The TRUTH about Content Creation
When you think about content creation, what is the first thing that springs to mind?
If you follow people like Peter Mckinnon, Casey Neistat and Matt D’avella on YouTube, you might think content creation is all about storytelling, slick transitions and cinematic looking shots.
But the question is, is this really necessary?
How do you create your content?
What is your content creation process? Do you just start, or do you analyse past performance to plan future content?
There are so many ways to approach the content creation process that I honestly believe there isn’t a one size fits all approach. What I am certain about is you must develop a content strategy and track the performance of various types of content (images, video, blog posts, behind the scenes footage, employee takeovers) if you truly want to create content that matters.
It’s time to lead with data
Hate it or love it, data is here to stay. If you are in the game of content creation, data analysis is a MUST. The great thing about data analysis is it doesn’t have to be difficult and a lot of great tools are FREE. Tools such as Google Analytics and Facebook Insights offer so much value and provide insights that can help you understand what really makes your audience tick.
Whether you want to know how people are finding your website, which pages are driving the highest level of engagement or what social media platforms are working best for you, data analysis can give you the answers.
Ultimately, data can help you develop a style that allows you to consistently deliver. If you enjoy making your content, hitting your business goals will be a hell of a lot less stressful. You’ll be surprised how many people copy others in an attempt to build an audience or achieve a quick win.
It’s important to remember that your favourite influences have tried and tested a number of things and used their data to develop a unique strategy that works for their businesses.
Content calendars ROCK!
Depending where you are on your business adventure, the type of content you create will change. What worked in the past, won’t necessarily work in 12 months’ time.
Content calendars are a great as they allow you to plan ahead and be accountable for your work.
For me, content calendars have stopped me from posting random content on the fly. Don’t get me wrong, on the fly content has been responsible for some of my most successful content. The thing is, you really can’t rely on it.
These days, I use content calendars to map out what, when and when content will be posted. Having a multi-channel approach is a great way to ensure your message hits the right people within your target audience. Using data to plan content has helped me to focus on my business goals, rather than wasting time on Instagram trying to increase follower count (more on this another day).
If you are stuck on what to create, try developing some content themes. Content themes are a great way to mix up what you post. Instead of posting the same thing over and other again, create 3-4 themes that allow you to really show off your expertise.
For example, if you are a guitar tutor, your themes might look like this:
Monday – Beginner tips and tricks
Tuesday – Gear talk
Wednesday – Free
Thursday – Product promotion
Friday – Song of the week
Saturday – Free
Sunday – Free
Today, content themes account for 70% of my content. I leave the other 30% for posting things that are entertaining and show my audience what life is like behind my business.
Value must ALWAYS come first
If your goal is to win clients or sale products, it’s important that you share content that people really want to consume. Is your content valuable to others or is it all about you?
Before creating anything, have a think about the true purpose of content. Is it to create brand awareness, increase engagement, start conversations or create leads?
If you don’t believe you can create anything that is beneficial to others, try documenting your journey as a business owner or entrepreneur. I first stumbled across the ‘Document, Don’t Create’ concept while watching a video by Gary Vaynerchuk.
Instead of worrying about what camera you use, lighting or trying to make your content look beautiful, grab your phone and start sharing what you are doing to get yourself and your business where you want them to be. Jump on YouTube and start learning some basic skills that will help you make best use of what you have available.
Stuck for things to share? Share your daily routine, your ups and down as a business owner, things that have worked for you and things that haven’t.
If you’re not seeing results from your content creation efforts, DON’T GIVE UP. Learn how to track your efforts and make changes based on your results. You’ll be surprised how many people watch your content in the background and say nothing. Your journey as a business owner really does have the power to inspire and influence others to take control of their lives and try something different.
The TRUTH about content creation
The truth is, content creation is all about trying new things, testing and working out what works for you. Start using data to work out what your audience enjoy rather than just posting what you THINK your audience enjoy. The more you deliver, the more feedback you’ll receive. Be brave, learn how to use Google Analytics and Facebook Insights and start collaborating with other likeminded individuals.
If you don’t try, who’s going to help you achieve your goals?
If creating content for your brand is important, think about what it is you really want to achieve in the long term. Slick transitions and the best cameras won’t necessarily help you tell a better story.
Remember, building an online audience is a journey, not a race! We all have to start somewhere!