Content Creation 101: Your Essential Guide
Content creation 101 is all about understanding your product or service, identifying your target audience, and picking specific marketing channels. And then creating the types of content that satisfy all three.
The following content creation 101 guide will teach you how to:
Understand your product or service
Identify your target audience
Pick specific marketing channels
Generate content ideas to fill up your content calendar
Produce high-impact content at a beginner level
Taking the time to understand each step will ensure your content creation strategy is effective.
Content Creation 101: Understand your product or service
Before you start creating content, you must ensure you understand your product or service.
This will help you create relevant content that actually supports your business needs by attracting highly qualified leads through the various digital marketing channels available to you.
To understand your product or service, ask yourself:
What is the problem my product or service solves, why does it matter, and how do I solve it?
Who is this product or service for, what are their needs, and how do I serve them?
What is my overall positioning, competitive landscape, and general market overview?
An additional benefit to understanding your product or service is that it'll support your content creation ideas. Think about it. If you're a software company that solves highly technical problems, you could consider creating digital content like blog posts, visual content like infographics, or educational content like videos.
Generating a content idea becomes far easier when you understand your product or service, which then begins building your online content repository and supports you creating repurposed content like social media posts. Whether you use social media posts, visual content, or educational content matters little; what matters is that you build meaningful connection with customers.
To do so, knowing your product or service is a must. And once you do, you can move onto the next step: identifying your target audience.
Content Creation 101: Identify your target audience
There are many potential nuances and rabbit holes you might fall into during this step.
Marketers typically create fleshed out, targeted, and highly specific buyer personas. And then segmenting them further into different markets and categories.
But for a content marketing or content creator beginner, simply identifying who your target audience is at a high-level is plenty to get started.
Good Example: My target audience includes aspiring content marketers who need fundamental skills and resources to help them get content marketing jobs.
Bad Example: My audience includes all content marketers across all industries ranging from beginner to expert-level content marketing skills.
The good example is highly specific which makes it easier for you to identify potential customers, create pieces of content that resonate, and gain new business.
This also empowers you to filter your content strategy, content creation, and content distribution activities through a specific lens. In short, it makes everything easier. And don't worry about scalability. Once you dominate one audience, you can expand.
Whereas the bad example is highly broad which makes it harder for you to identify potential customers, create pieces of content that resonate, and gain new business.
You may think to yourself this is a little ridiculous, but most new business owners/content marketing professionals think "casting a wide net" is more effective than not. This is wrong.
Content Creation 101: Pick specific marketing channels
There are at least 19 marketing channels available to you, according to the book Traction (highly recommend). We won't go all over them today, but the point is: there's a lot of options.
And just like we recommend identifying a highly specific target audience, we also recommend you pick specific marketing channels that make sense for your business.
When picking specific marketing channels, we recommend you select no more then three at a time. This can scale as your business grows (or depending on the size of your employer/team).
But for beginner content marketers or content creators, we actually recommend picking one at a time. That way you can effectively measure the individual impact of each channel, and make informed decisions about whether or not those channels are worth pursuing.
If you're a content marketing or content creator beginner, and you have six social media accounts, an email list, and a website that needs search engine optimization (SEO) content, you'll have to become a content management expert quickly. Because you'll be drowning in content creation activities.
But truth be told, there's no way you'll effectively create profitable strategies for content creation, because it'll be challenging to create relevant content for each channel.
Instead, as a content marketing or content creator beginner, consider picking one marketing channel. Let's say YouTube, for example.
Suddenly, instead of spinning your wheels creating a bunch of content, you'll be able to focus solely on video content. And once you've got your video content creation locked-in, it becomes significantly easier to add another marketing channel like TikTok.
Content Creation 101: Putting it all together
Once you outline what your product does, who your target audience is, and what marketing channels you'll use, content creation becomes far easier.
You will suddenly enjoy a strong, evidence-based foundation that will help you identify your content strategy, different content formats you should use, and how they attract potential customers, prospects, or business owners.
Think of these three elements-product, audience, and channel-as filters for your content creation ideas, production, and distribution:
Once you're locked-in using these lenses to filter and inform your content creation, you can begin considering more advanced content creation principles content strategists like to use like: customer feedback, audience engagement, product reviews, and more to feed into your process.
But for now, this is all you need to know as a beginner.
Good luck out there, Captain!
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