The phrase “content is king” was made famous by Bill Gates over 20 years ago.
While the world of content has changed dramatically, this simple saying still rings just as true today as it did when he first brought it to popularity.
Content creation and content marketing are essential parts of a well-rounded and effective digital marketing strategy.
However, just because we know that content is important doesn’t mean that we always understand how to do it.
This article will walk you through the basics of why content marketing as a whole is valuable to your organization, as well as provide 11 key content creation tips that will change the way you approach content on a daily basis.
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First of all, why does content marketing matter?
As digital marketing continues to gain an impressive foothold in the overall marketing strategies of businesses across the globe, there have been ebbs and flows of what was considered the best way to spend marketing dollars.
While certain trends have either gained traction or fallen out of favor, content has remained strong across the years.
Content marketing is the strategy around creating and sharing online materials like videos, blogs, social media, and infographics that promote a brand and build interest in its products and services.
Because it’s such a broad term, content marketing has the benefit of applying to many different situations.
Everything from trendy social media videos to long-form articles and everything in between falls under the umbrella of content marketing.
A large part of that is content creation, otherwise known as the creation of specific marketing materials meant to be published and distributed.
Now that we got this covered, are you ready to start our list of tips?
1. Creating a Buyer Persona
A buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your brand’s target audience.
Buyer personas have been used for years to help brands understand exactly who they are marketing towards and what formats are best received by those audiences.
Many companies will have a few different buyer personas to capture the ranges of their audiences for different products and services.
A buyer persona can include:
- Demographic details
- Personal Interests
- Behavioral Traits
- Professional Goals
- Pain Points
- Buying Habits
Once you have your buyer personas built, you will have a stronger understanding of the behaviors and interests that the majority of your target audience will have.
This allows you to create content that will resonate with your real-life customers.
2. Relying on the Buyer’s Journey
In addition to buyer personas, another key tool to develop early on in your content creation strategy is a buyer’s journey.
This is a map of the steps your buyers will take from the minute they realize a problem to making a purchase decision.
During each step in the buyer’s journey, your buyer personas will have different goals that can be addressed with different pieces of content.
For example, a person who first realizes they have a problem doesn’t want to be directed to your hard sales pitch video.
Conversely, a customer who is close to making a final decision on your business shouldn’t be given a blog post that addresses a general issue in your industry.
Understanding where your buyers are on their journey will ensure that the content you provide fits into their current needs and addresses the concerns that they have right as they have them.
3. Choosing the Right Format
As mentioned earlier, content can take on a wide variety of formats.
Everything from product videos to eBooks to emails to web pages can fall under the broad category of “content”.
Therefore, picking the right type of format for your content pieces is going to be important.
Consider the end goal you have for each piece of content you create.
Then match that goal to a format that will help emphasize that intention.
If, for example, you want to highlight the design of a product, consider a visual format rather than a written one as you can more clearly communicate that information through video or photos.
4. Optimizing Content for SEO
In order for your content to be found organically, it’s important to optimize the content you create for Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
This can include adding relevant keywords you want to rank for, formatting your content to be easy to read with bullet points and numbered lists, and back-end optimizations like:
- Meta tags
- Alt-text for images
5. Promoting Content
It’s not enough to just make content — you also have to work to make sure people see it!
Promoting your content helps ensure that the hard work you put into making it has a payoff in viewers and visibility.
Spreading content across different platforms is the best way to get a wide range of viewership.
Newsletters, email blasts, paid social posts, and website pop-ups are all examples of ways to promote and distribute the content you create.
6. Using Strategic Tools
Using the right tools can give you a big leg-up on the competition when it comes to content creation and analysis.
SEO tools can help you see where your content is ranking and how you can make improvements.
Visual tools like Canva or Vidyard can help even inexperienced content marketers make great images and videos.
And reporting tools can help you understand how your content performs across platforms.
7. Analyzing Results to Make Improvements
Reporting tools can do more than help you understand content performance — they also help you know what changes or improvements you can make to your content.
Each content piece should start with a measurable goal like views or clicks so you can analyze over time and see the results.
If you aren’t hitting your goals, take the time to reevaluate your strategy and make the necessary changes.
8. Create a Content Calendar
It’s easy to let content get away from you.
With all the formats to cover and the buyer personas you want to target, it can be hard to manage the process of content creation.
A content calendar is a publishing schedule for content so you know what content to create, where you want to publish, and when it needs to go out.
A content calendar can take away some of the stress of content creation and allow you to approach your content with a strategic plan in place, rather than struggling to think of what you should do next.
9. Write Attention-Grabbing Headlines
While it’s nice to think that a book is never judged by its cover, the truth is that if a piece of content doesn’t have a catchy headline it might never get taken off the shelf, so to speak.
Headlines are the first thing audiences will read in regards to your content, so taking the time to create interesting and engaging titles will help your content succeed in the long run.
10. Repurpose and Recycle
If constantly creating new content seems like a difficult task, there’s good news.
Repurposing and recycling content is a great way to get the most out of each piece of content you create.
If a blog post is doing particularly well, adapt it into a corresponding podcast episode or social video.
This way, you can always use your existing pool of content in new formats to further improve your high-ranking and well-received results.
11. Making Content More Interactive
Interactive content is some of the highest-performing content you can create.
Audiences like to engage in the content they receive and are more likely to share this content as well as remember it when the decision time arrives for making a purchase.
Interactive content doesn’t have to be overly involved, although it certainly can be if you prefer.
Types of interactive content can include quizzes, polls, infographics that require you to click and explore, calculators you can input individual information into, and mobile games or apps.
Content creation is essential to a well-rounded marketing strategy, especially for companies that want to see success in the future.
These content creation tips will help you step up your content game and change the way you work to make better, more engaging, and high-performing content.
If you want to continue to grow your content program, having a content style is key.
If you’re the type of marketer who wants to try to create a content style for yourself, check out our interactive content style builder and start seeing improvements today!