We all have heard how “Content is the REAL King” but producing that killer content is all together a different thing than what it looks like. It is in itself a science to be re-purposing, recreating the same commonly published content repeatedly. Your content can be a simple blog post or it could be any detailed infographic to highlight any complex issue in your niche but there are always some processes that it must go through to be the KILLER. These steps include SEO and keywords, topic research and the latest industry trends to be finally able to create irresistible content for your website. Looking deeper into content marketing will only do you good and help you in coming up with something more effectively. Once you have made good use of all the elements of producing a killer content you can confidently share your masterpiece with your audience. Doing your homework the right way is the key to producing a killer content; always account for your audience and the current industry trends.
I, for one am a firm believer that when planning a content strategy, there should always be a well identified aim and certain goals that you plan on meeting before you can start writing content for your business. You must at first ask yourself why you feel the need to produce new content, what is the purpose of your content generation? Is it because you want to produce new content? Is it to get more leads? To create a greater brand awareness? or an attempt to acquire back links and domain authority? Once you get answers, it becomes easier to produce content that best serves your purposes and you can then devise and build your content creation strategy around it.
In this blog post, I have tried to highlight some of the most helpful steps that I usually take while going through a content creation process.
I will now be breaking down my content creation process into 3 stages. At stage 1, I’ll make sure, I find some topics that are relevant to my consumers and my brand; at stage 2, I’ll test social currency of the topics; and upon reaching stage 3 I will explain to you what is that makes a content stand out.
STAGE 1: What are consumers interested in? – brainstorm bunch of topics, that have to be in line with my brand and content strategy.
STAGE 2: What do they currently say on the topic / what is already written about it? – I would do a bit of a research first, find some statistic, researches … and use tools like Google Trends, Social Mentions, Moz, Topsy … to listen to the online conversation about the topic.
STAGE 3: Can my brand contribute to the discussion / can I find relevant angle, that would challenge or change consumer mind on the topic? – If the answer is not yes, I would go back to STAGE 1. If the answer is yes, I would use notes from stage 2 and follow 3 criteria to make content really great: storability, co-creation, utility.
Here are some of the tools and techniques I use as part of my content creation process.
Keyword Research Tools:
Content Marketing is the new SEO. Choose the right keywords that provides right context to what you offer. Here are some helpful tools to find right keywords for your content.
Audience Research Tools
Get to know your audience as well as you possibly can. Interviews with stakeholders, customers etc. are a big part of this, but there are some quick and dirty tools I love too, namely…
- Facebook Audience Insights (Amazing tool! Dig deep into FB audience insights tool to find out demography and similar interests that matches your target audience)
- Google Trends (Keep an eye on what your consumers are looking for in your niche)
- Social Mention (Sentiment, strength, passion & reach scores around a topic + top keywords, users, hashtags and sources.)
Content Research Tools
- BuzzSumo (See what’s popular around a certain topic, or on a certain domain… or combine the two)
- Google News (See what authority publishers are doing around your topic – get up to speed)
- Reddit (find a relevant sub, change view to ‘top’ links, set timeframe to ‘all time’ – inspiration awaits!)
- Google Trends (See popular trends on any particular topic, region etc.)
Tools / Exercises for Generating Ideas
- 6-3-5 Brainwriting (108 ideas in 30 minutes)
- Games for fresh thinking and ideas
- Coschedule (Headline Analyzer)
Deciding Whether Your Idea is Any Good…
- Give bloggers / journalists / customers / whoever you want to like the content a sneak preview. Get their feedback before it’s too late!
It ultimately depends on the goals of the content. I work with a wide variety of clients on a daily basis to brainstorm and write content ideas, and each client has different goals:
If you want more search traffic:
Dig into Google Analytics to find keywords/topics that are already generating small amounts of organic traffic, then build a dedicated page/resource around them. The great thing about this approach is that you can study the existing results for a keyword, compare them, and then create a piece that’s by far the best. I’ve had clients go from getting 50-100 visitors a month for a small volume search keyword to getting 1,000+ just by building a page dedicated to that search term and its variations.
Interview clients to find out their most common questions:
A quick 15 minute interview with a client is often all it takes to get 10-20 questions that they’re asked on a frequent basis by their customers. From here, break each question off into a separate page and write a dedicated piece of content that answers the question. These are great for generating search traffic from informational queries and can also be used to build support resources that reduce demands on the client’s customer support staff.
Find existing popular content, then make it better:
This strategy is a little boring and not so creative but it works very well. If there’s a leading resource that’s attracting a lot of attention in your vertical, you can write your own expanded and improved version. This works best when the current leading resource in your industry isn’t as good as it could be, and you can turn it into 10x content for your business with a few tweaks and changes.