If you’ve been following the blog over the last few months, you know we’ve been on somewhat of an excursion to tackle the pillars of today’s digital marketing. We’ve covered branding, brand awareness and customer acquisition, and now we’re turning our attention to all things content creation. Because let’s face it: attracting customers is only half the battle, the next step is keeping them around and engaged with quality content that will keep your startup top of mind.
As you promote your products or services, people will hopefully be on the lookout for more information about you and your brand. From eBooks to blog posts, white papers, testimonials and case studies, there are countless ways to provide genuine added value while flaunting your favorite features. And sure, it may just feel like a few likes and shares at first, but with time, you’ll be on your way to building a loyal following of readers who will all have a deeper, better understanding of what you stand for.
But before you dive in head first and start planning your first few blog posts, here are the basic things you need to know about content creation.
What is content creation?
Content creation is the process of brainstorming, then creating and sharing relevant and interesting topics that you think will appeal to customers. It begins with an idea, but quickly has to turn into to creating a strategy and producing the actual content; be it in the form of a blog post, social media, videos, infographics, or other.
Why is content creation important?
The fact is: customers remember great content.
And the numbers back it up. At 2.9% and 0.5% respectively, the Aberdeen Group found that content creation drives conversion rates six times higher for companies and brands that use content marketing, vs those that don’t. Industry titan Neil Patel also found that content creation costs 62% less than traditional marketing strategies, and yet generates about 3 times as many leads.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that content creation has been a top priority for marketers for some time now. eMarketer found that 60% of marketers create at least one piece of content per day, while other stats show that 81% of marketers plan to integrate original written content in their future campaigns.
As you can see, content creation is crucial to marketing your product and building a customer base. So let’s take a look at how you can get started.
What are you trying to accomplish?
The first step is to clarify and define what you’re working towards.
A goal could be to build a loyal following of return visitors, or increase your site traffic, or generate more qualified leads. Read up on SMART goals and set objectives that are specific, measurable, realistic and time-bound.
For example, 49% of marketers create content that’s aligned with their customer buying cycle, which means blog posts are created to move your prospective customers into the next stage of your marketing funnel.
Where to look for content creation ideas?
Just as with any marketing campaign, your very first currency is ideas. Better yet: ideas that cater to your audiences. Here are a few ways to get the ball rolling.
1. Hop on the bandwagon
A great way to figure out what people in your industry are talking about and join in on existing conversations is to turn to Google Trends. To get started, simply enter a search term or a topic.
The results feature people’s interest over time in relation to topic, region, related topics and related queries. This helps you determine what information your audience is looking for and how they’re engaging with the material.
2. Uncover underground content
Underground content is basically a pool of relevant topics that haven’t yet hit the mainstream.
With Feedly, content creators can follow all of the relevant publications in their niche, and leverage their articles for inspiration. For example, our marketing team follows Backlinko, Hubspot, Neil Patel, Moz and Marketing Land; all pillars of the marketing industry and stellar content creators.
Now let’s look at the dashboard. As you can see, Feedly aggregates listings of the latest posts from the publications you follow, which the popularity and shares count included right before the title. This can be valuable information as you start digging around for your next content idea – instead of following the money, follow the engagement and chatter.
3. Proactively ask for customer feedback
A survey is a quick and easy way you can learn about the topics your current subscribers care about most. Here are just a few of the questions you might think of including:
- What topics related to [X industry] would you say aren't being covered enough online?
- What would you want to learn more about when it comes to [X topic/industry]?
- What challenges are you currently facing when it comes to [X topic/industry]?
Since the point of content creation is to inform and delight both current and potential customers, their feedback should play an important role in determining your content strategy, so think of sharing your survey not only within your newsletter or other internal channels, but on public platforms like Twitter, Quora or LinkedIn Groups.
Hopefully, these few tips and ideas have you riled up, inspired and ready to get writing. We’ll be continuing our deep dive into all things content marketing over the next few weeks, so make sure you stay tuned! Next up: content planning.
Article written by Monique Danao