All you’ve always wanted to know about content creation
We spend our days so deeply immersed in our own content creation that sometimes it is easy to forget that we are surrounded by it at every turn. In fact, from the time we wake up until the time we go to bed, we are constantly stimulated by the content found all around us. Think about it:
Your alarm goes off in the morning and you roll over and grab your phone. A quick stroll through social media and you are up for the day. As you drag yourself from the bed to the shower, you grab the remote and flip on your local news to catch the latest headlines. On your commute, you pass billboards, signs at bus stops, and the random piece of visual content that has been illegally stapled to the utility poles. Throughout your day, you check email, social media, and various websites to get your job done. Then, it is home again where your day can start to wind down. Well, not before you check out the news headlines, social media, and email one last time, of course. All the above are examples of content in their different formats.
Every single time you encounter an advertisement, infographic, video, blog, and so forth throughout your day, you are encountering content. And, each individual piece of content was created to snag your attention.
Sure, some are ineffective or downright ridiculous, causing us to chuckle and shake our heads as we move about our day, disregarding what we have just seen. But, then there are others. You know, that type of content that catches your eye and either causes you to take a second glance or scroll back up. It is the type of content that can take you from never having heard of a product or service before to completely convinced that you need it. And, it is the type of content that can change perception. This is the content you want to create.
If you love the idea of reaching your ideal persona through content creation but you have no idea how to get started, then you will want to keep reading. We’ve listed out the best practices for you to not only nail content creation but also attract more customers. Which, after all, is the point of creating content, right?
What is content creation?
Content creation is a process that includes what we call the three D’s: Discover, Develop, and Deliver.
- Discover topics, ideas, and images that may appeal to your ideal customer. You may have an idea that you find perfect, but will your buyer like it, too? It takes knowledge and skill to deeply understand the ideal buyer and determine what content ideas will take your ideal buyer to the next step on their journey.
- Develop content, written, and/or visual, based on your ideas. You want this content to speak to your ideal customer. This involves researching, writing, and developing the content into something worthwhile– and that will attract your persona’s attention.
- Deliver the created content to your ideal customer as a blog, an infographic, a video, an advertisement, an email, or a combination of any of these. In other words, you must get that content in front of your buyers the way that better relates to them. Knowing where to present this content is going to make or break your campaign.
In other words, content creation means thinking of a good– and catchy– idea, elaborate on it, then present it. And, while the process may sound simple, know that it is just as easy to create bad (ineffective) content as it is to create great (and effective) content.
The time, teamwork, research, and analytics that go into creating good and effective content can require so much effort. In addition, the amount of organization, dedication, and precision that is necessary for a successful content marketing campaign is often found by many creators to be confusing and frustrating. In fact, many may never reach their fullest potential.
You may find yourself in this position right now, but no longer after you make it to the end of this article. Stick with us.
Why is content creation important?
Content creation is an imperative practice to fuel your inbound marketing. This is what allows you to reach your ideal buyer persona and educate them with real and useful information– in the hopes that they will eventually purchase your product or service.
Creating effective content is not just about finding new customers, either. It is used as a way of maintaining those you currently have. This quality content you create is meant to help you fully engage with your customers– and potential customers– in a very valuable way.
How to create great content
Good content comes with knowing who you are creating the content for. Anyone can create some sort of content, but if you are creating it with a purpose (as you are), then you need to determine exactly who your content is meant for.
Next, you will have to decide what you can create that will reach this individual. Is it an informative video posted on Facebook? Or, is it an informative blog that can help answer a question your ideal buyer may have? There are endless possibilities, which is why it is so important for you to come up with ideas that you know will be the best fit for your personas.
Great content requires time to truly understand who your ideal buyer is. Create this persona and then allow yourself to see the world through their eyes. This will help you ensure you have something beneficial to offer. Having a thorough perception of who your ICP is is a wonderful way to brainstorm ideas and topics.
As a creator, you need to consider many different steps and aspects. This makes it incredibly important that you strive to maintain an organized creation process. Delegating tasks and having clear steps along the way can ensure that you are heading for the best possible outcome.
