Last week, released the official #leancontent framework. The lean content ideology addresses the issue of knowing a content strategy is necessary but not having enough money to send a man into space a la RedBull; content strategy for the rest of us, if you will. There are many components of developing a successful and impacting lean content strategy, including testing different types of content, repurposing content for various platforms, building a community contribution program, and curating existing content.

Working with a lean content methodology for almost an entire year has allowed me to discover many useful tools to ensure that your content comes with both the lowest cost and highest impact possible, and I’d like to share some of them with you.


Buffer is every digital marketer’s dream. It’s a tool that allows you to pick times during the day that you want your social media posts to be sent out and, once you’ve found your content, does all the work for you. Buffer isn’t your average scheduling app, though. Once you’ve figured out the best times to post on social media, you set these times just once, instead of having to schedule each of your posts. If you install the bookmarklet or browser extension, all you have to do is click on it, and the piece of content you’re looking will automatically be sent out at the next available time slot. Personally, I spend 30 minutes each morning curating the content that I’ll be sharing on social media that day, sending it into my Buffer, and using the extra 5 minutes to enjoy a coffee.


There are so many aspects of SlideShare that make it lean. For one, it’s a great platform to use to share visual content, which is arguably the leanest of all. It’s shareable, repurposable, and easily digestible. Not only can you post presentations on SlideShare, but you can also share infographics, PDF documents, and even videos. Even if this platform isn’t the only place you’re posting your content, you can leverage its existing – and notably large – community as an additional distribution network.

Ask Your Target Market

People love numbers. It’s one thing to make a claim, but it’s a whole different ballgame when there are real statistics involved. Ask Your Target Market has three product levels that can help you gather statistics and data, whether it be for market research or compelling content. The first, and most lean, level is an expert to craft your survey, an audience (defined by your parameters) to take the survey, and the tools to create it. The second level allows you to use the creation tools and audience gathering while you write your own survey, and the third simply allows you to create a survey and administer it to whomever you wish. The leanest thing about AYTM is that it’s extremely targeted and allows you to define exactly what you want to find out before you even begin, eliminating wasted time sifting through data to find something that might be compelling to your audience.

Five Second Test

One of the biggest time-wasters that comes with website and content creation is deciding on the best layout. Everyone has their opinion; put this here, put that there. Lean marketers, though, don’t have the time to spend arguing which side of the page that tiny button should be on. Five Second Test is a quick & dirty way to find out how potential audiences will react to your site and/or page within the first five seconds of seeing it. Just upload your mockup, set the target demographics and a few things you want to find out from the viewers, and within minutes you’ll have responses and know what worked and what didn’t. When it comes down to it, readers aren’t going to stay on your site for longer than five seconds if their attention isn’t caught, so don’t waste your time guessing what will do the trick – find out in real time. is a content curation platform that allows you to share content on your topic of expertise. Creating original content is an integral part of any successful content strategy, but it’s not easy to be doing this multiple times per day. If you want to stay visible and top of mind to your audience, you need to be putting out information in the form of digital content and social media posts consistently throughout the day and the week. Pairing curation with your content creation strategy is a lean way to fill the gaps between original pieces of content created by your brand. contains a suggestion engine which takes away the pain of having to search the internet for relevant content to share – instead, all of the content on your topic is right in front of you. Then, in one click, you can publish a link to this content along with your insight (for context) and send it to all of your social networks. In the process, you’re not only staying visible to your audience, but you’re becoming a thought leader as well! is a great lean content marketing tool in a way similar to that of SlideShare. It’s a place to host your infographics and leverage another existing community to share your content with. Further, using will remind you and your content team to focus on visual content and create it as often as you can. Some tips for lean infographics include not thinking too much about fancy graphics, separating statistics clearly so that it’s easy for the reader to share them, and organizing the infographic into easily shareable sections that can exist without the other ones (hello, repurposing!).


If you have a phone and are a digital or social content manager, you need to download Studio. It’s a photography app that’s set up similarly to Instagram, but is more design-focused. With Studio, you can upload a base image to start, and then overlay  text, effects, or pre-existing designs on the simple mobile interface. It’s like a stripped version of Photoshop to go! Personally, I’ve used Studio to create content at my desk, on the bus, or walking to get lunch. It’s that simple – and remains engaging and informative.

What tools do you use as a part of your lean content strategy? Leave any tips in the comments!