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Creation vs Curation, Part II


The initial incarnation of this post was absurdly long, so I’ve split it into two parts… this post deals with content creation, the previous post on curating content is linked here.

At the beginning of my previous post, I said that creating content, while it could be challenging, was fairly straightforward. Despite that fact, it can feel overwhelming if you’re delving into content creation for the first time. I like to break it down into five basic steps: Nurturing an idea, brainstorming ways to present the idea, identifying your market, planning your delivery, and finally, actually creating and sharing the content. Below we’ll go into each step in more detail.

The Idea

Frequently this is the most intimidating part of content generation. How do you come up with a great idea? Will people like it? Will it go viral? The key is to remember that your content should always be growing, changing, and developing along with your business and evolving trends. Keep an open mind about possible topics - just because something doesn’t precisely fit your business doesn’t mean that it’s not a compelling topic for a post. Does it influence your industry? Does it inspire people to think more creatively? Perhaps it’s just a funny joke to help your followers get through the week.

The most important thing about generating ideas is to have a strong concept of your brand identity. Once you understand where your brand is coming from, what its “personality” is, so to speak, you’ll know what ideas fall within your sphere of interest.

Brainstorm

Once you’ve latched onto a concept you like, the next step is to brainstorm. What is the best way to present your idea? Is it photo, video, infographic, or maybe a blog post? Sometimes the best tactic is a combination of multiple platforms. Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook can funnel traffic to longer form content on a blog or on YouTube. Try different delivery methods with the same idea to see where you’re getting the best response, and take note of which methods work best with which type of content for future campaigns.

Identify Market

This is sort of its own step but also sort of part of brainstorming, because your market will affect your method of delivery. Are you reaching out to millennials? Maybe consider a Snapchat campaign. Reaching out business to business? Twitter or LinkedIn could be the best outlet for you. Look at who your market is for the campaign, and consider which platforms they’re accessing most frequently, and which times are the best to engage them. Once you've done that, it’s time for the next step!

Plan Delivery

You’ve got your idea, you’ve brainstormed about presentation and your target market, now you’re ready to plan the execution of the campaign. Lay out an editorial calendar for the content: how many posts will you need? Which posts will go up when, and where? I like to use editorial calendars for all my content, but you can generate them for individual campaigns if that’s what works best for you. Laying out a plan will make your next step, the actual creation of the content, much easier, and will ensure a cohesive feel to the campaign.

Create & Share

This is where it all comes together! Make sure you pay attention to each facet of your content. Shoot tons more pictures and hours of video than you think you’ll need. Write your copy, edit, have someone else read it, then edit again. Generate different versions of your concept, and decide which ones convey your idea most clearly.

Once you’ve produced and selected the best of your content, post it according to your predetermined schedule, and you’re off!

One thing to bear in mind is that you can adapt and adjust your campaign as you execute it. If one type of content is performing better than others, shift your focus as needed. Be sure to monitor the feedback so that you can gauge reaction within your market. After all, each campaign is a learning process for future content development!

 

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