Creating content is now a breeze thanks to Artificial Intelligence. The broad use of tools and apps such as Google’s Bard and ChatGPT has simplified the content creation process.
However, there’s a downside. Many people are overly dependent on these tools, producing content that lacks appeal. This primarily stems from content creators not understanding the Who, How, When, Where, What, and Why of content creation.
In this article, I’m going to share 20 pillars of content creation. These are insights I frequently provide when training business owners and managers in my digital marketing classes.
Are you ready to delve deeper into the pillars of content creation? Let’s get started.
Understanding who your content is being created for is paramount. This involves knowing their interests, their needs, and how your content can provide value to them.
Understanding your target audience is a critical step in creating successful content. Your content needs to resonate with the audience you are trying to reach, and appeal to their needs, interests, and values. This means conducting thorough research to understand who your audience is, what they like, and need, and how your content can help fulfill those needs and interests.
The target audience can vary widely depending on the nature of your content. It could be millennials interested in sustainable living, busy parents looking for quick and healthy recipes, tech enthusiasts keen on the latest gadgets, or businesses looking for efficient software solutions. The key is to identify who they are and tailor your content to suit them.
Understanding your target audience also involves knowing their consumption habits. This could involve their preferred social media platforms, the times they are most active online, the type of content they engage with (videos, blogs, podcasts, etc.), and their attention spans.
Creating content without a clear understanding of your target audience can result in wasted effort and resources. It’s like shooting in the dark, hoping to hit a target. But when you understand your audience, you can create content that hits the mark, engages your audience, and drives the results you desire.
Therefore, understanding your target audience is not just about knowing who they are, but also understanding their needs, interests, and content consumption habits. This will enable you to create content that resonates with them, provides value, and ultimately drives engagement and results.
Quality content is original, well-researched, and provides value to the reader. It should be well-written, with clear and concise language.
Quality content should also be engaging and interactive, encouraging the reader to participate actively in the content, through comments, shares, or other forms of engagement. It should be relevant to the audience, answering their questions or meeting their needs.
Moreover, it should be visually appealing, with a clean and organized layout. Images, graphics, and other visual elements can greatly enhance the content’s readability and appeal.
Quality content also includes a strong headline or title that captures the reader’s attention and accurately represents the content.
Furthermore, quality content is optimized for search engines, using relevant keywords and phrases that potential readers are likely to search for. The target audience is more likely to find the content because of increased visibility.
Lastly, quality content is regularly updated or refreshed to ensure that it remains current and relevant. This is particularly important for topics that change rapidly, such as technology, news, or fashion.
Quality content is a combination of originality, research, value, clarity, engagement, relevance, visual appeal, strong headlines, SEO optimization, and regular updates.
Consistency in content creation helps build trust and credibility with your audience. This applies to both the frequency of posts and the quality of the content.
Consistency in frequency refers to how often you upload latest content. This could be daily, weekly, bi-weekly, etc. Consistency in this regard means that you stick to the schedule you’ve set. For example, if you commit to uploading new content every Monday, it’s important to stick to that schedule. If you start missing your posting days, it can lead to your audience losing trust in you as they can’t rely on you to deliver content when you say you will.
Consistency in quality refers to maintaining a high standard of content. If your content starts off great but slowly diminishes in quality, your audience will notice. They come to your platform for a certain standard of content and expect that standard to be met with every post. If it’s not, they may lose faith in your ability to deliver high-quality content and may stop engaging with your platform.
In addition, consistency helps to establish your brand’s voice and helps in creating a strong brand identity. It also improves SEO ranking, as search engines like Google favor websites that regularly update content.
Do remember consistency is key in content creation for maintaining and growing your audience, and for building trust and credibility with them.
The content created should be relevant to your brand, industry, and audience. Irrelevant content can confuse your audience and dilute your brand’s message.
Creating relevant content not only maintains your brand’s consistency and integrity, but also helps you attract and retain your target audience. It is important to thoroughly understand your brand’s mission, values, and goals, as well as the needs and preferences of your audience, in order to produce content that is both meaningful and valuable.
