Table of Contents
- Content Creation Goals
- Three Tips to Great Content Creation
- Generating Leads With Great Content
- 4 Content Marketing “Types”
- Brainstorming Content Ideas
- What Are The Goals
- Use Google Apps
- 18 Content Creation and Marketing Ideas
- Final Thoughts
Attention C-Suite executives: it’s time to up your content creation game. In today’s digital world, having a strong online presence is crucial for success. Gone are the days of simply offering a top-notch product or service and expecting the sales to roll in; now, businesses of all sizes need to have a solid content strategy in place to reach their target audience.
Whether you’re in charge of creating a landing page for a startup, a content manager for a mid-level company that needs blog posts, or a social media manager crafting Twitter campaigns for an enterprise, there are plenty of ways to reach out to potential customers. But where do you begin when it’s time to create these pieces?
Never fear, dear C-Suite friends. We have you covered with the best practices for tackling each type of content. From deciding on your goals to nailing down the perfect tone, we’ll help you focus on developing successful campaigns and getting those all-important results. And if all else fails, just remember: if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. (Or hire a content creation pro – no shame in that game.)
Content Creation Goals
Content creation has become an increasingly important asset for any organization looking to succeed in the modern business world. With the prevalence of digital and online media, it’s no surprise that having engaging content is essential to an effective marketing strategy.
Setting goals for your content creation is essential for success (and to prevent you from just aimlessly creating content and hoping for the best). Without a clear direction, it can be difficult to create content that resonates with your audience and helps you achieve your desired outcomes.
First things first, think about your overall business objectives. Do you want to drive more traffic to your website and become the next viral sensation? Increase brand awareness and become the talk of the town? Boost sales and retire on a beach in Bali? Once you have a general idea of what you want to accomplish, you can start narrowing down your focus to specific content creation goals.
Next, consider your audience. Who are you trying to reach with your content? What problems or needs do they have that you can address through your content? Understanding your audience will help you create content that resonates with them and meets their needs (plus, it’ll make you look like a content creation pro).
Finally, it’s time to get serious (sort of). Think about how you will measure the success of your content. This could include metrics such as website traffic, social media engagement, or conversion rates. By setting specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) goals, you can track your progress and make adjustments as needed to ensure your content creation is meeting its intended objectives.
By understanding your business objectives, target audience, and how you will measure progress, you can create content that helps you achieve your desired outcomes.
Three Tips to Great Content Creation
People love being impressed – and that’s exactly what they’re looking for when they’re scrolling through content online. In other words, the key to winning over your target customers is through top-notch content. And let’s be real, it’s a smart marketing investment to make (if you haven’t already).
So what can you do to make your content creation stand out from the competition? Here are a few tips to help you rise above the rest and get noticed.
Impress Your Prospects
Nothing delights a prospect more than finding the precise answers to their questions – right in front of them! So before you can choose a topic for your content, you need to identify what your target market is looking for.
- Are there any particular topics trending with your target market?
- Are there any questions they’re asking but don’t have a satisfactory answer to?
Get ideas by communicating with your clients. Keep an eye out for the questions they’re asking on your platform or elsewhere. One-on-one conversations can be a goldmine when it comes to gaining valuable insights about your market.
Set the Tone
As a competitive business looking to succeed in today’s digital world, it’s crucial to understand the power of tone and how it can affect the way your message is received by your audience.
As a startup company or corporate leader, you know how important effective communication is for achieving success; but do you also know how to craft your message with an authoritative yet influential tone? By understanding this crucial aspect of lead generation strategies, your marketing and sales team can connect more meaningfully, inspiring confidence in followers and potential customers.
Check Your Website
Another way to excite your prospects is to keep an eye on what’s driving traffic to your website. Have you recently covered a topic that’s really resonating with people? It’s time to make the most of it!
Find different methods and platforms to share the topic. Change the way you present your content – turn it into a video, a downloadable PDF, or even a YouTube short. If it’s great, share and re-share it – it might even go viral!
Encourage people to spread the word by offering them valuable incentives. It could be in the form of how this information will help them achieve their goals. Sometimes the word “free” can backfire, so get creative – anything that helps them see a fair value is fair game. Plus, create more content on the same theme but with a different perspective. That’ll help you attract even more attention.
Remember, what you already have is just as important as what you plan to create – always keep that in mind!
Generating Leads With Great Content
Content creation is of no use if it fails to generate leads or doesn’t benefit your business in any way. It’s essential to keep your business goals in mind when developing your content strategy. The key to successful content marketing is creating content that promotes your brand and causes.
Research and creation can be challenging, but the ultimate goal of every online venture is conversion. Brands want to create brand ambassadors and create a continuous funnel that draws people into their company. To do this, it’s essential to create content that engages readers, encourages them to share and talk about it, and ultimately drives them to convert.
We want to create a continual funnel that draws people into the company fold. We want people to read our content, talk about it, share it, look into our company further because of that content, and convert. How do we do that?
It’s all about understanding your audience, knowing what they want and need, and presenting it in an engaging and relevant way. With a little creativity and a lot of strategy, you can create content that truly stands out and drives results for your business.
