Creating content can be a mammoth task both physically and mentally regardless whether you’re a single operator business owner doing it yourself or a professional content creator.
Ideas don’t often come easily and the ones that do have probably been done before – or they’re a little flat.
I’ve seen too many people, including myself, jump in at the deep end and just start randomly creating content without very much preparation. There are usually very good reasons for this, they include:
Lack of time
More often than not there hasn’t been enough lead in time for a campaign. As a result the content is rushed and the “strategy” becomes more about “getting it done” than creating audience centric content that is aimed at engaging them or converting them.
Lack of thinking
I remember the time when I finally, after 20 years in the business really started to value thinking time. Ideation and brainstorming is absolutely key to putting together a vibrant, informative and/or entertaining campaign. Not taking this time out to think can have serious repercussions on the eventual outcome.
Lack of resources
When it comes to coming up with great ideas, they’re only as great as your ability to execute them. Sadly, too many content creators put “lack of resources” at the heart of explanations as to why something didn’t work. A good content creator will not be limited by your lack of resources but rather will seek to work within your capabilities.
Lack of finances
Similar to having a lack of resources some content creators decide that in the absence of money to back campaigns that they cannot create something that is powerful and effective. This isn’t the case. Knowing your limitations and working within them whilst keeping very realistic and practical about what the outcomes can be will help you create a fantastic campaign.
When working with our clients at Excalibur Press & The Content Club we do a lot of ideation and brainstorming. A lot of the time the clients don’t realise it’s happening – they are the clients that don’t value or understand its importance – we slide it in when they’re not looking!
Creating content is a Russian roulette – sometimes you get it right, sometimes you don’t. What’s key is that you’re consistent, authentic and real whilst doing it.
Getting those vanity metrics of likes and shares might be nice but having a good quality constant flow and long term impact on the right people is far more important.
When it comes to creating content for clients we ask a lot of questions, however, there are 3 that I think are absolutely key to any content strategy:
1. What do your audience want from you?
Believe it or not what you think your audience want and what they actually want are probably two very different things. The only way to truly understand this is to talk to them, surveys, polls, testimonials, feedback and the analysis of previous campaigns and activity is vital if you want to really understand what kind of content they want, need and expect from you.
2. Do you know?
Every business owner thinks they know what people want and they burst through the content door with a list of things that they profess to know that the audience or consumer want (two very different groups of people in my mind). Without carrying out the research in question number 1 you can never really know for sure if you do know what your customers want from you.
3. What are they already consuming in the press and online?
Spending time considering the other habits and activities of your customer is also important. Whilst I don’t advocate spending half your life monitoring everything your competitors are doing it not a bad idea to check in and see what they are doing and how their customers are responding to it. During this research it’s also worth checking out the lifestyle consumption habits of your existing customers to help you effectively communicate with them on a level that’s more personal to them.
When I directly ask clients these questions more often than not the answers to garner a “I don’t know” or “I’m not sure”, and that’s ok…it’s all part of the process.
However, the important thing is that we shouldn’t ignore these questions no matter how difficult they are to answer and no matter how bored you are of having to find out.
Creating engaging content on social media, websites and in publicity strategies can only really happen if you truly know what people will respond to. Otherwise, you’re just posting for the sake of posting.
If you’re a business owner and you haven’t been asked these questions in some form or another then you need to wonder why. How can you create a social, website or publicity strategy without knowing these things. Worse still, how can a campaign be successful if the answers to these questions have simply been assumed?
Do you need help creating content for your business or reaching out to the press and media?
At Excalibur Press we have a team of over 12 publicists, content creators, copywriters, journalists and bloggers in a variety of specialisms writing blogs, website content, video, photography and more for clients on a daily basis.
If you would like to speak to a content creator or publicist or would like more information about our rates and process just call 07305354209 or email [email protected].
Find out more about Excalibur Press at excaliburpress.co.