Content Creation 101
One of the biggest questions we get asked by people when it comes to online marketing, whether it’s blogging, free offers (ebooks, white papers etc.) or social media is “what type of content should I create”?
Unfortunately, this isn’t an easy question to answer as it depends on your marketing goals, objectives, target audience and the type of marketing channels that you are planning to use. It’s important to sit down and write out a marketing plan that helps you clearly identify these areas before you jump into creating content or you may find yourself going in a million directions.
Once you have a plan in place, you will better identify the type of content and channels that best help you achieve your goals and connect with your audience. Here are some tips to help you create killer content.
Quality vs. Quantity Content
There is more content being created today than years previous. Every brand, corporation and individual can create content and have a voice. This can make it difficult for your content to break through all the noise and get recognized. Focus on creating good quality content that has a purpose and value to your audience. It is better for you to create 1 piece of content that is original, unique, has value and your audience will love than creating five mediocre pieces.
Your Core Content
Rather than making all your content equal, have one piece of content that is your core signature content. This content is the foundational content that you put the majority of your time and energy into. The key with this core content is that you want to produce it in a way that makes you stand out and fills a hole that no one else is filling. Focus on one main content type that becomes your signature type of content. It can be blogs, podcasts, videos, ebooks, images etc., the key is to put your own personal spin on it.
Here are some examples of companies that created strong core content for their businesses:
Will It Blend: Rather than being like every other blender company talking about the unique features of their blender, the marketing team at Blendtec decided to take a different spin and do short comical videos of every day items being put into their blender to see if it would blend: http://www.willitblend.com/
River Pools and Spas: Most businesses are afraid to put all their company information on their website, like how much their products cost, how their process works and how their competitors stack up. However, a small Virginia pool company realized that those are the exact questions that customers are looking for online. So rather than hide that information they posted it on their website. Every time a client had a question they would write a blog to answer that question and post it on their website. Today, River Pools and Spas is one of the top pool companies in the United States. http://www.riverpoolsandspas.com/
The Wine Guy: Many of you have probably heard of Gary Vaynerchuk, what you might not know is how he got his start. While working for his dad’s small wine store he decided to start seeing how Twitter could help grow the company business. Rather than pushing out content himself he spent hours searching for hashtags like #wine, #merlot, #chardonnay. He would then chime in and answer questions about wine that people were asking on Twitter. Two years later he launched Wine TV and hasn’t looked back since.
This core signature content is the content that helps you break away from the crowd and stand out. It may not be content that you can generate daily, weekly or even monthly but when it does come out everyone wants to get their hands on it. In addition to creating your core content you may still need to create other ongoing content for your marketing channels while you’re producing your signature content.
4 E’s of Engaging Content
Sometimes just coming up with the type of content is the biggest challenge so here are our 4 E’s for creating engaging content.
Educate: Create content that is helpful and informative. Finding out the top questions or concerns your audience has about your products is a great place to start.
- How to guides
- Did you know?
- Behind the scenes
Engage: Create content that interacts with your audience by asking questions, giving them assignments or getting them involved.
- Live video
- Ask questions
- Answer questions
- Create user generated content
- Invite your audience to engage with your brand online (hashtags)
Empower: Pulling on the emotional heart strings is always a way to pull in your audience. Share empowering stories.
- Guest posts
Entertain: Entertain your audience by sharing lighter content through pictures, videos and other types of media.
- Behind the scenes
- Wacky and funny
We hope that some of these tips will help guide you through your content process. The one key thing to remember when you are creating content is to be consistent and don’t be afraid to try something new. Make a plan and stick with it for 6 months to a year. Learn, tweak and continue to improve your content and have fun through the process.
If you would like more tips and ideas on content creation check out or blog on “Creating a content Calendar – with a Free Content Calendar Download”.