Creating content is an important part of marketing your business and nurturing your prospects on their journey to customerhood, whether it’s a blog for your website, social media posts, or a commercial spot. Likely you don’t always have a team of copywriters, editors and creators to do it for you or help fine-tune your work. But by breaking down the process into focused tasks, you can create quality content that will resonate with your audience.
This is an important step in creating any content–know your audience. What do they enjoy? Where do they consume their content? What’s important to them? What questions are they asking? What do they want to know? This is the time to not only gather these details, but understand them, whether they come from interviews, social media engagement or from your sales team. Creating personas, or examples of your target customers, gives you a great resource you can always come back to. Here’s a good article to get you started. During this process you should also discover which channels to use to reach your audience and the types of content that may help nurture them along the customer journey.
GIVE IT SOME THOUGHT HAT
You know this one. This is the cap of creativity where you will brainstorm all the ways you can tell your audience what you want to tell them. But what do you want to tell them? Here you’ll not only want to think about the benefits your product or service brings to the table, but how it solves your audience’s issues you may have discovered while developing personas. What makes your customers’ lives easier, more pleasant, more fun, more whatever? Your product or service is the mentor and your customer is the hero because they’re choosing you to help them save the day! Think about how you can add value versus simply making noise in the wide world of content. Then, run with those ideas. This type of content not only positions you as the expert, but also builds trust. Be sure to keep all those ideas. You never know if they will be useful or spark other ideas down the road.
LET’S CREATE HAT
Now that you have a list of topics—which you should visit and add to often—choose ones that are most important based on your audience’s needs, events, etc. Ensure the message is focused and succinct. Also, think about the platforms in which you’ll be creating the content for. Will it be a blog, a social post, a video? Ensure you’re creating content that fits the feel of the platform and the type of content your audience expects to find there. If you’re creating long-form content, break it down into easily-digestible tidbits, keep it simple, and add headlines to help guide readers.
Content created. Check.
But wait, you’re not done yet. Or, we hope you’re not done yet. You put in the effort to get this far, now take it all the way with a good polishing. Even the greatest creators don’t nail it on the first shot. There are several types of editor hats that are required to make good content great. And it’s always a good idea to wear only one at a time.
DOES THAT MAKE SENSE HAT?
As you review your masterpiece you’re not only going to wear the logical hat, you’re also going to sink yourself into your audience’s shoes even further. Your goal; ensure your content is as simple as it can be for your them to understand. Do they already have knowledge about the topic? What’s the purpose of the content? What will you need to explain further? Does it flow in a logical sequence that will allow the reader to follow? Really remove yourself and what you already know from the equation while keeping in mind the key points you want to communicate.
ALL THE FEELS HAT
Depending on how your content is written, whether for a TV commercial script or social post, different writing styles will have different effects on how it translates to your audience. Ensure your writing is in line with your brand and goal.
GET YOUR GRAMMAR RIGHT HAT
The final shine to your sparkling content. You’ve nailed down the flow and feel of your piece, which you can set aside to focus on grammar and punctuation. Not sure about this one? Grammarly is a great resource that checks for errors (even those confusing commas) and it does so across the many different applications you use every day, even email! There’s a basic version that’s free, or you can level up to get more suggestions on how to improve your writing.
REVIEW AND REWORK HAT
The commercial ran. The blog was posted. The campaign is done. Now what? Review what performed well and what did not. Then do it all over again. Maybe this time it’s trying more emotional headlines versus direct copy or adjusting the creative to feature people versus graphics. Your content should be ever-evolving, just like your audience, so really having knowledge on what has worked and what hasn’t will help position you for success.