Photo by Alison Marras
Creating content for social media is a lot like cooking. You can whip up a recipe on the fly, but for the long term, it's much easier to have a schedule. A content calendar is not much different than a meal plan.
To continue the cooking analogy, creating content is a lot like using your leftovers. Think of it like this: on Sunday night you roast a chicken. Odds are, you may have some meat leftover. Some of it you can freeze so you can use it in a few weeks. Some of it you're going to use right away. And the truly frugal chef uses the bones of the roasted chicken for stock which then you can use for soup and a myriad of other recipes for the next month or so.
Your content is the same way. Take one piece of content and think of it like a roasted chicken. Then get creative in how you can turn it into lots of different kinds of leftovers.
I'll use one of Downstage's clients, Broadway's Next Hit Musical, as an example.
Broadway's Next is a musical improv show that tours all over the country. They do upwards of 60 performances a year. Their completely-made-up show spoofs awards shows - especially the Tony Awards. One aspect of the show is to have the emcee interview the audience as they enter the lobby to give a Red Carpet feel.
The Raw Content
As the audience members are being interviewed by the emcee, the stage manager records it all on video and sends the raw footage to Rob Schiffmann - one of the producers and artistic directors (and also my husband, full disclosure) - to edit down to a 2-4 minute video.
Gif: Look for a funny moment that works totally out of context to use on Facebook and Twitter. I made this on Giphy.
A Still Image: A funny quote and a screen grab from the video and makes an Instagram-worthy still shot. (Okay, this technically isn't from the same video, but you get the point...) I used PicMonkey for this.
As you can see, there are many ways to use the leftovers - and you figure that this was only one moment in the lobby before the show even began!
Warning: Like with leftovers, you can get tired of eating roast chicken a lot. So that's why it's good to stagger these pieces with other leftovers and main meals so that your audience doesn't get tired of consuming the same stuff.
When you start to look for ways to repurpose your content, you'll see you have to do much less inventing and filling up your content calendar gets much easier!