In life, we need a plan. To create rich content, we need a plan.
First of all! There’s a lot of buzz around content and content creation. For those new to content and content creation, it can get confusing. What is content? In a nutshell: content = information. Rich content = great information.
I’ll give you an example of what’s meant by content (information). As an ad agency, there is:
- The content (information) our clients hire us to create using a variety of vehicles: billboard ads, print campaigns, outdoor advertising, videos (including YouTube videos), TV spots, radio spots, advertorials, brochures, packaging, websites, Social Media, etc. … you get the idea.
- Then, there’s the content (information) we create for the agency: our internal marketing and advertising. This could be news and views delivered via our website, blogs, tweets, Facebook posts, pins on Pinterest, Instagram, posts on LinkedIn and on business-to-business sites, etc.
Rich Content – What’s its job?
Content’s job is to add value and provide insight. To do this, it must be engaging. To be engaging, it must be informative and interesting (i.e. ‘rich’). To be effective, it must be targeted. This is important. 3H’s content reach is wide-ranging and eclectic. We speak to our clients, to large corporations, small businesses, executives and non-executives, the business-to-business market, people in the creative field and students (particularly those in the arts and communication). A content piece may not (and likely, will not) resonate with all of these people, all of the time. So at 3H, we vary the content regularly, to make sure there’s something for everyone. And we’re strategic with our content. We put it in places where the people we want to see it, will see it.
Who? What? When? Where? Why? And How?
A helpful way to plan for engaging content creation is to think the way a news editor or journalist thinks when developing a piece. Answer the four “W” questions: Who? What? When? Where? Why? And answer the ‘H’ question: How?
Define your target market(s) — the people you want to speak to, the ones you want to engage with your content.
What do we want to say to our audience? This will also help establish a tone for your content and a voice for your organization. Your business is unique; tone and voice help get that across.
When will we reach our audience? Plan to reach out regularly, in the same places, so that not only do they expect you, they search you out. Appear sporadically and you’ll lose your audience. Be flexible and adaptable: if you notice your audience gravitating to new places (and with the pace of technology, this happens regularly) — be there for them.
Take advantage of established media events, things such as Earth Day, Labour Day, Heart Month, Diabetes Month, Valentine’s Day, etc. If your business is geared toward any of these things, piggy back your content on the media excitement.
Every business experiences an ebb and flow. Make the most of slower times to come up with new ideas for content.
Create events, unique ones that belong only to you. Then wrap content around these events. Content is about engaging your audience. Give them a reason to get excited, to celebrate and to connect with you.
Why do we want to create rich content? Sounds pretty basic, I know, but it’s important. Why do you?
As you plan moves along, the “why” should stick around. You’ve implemented a plan, but don’t set it and forget it. Review. Regularly. How is your content being received? This leads to important answers to questions, such as: “Why is this type of content working well for us, but this other type isn’t?” The success of your content is measurable. For example, you can measure the progress of your Social Media efforts with metrics (The 5 Easy Steps to Measure Your Social Media Campaign). You can measure response to your website Five Keys to Success for Measuring Your Website.
You can measure it by the comments and feedback you’re getting. If you’re never getting any feedback, start asking why?
A good plan has legs
A good plan has legs, it evolves; it can take you to new places with new insights so that your content consistently delivers value. Gives your audience a reason to keep coming back.
A good plan needs a good team
Content creation should not be the sole job of the content creator(s). I’ve said this before: Everyone in a company can and should have input. It makes for a much richer, collaborative and enjoyable experience and ultimately, content will benefit, in quality and quantity.
How will you do it? It’s all about fiber …
- Meaty and rich content.
- Make it regular.
Add value! Provide Insight!
If you don’t feel comfortable or confident enough to create your own content, hire a content creator. It really is that important!
STICK TO THE PLAN!
(If it’s a good plan.) If the plan’s not working, find out why and fix it. Then … STICK TO THE PLAN!
About the author: Miriam Hara
Miriam is the Chief Creative Officer and co-founder of 3H Communications Inc., a full service branding and advertising agency. Her experience has enabled her to bring together strategic business savvy with an all-encompassing creative vision to product and service marketing, which she shares here, in her many posts. Miriam’s own brand of marketing experience and expertise is the basis of her marketing ebook series including Content Creation Understood, the most recent addition.
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