This week’s show starts off with a bit of a rant at Black Friday emails but the focus of the show is on how to get effectively creative with your content.
So often customers talk to us about how they struggle to come up with content. For all the game plans we make for them and kick-off editorial calendars to get them working with content marketing, they get to a point where they struggle to be creative.
I guess this has a lot to do with the fact that often the people who are required to create content in-house aren’t always creatives. This is because a lot of businesses turn the creative work over to staff as an additional part of their job. The leadership team, for example, are often required to blog to share a different view of the company culture. Or school principals end up having to write a weekly newsletter to parents!
Because it can be hard, I wanted to share my method of how to regularly create highly-targeted content.
- Think about your sales funnel: Awareness, Interest, Evaluation, Decision, Purchase. Where is the friction ? Not enough leads ? Not enough purchases? Identify where in the funnel content would be great. There’s no point in creating content for the wrong part of the funnel. For example, infographics might work best at the Evaluation part, helping customers weigh up the strengths of your offering, but podcasts or blogs might get you noticed more at the Awareness stage, standing out on social media.
- Remind yourself of your target audience. There’s no point creating anything until you know who you’re doing for.
- Bored ? Try a new technology BUT beware it could take longer for your content to get results. For example, a podcast might not get the kind of impact you’re looking for from the get-go. It takes time to build an audience.
- Figure out the title of the work you’re going to do. You’ll see if it works with your audience, if you actually fancy doing it AND if there are any problems that you need to research. If you need inspiration for a title for your specific audience, check Google Adwords / Keyword search to find out if there are long-tail keywords you could be targeting. Find out what people are looking for, but find something that’s long tail. Think Stockholm family therapist in English vs Stockholm therapist.
- Create quickly. Brainstorm. When I taught creative writing at university (1997-2004), I would do an exercise where I got students to write really, really quickly without thinking, keeping the pen moving all the time. Things crop up and then you have something to work quickly, and it can help you come up with ideas that weren’t apparent to you initially. It also gives you something to start reworking and shaping into better content.
- Don’t get lost comparing yourself to others. You’ll get anxious, possibly tempted to plagiarise and you might get too distracted, losing focus on what you need to create.
- Create the content. If you need to work with someone, do so. If you need a second reader, do so. If you need to outsource the editing, filming, etc, do so.
- Leave it a day and come back to it. Or at least, if you’re under pressure, give it an hour or two. You’ll find that you have fresh eyes and may spot what’s not working. I always find writing the moondog newsletter a few days in advance to be the best thing possible.
- Use different tools. For example, I write better in Ulysses and then check the text in Hemingway THEN put into WordPress and look at it on the site. This process enables me to fine tune at each step of the process.
- Then hit publish and promote! Automate the promotion if you can with tools like Buffer or Coschedule – our go-to tools – and focus on creating more great content !