We’ve all heard that content is king, but it’s also one of the most frustrating, time consuming and tricky aspects of marketing. The content marketing definition has also evolved and now encapsulates not just content production and promotion but also search engine marketing, digital PR and other forms of outreach. When done well, it’s good for SEO, generates new leads and sales, increases traffic, and encourages engagement – so it is essential to get it right. The good news is, even the busiest marketers can create content that works.
Joe Pulizzi, founder of Content Marketing Institute, advises: “focus on an area where you can be the greatest resource on the planet and forget everything where you are just mediocre”.
So don’t put yourself under pressure trying to produce content on topics of which you know nothing. There’s too much work involved and it can result in chaos. As Pulizzi said, creating content in your area of expertise is easier, less stressful, less time consuming and more rewarding all round.
Marketers have busy working lives, so planning is a must. Create a content calendar or schedule of what you’ll publish and when. A monthly calendar is probably easiest to begin with, but it’s a good idea to have a weekly calendar as well. It will force you to focus on meeting deadlines for each content piece so you’ll end up keeping a close eye on your weekly output.
That old maxim still resonates when it comes to content. When you put pressure on yourself to churn out large quantities of content, the quality gets lost. So don’t focus on volume. Consumers are saying no to mediocre content so put your time and effort into producing work that stands out.
Coming up with fresh content ideas on an ongoing basis can be tough. Brainstorming sessions take time and the world of content publishing is unpredictable. Content that’s interesting and relevant this week could be completely stale by the time you get around to executing your idea.
Where possible, aim to produce content around news and events as they happen. Timely content that readers need and want will always trump old news.
Visual content is one of the best ways to display information. The combination of graphics and text is more inviting for readers who are more likely to give it more of their time. Infographics and short videos are great ways of getting creative with content.
For effective visual content, you’ll need:
When you have a relevant topic that has been properly researched with good data behind it, producing visual content is straightforward.
Having fun with content makes it more enjoyable to produce. Social media platforms such as Facebook and Snapchat are ideal places to share light-hearted content. Humorous videos go down especially well.
Maintaining a good mix – serious for most platforms, fun and lively for social platforms – means the content creation process won’t get dull at any stage.
Head of Social Media at Aer Lingus, Paul Buckley, enjoys using social media platforms, especially Snapchat, to showcase the company’s fun side.
“Snapchat occupies a unique position within our content mix at Aer Lingus. Since adopting the channel in 2014, it has allowed us to express a youthful and humorous side to the brand that doesn’t get a lot of exposure anywhere else.
“Snapchat gives us the opportunity to speak more informally to a new audience, and really delivers the authenticity that is such an important part of social communications.”
Creating engaging, well written and topical content is possible for even the busiest marketers. Focus on what you can do well and what’s topical. Make creating content fun, and plan like a master.
– This post was written by Emma Vince – former Digital PR Lead at Tinderpoint.