Content can bring lots of value to your business by improving your search rankings, building brand awareness, positioning your brand as an authority in your industry, and even generating leads.
But coming up with good content ideas and finding the time to make them a reality isn’t always easy. If you’re struggling with this, then take a look at our content creation tips to help get you the results you’re after.
Ensure content creation aligns with your brand proposition
Content plays a vital role in branding. While your brand strategy is the blueprint, encapsulating who you are; your content strategy is a tool for communicating your brand out to your target market. Without it, how will customers know who you are and what you stand for?
Videos, articles, whitepapers, podcasts and interactive pieces can all assist with communicating your values; which in turn, can build brand loyalty and engagement.
The worst thing you can do is create content for the sake of it. By ensuring any future content you create aligns with your brand proposition, you can avoid confusing your customers with conflicts in values or tone of voice.
You may want to consider appointing a brand steward – someone who oversees all content being sent out (or at least the initial pieces of content), to ensure it is fully aligned with your brand messaging.
By ensuring any future content you create aligns with your brand proposition, you can avoid confusing your customers with conflicts in values or tone of voice.
Keep personas at the forefront of your mind
The internet is flooded with content, so you need yours to cut through the noise, and be placed in front of the eyes of your target market.
Before you begin the ideation process, ask yourself these key questions:
- Who am I creating this content for? Consider your customer personas, who each have their own set of unique needs. The content you create must be targeted to at least one of those personas. If it doesn’t, then come up with a new idea.
- Why am I creating this content? Is the purpose to build links to your site? Or is it a brand awareness piece, with the aim being to position yourself as an authority in your area?
- What will my reader get out of this piece? Are you creating the content to solve a specific issue your customers have? Or is it meant to be engaging and entertaining, designed for them to share with others?
It’s so easy to fall into the habit of ‘false consensus effect’, where we just assume everyone thinks the same way we do. However, this can have a hugely detrimental effect, as instead of engaging customers, your content will alienate them.
By keeping your customer personas at the forefront of your mind, you’re enabling your content to fit in with your brand proposition.
Base your content on insights
Now you’ve considered your brand proposition and customer personas, it’s time to consider whether the content ideas you’ve come up with are actually any good. And once you’ve created the content, how do you know how well it’s performing?
Buzzsumo is a great tool that can help you answer both of these questions because it gives you insights on the content you’ve created, and also tells you how your competitors’ content is performing.
It can tell you:
- What articles are most shared on social media sites like Facebook and LinkedIn
- If a certain content length performs better
- How many links your articles are getting
- What article formats are doing well
- What topics are popular
You can use this information to make decisions such as what content to prioritise. For example, you might learn that your audience likes reading meatier content like ebook guides, but is less keen on listicles; so you can shape your content strategy to reflect this.
When it comes to researching ideas, Buzzsumo is an integral content creation tool for marketers.
Case study: Hootsuite
Social media management tool Hootsuite utilised video marketing to raise brand awareness amongst their target market.
To celebrate Game of Thrones, Hootsuite created an alternative version to the popular TV show’s opening credits’ switching out the house of Westeros with different social media platforms.
Titled ‘A Game of Social Thrones’, while the video is entertaining, it cleverly publicised Hootsuite’s software, with the tagline ‘Hootsuite – unite your social kingdom’.
Case study: Airbnb x Visit Sweden
One of our all-time favourite content campaigns is the 2017 collaboration between Airbnb and Visit Sweden.
To give Swedish tourism a boost, the country essentially listed itself on Airbnb. This related specifically to one of the country’s key principles, allemansrätten – the freedom to roam.
The content process can be long, and the creative aspect means that you may not have a huge amount to show for it – especially at the ideation stage.
Many in-house companies choose to outsource the content process to agencies – or at least for the first few projects, so they can understand what content works well for them. If you choose to go down this route, find out how you can get the best out of briefing your agency.
The other important thing to mention during the ideation process, is to consider what metrics you’ll be tracking. Surprisingly, research by the Content Marketing Institute found that 36% of marketers don’t track the results from their content campaigns.
Whether the aim of your campaign is to build links, raise brand awareness or increase traffic to your website; without tracking the impact, you won’t be able to build a case for continuing to create content.