4 Content Marketing “Types”
There are entire psychological studies about which words people respond to more emotionally. There are just as many studies about what type of marketing performs best. Who wants to create content that is destined to fail?
When it comes to creating content that gets results, there are generally four types to consider. The words used (I, we, you, us), the tone (formal or informal), the lexicon (layman’s terms or industry expert) – all of these go into creating these four content marketing types.
Educational content is all about sharing valuable knowledge and showcasing your expertise. This could be a series of instructional videos on TikTok, an in-depth e-book, or a full course. The goal of educational content is to establish your website as a trusted resource for prospects and customers.
From developing high-quality white papers to creating helpful webinars, educational content production is not an easy ask (Technical manuals, cazzo! They can be so boring to write!). However, it can take you a long way in transforming your web presence from an informational resource into a trusted source.
One example that comes to mind for us is our most viewed piece in our history. It’s relevant and educational, but not really a “walk through”. Dancing the Google Dance, has garnered over 10K views since the day it went live, and a ton of backlinks.
Inspirational content is meant to motivate readers and show them how they can use your products or services to improve their lives. This can include personal experiences, case studies, worksheets, and even lists. If your content makes readers want to take action by the time they finish reading, it’s considered inspirational.
Dr. Brené Brown is an excellent example of someone who creates inspirational content. From her Dare to Lead programs to her lectures and podcasts, she’s inspired leaders all over the world to become better at their positions.
Sometimes, it’s okay to create content that is loosely related to your business and just meant to be entertaining. These are often referred to as “fluff pieces.” For example, a fun quiz or meme that goes viral can be a win for your brand, even if it doesn’t directly promote your products or services.
For example, one of our most active posts in 2011 was What Kind of SEO Are You? Nobody really learned anything. It probably didn’t inspire anybody, and I’m sure it didn’t convert anyone. However, if you look at the Twitter posts and comments at the bottom of the page, you can see that it did, indeed, have people talking about and sharing it. And since shareability is one of the things we expect from our content, we can consider this fluff piece to be a win.
Converting content is focused on getting relevant traffic to your website and convincing them to take a specific action. This might be filling out a form, clicking on a video, or making a purchase. Converting content typically includes landing pages, testimonials, product reviews, brochures, and flyers.
HubSpot is great at this. They’ve positioned themselves as a helpful company for marketing and sales professional. Most, if not all, of their content goes to further that idea. This includes creating an indepth university around marketing, sales and Hubspot where all the courses are free.
Brainstorming Content Ideas
Deciding what to write about (especially if there are dozens of possibilities) can be a difficult endeavor. I’ve spent literally hours developing lists of titles for one client or another, not to mention for Level343 itself (and trust me, when you’ve been writing about digital marketing as long as I have, it can get real hard to develop content without sounding repetitive).
Developing content ideas isn’t impossible, however. It’s helpful if you create a list of problems, questions, or concerns your target market has, then you can refer back to the list often and create content that offers solutions to their problems or answers to their questions.
What Are The Goals
If you’ve outlined your goals, know your target market, understand what they’re looking for, it’s much easier. Write down what questions you’ve been asked. Add to the list questions that you’ve seen answered, but answered poorly (you can answer it better anyway, right?)
To make your list of titles even better, get creative. Think of funny and interesting angles to get more exposure. Helpful lists with great catchy titles promise to reveal info that no one knows or that promise to solve a problem always do well. For example:
- The top 5 things you must know before you buy a…(customize to what you are offering here)
- The top 7 things your xxx (doctor, lawyer, florist etc) doesn’t want you know
- The top 5 most popular … (books, CDs, blade saws, shoes, bras etc)
- The top 6 things you should never….
Tip: While most people do Top 5, 10, 100 etc – sometimes it’s helpful to do a number that they don’t expect, like the Top 3 or Top 7, or Top 12. It catches people’s attention more and makes them curious. “4.5 Reasons to Use Hot Air Balloons as Advertising Space”
A “how to” article is a great approach. Consider how your brand and content are perceived. I recommend reading our article about the importance of E-A-T (Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness) in SEO content strategies to understand this concept more.
Use Google Apps
Use Google Alerts to see what’s being discussed in your industry . Try out AI tools like GPT3-OpenAI, Jasper, and Wordlift. Just remember to add your own unique perspective and avoid regurgitating what others have already said.
Utilize your FAQs as a starting point for article ideas and expand on key areas of interest in your products. You may have read my comments on consumption in the past; don’t forget to teach your audience how to use what you sell.
Consider inviting guest bloggers to contribute fresh ideas, writing styles, and insights to your site, or interview a thought leader in your industry or someone in your company with valuable inside knowledge. You can even turn the interview into a video and a written transcript for extra content.
“How to” articles are popular way to create solid content, people want and need info on how to do “xyz”. Here are a few ideas:
- How to pick the right (plastic surgeon) for you (replace plastic surgeon with whatever is relevant to you: doctor, lawyer, psychic etc)
- How to pick the best xxx for your xxx (lifestyle, weight, height etc)
- How to spot a good deal
- How to avoid the biggest mistake most xxx buyers make
- How to spot a fraud/fake/dud etc.
