“A Four-Step Process for Content Creation”

Content. Content. Content.

That seems to be all we hear as marketers nowadays, right? Content is king? Yea, I still hear that one a lot too. But one thing I don’t hear people talk about much is how to create content. Everyone says, “you need to create compelling content for your brand”, but the word compelling is actually subjective in nature. What brand marketers really need is a simple process on how to make content. It is then up to you, as the marketer, to determine if what you are making is compelling enough for your audience(s).

Creating content is not as hard as it seems. All it really requires is patience and planning. Now granted, it also helps to have creative people involved in the process as they will help make the content compelling, but the first 75% of the content creation process is all about planning. My simple and easy way to create content for your brand can be used by anyone, and I’ll share with you the four steps you need to take:

  1. Choose a topic. Not hard, right? Well, we have to start somewhere, and the easiest place to start is by focusing on your key brand pillars. Think of these brand pillars as the umbrellas or over-arching themes for your content. Umbrellas, whether rain or shine, serve as protection from the elements of the weather. When it rains, they keep us dry as we walk from destination to destination. When it’s hot, they keep us cool as we relax on the beach. As long as we remain cool and dry, we are able to stay focused on the task at hand. And our task as marketers is to promote our brand, so the umbrellas prevent the outside elements, like uneducated colleagues, from interfering with us or leading us down the wrong path.
  2. Break each topic into five sub-topics. Each topic that you come up with for your brand, needs to be dissected into a minimum of five sub-topics. If you cannot break a topic down into five sub-topics, then you need to move on. The basics of the sub-topics should start with the “Five W’s” – who, what, where, when and why. If you throw in the topic of ‘how’ then you’ve just added another level of content for your sub-topics.
  3. Create four different perspectives for each sub-topic. Each of your sub-topics, should have content catered to a different audience, based on your audience segmentation lists. You should be looking at what each of these sub-topics looks like in the eyes of the consumer. When you begin to develop that content, don’t just create it for that audience, but create it as if you are the audience.
  4. Select a content type for a particular content channel. There are countless forms of content, but rather than create everything under the sun, limit yourself to the ten different forms of content that make you feel the most comfortable. Blog posts, videos, photos, infographics, memes, “how-to’s”, top ten lists and guides are just a few of the most popular forms of content. Each form of content performs differently on each media platform, so plan and place accordingly.

At the end of this process, you should have a minimum of twenty pieces of content for each of your key brand pillars. Twenty pieces of content to share across your various websites and social media networks. Twenty pieces of content that can be re-purposed and re-positioned throughout your fiscal year. And if you’re thorough enough with this process, you should finish with more than 100 pieces of content.

Good luck on your content creation journey.

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