Creating irrelevant content can have several negative consequences. Firstly, it may confuse your audience and make it harder for them to understand what your brand stands for. This can lead to a lack of trust and credibility, which can ultimately damage your brand’s reputation.
Secondly, irrelevant content can dilute your brand’s message and make it less memorable. If your content is not consistent with your brand’s identity and values, it will be more difficult for your audience to remember and recognize your brand.
Furthermore, irrelevant content is less likely to engage your audience and motivate them to take action. If your content does not resonate with your audience’s needs, interests, and values, they are less likely to engage with it, share it, or take the desired action (e.g., make a purchase, sign up for a newsletter, etc.).
So, it is crucial to ensure that your content is always relevant to your brand, industry, and audience. This not only enhances your brand’s credibility and memorability, but also increases your chances of achieving your marketing and business objectives.
A well-defined content strategy helps to guide the creation process. It outlines what type of content will be created, when it will be posted, and on what platforms.
A content strategy can also determine who the target audience is, what topics will be covered, and what the overall goals of the content are. This strategy can help ensure that all content is consistent, high-quality, and effective in achieving the company’s objectives.
Here are some steps to create a content strategy:
- Define your goals: Understand what you want to achieve with your content. This could be increasing brand awareness, generating leads, boosting sales, etc.
- Identify your audience: Know who your content is for. Understand their needs, interests, and challenges. This will help you create content that resonates with them.
- Choose your content types: Decide which types of content you’ll create. This could include blog posts, videos, infographics, case studies, etc.
- Create a content calendar: Plan when and where you’ll publish your content. This helps ensure consistency and gives you a clear overview of your content activities.
- Measure and analyze: Use analytics tools to track the performance of your content. This will help you understand what’s working and what’s not, so you can refine your strategy accordingly.
- Revise and update: Regularly revisit your content strategy to ensure it’s still aligned with your goals and audience needs. Make necessary adjustments based on your analysis.
The above are in line with the 6 Steps Digital Marketing Framework I have created. Do take a look at the article for further understanding.
A well-planned content strategy can help your business effectively engage your audience, build a strong online presence, and achieve your marketing goals.
Search engine optimization is crucial for online content. It helps to increase the visibility of the content on search engines, making it easier for your target audience to find it.
Search engine optimization, commonly known as SEO, involves multiple strategies, actions, and best practices, all aimed at improving your website’s position in search engines. This is why it’s often referred to as “organic” or “natural” search results.
SEO’s importance is due to the potential it must dramatically improve your visibility online. As users search for specific terms related to your business or services, SEO helps to push your content to the top of these search results, thereby increasing the likelihood that these users will visit your site.
Proper SEO involves the optimization of keywords, the creation of high-quality, relevant content, and the building of backlinks from credible sources. All these contribute to the authority of your site, making search engines more likely to recommend your content to users.
In a digital world where visibility is critical, SEO acts as a valuable tool for businesses to gain traffic, conversions, and ultimately, an increased bottom line.
However, SEO is not a one-time task but rather an ongoing effort. As search engine algorithms continue to evolve and change, it’s crucial to continually adapt and refine your SEO strategies. This will help ensure your content remains relevant, competitive, and visible to your target audience.
That said, do always remember you are creating content for the audience you are targeting, never the search engines.
Creating content that encourages engagement can help to build a relationship with the audience. This could involve asking questions, encouraging comments, or including calls to action.
Interactive content can also be a fantastic way to engage the audience. This could include quizzes, surveys, or contests. You could also use interactive content to encourage users to share their own experiences or ideas.
Using visuals, such as images, videos, or infographics, can also help to engage your audience. Visuals can help to convey your message in a more exciting and engaging way, making it more likely that your audience will interact with your content.
Creating engaging content also involves understanding your audience and their needs and interests. This can help to ensure that your content is relevant and interesting to them.
Lastly, don’t forget to respond to comments and engage with your audience directly. This can help to build a relationship with your audience and encourage them to continue engaging with your content in the future.
Remember, the goal is not just to get your audience to view your content, but to interact with it and feel a connection to it. This can help to build a loyal and engaged audience.
