The Ultimate Can’t-Miss Guide to Content Creation in 2023!
Content creation isn't just about generating a colossal content idea, recording it, and hitting the publish button.
A lot more happens behind the scenes for content creators' efforts to achieve success as an inbound marketing vehicle.
And, if you're not using content creation in your business's digital marketing strategy, you're behind the eight-ball.
Because creating content is the best way to find and engage with your target audience. To drive meaningful conversations with them, compelling them to take action.
All you need to know is how to pull it off!
We've got practical, effective digital content creation tips to help you develop a process that works for you.
And dominate the digital world with epic written content.
What is Content Creation?
Whether you realize it or not, you consume content daily.
Remember the last time you entered a question into the search engine?
Those links that appear on the search engine results page (SERP)?
Those WebMD articles you read help diagnose your mysterious symptoms?
Instagram feeds, blogs, funny cat videos, GIFs, trending memes.
It's all content.
Content is a massive part of our everyday life. It's difficult to avoid, but why would you want to?
For searchers, content informs, answers questions, entertains, guides decisions, and more.
For business owners, great content will help you draw, dazzle, and delight prospects and customers.
Which ultimately helps to generate crazy ROI for your company. SMBs that use content creation get 126% more leads than companies that don't.
But content doesn't just explode into existence; it's the result of tons of planning, writing, editing, collaborating, and more.
A content marketer's job is to produce engaging, extraordinary ideas that enchant potential customers. Then, formalize a strategy, and get the content in front of the right eyeballs.
Content can take any form — blog posts, YouTube videos, Facebook Ads, eBooks, podcasts, Tweets, and infographics, to name a few.
When done well, great content can power up the impact on your business. In fact, consumers who read a brand's educational content are 131% more likely to buy from them.
Content is Crucial
Today, content is king. 👑
From news to entertainment and marketing — getting your message out there is more critical than ever.
So, how do you dial down the noise and dial up your impact?
In an age of endless content, never underestimate the importance of quality and consistency.
Churning out and scheduling engaging content is vital for staying relevant. And creating content starts with a precise, well-conceived strategy.
Planning Your Content Strategy
If you're new to the digital content world and contemplating "how do I start content creation?" you may feel understandably overwhelmed.
All content creators have been there.
But we assure you that once you formalize a plan, everything will fall into place.
For instance, you wouldn't build a house without a blueprint, create artwork without a sketch, or start a company without a mission statement.
The same goes for content creation.
Take time to detail an effective strategy that includes every detail — from the tone of your brand voice to how you will promote your content.
Let's jump into planning your content strategy step-by-step.
1. Content Goals
Center your content strategy around your marketing goals. You may, for example, want to increase organic traffic to your site by 25% over the next quarter.
So, each piece of content you create should align with that goal, contributing to your desired outcome.
Whatever goals you set, make sure they're SMART goals:
Define concrete goals for each piece of content. For example, do you want to generate leads or educate prospects?
Anything you create must be measurable. A/B testing reveals how prospects engage with each piece of content so you can review, revise, and republish.
It seems like a no-brainer, but your goals must be achievable. Some content may go viral and fetch awesome leads. But quality content takes time to produce results. Plus, the more people who read your content and share it, the higher you'll rise on the SERP.
You may believe you have an impressive piece of content, but if it's not relevant to your target audience, you'll go nowhere fast.
Bombarding subscribers with content daily is a tad extra. One compelling piece of content a week could be perfect for keeping your subscribers enchanted.
In contrast, they won't take you too seriously if you are too slow pumping out content.
2. Use a Checklist
You need your team of content virtuosos to stay involved and on the same page at all times.
Which means keeping track of every step in the content creation process.
And we mean every step.
A checklist will help ensure consistency and cut down on content turnaround time.
Some steps you could include in your checklist are:
- Classifying content
- Researching new topics
- Sourcing images
- Writing the article
- Adding a CTA
- Reviewing SEO
- Promoting your content
- Scheduling to publish
3. Buyer Persona
Before you write anything, don't forget that you're marketing to humans that crave meaningful connections.
So, take a moment to consider who you're creating the content for and make them feel like you're speaking to them.
And cue the "buyer persona".
A buyer persona is a semi-fictional character who you want to allure with your content — your target audience.
Determine their demographics, motivations, challenges, buyer behavior, pain points, hobbies, etc.
What does your audience care about?
How does that align with the solutions your business provides?
Then, you'll better understand the type of customer you want to attract. This will help you reach, engage, and nurture them with the right content throughout their journey with your brand, turning potential customers into brand loyalists.
4. Buyer's Journey
Each visitor to your site follows a path to a solution, and it consists of three stages.
Each of your prospects is in a different stage of that journey, which is why it's crucial to create content that appeals to them at each step.
For example, a new visitor in the awareness stage isn't interested in a live demo of your product. But, they could be looking for a blog that helps them find a solution to their problem.
Meet your prospects where they are and create targeted content that coaxes them towards a successful sale.