18 Content Creation and Marketing Ideas
Lack of content is a regular culprit for lack of ranking and traffic. After all, you can’t come to a site that has no content, or rank a page that doesn’t exist. Before I close out, I want to leave you with a few content and marketing ideas you can use to enhance your campaigns.
1. FAQs – FAQs, or Frequently Asked Question pages, are excellent for introducing people to your industry, service, product or company. You can also add a comment section that allows people to ask their own questions. This helps you build your FAQ page, gets the viewer to engage with you, and brings them back to the page to see the answer.
2. Tools Of The Trade – We’ve had a large amount of success with posts that share the same tools we use in our business. This type of content serves the purpose of informing, which causes us to fall into the “expert” classification.
Also, our target market is the company that doesn’t have enough time to use the tools we share. They have just enough time to read about the tools and see that we know what we’re talking about.
3. How-To And How-Not-To Do – Do it Yourself articles are good reputation builders, and “don’t” posts do just as well as “do” posts – sometimes even better. This content is specific step-by-step post. Even if the post is actually a “how-to,” adding a portion of this type of information to the post increases its shareability and usefulness.
4. How Things Work – Posts that explain why things are the way they are can be excellent reputation builders. Mixed with opinion pieces, they can be powerful.
5. Lists – People love lists. They’re easier to read, because all the information is in one spot. Whatever the reasons, lists almost always resonate with readers.
6. Guides – Guides are in depth pieces with a huge amount of information on one specific topic. The idea is to be “the” go-to resource on the subject.
7. White Papers – White papers are not the same thing as guides. Most of the time, white papers are in PDF format and often have a technical aspect to them. Whereas a guide may continue using layman’s terms, white papers assume the reader is more informed on the paper’s subject.
8. EBooks – Anything that you’ve put in a blog post (or series of blog posts) can be turned into an eBook. If you’ve written enough blog posts on a subject, they can be reformatted to be chapters in a bigger, longer eBook. These eBooks can be shared on your website, but also on Amazon’s Kindle, the Nook Store and others.
9. Cheat Sheets – Although often in some form of infographic, cheat sheets can be in PDF, HTML or just the written word. They’re often put in infographics or PDFs because those formats make cheat sheets easier to share and pass around.
For example, look at the Pinterest search for cheat sheets. They come in several varieties, but all have short sections of content and are laid out for ease of view. They’re also usually one page.
10. Checklists – Checklists, unlike lists, can be a single line each, as long as there is explanatory material before or after. You can’t just put out a list with checkboxes and leave it be. It’s a detailed, step-by-step process to follow, in order for them to achieve the outcome they need.
11. Landing Pages – Landing pages are generally focused on a single product or service. They almost always have conversion as the main goal. They can offer a white paper for an email address, for example, or a product for sale. Very seldom to landing pages offer more than one thing at a time, as the whole purpose is that particular piece of content, service, or product.
12. Testimonials – Another conversion piece, testimonials provide “social proof” for your visitors. Your customer or client tells their personal experience story, which gives visitors an idea of how their own experience might go.
13. Predictions – You’ll come across a lot of “This year so and so are going to happen” posts if you search for them. The reasoning is because we want to know. There might be some possible change that we’ve missed. Something we can prepare for. Predictions are always going to come to life, and that’s okay. It’s possible to show you’re human without ruining your reputation.
14. Facts And Stats – These pieces are heavily researched, but the time spent is often really worth it. You can shorten the time spent by utilizes already existing studies, but make sure that the studies are the most recent you can find.
15. Brochures – Not a white paper, not an eBook, not a blog post, brochures are usually tri-fold pieces of content if they’re printed, and a one or two page PDF if online. They provide very specific information about your company, a product, a service, features and/or benefits.
16. Branded Images – A branded image always contains a logo (thus “branded”). However, you want to create something helpful, remember. Providing pointed quotes or a single tip is an excellent way to increase shareability and helpfulness.
17. Cartoons Or Caricatures – Do you have a funny moment in your business experience that you’d like to share? Don’t be afraid to share it through a cartoon or caricature. Again, they’re sharable, but they’re also entertaining.
18. Memes – Don’t knock it until you try it, just make sure you understand some of the pros and cons. Like branded images, memes can be branded, but they’re also entertaining. The meme is exploding for a reason: easy to read, easy to share and brings a quick smile. However, remember that memes are just a fad, and that they can be altered. While they make for momentary hilarity, don’t put too much stress on them.
As a marketer, your job is to understand what inspires your target audience and meet them where they are. Hopefully, this list of things you can do has served its purpose, to inspire you. I have no doubt that there are many possibilities besides the ones we covered. If inspiring our clients to do better is what we strive for, than let us continue to be inspired by the challenge of understanding how we can create better content consumption today and beyond.
Editor’s Note: This article is a compilation of a few older ones. They’ve been updated to be current with today’s marketing styles, SEO guidelines and Google standards.