Ensuring a high-quality output of content is the goal of any brand or marketer, but the pressure to consistently create new, original content can be the nail in your design team’s coffin. The need for brands and social media managers to produce relevant and timely content is at an all-time high, but the terms “scrappy” or “content on the fly” can sound like forbidden fruit in the world of professional content creation. We’re here to tell you otherwise – scrappy content doesn’t just save you time and effort to create, it’s also an authentic and engaging way to provide value for your audience. Leveraging a few simple tools already at your disposal can help create great content without exhausting all your resources. Let’s get started!
Tip #1: Think Engaging, Not Perfect
We don’t know who needs to hear this, but it’s okay to create content that’s not perfectly curated. We gasped too, it’s fine! While this philosophy may seemingly go against everything you’ve always known to be true about social media, but the “Instagram aesthetic” isn’t the golden standard for creating great content anymore. And at the rate viral trends are breaking the internet, you don’t have time to strive for perfection. Learn more about the changing perception of content in our two blog posts about memes and Gen Z.
The goal of making scrappy content or quick and easy content on the fly is to post relevant content when the trend is thriving. High relevancy leads to greater engagement.
Another great thing about creating content on the fly is you don’t have to dedicate extensive time to hosting brainstorming or strategy sessions. Creating trending content is about having the foresight to know how the content will perform in real-time. Quick content doesn’t have to rely on top visual quality for likes. Instead, its timeliness tie to pop culture adds an inherent popularity boost to whatever you create.
Note: This doesn’t mean all of your content should rely solely on templated design unless you’re BuzzFeed or a pop culture-centric brand. Content like infographics, illustrations, branded logos, and text-heavy posts still require a designer’s eye, experience, and skill to finesse.
Tip #2: Embrace Social Media Trends
It seems like a new social media trend hits the internet every week, and with this abundance comes a wealth of content ideas and inspiration. Memes, viral challenges are best when created and shared with a brand's unique, original spin. Just remember: speed is your top priority here to ensure your content lands within the slim window of social relevance.
Many social media trends like dance challenges, memes, and trending topics use templates, making it easy for you to plug in your brand. Audio sounds, meme formats, and story templates are all available for free and save you the time and creative skill needed when designing or ideating from scratch. If you need support tracking trends as they break, check out our social media hacks post dedicated to sourcing viral trends.
Tip #3: Leverage In-App Features
Content creation doesn’t necessarily mean you have to leave the platform itself to create unique, professional-looking graphics, edits, and videos. Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok each incorporate easy-to-use, professional-level features like augmented reality and editing tools that make even the most novice creator create next-level content.
Filters and Transitions - Instagram, TikTok, and Snapchat all have various filters to choose from, including the ability to edit video content in the app.
- Each platform highlights trending filters. (Remember the Pillow face filter on Instagram?) You can find these filters by swiping through the popular filters or utilizing the filter search option.
- Another popular effect is the 3D greenscreen effect on TikTok. This filter allows users to get creative with their backgrounds, providing a ready-made feature that would take hours to create in video editing software like Final Cut Pro.
- Transitions are key for telling immersive stories using Reels and TikTok and making your content come to life. Look through popular TikTok videos and challenges to get a feel for the different types of screen transition, and how they work to propel a story forward through content.
Instagram Stories Features - The nature of Stories is typically spontaneous, scrappy, and responsive given their 24-hour expiration date With its collection of built-in features like Polls, Stickers, Countdown Clocks, Music, and Quizzes, you can elevate a simple story into an interactive, highly engaging experience for the viewer. The PLANOLY social team uses the native features within Instagram Stories all the time. In-app features allow us to save time, remain current in content trends, and increase our brand awareness, reach, and visibility with Instagram’s love for inherently boosting content with its own features.
Shoot and Edit on Your Phone - Another way to ensure your phone photography matches the rest of your grid’s aesthetic is by using a simple preset filter to edit each of your photos. VSCO allows you to save your own presets, and apply them to your photos each time.
How Big Brands Leverage In-app Features
- The New York Times hosts many Instagram Live sessions to talk about current events and topics. Before each live session, they share a story using the Instagram questions sticker to crowdsource questions for the audience their teams can answer during their lives. Adding stickers to Instagram Stories is all done in the app. Add it to any background, and you’re good to go.
- Care/of vitamins posts frequent health and wellness tips on their Instagram. Every tip is new and different from the rest. Their use of Instagram Reels and transitions keep their content fresh. Instagram Reels is equipped with different editing features and text to help match it to your overall grid aesthetic.
Tip #4: Learn Savvy Skills from the Pros
Figuring out how to achieve a TikTok or Reels transition, or learning the right eight-count for a dance challenge will take some time to master. But with the number of content creation tools and tutorials out that show users how to execute popular short-form video trends properly, Instagram hacks, etc., you’ll be a pro content creator in no time.
To find the tutorials you’re looking for, search for them through hashtags or through accounts. Here are few ideas to get you started on what to search for:
- How to turn live photos into boomerangs for your Story
- How to turn existing photos into Reels or TikTok content
- How to add transitions to your video content
- What to use the 3D greenscreen effect for
Follow education accounts that post Reels or other content featuring various how-tos for features on all social platforms. A TikTok account we love sharing helpful TikTok and Reels tips for beginners is @themuthership. She's a content creator and “TikTok teacher” who shares every TikTok how-to and more!
If you’re looking to save yourself time while creating enough content for the week then remember these four tips to help you create engaging content when the moment arises!