By Helena Alcoverro, on 7 September 2021
Content creation is a vital component of any marketing strategy. The right content creation strategy can help you attract and engage your audience, increase your views and shares, and boost customer retention.
The key to effective content creation is understanding who your audience is, and what they want. It’s also about understanding how using the right tools and resources can help you create better content, reach a larger and more relevant audience, and gain valuable insights into your target market.
In this post, we will break down what content creation is and what you need to consider when you develop your content creation strategy.
We will also look at a few valuable content creation tools and resources to help you manage your content and take it to the next level.
What Is Content Creation?
Content creation is the ultimate inbound marketing practice. Put simply, it is the process of conducting research and identifying topics that appeal to your buyer persona, generating strategic ideas, deciding what format works best, and producing relevant and engaging written or visual content for your audience. This might be a blog post, a webpage, an image, a video, a social media post, an infographic, an eBook, or an advertisement.
The right content can help you engage potential and existing customers, attract more traffic to your website, and ultimately generate increased revenue for your company. However, for it to be effective, the content you create must be informative, engaging and relevant. You need to understand who you are talking to, and what your audience expects from you.
You also need to create a well-researched and clearly defined content creation strategy to ensure you get the most from each and every brand communication.
Best Content Creation Strategies
A content strategy focuses on the planning, creation, delivery, and management of all content. It takes into account each aspect of content creation, including research and planning, tone and style, branding guidelines, and how your content will be promoted. It should also include a definition of your buyer persona and the typical buyer journey so that all customer touchpoints are considered when content is created.
Let’s take a look at a few useful content creation strategies.
Always Start with Planning & Research
In-depth planning and research are vital for any content creation strategy. You need to research your audience to understand which types of content work, and which don’t. This means researching keywords and topics that interest your typical buyers, and seeing what content is already out there. This will help you decide which topics, styles and formats work best.
Consider the following:
- Who am I targeting with my content? Do I have a defined buyer persona?
- What are my competitors doing? What content works? What doesn’t?
- What stage of the buyer’s journey will each piece of content speak to?
- Will I need additional assistance or resources? (Such as a graphic designer or video producer)
- Will I use content creation tools?
- How much time and money can I invest in each piece of content?
- Will my content inform, showcase, or engage? Is it relevant?
Define a Clear Buyer Persona
Once you’ve done your research, the next step is to define a clear buyer persona. Your buyer persona is the person you are speaking to with your content.
Defining a semi-fictional character that represents your target audience will help you understand who your audience is, what their needs and wants are, and what strategies you can use to connect with them and engage their attention. Defining a clear buyer persona will also help your readers feel you are speaking directly to them with each communication.
Consider the following: who are you speaking to? What are their pain points, obstacles and fears? How should you speak to them so that they feel a connection? Where can you find them?
There are a number of tools that can help you with this, as we will see shortly.
Focus on the Buyer’s Journey
Once you have defined your buyer, you need to define their journey. What stages do they go through as a buyer? What touchpoints do they have with your brand throughout the buying cycle?
The buyer’s journey usually involves 3 clear stages: awareness (finding out about your brand), consideration (considering your brand) and decision (deciding whether to make a purchase). Your content creation strategy should be tailored to each of these stages so that all your communications are clear and appropriate. That way, each visitor to your site or page feels they are receiving relevant, useful information.
Best Content Creation Tools
Another important aspect to consider when you are putting together your content creation strategy is content creation tools. There are countless content creation tools and resources that can be used to make your posts, videos, etc. look more professional (as well as making your life easier). These range from keyword research tools, image and video creation tools, buyer persona tools, and tools for creating GIFs and infographics.
Let’s take a look at some of the most useful tools currently on the market.
Keyword Research Tools
The best way to make sure your content is fresh and engaging is to conduct thorough research in advance. This will help you establish which topics and keywords can help you reach a larger, more relevant audience.
Tools like the SEMrush topic research tool can be a great place to start. Just enter a subtopic and see related articles and questions being asked in real-time. This should help inspire you with a few ideas relating to your core topic or keyword. You can use Google Trends to find relevant keywords.
Image & Video Creation Tools
As engaging as text might be, there is nothing that grabs the attention of most audiences more than using attractive visual content to support your written text. With all the tools and resources currently on the market, the incorporation of visual content marketing in your content creation strategy can help you stand out from the crowd without breaking the bank.
Here are a few content creation tools worth looking into.
- Adobe Spark is a fast content creation software that lets you easily combine text, images, and video for better storytelling online.
- Canva is a great tool for creating and editing customized images. In fact, many professionals consider it to be an essential content marketing tool.
- One of the best free visual content creation tools currently available is RawShorts - a drag and drop video editor designed to make it easy to create animated and explainer videos.
- Soapbox is a handy Chrome extension that lets you create and share videos in your browser, with no technical skills required.
- Giphy allows you to search millions of pre-created GIFs in their database as well as create your own.
Buyer Persona Tools
We can’t talk about content creation tools without mentioning the value of using a good buyer persona tool. Here are a few of our favorites.
- MakeMyPersona is HubSpot’s own nifty tool that will walk you through the process of creating your buyer persona.
- User Forge gives you more freedom to create your own criteria. If you know what’s important to your marketing efforts in terms of segmenting your audience, then this might be the one for you.
- Smaply offers a handy combination of persona creator, stakeholder, and journey maps to help you define both your buyer persona and their typical journey with your brand.