5. Topic Research
Now that you know more about your audience take some time to research topics that may resonate with them.
But don't get bogged down on specific, individual article topics right now.
Instead, focus on getting a feel for the kinds of issues your audience may be searching for information on.
6. Editorial Calendar
This timesaving tool helps content creators not only schedule new content. It also helps them hold each other accountable for consistent content creation.
Meaning your team of rock stars can turbo-charge their productivity by budgeting their time and focusing on the right projects.
7. Content Audit
A content audit involves taking inventory of the content you have already created.
The goal of a content audit is to:
- Catalog current content so you can repurpose, resurrect, and refresh it for the future.
- Measure each piece's quality and effectiveness to determine which ones are important to keep and what you can archive.
- Track what content you have repurposed to make future updates easier.
8. The Right Medium
The medium you choose could be a blog post, video, SlideShare, graphic, ebook, white paper, or podcast.
Craft whatever your creative mind can conceive, as long as it speaks directly to your target customer.
When choosing your content format, consider:
- What stage are they on the buyer's journey?
- Is this content easy for my audience to consume?
- At what sites does my buyer persona spend their time?
- What format will help me produce content consistently?
9. Content Promotion
What's the point in crafting awe-inspiring, thought-provoking content if no one reads it?
Promoting your content entices people to consume your content, guiding them into your online space.
But searchers tend to move across different platforms in their quest for information. So, it's a great idea to focus on a multi-faceted marketing approach to reach your audience.
Promote your content via:
Social media sees 3.5 billion logins daily, with people spending around 142 minutes browsing these platforms daily.
Increase your reach, engage readers, secure leads, and nurture your audience with email marketing.
Use email marketing software to analyze open rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates. These metrics are essential to measuring the success of your marketing campaign.
10. Content Repurposing
Content repurposing refers to reusing content you've already created. You can transform existing content into different formats to reach a broader demographic.
For instance, let's say you wrote a brilliant blog on digital marketing statistics; you could recycle that into a badass infographic or video content.
The Process of Content Creation
Now that you've done the heavy lifting, it's time to begin creating kick-butt content.
Think about your past marketing campaigns-webinars, email marketing, surveys. Each campaign had a process.
Content creation is no different.
So, devise a bold content creation strategy, roll it out, tweak it, and then repeat to generate your desired results.
Follow our steps below to discover the secrets behind how to start the content creation process.
1. SEO Research
SEO research — a.k.a. keyword research — sets good content apart from great content.
Keyword research reveals:
- The search volume of a specific keyword phrase, and
- Whether it's worth investing your time, creating content around it.
Start simple and refine your search as you go. This SEO strategy will result in a set of tailored keywords to level up your content.
Dig deeper into keyword trends with online SEO tools such as Ahrefs, SEMrush, and UberSuggest.
Target long-tail, low-volume keywords with minimal keyword ranking difficulty of around 200-1000 MSV.
Take a look at an example of the keyword "air conditioning installation" in UberSuggest.
Put in the time and effort to research your keywords, weave them into your content, and your online visibility will skyrocket. With the upside of providing users with the exact information, they're searching for.
2. Content Ideas
All content begins with an idea.
But where do you go to find ideas that translate into compelling, helpful content?
Sources for inspiration can include:
- Your sales team
- Website analytics
- Keyword research
- Content audits
- Social media discussions
- Trending content tools (e.g., BuzzSumo)
- Competitor analysis
- Industry conferences and events
Of course, each piece of content you create is vital to your marketing strategy. But content marketing isn't about just crafting one phenomenal piece of content.
You need to brainstorm lots of ideas!
And the best way to organize those ideas is through topic clusters.
So, create a comprehensive list of topics and produce an in-depth pillar piece around your target keyword.
Then, create shorter blog posts or visual content. You'll provide a gateway for your audience to delve deeper, revealing that you are without a doubt the subject matter expert.
3. Create an Outline
A great outline combats writer's block and allows you to see the road ahead.
Perhaps your style is to hammer out the main points in bullet form. Or you prefer to build a detailed header-by-header account. Whichever form you take, any kind of pre-writing will result in a more comprehensive, quality piece of work.
What should your outline include?
- The blog's angle
- Any research you have done
- Blog length
- The tone of the article
4. Creative Content
Grab your SEO research, checklist, and outline, and write a title tag and meta description for each piece of content.
Entice searchers to click with a struggle/solution statement. For example:
As searchers tend to scan content first, their eyes head straight to the headers. So, sprinkle in appealing subheads to break up the text and catch the reader's attention.
While these practices won't scoot you up the results page, they can boost your click-through rate. Google will recognize your authoritative presence and, in turn, reward you with a handsome new ranking.
Then, remember to refer to your buyer personas.
What will speak to them?
What will have them begging for more?
What will encourage them to take action?
Then, sit down and compose a mind-blowing article that hits all your points, uses the target keywords, and kicks each reader's ass.
