For successful digital marketing, content is key. Therefore, all digital marketing initiatives use content productions as part of their market strategy.
Content creation describes the act of coming up with strategic ideas, conducting comprehensive research, and then converting the result into high-value collateral and then advertising them to a specific audience. Digital content includes; blogs, web pages, infographics, ebooks, videos, photos. And a content creator is someone who produces content. Every content aims to make a profitable connection with the target audience– to bring in new leads and result in the return of earlier consumers.
Hence, content creation must be done with so much expertise, and it requires you to know the target consumers very well, including what they value, what they find fascinating and what prior method has appealed to them. While, of course, content marketing is evolving by the day, there are proven skills and methods that can help you succeed as a content creator and become the go-to person in your industry.
Here are six essential principles to help you create valuable content and ultimately succeed as a content creator.
Do your research!
Behind every compelling content, there is comprehensive research. You need a detailed knowledge of your industry and target audience. That will not only help you produce top-notch content but also gives you confidence and clarity to develop more robust and more fluid content.
More so, good content curation entails refining a large amount of information and data into the most valuable and suitable presentation for the reader, and research provides you with authority to talk about topics in a relevant and industry-specific manner. Just like in every facet of life, change is inevitable in digital marketing. Content gets obsolete very quickly. Hence, research and reading other people's work will help you stay relevant. Successful content creators are curious – always seeking what method will be more appealing to their target audience.
Learn how to utilize Search Engine Optimization
Remember the most recent Instagram and Facebook outage where those apps weren’t available for almost 12 hours? That was the reminder we all needed - don’t put all eggs into one basket which translated into social media, make sure your content is on multiple channels. You can have a website, a blog, an email list, a podcast, etc. the list goes on and on. Which then also helps with SEO.
It's not enough to research and develop content, but you must ensure your content is appealing to search engines. Search Engine Optimization, SEO, ensures your content ranks high and above other web pages with similar content. This is particularly important for written content– web writing, copywriting, etc. Fundamental knowledge of SEO and its application is essential, and there are tons of SEO tools out there to help understand SEO.
Although SEO is more important in written content, it isn't a skill just for that only. Properly curated video SEO and imagery optimizations help content rank higher than it would otherwise.
More so, an average consumer uses search engines to look for products that might lead to buying that product. Hence, to learn about what your audience is talking about, conduct keyword research. It helps in identifying new content options that you may not have explored otherwise.
Learn About Your Audience
As we said earlier, creating great content resonates with your target audience. It depends on how acceptable it is to your audience. The overall goal of any content is to make sales. How do you develop compelling content if you do not learn and read about your audience?
In a broader view, it involves learning more about your industry. That exposes you more to what's happened historically in the industry and how that shapes the target audience's mindset in the present.
Interestingly, the more you learn about your audience's interests, you discover new ideas and better ways to develop content. Hence, your target audience comes first. So, while you research and optimize your content for search engines, remember the content must be intriguing, relevant, and appealing to your consumers.
Fine tune your skillset
As a content creator you’ll have to keep up with trends on social media. Understanding metrics, expectations and how to properly utilize hashtags to help you grow your account is key. With the amount of video content being preferred on Instagram’s algorithm, fine tuning skills like seamless transitions and keeping up with video concepts that are captivating for the viewer is very important.
Study the brands you want to work with
Content partnership and influencer marketing are also essential. More often than not, consumers find "influencers" opinions and recommendations more reliable than the brand message.
It's okay to do brand analysis – brand's character and voice, design strategy, strong points, weaknesses, rivals' tactics – but also, partnering with other online content creators, brands, influencers further boosts your chances at succeeding, especially if you're breaking into the market, or reaching a new audience.
However, there are many rules and ways to go about partnering with brands and influencers to get the best out of it.
Start by promoting products organically. This will help with having organic content you can fall back on which then helps with credibility, when actively pitching and landing brand deals. As an influencer, your followers value your opinion so any brand deals should always be rooted in trust.
When pitching, highlight how you relate to the brand you are pitching to. If they are in the middle of a campaign, add how you would add value to that specific campaign. For cold pitches, lay out a wireframe of ideas. Always make sure to stay true to yourself. Don’t be afraid to use the DM feature on Instagram or use LinkedIn to find the right contact person to get in touch with.
If a brand really likes your work and thinks you are a great fit for a partnership, they’ll find a way to work with you and your mutual goal should always be to get paid for the content you create.
The more compelling content you churn out, the more traffic to your website and untimely, the more your chances of making sales. Consistency brings perfection, and perfection brings success. Hence, it would help if you committed to pushing out content that readers are interested in regularly. To achieve visibility, digital content production needs dedication and consistency.
Like all good things, it's not going to happen overnight. And, of course, it shouldn't, because you're trying to get good at it, not just simply do it. Start small and be consistent.
Steven Sharpe Jr. is a Instagram content creator in the menswear and lifestyle space, and founder of Nobius Creative, a social media agency, from New York City. Listen to the whole episode with host Ines Garibay.
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