Content, content, content, that’s the advice you hear constantly from the digital marketing gurus on your social media feeds. But starting a content strategy can be incredibly intimidating at best. It’s hard to understand the basics of content. How do you decide what content you want to produce? Where do you share it? And how often do you produce it? These questions are just the beginning, and so many people just throw their hands up and walk away from the idea before even starting.
Content is a great way for you to connect with people, create value, and to craft your personal brand. It builds authority and credibility, but it’s not quick and it takes an investment of both time and effort. In order to help you start building your content strategy, here is a quick guide to the basics of content and its preparation and execution.
What Kind of Content Do You Want to Make?
Blogs, videos, podcasts, interactive demos, there are so many types of content that you can create before you even get to the decision of your subject. Creating content has never been easier. Social media platforms crave the new content, SEO strategies are centered on it, and the support to make it is in a wide array of experiences and prices. Platforms want different things. Lots of them want video, but maybe you’re uncomfortable on camera. Take the time to plan what content you’re going to make so you can be most effective.
Why Do You Want to Make It?
Are you trying to sell more? Are you creating value for your customers? Establishing your credibility and authority? Knowing the purpose of the content you are creating is vital to success. Every creator’s reason is different and no single one is more valid than the others. What is true however is that your reason for creating content must be true for you. If you are trying to establish authority, then talk about your area of expertise. Knowing your purpose for creating the content will keep you focused and motivated to make it.
Who Is It For?
The final step in content preparation is identifying who your audience is. How old are they? What social media platforms can they be found? What does their day look like? What are their problems? You need to know who your audience is so you can create for them. No matter how great you think your idea is, it will miss the mark if you don’t know who you’re creating for.
Make the Time
Producing your content will take time. Not only should you know how much time is required for the work, but also that time should be regularly scheduled and held sacred. All of the great writers and artists in history have dedicated time to their craft. That’s why they were great. Your content needs to be consistent to be effective, so that means your creation time needs to be regular as well.
We talked earlier about knowing who you are talking to, but it’s equally important to understand where they really are. This means looking at the data and really analyzing where your audience really is. You may have thought they would be on Twitter but you are getting better traction from Facebook. You never know until you try, but it’s important that you study the data and adjust as needed to make certain you’re on target.
Engage, Engage, Engage
People are bound to comment and ask questions about your content. It’s important that you acknowledge and answer them instead of letting them pile up. People want to feel like their opinion is valued. When you blow them off they feel like you don’t respect them and will quickly walk away from you. Take the time to engage their comments and answer their questions. They’ll like you more for it and you may just learn something new about what they want and the problems they have that your business can solve.
In the end, effective content is about preparation and execution. Using the basics of content you can create great work. Take the time to plan and, if content creation isn’t in your skillset, don’t be afraid to seek out professionals in the creative and marketing fields to help. You won’t regret it.