Content marketing is a great tool to use for brands. Whether you’re a business or developing a personal brand it’s something you should be investing in. By now to most this is second nature but not everyone understands the reasons why. Because of this many just begin creating online content without any thought or purpose to it. However this is a key part of your marketing strategy that offers well rounded benefits. Not only is it a great way to build your brand and promote your products or services, but also to connect with your audience. It’s an opportunity to engage with people and even create an online community!
With all of that in mind, you’re essentially presented with two options. Sure you can just create online content for the sake of it, and hope for the best. The downfalls of doing this is you’re pretty much going in blind. However you can decide to put the effort into creating online content like a professional. If you decided to choose the latter you are sure to see major return on investment for the time you put in. The more you focus on the quality of your online content, the further it can take your brand. But it’s not just the quality of your content that matters. It’s also ensuring that the content you output resonates with your audience. You can’t get your message out if it’s not appealing to the people you’re trying to reach.
So what happens if you’re new to content marketing? Or if you don’t really have knowledge in that area? Fortunately content marketing is something that anyone can improve on with a little bit of dedication. Here are some of the top things you should be doing when it comes to creating online content.
5 Tips to Creating Online Content Like a Professional
1. Define Your Content Marketing Strategy
Defining your content marketing strategy has many moving pieces to it. Before anything it should cover back end tasks like setting goals, posting schedule and how you’re measuring your results. But just as importantly it should also encompass your content. If you want your content to work for you rather than against you there’s a few things you need to do. First you need to make sure it represents your brand’s image. This should be portrayed in the written content as it is your visual content. Say you’re a clean beauty brand, with a little big of edginess. You might want to represent that with having light, airy and minimal visual content paired with witty copywriting.
You also need to look at figuring out your target audience. An established brand would already have a sense of this, but if you’re just starting out it’s something you absolutely need to do. Your target audience is who you’re looking to reach, be it as an audience or a customer. And without an understanding of who that is, it’s hard to take that into consideration when it comes to your content strategy.
2. Invest in Quality Equipment
If you’re looking to take creating online content seriously, you need the equipment to match. Luckily technologies have advanced so much that you don’t need to spend a fortune to make it happen. And depending on the type of online content you’re planning to create, you might not need as much equipment as you think. For example if you’re just creating online content for social media, be it videos or photos, a smartphone might be the only tool you need. On the other hand, if you’re looking to create cinema quality videos for YouTube, you might want to invest in a camera with a focus on videos.
The equipment you use to create content is only one part. Behind the scenes there are so many tools that can help improve the quality of your content. For example everyone creating content should invest in a tripod. This is a great tool to help you shoot content hands free, or stabilize your camera. On the videography side of things they also have camera stabilizers that help you to shoot without your videos turning out shaky. And if there’s one thing every content creator will say is a must, it’s good lighting. While shooting in natural light is always ideal, it’s not always possible. Investing in lighting equipment is a way to remove any lighting limits you may have in terms of when and where you create.
3. Put Time & Effort Into Creation
You should never do something, if you’re not going to do it 100%. And that couldn’t be more true when it comes to your brand or business. So if you decide to take on creating online content be sure to put in the time and effort required. This is exactly why we started off this list of tips with defining a marketing strategy. By doing this you can plan out all aspects of your content, including laying out time to create it. If you’re taking creating online content seriously it should be built into your routine just like any other focus of your brand.
A great tip that many people in social media do is to create your content in batches, and in advance. Again, another reason why having a content strategy is key. If you have a pipeline of content waiting to be published you won’t find yourself rushing to come up with something at the last minute. This way you can really take the time to put in the effort required to create top quality content.
4. Treat Your Copy and Visuals Equally
This is surprisingly one of the mistakes that many people make when it comes to creating online content. Depending on their content’s main medium, they’ll often times neglect other aspects. For example, we’ve seen so many cases where brands are focusing heavily on their website copy, including blogs. However when it comes to the visuals on their website, they do not compare when it comes to quality. One thing to keep in mind with online content is that visuals reign supreme, be it videos or images. So if you are planning on including any visual aspects to compliment written content, make it right.
Mistakes are also made on the flip side. Many assume that because platforms like Instagram are so visually dominant, that captions don’t matter. That unfortunately is a missed opportunity to say the least. There is a huge percentage of your audience that will pay equal attention to your written content as they do the visual. So if you’re not using your captions to relay information or create calls to action you’re missing out. You also want to make sure that your captions are clean and just as visually pleasing as your visual content. Checking for things like spelling errors, and cleanly laying out your hashtags are ways you can keep your captions easy to read for your audience.
5. Hire a Content Manager or Consultant
If you’ve taken away one thing by now it’s surely that at the end of the day creating online content that makes an impact takes effort. And let’s be honest we can’t all be social media gurus. Between the effort, time and knowledge it takes to create content that adds value to your strategy it’s can be a full time job. So if all else fails it’s definitely not unheard of to hire a content manager or social media consultant to take the load off. Now hiring someone full time is not something that is possible with all business budgets. However there are many freelance social media consultants that can be hired on a part time, or as needed basis. You can also hire someone to hire just the content creation aspect of things, or to manage your entire content strategy.