At a high level, the oil and gas industry probably seems to move slowly. The equipment we use is big and heavy. Jobs require large teams to move from location to location. Those who work in the oilfield, however, know that on a day-to-day basis, it is a very fast-paced industry. Rig crews keep operations running 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, in every part of the world. They do whatever it takes to keep things turning to the right.
Even if you work in a shore-based office in a major metropolitan area, you're expected to work just as hard as the guys manning the break, monitoring the pumps and driving the trucks in the most remote parts of the oilfield.
With everything you have on your plate, including the surprise 2 a.m. phone call from the other side of the world, how do you find time to create digital marketing content? If you're like most companies in the oilfield, you probably have a lot of employees in the field, while the back-end office work is divided among a few employees wearing a number of different hats. Most of those hats might even sit on top of your head.
So I ask again – how do you find time to work on digital marketing content?
While I can't take any of the operational responsibilities off of your plate, I can try and simplify your marketing content creation by breaking it down into a few key tasks you can do to turn out consistently valuable content.
Don't Do Everything at Once
If you try and sit down to write new digital marketing content, you might feel overwhelmed with everything that goes into it – brainstorming, coming up with a headline or title that will have a strong search engine optimization (SEO) rating, finding compelling images and useful links, not to mention writing the article itself.
If all of that seems too daunting, don't do it. Well, don't do it all at once. Breaking the process into smaller, more manageable parts will give you some small wins and keep you from getting overwhelmed.
Digital Marketing Content: Divide and Conquer
- It's often easier to come up with several topics all at once rather than picking one and then jumping right into the writing process. The unstructured nature of brainstorming uses very different parts of your brain from trying to put your thoughts into the structured format required to help readers follow along with your writing.
- Once you get on a roll, you will likely churn out dozens of great topics, that you can use for future articles.
- Generating several topics early in the process also allows your subconscious to work on the marketing content in the background. You'll be surprised how often your mind goes back to this list once you write it down (e.g., shower thoughts).
- Nothing slows down the writing process like trying to weave SEO keywords into your article or trying to think of a catchy title or headline.
- Keyword research is an important part of your digital marketing content, but you should separate this step from your writing process.
Finding relevant images
- Worrying about finding a relevant image for a great article is pointless if you haven't written the article.
- Leave this as one of the last steps in the process, and definitely don't let it distract you from the more important task of writing content.
- Sites like Shutterstock and Pixabay are great resources to find high-quality images for your articles.
- Keep writing separate from everything else you do. It will often be the longest and most difficult part of the process.
- Forget about editing until the first draft is done! Slowing yourself down to catch every spelling and grammar mistake is one of the best ways to derail your writing process.
- My advice is let someone else handle this process. You should review the final draft, but having a fresh pair of eyes edit your writing is by far the best way to keep you pumping out high-quality content.
- If you have to edit your own content, there are a lot of useful tools to help you out (Hemingway App / Grammarly).
Digital Marketing Content: Write What You Know
Writing about what you know is the fastest and easiest way to generate digital marketing content.
It's easy to talk about what we do because we are passionate about the business we're in and helping the clients we serve. Why should it be any more difficult to write about what you do?
Take the position of someone offering advice to one of your customers. Picture that person in your mind and write as if you were having a conversation over coffee. If you've already created a buyer persona for a few of your target clients, just pick one for each article and write like you were having a conversation.
The writing process should not be self-serving; your content should, first and foremost, provide value to your audience. The benefits you receive from the article will come back in time. They should never be the reason for posting any form of digital marketing content.
Digital Marketing Content: Stop When You're Done
Revolutionary, I know.
Don't try to squeeze more out of an article than you have. If you keep writing to hit a certain word count, or to fit in a few more key phrases, don't. Once you've said what you have to say, STOP!
The more you try to fit into your digital marketing content, the more tedious your writing will become when you're out of useful things to say.
You'll know when you've written enough, so take a step back and feel good about what you did. Once you've written for a while, your editor (spouse, admin or professional editor) can let you know if you need to add more or take some out.
When you write about what you know, the words will come. If writing is new for you, it will take some time to get comfortable with the process. Just keep after it and it will become second nature.