CONTENT MARKETING – THE DEVELOPMENT STAGE
Oct 19, 2015
We will share with you how the Development stage is as much about planning and preparation as it is about creating content.
If you’re interested in an overview of Content Marketing and how it can help build trust with your customers, read our Introduction to Content Marketing.
Before you launch into writing your first blog, shooting your first video or designing your first Infographic you need to consider the complexities of creating content. An Editorial Calendar will help you map out all of the major milestones so that it aligns to your Distribution Plan. If you are creating different content types or complex content such as video or Infographics, you need to allow enough time to coordinate these activities. Depending on your topic, it’s complexity, the type of content and the availability of the people producing the content you may need to allow weeks or even months to create your ideal content.
Whether you are creating your own content or working with people/businesses that will do this for you, it is important to understand that the content has to meet the needs of your users rather than actively promoting your business. To do this we suggest you create a Content Brief for each piece of content you want to create. A Content Brief will document the purpose of the content, it’s audience, tone, style, visual aspects, time requirements and the roles/businesses that will contribute to creating the content. This way, everyone working on your campaign is working from the same information and your expectations then become much more clear.
Some important considerations for your content include:
- Content based around a ‘theme’
- Distribution platforms
Maintain a consistent look & feel across all content types so that your audience will recognise each piece as being your own. This will help increase your exposure and create trust over a shorter period.
Give your content it’s own personality so that it can really stand-out from your competition. Content Marketing is about building connections and this is difficult to do if the content is bland, stale, monotonous or dull. Think of the content as a person having a conversation with your audience. What would you want them to say? How would you want them to say it? How should they act?
Content based around a ‘theme’
Where possible, create content based on a theme or common solution to your users problems. Some of the most effective Content Marketing will create content based around a single concept and use different content types to convey this in different ways. Another approach is to use different content types to tell a story or solve a larger problem. For example, a blog might become the start of a story, followed by a How-To guide, then supported by an Infographic and then concluded by a video.
The quality of your content is very important, as this reflects your business and brand. Ensure you use high-resolution images, well-written text, high-definition video and well-researched data-points.
Consider your distribution platforms when creating content. Where you display your content has as much influence on what to create as who will see it. Social media platforms are a great example of tailoring your content to their audiences. Instagram is an entirely visual medium while Twitter only allows text up to 140 characters. Facebook is the most versatile social media platform and accommodates for most content types that you create. Be weary though of using the same content repeatedly on Social Media as this may bore or frustrate your existing followers and may even turn them off your business entirely.
Getting it right
Editing and proofreading are important parts of the process and adequate time needs to be allowed for these steps to occur. Rushing through the final parts of the content creation process will increase the risk of spelling mistakes, bad grammar, poorly edited videos and Infographics that don’t balance visual and text elements. All of which will damage your brand and decrease the opportunity to build trust with your audience.
Developing your content is where your careful planning, research and analysis finally comes to life. This can be an exciting phase, where you can be very creative with how you create your content. Be mindful to always consider who the content is for – a great blog post for you doesn’t necessarily mean a great blog for your audience. Use friends, professional colleagues, your network, even consider posting your content on social media platforms (groups, circles, lists, etc) to gauge your audiences reaction before you finalise your content. This way you will be able to vet your work with the right group and start to build interest in your content before you even launch your campaign.
Speak to us if you are interested in starting your own Content Marketing campaign, as we’ll be happy to help with advice, tools and knowledge on how to achieve the best results for your business. Feel free to visit our site for some information and tools to get you started.