5 Steps You Need to Stop Avoiding in the Content Creation Game
Content creation is digital marketing. It will build your business. It creates exposure. And most importantly, it makes Google like you.
Content creation companies can build credibility and trust at a lower cost than ever before. Social media has broken down these walls.
It sounds simple right? Create a blog and Youtube channel and you are ready to sit back and rake in the cash.
“There are no shortcuts to any place worth going.”
Before you start pillaging the castle, and creating all sorts of content for your business or client, make sure you do the ground work for your content strategy:
1. Keyword Research
Knowing what keywords your customers are searching for is extremely important for onpage and off page seo. Each new page of content you are producing gives you the change to rank for a new set of longtail keyword phrases.
You may think you know the ins and outs of every product and service that you offer, and rightly so. But your customers probably don’t use your industry buzzwords and acronyms when searching for you. Finding out what words they do use is crucial because your keywords will play a pivotal roll in the content that you produce. Use Google Keywords Tool to get a better sense of what people are searching for and how often. For more advanced keyword research use a PPC campaign to get an exact number of search impressions and click through data on the terms.
Once you have the right keywords, then you can start coming up with post ideas.
2. Creating a content calendar
Determine the why, the where, the who, & the how often
Why are you engaging in the social media space to begin with?
If you are in the space merely because your competitor is, you have already lost or will soon. If you haven’t been listening to what people are saying within these social spaces and learning from what other businesses are doing successfully, you need to. Listening and learning are the first steps, without them your content strategy is likely to be off base and far less successful.
Where is your content going to be distributed?
On your blog? On your fan page? Twitter Stream? Your Linkedin group? A mix of everything?
Who within your organization is responsible for creating, spreading, and maintaining content? What quality control measures are in place? Are you going to outsource this or hire someone specifically focused on creating content?
With what frequency are you going to post? Determine how often you are going to post content. Each channel has varying degrees of what users are willing to put up with. Twitter for instance has a higher threshold for daily messages due to the speed and shear number of tweets that goes through users streams everyday. Posting 8 to 12 tweets might be okay (provided that the information is still relevant and useful), but posting 8 to 12 times on a facebook fan page will quickly overwhelm fans (or likers… whatever they are called now)
Once you have these questions answered, then you can start mapping it out. I recommend white boarding out your ideas then formalizing the calendar on a shared Google doc.
3. You don’t always have to reinvent the wheel
Are there popular blogs that already existing within your vertical? Sometimes starting completely from scratch and going against the grain is not the best option. Shouting into a busy channel will likely lead nowhere and your blogging efforts will be for naught.
Find out what popular blogs exist around your vertical. Most blogs take on guest authors and contributors to help build their own content. If you become an author of one of these already popular websites it will bring a level of credibility that could take a substantial amount of time to build on your own. Guest blogging on other sites also has its SEO benefits.
4. Who is your audience, where do they live
Knowing where your audience consumes content is a key ingredient to a successful content strategy. With a myriad of choices in which to consume content at the users fingertips, make sure your content available to them in the media of their choice.
Is your key audience a group of busy sales professionals that are always on the go? Perhaps a podcast might be the best option.
Finding out is not rocket surgery, simply survey customers about their online usage habits. Ask where they spend most of their time and how they usually consume content. Provide preference centers to grab user consumption habits wherever possible and gear your content to fit.
Once you know where they are you can determine what types of content to produce. Keep in mind though that almost every piece of content can be repurposed to fit a different medium.
5. Play to your strengths
Just because you can re-purpose content to fit specific mediums, it doesn’t mean you should.
If your business is not skilled at making videos or creating info-graphics, don’t force it. Putting out a piece of mediocre content is not only a waste of time for you, but your readers and viewers as well.
Putting out crappy content will resonate and hurt your brand and kill your audience. The last thing you want people to do when they view your content is to get the I want those 5 minutes of my life back feeling.
If you are going to do something, do it right. If your company doesn’t possess the skill to create the content, outsource it or invest the time effort money into training someone to learn it.