Creative content can help your brand stand out from the competition. This could involve unique graphics, interesting formats, or innovative ideas.
Creating compelling and engaging content can attract and retain your target audience’s attention, increasing brand awareness and loyalty.
- Unique Graphics: Visual content is often more engaging than text, especially on social media platforms. By creating distinctive and eye-catching graphics, you can make your brand more memorable and recognizable. These can include infographics, animations, or custom illustrations that represent your brand’s identity and values.
- Interesting Formats: Content can come in many forms, such as blog posts, videos, podcasts, or interactive quizzes. Experimenting with different formats can help you reach a broader audience and keep your content fresh and exciting. For instance, you could create a video tutorial for a product, an informative podcast about your industry, or a fun and engaging quiz to entertain and educate your audience.
- Innovative Ideas: Don’t be afraid to think outside the box and be totally creative when it comes to your content. You could host a virtual event, launch a unique campaign, or collaborate with influencers or other brands. The key is to offer something different and valuable that your competitors are not providing.
Remember, the goal of creative content is not just to stand out, but also to resonate with your audience and convey your brand’s message effectively. So, always keep your target audience’s needs and preferences in mind when creating your content.
Your content should provide value to the audience. This could be in the form of education, entertainment, or inspiration.
Creating valuable content is essential for building a solid reputation and gaining trust from your audience. Here’s how you can provide value through your content:
- Education: Teach your audience something new. You can share your knowledge, expertise, or experience about a particular topic. For example, if you run a health and wellness blog, you could provide tips on how to maintain a healthy diet or exercise routine.
- Entertainment: Engage your audience with entertaining content. This could be in the form of storytelling, humor, or interactive content. For example, if you run a travel blog, you could share fun anecdotes from your trips, create quizzes about different destinations, or post beautiful and engaging photos or videos.
- Inspiration: Inspire your audience. You can do this by sharing success stories, motivational quotes, or personal experiences that have shaped you. For example, if you run a business blog, you could share stories about successful entrepreneurs or startups, or provide advice on overcoming common challenges in the business world.
Bear in mind your goal is to provide value – whether it’s helping your audience learn something new, keeping them entertained, or inspiring them to take action. By doing so, you’ll not only build a strong relationship with your audience, but also establish yourself as a trusted source of information.
Using analytics can help to measure the success of the content. This can provide insight into what types of content are most popular with the audience, and guide future content creation.
Analytics can provide numerous insights, such as the number of views, shares, likes, comments, and the amount of time users spend on a particular piece of content. It also provides information about the audience demographics, such as their age, location, gender, interests, etc.
This data can help you understand what type of content resonates with your audience, which can drive engagement and conversions. For instance, if a certain blog post or video has significantly higher views and engagement than others, it indicates that the audience found that content more interesting or useful. You can then focus on creating similar types of content in the future.
Also, analytics can help in identifying the best times to post content to reach the maximum number of people, the most effective channels to distribute content, and the keywords that drive the most traffic to your content.
Moreover, by tracking the conversion rate (the number of people who take a desired action after viewing the content), you can measure the effectiveness of your content in achieving your business goals.
Analytics play a crucial role in content marketing strategies. They provide actionable insights to optimize content, improve audience engagement, and increase ROI.
When you cannot measure it, you do not know whether it works.
Creating great content is just half the work. Promoting it effectively to reach the target audience is equally important. This can be done through social media, email marketing, collaborations, and more.
- Social Media: This is a powerful tool for promoting content. You can share your content on various platforms like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter (or now known as X), etc. These platforms have billions of active users, which increases the chances of your content getting noticed. You can also make use of paid promotions to reach a wider audience.
- Email Marketing: This is a more personalized way of reaching your audience. You can send regular newsletters or promotional emails to your subscribers. It’s also a great way to keep your audience engaged and updated about your business. You can use tools like Aweber (I used this for all our businesses and our clients’), MailChimp, ConvertKit, etc. to automate your email marketing.
- Content Collaboration: You can collaborate with other content creators or influencers in your niche for content promotion. This not only helps you reach a wider audience but also boosts your credibility. You can guest post on popular blogs, do joint webinars, podcasts, and more.
