Of our three pillars of content marketing (strategy, content and technology), content creation seems like it should be the easy one. It’s the obvious one - the clue is literally in the title - but it’s not actually quite that straightforward. Content creation isn’t just about pouring your heart out onto a page and pressing “publish”. Unfortunately.
It starts with research
Even if you are writing an entirely personal op-ed piece, a little research goes a long way. What topics are tired and boring? What is everyone talking about? What is the latest news in your sector? What events are coming up? It’s also worth thinking about where the expertise lies within your business or your staff - could you look at a popular topic from a new angle? How can you add to or respond to existing conversations? After you’ve done your research, start brainstorming ideas.
Different content can have different purposes. Are you creating a reactive piece based on a popular trend or something in the news to stay relevant? Pieces like that can be very effective, but date quickly. These kinds are content are not worth spending a lot of money on as they will soon be irrelevant. However “evergreen” pieces cover topics that should have long-term relevance and as a result are worth higher production costs.
The kind of content you choose depends on your purpose, production costs and the intended longevity of what you’re creating. Do you want to quickly join in the conversation on something new, or do you want to create something that will be read in a year’s time?
What form to take?
Do you have a long, research-based piece that would be fitting for a whitepaper? Or some great stats that would be perfect as an infographic? Would that opinion piece make a strong video? There are dozens of types of content from social media to podcasts to animation - don’t just fall back on blog posts. Different types of content require different forms, so it’s worth considering the best form for your content to maximise effectiveness.