One of the tragedies of content marketing is that people think it’s easy. The truth is that it isn’t easy by any stretch of the imagination. There are plenty of harsh and unpopular truthsgoing around about content marketing, this is one of the more unpalatable ones.
I call it a tragedy because in thinking it’s not that a big deal, marketers end up making mistakes that can take the content marketing strategy down. Take for example the case of content creation, which is a mission critical content marketing activity. Without content, there is no content strategy. What’s more, you need to come up with engaging content all the time to make sure your strategy delivers results. Experienced content marketers will tell you that one of the most difficult aspects of content marketing is making it a habit to come up with content that target audiences will love going through.
You have no other option, but to consistently produce compelling content, the kind that delivers value to its readers and which increases your niche reputation, authority and brand awareness. So how do you produce such content regularly? The seven tips given below will tell you how:
The purpose behind this article is to help you produce such content regularly. I’ve provided tips that will:
- Help you come up with great content ideas.
- Make it easier for you to consistently come up with winning content.
- Ensure you are comfortable with the whole prospect of content creation.
So, let’s take a look.
Understand your Subject
You must have come across this tip often. The question is – how many times have you really gone out of your way to understand the niche for which you need to produce content? Have you dug deep inside the domain to really understand what makes it tick?
Let me give you an example. Say you need to come up with content for ‘website builder’. Some writers will wrack their brains and say it is not possible to come up with interesting content for this subject. This means they’ve lost the battle, before it has begun. But there are others who will see this as a challenge. They will understand the subject inside and out; find out about the various website builders available on the market like MotoCMS or Wix; find out their strengths and weaknesses; talk to people who are discussing website builders and do everything they can to know about website builders.
It’s important to become a fountain of knowledge about the subject that you need to write on. Very soon you will find yourself coming up with a truckload of interesting content ideas. You will be amazed at the kind of content you can come up with, through the simple process of conducting content research for your posts ; yes, even if it’s a subject like website builder.
The fact that you’ve understood your content does one very important thing – it makes you more confident about the subject you want to create content for. This also means you can push the ideas envelope – go where no other content writer/marketer has gone before.
You can confidently ask yourself these questions to come up with new ideas:
- What questions are people asking about a domain, but which remain unanswered?
- What is the prevalent school of thought about a particular topic and can I go against it?
- Can I say something shocking about a subject in a way that makes sense?
- Can I identify a set of trends that will come to define a particular domain in the future?
- Is there a set of rules or tactics that have become irrelevant or redundant?
- Can I come up with game changing solutions vis-à-vis a particular domain?
These are just some of the questions you can ask yourself to come up with ideas that grab attention, which in turn will help you create content that is an impressive read. This guarantees you are never short of content ideas; ergo you can regularly come up with worthwhile content.
Flesh out the Statistics
As a person who spends a majority of his time trying to identify sources for content ideas, I’ve found surveys/studies to be a wonderful help. The World Wide Web is full of statistics that are just waiting to be turned into highly readable content. Some of my favorite sites on the internet are Monetate , Econsultancy , Business Insider and eMarketerbecause they frequently offer readers a list of statistics.
These sites are manna from heaven for us content professionals who need to come up with useful content day in day out. I use the research they’ve conducted as the basis of my content idea. It is a really simple way of coming up with content pieces that deliver well-researched information to my audience.
Tap Social Media
I came across some interesting statistics on Jeff Bullas’ blog. Did you know that 72% of all internet users are now active on social media? And what are they doing on social media? Well, they are talking. They are interacting with their friends and family, recommending products and services, discussing their problems, working out solutions, researching for products and services, and doing a whole lot more.
This makes social media a wonderful resource for content ideas. I am going on and on about ideas because, more often than not, it is a lack of ideas that acts as a bottleneck for creating regular content.
In social media, you have a friend who will give you a new idea every day. So how do you go about getting these ideas? Say you want to leverage Twitter for getting hold of new ideas about web development.
Just search for web development through the Twitter search box:
You’ve got a list of people talking about web development in front of you. Those people are essentially giving you new ideas.
But this is just Twitter, also tap into Google+, Facebook, LinkedIn and even Pinterest to look for ideas. Think of using social media as a way of crowdsourcing your ideas. You are basically getting your ideas from conversations taking place between groups of people. How cool is that?
I know what you are thinking, enough with the ideas! So, let’s talk about something else. You might have all the ideas in the world but if you do not adopt a disciplined approach towards content creation, you aren’t going to achieve much.
Think of it as content discipline. One of the things you need to drill down in your head is ‘If you have an idea, write’. Do not procrastinate; go this route and you won’t be able to publish content regularly. Don’t give yourself reasons not to write; on the contrary push yourself to write. If you are somebody who’s in charge of marketing and do not actually create the content yourself, push those people creating content for you.
There is something else you will need to do. Content creation isn’t a normal job. It requires loads of creativity and a passion for delivering value-added information to readers. You either have this passion or you don’t. Make sure your content creators have this quality in abundance.
When it comes to content discipline, it should come as naturally to you as brushing your teeth in the morning. Think of it this way – If you make the effort to publish one piece of content every day whether on your blog, Facebook page or an authority site, everything else will fall into place. This is what content discipline is all about.
Mix it up
After ten really incredible posts on your blog and a few on the high authority sites in your niche, how about changing your content format. Why not think of creating an infographic or a podcast or a video? This does two things – it stops you from getting bored and it also keeps your target audience interested in your content.
The key here is to create content in formats that your audience will love and appreciate.
Also, make sure you don’t just focus on textual content but also churn out visuals driven content in equal measure. According to a study published by eMarketer, posts with photos have an 87% interaction rate on Facebook. On Twitter, text-based tweets perform better than image-based tweets. Different types of content formats work on different social networks; but this scenario is not limited to social networks. Your audience loves going through different formats, and just sticking to textual content won’t generate returns in the long run.
5 Content Formats that Get Attention and Generate Leads is a great read on the subject.
Don’t Get Scared
When I started out with content marketing, I was scared. I knew the decision to use content for branding was a good one, but I wasn’t very sure if my content would be as good as that of my competitors. I think everybody goes through this phase when they start out.
But as I kept at it, I realized I was getting good at it and this gave me the confidence to come up with good content on a consistent basis.
The key here is to keep going and not let your doubts and fears bog you down. You cannot ace content creation in a hurry. It needs a lot of work and a tremendous amount of effort to create content and that too regularly. But if you don’t stop and keep doing what you are doing, it will progressively get easier to produce content. You will stop thinking of it as a chore; it will come naturally to you.
Give it time. Even if you follow these seven tips diligently, you might still find a degree of inconsistency in your efforts to come up with high quality content all the time. Don’t panic. The only thing you must do is not fool yourself into thinking you are making the effort needed when in fact you aren’t. That won’t help anybody.