- SEO: Search Engine Optimization is crucial for content promotion. By optimizing your content for relevant keywords, you can improve your visibility on search engines and attract organic traffic.
- Paid Advertising: Platforms like Google Ads, Facebook Ads etc. allow you to run targeted ad campaigns to promote your content. This is a quick way to reach a large number of people, but it requires a budget.
- Content Syndication: This involves republishing your content on third-party websites. This can help you reach a wider audience, increase your brand visibility, and drive more traffic to your website.
- Use of Content Promotion Tools: There are various tools available that can help you promote your content. Tools like Buffer, Hootsuite, BuzzSumo etc. can help you schedule posts, track performance, find influencers and more. I personally use Metricool for content posting/scheduling and strongly recommend it.
The key to effective content promotion is consistency and understanding your audience. Try different strategies, analyze the results, and adjust your approach accordingly.
Authentic content resonates more with the audience. It’s important to stay true to your brand’s voice and values in your content.
Authentic content is not only about being truthful but also being transparent, relatable, and engaging. It means giving your audience a genuine insight into your brand’s story, ethos, and values. This does not only build trust with your audience but also strengthens your brand identity.
Here are few reasons why authentic content resonates more with the audience:
- Builds Trust: Authentic content helps build trust with your audience. When you share real, genuine stories, experiences, and insights, your audience can trust that you’re not just trying to sell them something, but you’re also interested in providing valuable information.
- Enhances Engagement: Authentic content tends to be more engaging. If your audience feels that they are getting a real insight into your brand, they are more likely to engage with your content, whether it’s through comments, likes, shares, or even direct messages.
- Encourages Loyalty: When your audience feels a connection with your brand, they are more likely to become loyal customers. Authentic content allows your audience to see behind the scenes, understand your brand’s goals and values, and feel a part of your journey.
- Improved SEO: Search engines like Google prioritize authentic and original content. By creating content that is unique and valuable to your audience, you can boost your SEO and increase your online visibility.
- Increases Conversion Rates: Authentic content can help to increase conversion rates. When your audience trusts you and feels a connection with your brand, they are more likely to make a purchase.
To create authentic content, always aim to be transparent, honest, and genuine. Share your brand’s journey, the ups and downs, the successes and failures. Let your audience in on your brand’s process, values, and goals. The more genuine you are, the more your audience will connect with your brand.
Good content often tells a story. Using storytelling techniques can make your content more engaging and memorable.
Storytelling is a powerful tool that can make your content stand out. It can help to draw in your audience, hold their attention, and leave a lasting impression. Here’s how you can incorporate storytelling into your content:
- Know Your Audience: Understand your target audience, their interests, and what type of content they resonate with. This will allow you to craft stories that are tailored to your audience’s needs and preferences.
- Use Characters: Characters are a vital element in storytelling. They can be real people, fictional characters, or even your brand. Characters make your story relatable and help your audience to connect with your content on a deeper level.
- Create a Narrative Arc: Every good story has a beginning, middle, and end. The beginning should set the scene, the middle should introduce a challenge or conflict, and the end should resolve the conflict and provide a conclusion.
- Incorporate Emotion: Emotional storytelling can significantly enhance your content’s impact. It taps into your audience’s feelings, making your story more engaging and memorable.
- Use Visuals: Visual storytelling can greatly enhance your content. Images, videos, infographics, or even simple diagrams can make your story more vivid and easier to understand.
- Make It Relevant: Your story should be relevant to your content’s main theme or topic. Irrelevant stories can confuse your audience and detract from your content’s main message.
- Be Authentic: Authenticity is key in storytelling. Your stories should be genuine and believable. This can help to build trust and credibility with your audience.
By incorporating storytelling into your content, you can create a more engaging and memorable experience for your audience. I have another article on Using Story Telling for Your Content Creation, you may wish to take a look at it.
The digital landscape is constantly changing, and so should your content. Being adaptable and flexible in your content creation can help keep your brand relevant.
