Playbook

Playbook: How to 2X Social Content Output While Keeping Your Budget Flat

Need to do more with less across your social media marketing programs? Follow this playbook to leverage existing assets and workflows to double content output without increasing your budget.

Read time: 6 min

Who is this playbook for?

This playbook is meant for marketing leaders or social media, paid social, and content channel owners looking to increase output without adding to their budget or bandwidth.

Getting started

Content output is on the minds of many social teams, but that's easier said than done, as a 2024 Meltwater report revealed the No. 1 struggle for social teams is bandwidth—closely followed by a lack of creative resources and battling social algorithms.

Marketing investment for social already falls low on the list of budget priorities. Many companies favor quick wins over sustained brand development, investing in channels offering immediate profits.

If you're a head of social, your stress levels likely soar each time you need to do annual planning or need to showcase concrete impact and results from your programs.

  • 62% of marketing leaders do not have plans to increase social media budgets in 2024
  • 58% of social media marketers say their biggest challenge is finding time to get work done
  • 49% of social media marketers say their budget is the biggest roadblock to run social programs

Everything gets compounded when your competitors are doing certain things, and your company execs are less familiar with "offsite" marketing and have less patience for things that might be medium to long-term.

This means you probably spend your day-to-day trying to tackle:

  • Putting all sorts of tracking links in place and getting various dashboards set up
  • Getting posts reviewed and approved by the powers that be that side-line the actual work
  • Working with creators and influencers, and coordinating tasks with them
  • Keeping up with technical glitches, algorithm changes, or platform outages
  • Chasing creative and copy production
  • Not to mention tight deadlines and wanting to be opportunistic and jump on trends

All of this bogs you and your team down and you wonder why you don't have enough head-space to be creative and try new things.

Social Media Output Playbook TLDR Graphic

1. Establish a single source of truth to prevent duplicate work

Not only are social teams small and often forced to be frugal but they're likely siloed from the greater marketing team too. And we know siloed teams have two things in common:

  • They lose sight of overarching goals and priorities, creating gaps in strategy across teams
  • Frustration builds from mismatched messaging, duplicated efforts, and stalled ideas due to the lack of transparency

The big insight teams can't afford to miss is this: When social strategies are developed and executed in a vacuum, they often fail to align with broader marketing objectives and campaigns. This disconnect can lead to inconsistent messaging, missed opportunities for cross-promotion, and a disjointed customer experience.

Data shows consistent brand presentation across all platforms increases revenue by up to 10-20%.

Integrated vs siloed social strategy

Regularly tracking performance data, social listening, and all teams' campaigns allows them to see what content resonates and where efforts overlap.

These actionable insights also empower smarter budget allocation. You can divert funding away from expensive yet underperforming initiatives and toward promising tests showing results instead.

2. Prioritize impactful platforms—then define themes to scale

Trying to be active on too many social platforms simultaneously hurts outcomes and drains team effort. More importantly, this doesn’t serve your goals or people.

The goal is not to blanket content coverage across every platform. It is to put more effort behind big winners while changing up or stopping posts that don't land with audiences.

Chris Cunningham, Head of Social Marketing at ClickUp, explains how his strategy is to test everything that possibly resonates with his ideal customer profile (ICP).

Chris Cunningham Social Quote Graphic

Teams must aim to energize audiences at scale by learning if something interesting goes viral—or falls flat.

For example, turn longer videos from marketing campaigns into short, fun clips for TikTok. Or post eye-catching carousels on Instagram. The core message stays the same. But the point is to adapt content types and styles for what works best where.

Then, test a lot of ideas across 2-3 key channels to learn what content gets people to engage:

  • Try out videos of different lengths with different text captions and filters
  • Compare levels of engagement (educational versus entertaining posts)
  • Use popular audio trends and filters while watching if it improves brand opinion and trust
  • Apply CTA variables to social posts (Download the Guide versus Learn More)
Social Toolkit for doubling content graphic

If you're starting (or revamping) your social media strategy, take a page from the language-learning app Duolingo.

Zaria Parvez, who played a crucial role in turning their green owl mascot into a social media sensation with 8.2 million followers, shares how the brand's marketing strategy adapted after being open to trying new things and tapping into the power of social-first marketing.

Zaria Parvez Duolingo Quote Graphic Final

As Parvez points out, top achievers are distinguished by their willingness to rethink strategies and experiment on high-impact social channels.

3. Build reusable templates to streamline content creation

As workloads ramp up, teams often cut corners on branding and process standards to publish more content faster. But different looks across channels frustrate customers. And creating basic images and net-new videos each time is an expensive design cost.

The solution for both problems is to arm creators with on-brand templates to activate content at speed and provide guardrails for quality.

Templates are design frameworks with most branding work already complete. Creators plug their text and images into easy placeholders—like filling out a simple form.

Why Batch Creative Requests Diagram

This modular approach means less repetitive setup work for teams once the upfront effort is done. Costs plunge as teams leverage this bank of well-designed templates for carousel graphics, social headers, captions, and other assets.

Another strategy is to align and streamline creative needs on the front end. Rather than trickle one-off requests, social teams should batch assets by type, consolidating related needs across stakeholders.

4. Optimize scheduling by mapping teams and timelines in a calendar

Tighter coordination minimizes ad hoc disruptions, allowing social teams to optimize around structured schedules for major output gains. This efficiency requirement aligns with executive priorities as well.

A survey by Canto found that 54% of executives, owners, and partners identified improving efficiency and collaboration as their top priority.

Recognizing the strategic importance of streamlined workflows, social media leaders like Sarah Lively, Director of Social Media at Cartoon Network, have made implementing a unified work management system their top initiative.

Sarah Lively Cartoon Network Quote Graphic Final

The team legitimately doubled their output by transitioning to a single source of truth system.

Cartoon Network's social team produced 2,000+ content assets and 2X as many social channels managed with the same team size.

Having a panoramic organizer within reach lets each team member focus on what they do best. Designers can tackle graphic projects in groups.

Cartoon Network Table View

Writers batch-draft similar posts together. And managers plan for review timing upfront. (Sound familiar? It’s the same batching idea but for the whole calendar.)

Sticking to a reliable calendar turns scrambled requests into a smooth flow of fresh content. With consistent timing, teams combine forces instead of getting tangled.

Take pride, take risks: It pays off

Hopefully, you feel more confident that your goals don't require lofty budgets. Let these field-tested best practices pave the path for your team's specific resources and content objectives.

Create a snowball effect of success by starting with small, strategic actions. You've absorbed the knowledge. Now, it's time to apply it.

Drawing from our own experiences, we've had the same problems you have now. Not enough time. Not enough resources. And always under pressure to do more.

It's tough do alone, but we're here to lend a hand. If you want to see how ClickUp can help marketing and social media leaders, join an upcoming live group demo.

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The ClickUp Showcase is the perfect place to ask your questions, get product insights, and see our platform on your time—all without the awkward sales call.

Join our one of our sessions happening each week—hosted by our team.

And if you'd rather talk to our team of experts, that's OK too! We're here to show you the ropes on how to streamline social content production and improve team collaboration.

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