Your content creation should contain these key elements
Every piece of content that you create needs to have a few key elements in mind. These consist of the who you are creating your content for, as well as how and where you are going to engage with them. To be more specific and help equip you for the content creation process, we listed out these key elements for you:
- Buyer Persona: The persona is a description of the ideal person you are trying to reach. For example, give your persona a name and then determine things such as age, sex, occupation, socioeconomic status, education level, life goals, fears, and so forth. Note that the more specific you are with your ideal buyer persona, the better chance you have of reaching her/him.
- Buyers’ Journey: This relates to the process buyers go through when deciding what to purchase and who to purchase it from. It includes the stages: Awareness, Consideration, and Decision. When it comes to who you are trying to reach with your content, where are they in the journey? What sort of information would help them in that specific stage and move forward to the next one until you close them into customers?
- Tone: The tone you choose has a direct effect on whether or not you engage your potential customer. Your tone needs to be consistent across each point of contact you have with your persona to incite trust, reveal your business’ personality, and get you closer to your customer.
- Medium: You must determine what channels you will use to reach your ideal buyer. The more you know who you do business with, the more clarity you have on where and how you’ll grab most of their attention. Producing the right type of content to the right medium can completely change the outcome you have with every piece created.
- Desired outcome: What are you seeking to obtain with your content? Deciding on the desired outcome is important to determine the steps you will need to take to get there.
The creation process
The content creation process can get tricky, involving a lot of people, a lot of ideas, and a lot of possibilities. And, it doesn’t end there. Once it is created, there is the process of delivering it through your selected channels and following up to make sure you reach your desired outcome by measuring the results of your efforts.
So, what does all of this mean? It means that to be successful with the content creation process, you must make sure you are organized and that your process flows smoothly. Here are a few tips:
- Create a content strategy that allows you to clearly understand what your desired outcome is and what you need to get there.
- Develop a plan based on your strategy, that will allow you to have a clear vision of the whole process and everyone involved in each specific step.
- Establish a team with individuals from various aspects and backgrounds. Know that some people have gifts that others don’t, such as being analytical or creating graphics. Others may even be closer to the ideal buyer and have more insight than others. Take time to put together a team where each person can take his or her stellar skill and use it to maximize the overall results.
- Being consistent in your content creation and distribution is important. You can profit from utilizing an effective editorial calendar to avoid missing deadlines and know where you have content and when.
The content creation process is most successful when it is streamlined. Finding a method that will allow you to remain highly organized through every step will benefit you greatly.
What to do when your ideas run dry?
Do you sometimes find yourself sitting there staring into the worldwide nothingness just hoping that something will spark an idea in your mind? Has your river of flowing ideas ever dried up and fizzled away? If so, the first thing you should do in these situations is not panic. If this happens– and it likely will– there are things that you can do to keep the creative process moving forward.
- Review your analytics. If you find yourself unsure of where to turn for your next content idea, take a look at your analytics and discover what it is that your customers seem to like the most. In other words, what content gets the most attention? This can narrow down your focus area.
- Do some research to find the topics that are trending. You can review social media hashtags, Reddit, Think With Google, GrowthHackers, or Buzzsumo to get insights.
- Go straight to your audience. After all, they are who you are trying to reach. Simply ask what that content is which they’d prefer to see more of. Or, you might send out surveys on social media or via your email subscriber list to understand how you could add more value to them.
- Take your most popular content and repurpose it. If you have a well-received social media post, why not develop it into a blog? Or, if you have a popular blog, why not create a shorter infographic?
Final thoughts on content creation
Now that you have learned about content creation, you will be more aware that the content created to grab your attention is found everywhere around you. After all, from sunrise to sunset, someone is trying to grab your attention. And now you know how to create the same– and how to entice your ideal buyer.
Don’t find yourself without great content. Discover great topics, develop the perfect content, and deliver it to the right person. You’ve got the knowledge, now it is time to create!
Originally published at https://blog.contentools.com
All you’ve always wanted to know about content creation was originally published in Growth Hackers on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.