Content adaptation refers to adjusting your content to meet the changing needs and preferences of your audience. This can involve anything from changing the tone or style of your writing to exploring new content formats and platforms.
Adapting your content can help you stay in tune with your audience and their evolving expectations. For instance, if your audience starts to show more interest in video content, you might need to start creating more videos or incorporating video elements into your existing content.
Adapting your content can also help you stay competitive in the rapidly changing digital landscape. With so many brands vying for attention online, those that can adapt and innovate are more likely to stand out.
Here are a few ways you can be more adaptable and flexible in your content creation:
- Experiment with different content formats: Don’t limit yourself to just blog posts or articles. Try creating videos, infographics, podcasts, webinars, or even interactive content like quizzes or games.
- Keep an eye on industry trends: Stay updated on the latest trends in your industry and try to incorporate them into your content. This will show your audience that you’re on the cutting edge and can help establish you as a thought leader.
- Listen to your audience: Pay attention to what your audience is saying. What type of content do they respond to the most? What topics are they interested in? Use this feedback to guide your content creation.
- Be open to change: Don’t be afraid to try new things or change your approach if something isn’t working. Remember, the goal is to create content that resonates with your audience, so don’t be afraid to shake things up if necessary.
- Use analytics: Analytics can give you valuable insights into how your content is performing. Use this data to identify what’s working and what’s not, and to make informed decisions about your content strategy.
By being adaptable and flexible in your content creation, you can ensure that your brand remains relevant and engaging, no matter how the digital landscape evolves.
Not every piece of content needs to be created from scratch. Repurposing existing content into different formats can save time and resources.
Can repurposing an article work? Absolutely! Repurposing content can not only save time and resources, but it can also help reach a different audience who may prefer one type of content over another. For instance, a blog post can be repurposed into a video, infographic, podcast, or SlideShare presentation. This can also help reinforce your message as different people absorb information in different ways. Additionally, repurposing content can aid in SEO efforts by providing multiple instances of keywords and backlinks.
Incorporating content created by users, like reviews or testimonials, can help build trust and authenticity. What is user-generated content and how can we make use of it?
User-generated content (UGC) is any form of content that has been posted by users on online platforms such as social media, blogs, wikis, forums, etc. It can take many forms, such as text posts, images, videos, reviews, podcasts, etc. Essentially, UGC is any type of content that is created by users rather than by the brands, businesses, or creators themselves.
UGC can be utilized in numerous ways in marketing strategies:
- Social Proof: Sharing user-generated content on your own platform gives new visitors or potential customers a sense of trust. When they see that real people have used and are satisfied with your product or service, it can be a powerful form of validation.
- Engagement: Featuring user-generated content encourages more engagement. When users see that their content could be featured on your platforms, they’re more likely to engage with your brand and create content around it.
- Content Volume: UGC can help supplement your own content creation efforts. Especially for businesses that may not have a large content team, user-generated content can be a valuable source of fresh, new content.
- SEO Benefits: User-generated content can positively affect SEO. Reviews and testimonials can be indexed by search engines and appear in search results, helping to increase organic traffic.
Before using UGC, make sure to always ask for permission from the original creator to avoid any copyright issues. Some brands even create specific hashtags that users can use, which implicitly gives the brand permission to repurpose the content.
Collaborating with influencers, other brands, or even your audience can result in unique and engaging content. It can even give you more ideas on what to create on your own, it is especially useful when you are experiencing blocks in your creation journey.
Collaboration can also offer a fresh perspective and new innovative ways to present your content. This can not only help in improving your content, but it can also increase your reach exponentially. When you collaborate with influencers or other brands, you tap into their audience as well. This can help enhance your visibility and expand your network.
Moreover, collaborating with your audience can help you understand their needs and preferences better. This can enable you to create content that resonates with your audience, thereby increasing engagement and fostering stronger relationships with them.
In addition, collaborations can also help with learning new skills and gaining insights from other experienced creators. This can significantly improve your content creation process and help you produce better content.
However, it’s important to choose your collaborators wisely. Make sure that their values align with yours and that their audience is relevant to your brand. This will ensure that the collaboration is mutually beneficial and helps in achieving your content creation goals.
