Content marketing is key for growth. It not only helps your customers to trust and build a relationship with your brand, but it can also provide opportunities for you to capture leads, and make sales.
But still, for a lot of businesses, content marketing seems to be pushed to the bottom of this list or is merely a box–ticking exercise, whether that’s a blog, video, social media, or PDF content.
So, to make things easier for you, this blog post will break down the process of creating content into simple bullet points to help your business grow.
Step 1: Do your research.
Research should be the first step you take into most marketing activities. But for content, it is particularly important, as you need to know what topics are relevant and engaging for your audience. Otherwise, they simply won’t read it.
So, research your target audience to find out key insights about them and what they like to read, to make sure you can make your content relevant to their interests. For example, if you own a golf club, you may do your research and find that players are particularly interested in improving their golf swing right now, so a how-to guide or video should engage with them well.
One method of research is simply using social media, scroll through your own content or that of your competitors, note which themes and topics have done well, and think about how you could expand or improve. Or, you could get technical and use sites such as Statista to look for common themes in your audience.
Specifically, sites such as answerthepublic.com allow you to type keywords into their site, which will then generate a host of questions that are regularly asked around that area or industry. For example, I used this site to come up with the title for this blog post. I typed in ‘content marketing’ – which I know is a hot topic right now due to the rise of video and new content features on platforms such as Instagram – and two popular questions around this were “How to improve your business with content marketing” and “how to start content marketing”.
Step 2: Create your one-liner
After you’ve chosen your relevant topic, you will need to narrow it down with a short one-liner that can communicate the value of your content for your reader.
For example, in this blog post, our one-liner is “this blog post will break down the process of creating content into simple bullet points to help your business grow”. This explains exactly what it is going to do, it appeals to the reader because they are a business owner who wants to grow, and they want to read ‘simple bullet points’ over any heavy reading or learning.
Step 3: Collate some info from external sources.
Quotes, statistics, examples, social media posts, anecdotes, screenshots, examples and case studies, are all supporting evidence that will add to the claim you are trying to make in your content. Some content may only need a few of these references, but any bigger topic or PDF may need a lot more. For example, in this blog post I could insert the quote:
Content marketing is the gap between what brands produce and what consumers actually want – Michael Brenner, CEO Marketing Insider Group
…to support my claim that content is key for business growth.
Step 4: Write badly
What? Now, you have your clarified points and supporting references, your one-liner is in place to keep your content on track, so it’s time to write. We advise that you start by writing a terrible first draft, so that you can just get all of your ideas down on paper so that they can’t get lost in your brain.
The purpose of your first draft is not to get it right, but to get it written – John Dufresne.
Step 5: Wait a day, and then edit.
Wait a day after writing your first draft, then come back when the content is fresh in your mind to edit and review. Ask one of your peers or colleagues to do the same, it’s easy to miss silly spelling or punctuation mistakes in your own work.
Make sure the post reflects what you set out to achieve in your one-liner, and make sure you are delivering on that value you promised.
Step 6: Add visuals
Our brains are simple, they process visual information much faster than they do text. Whether it’s a graph, an illustration, infographics, screenshot or some beautiful photography, visuals are critical in bringing your content to life.
I bet you processed the image below before you read this text here.