5. Content Management System
Now your magnificent piece of content is ready to go! So where will you put it for your audience to access it?
A content management system (CMS) provides a platform to manage and modify your content without needing any technical knowledge.
CMS software also provides practical metrics to analyze the performance of your campaigns. What's more, you can use it to publish posts so that you can click, schedule, and forget.
Content writers have some tremendous tools at their fingertips to inspire their best work. Improve writing and sharpen editing skills with free tools such as Grammarly and Hemingway Editor.
You may like to edit as you go or wait a few days to review with fresh eyes.
But, no matter how big a grammar geek you are, it's a great idea to have someone else edit your work.
Collaboration is essential in ensuring your content makes sense. For example, your voice is active, language is clear, sentences are short, there are plenty of white spaces, and of course, it's error-free.
The moment of truth has arrived!
It's time to illuminate your readers with your impressive content.
Before you hit "publish," maximize your impact by releasing your content into the world at an optimal time.
When is the best time to publish new content?
While there is no "right time," per se, you can determine when your readers are likely to be online.
Log in to Google Analytics and click on "Real-time" for an overview. Review it throughout the day and post according to the time you receive the highest volume of visitors.
The key is to be consistent.
As Forbes discovered, consistency in content publication could increase your website traffic up to 90% in just six months.
Content Creation Tools
If you're panicking about what skills are needed for content creation, you've no need.
Content creation tools are available to help those who may be artistically impaired or time-poor.
Try these free tools to help your content look professional:
- Keep your content writing sharp with Grammarly
- Build your own designs from Canva templates
- Create animated GIFs with Giphy
- Record videos with Vidyard
- Design your own surveys with SurveyMonkey or use a SurveyMonkey alternative
- Create, distribute and monetize a podcast using Anchor
Or leave the creativity to businesses offering professional content creation services.
So, what does a successful content creator do now?
Now, it's time to adapt your content to the medium because one size doesn't fit all when it comes to content creation platforms.
For example, social media content is different from blog content. Which is different from website content. So, you must tailor your content to reach your audience where they are.
Let's look at some guidelines for sharing content on multiple platforms.
1. Social Media
Social media is more than an effective relationship-building tool. It's also a fantastic medium for promoting and sharing relevant content.
But a social media content creator needs to modify their social media post to fit the social media platform.
So, what is content creation in a social media strategy?
Use Facebook marketing to build micro-communities through Facebook Groups or share en masse via Facebook Pages. Questions and videos receive the highest engagement.
Instagram is ideal for sharing high-quality imagery and short videos with relevant hashtags. Also, engage your followers with polls, questions, or real-time videos through Instagram Stories.
With over 2 billion users, some of the most successful content on YouTube includes how-to guides, vlogs, educational videos, and product reviews.
Create posts with short messages, supporting images, links, and supporting hashtags. Also, replying to your Twitter followers goes a long way for your brand awareness.
LinkedIn was built for content marketing. People come to this platform to build authority and engage with like-minded professionals. A staggering 500 million people use LinkedIn, but most users spend only about 24 minutes per workday on the site.
The focus for website content should be on:
- your target keywords
- your persona, and
- your solution.
Your content must speak to the right person, drawing them to your site with your target keywords.
Once you've attracted them to your site, now what?
Now, you do everything possible to keep them there with compelling, relevant, and helpful content that converts them into loyal customers.
Blog content supports your business by enticing visitors and drawing qualified leads.
In fact, 67% of B2B marketers who added blogs to their websites stated they generate 67% more leads.
What are examples of content creation for blogs?
Switch up your blog style by incorporating the following types of content:
- How-to articles
- Video tutorials
- Case studies
- Interactive content
- Comparison posts, and more!
The final and arguably most important step is analyzing the success of your content. Without data, you can't know what's working or how to improve what isn't.
Use Google Analytics to track metrics such as:
- Organic traffic
- Bounce rate
- Conversion rates
- Engagement rates
- Audience growth
Don't miss this crucial step!
You may have knocked your content out of the park, but if you don't measure the results, how will you know if you're slaying?
A solid content performance analysis provides helpful insights and actionable metrics. You can then use this data to level up your next content marketing campaign.
Ready to Start Making Great Content?
Content creation is a journey. From ideation to publishing, the process is ongoing.
But don't fall into the trap of creating content willy-nilly without a robust content strategy in place. Otherwise, you're wasting your time, money, and resources.
So, be fearless.
Follow our content creation tips and design your own well-thought-out strategy that vanquishes the competition.
Start generating meaningful, purposeful, and effective content that embodies your business. You'll not only entertain and charm your audience but also grow your business.
Now, go. Create. Engage. Convert.
Kirsty Wilson is a certified content marketer and experienced margarita drinker. She specialises in Digital Marketing, Landing Page Copy, and adding a touch of Aussie humour to lifestyle and travel blogs. Currently creating a whirlwind of chaos in Mexico, she documents her solo travels to inspire other Gen-X women to have a go! View her other epic publications here.