Content creation is the single most time-consuming responsibility for today’s content marketers. When you break down our day-to-day workflow, creating great content is our chief responsibility, and the best way for us to engage with our audience and influence revenue. Not to mention that’s how we earn our keep.
Content creation is the process of identifying a new topic you want to write about, deciding which form you want the content to take, formalizing your strategy (keyword or otherwise), and then actually producing it.
In addition, most content creation processes involve thorough rounds of edits with other stakeholders before content is ready for publish.
Because content can take many forms – blog post, video, eBook, Tweet, infographic, advertisement, to name a few – the content creation process is nuanced and not always as simple as it might seem. But doing it well can truly impact your business. In fact, recent research proves that creating quality educational content makes customers 131% more likely to buy from your business.
Creating great content starts with a well-established process. We’ll walk you through the content creation process from start to finish, and demonstrate how creating great content can help your audiences and customers find solutions and answers to their problems. So where do we start?
For example, if you’re tasked with creating content that highlights a new product feature, you may have a baseline idea of what you need to produce. But if your task is broader, for example, write a piece of early-stage content that will drive organic traffic to your website, then you may need to investigate other methods of coming up with content ideas. Here are a few methods we know will help get your creative juices flowing, and help you find innovative and effective approaches to potential pieces of content.
Once you’ve finished the ideation phase and know which topic you want to write about, the next step is to plan and outline what you’re going to create.
The first step in planning your piece of content is to decide what form you want it to take. Some ideas will be stronger if they are represented visually, and could warrant an infographic or video. Other pieces of content may be best suited for plaintext. For those, a blog post, article, or eBook might be the best form.
You can gain a lot of insight by investigating which types of content have already been created around your topic. For example, type your topic idea (or keyword) into Google and see what kind of content comes up on page one. Are there videos? Do the URLs link back to infographics? Do images appear in the SERP? Knowing which types of content already exist around your topic should help inform your decision about what type of content to make.
In addition, during the planning stages you’ll want to make sure you’re doing appropriate keyword research around your topic. When creating web content you’ll need to select a keyword to target so that you can integrate the keyword appropriately into your content as you write, not after the fact.
The next step is to decide on the scale of your content project. If your content idea is specific and limited, you may only need one blog post, video, or article to properly address the topic.
But if you’re approaching a large topic, especially something central to your business’s value proposition or area of expertise, you may need to create multiple pieces of content around this one idea. Successful content creators will decide exactly what their finished project will look like before they even start writing or creating.
After you have your plan in place, you can start creating your content.
If you’ve set up steps 1 and 2 effectively, you should have everything you need to create amazing content.
But, as you write, film, design, or produce, keep in mind that content creation is a living, breathing process. If you notice something is wrong with the angle you decided to take or the content format you decided on, don’t be afraid to take a step back. This process should be fluid, and may need adjustment as you gain new information about your customers and audience.
And, as always, learn from your successes and your mistakes. Each piece of content you create is an experiment. Through proper monitoring and measurement of its performance, you will be able to tell what works for you and your organization. Use that knowledge to inform your efforts when you start the creation process anew for your next piece of content.