So, whether you’re a content creator, a brand marketer, or an influencer, consider collaboration as a strategy to enhance your content and reach a wider audience. It’s a wonderful way to boost your content creation efforts and achieve better results.
Including a variety of media like images, videos, infographics, and podcasts can make your content more engaging and shareable.
Multi-media content can help break up text, making it easier to digest for readers. It can also help illustrate points more effectively and appeal to different learning styles. For example, some people may prefer to consume information through visuals, while others may prefer written or auditory content.
Images can help make a blog post or article more visually appealing. They can also help to illustrate points or concepts, making them easier to understand. Infographics can be particularly effective in this regard, as they can distill complex information into a simple, easy-to-understand format.
Videos can be a fantastic way to demonstrate a product or explain a process. They can also be a terrific way to engage with your audience on a more personal level, as they can see and hear you.
Podcasts can be a great way to share more in-depth information or to explore a topic in a conversational way. They can also be a wonderful way to highlight expertise, as you can interview industry experts or thought leaders.
In a class I taught, I conducted a survey to see who genuinely enjoyed reading infographics, given my personal dislike for them. To my surprise, most of the 20 students in the class actually preferred reading infographics. They suggested that it was akin to reading a book summary. So, it’s essential to remember that our personal preferences may not align with those of our audience.
By including a variety of media in your content, you can cater to different preferences and learning styles, making your content more engaging and shareable. This can help increase your reach and visibility, as people are more likely to share content that they find engaging and valuable.
Using a conversational tone can make your content more relatable and engaging, fostering a stronger connection with your audience.
So, can using a conversational tone really make your content more appealing? Absolutely! Having a conversational tone can help to humanize your brand and make your content feel more personal, as if you’re speaking directly to each reader or viewer. It’s a great way to make complex topics more accessible and enjoyable, and to encourage interaction and engagement.
In addition, a conversational tone can help your content stand out in a sea of formal, corporate speech. It can make your brand feel more approachable and relatable, which can foster trust and loyalty among your audience.
However, it’s also important to consider the context and your audience. Not all situations or audiences may be appropriate for a conversational tone. For example, if you’re writing a legal document or a scientific research paper, a more formal tone may be required.
While a conversational tone can be a powerful tool in your content creation toolbox, it’s also important to use it wisely and appropriately.
Call to Action
Every piece of content should have a clear call to action, guiding the audience towards the next steps they should take.
A call to action can be as direct as “Call Us”, “Buy Now” or “Sign Up,” or more subtle like “Learn More.” It may encourage the audience to engage with the content, such as by leaving a comment, sharing it with others, or signing up for a newsletter. The purpose of a call to action is to inspire the audience to continue interacting with your brand in some way. Without it, they may consume your content and simply move on without further engagement.
For example, if you run a blog about healthy eating and each post ends with a recipe, your call to action could be: “Try this recipe out and let me know how it goes in the comments below!” This not only encourages them to try your recipe but also prompts interaction through commenting.
The key is making sure that the call to action aligns with both the content itself and your overall business goals. For instance, if the goal of your website is to sell products, then every piece of content should end with some version of “Shop Now.” If instead you’re trying to build an email list for future marketing efforts, then ‘Subscribe’ or ‘Sign Up’ could be more fitting calls-to-action.
Remember – always guide your audience towards what they should do next!
There you go, the 20 Key Pillars in Content Creation for you to adopt while you are creating content for your digital marketing purposes. You do not need to use all the 20 at the same time, but I highly recommend you should take into consideration most of them and try to adopt them as and when you call.
Whether you’re creating a blog, launching a podcast, or starting your own YouTube channel, remember that the key to success lies in consistency and quality. It’s not about getting it perfect from the get-go but more about improving with each step you take. Don’t let setbacks demotivate you because the journey will be full of difficulties and victories alike. They are a part of growth and essential for learning. Embrace them as steppingstones towards your goal. Remember that every great content creator started where you are today – at the beginning. So, trust yourself and keep going!
Best wishes on your content creation journey! As always, if you need someone to provide some insight, feel free to contact me via email or WhatsApp.