Most marketers today know the benefits of having a content marketing strategy. From demonstrating thought-leadership to increasing SEO rankings, today’s brands are built on the content they generate. However, even the savviest marketers can feel overwhelmed at times. These five tips will help make quality content creation a little less daunting.
1. Know Your Audience
Time spent thinking about who will be reading or viewing your content is not time wasted. Consider the following questions and don’t start writing content until you’ve answered them:
- What is important to your audience?
- What is the pain or discomfort they may be feeling that your position will help?
- What makes your audience cringe or yell at their screens?
- What will they find valuable?
- How will your audience use the message or information you share?
Not sure about your audience. You can find out more about them by checking out your analytics. Here, you will find data to help you understand who your visitors are and what is making them click. You can also check out social media, blogs, online comments, and other places that might give insights into what is important to your audience. Or better yet, talk to them one-on-one and get to know a few personally.
Bonus: taking the time to think about your viewers can spark content ideas. As well as creating more targeted, appropriate content, you may also find opportunities to be more creative.
2. Think About the Bigger Story You Want to Tell
What is the story you want to tell about your brand? How do you want your audience to feel about that story? And how will this piece of the story connect with your desired audience?
When you think about content in the form of storytelling, it becomes a bit easier to create something that will resonate. Don’t just share basic information. Craft something that compels people to feel a certain way about your brand or your product, in your own voice. When you identify a feeling as your end goal, you can work backward to discover how you should tell the story. Always remember, effective storytelling requires authenticity. Coming back to the bigger brand story is a good way to make sure you are creating content that is authentic. Be true to your brand and remember your company’s persona should be accessible.
3. Look at Each Piece of Content as Part of the Puzzle
Rather than looking at the next blog post as a way to tell your entire brand story, consider the role each piece of content you generate plays in crafting the overall story. Not every item of content has to tell your entire story. Once you have identified the overall story, it’s okay to narrow your focus to smaller components. It’s how the world consumes content today.
Every piece of content you create is part of a puzzle, or a chapter in a book. It should drive your audience to want to know more. They will find out additional information by seeking out more of your content — the perfect scenario for creating relationships and driving sales leads.
4. Forget About the Medium (At First)
Many content creators stumble over their work because they are doing things backward. If you sit down and think, “Now I need to create a Facebook post …” you could be setting up your own barrier.
Instead of trying to generate content for a specific medium or platform, just create the content you want to make. Tell the story that you want to tell designed for the audience you understand with the right details to keep them wanting more. When it is ready, then consider the medium and the channel.
Generate your content for the audience. What you end up with will give you an idea of the best medium to use and how to share it. You may put it all on one platform. You may split it up. Whatever works, go with it! But don’t get hung up on the platform before you even start to create.
5. Let it Go
We can give you all the tips in the world, but this one might be the most important. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Generating content is hard, especially getting that first piece off the ground. In fact, it can be downright scary.
If you put too much pressure on yourself, you are setting yourself up to fail. Give yourself a break and know your audience will give you a break, too. Your content doesn’t have to be perfect to be engaging. Getting started is more important than getting it completely right every time.
One of the things we’ve learned about content creation, it gets easier with time, experience and practice. Cut yourself some slack and have fun. Your content will be better when you enjoy creating it.