most social media platforms already provide, or you can schedule your posts automatically with a paid platform like Later.
Since content batching can be an intense process, the best way to go about it is to break it down into multiple days. Choose one day to research, one day to write your content list and copy, one day to record, and one day to edit and schedule. This way you'll feel less overwhelmed and the process won't take up an entire day.
You can also play around with how much content you batch at once, starting with 5 days in advance and working your way up to 15 days. The goal is to batch so it saves you time and you always have high-quality, relevant content ready to be posted.