It is my true belief that even outside of marketing, everyone should be producing content of some form. The scalability, connectivity, and opportunity that comes from creating is unlike any other. Today, I can produce a ‘selfie’ video on Linkedin that will get 25,000+ views and open several doors for my agency because of it.
I can’t tell you the number of messages I get starting with “I’ve been watching your company for awhile now, and finally wanted to reach out!”. This confirms that the long-term ROI of touch points is there too.
Not only is content a bottom-line revenue generating investment when utilized properly, but it provides beyond the books. Creating content at scale may do more for helping you understand yourself and your business than others understanding you and your business.
Here’s how to start:
- Take a 1,000 ft view
You’re always taught when writing essays in school to never assume your audience. This is mildly true in content creation. Your audience can be defined, but their knowledge basis and verbiage will vary greatly. It’s better to over explain than under explain. The best way for you to do this being entrenched in your industry is to take a 1,000 ft view on everything.
Jumping into a creators mindset requires you to look at your business from an external point of view. This perspective alone will provide clarity with what your brand really is to others. From there, you can develop brand engagement systems to better define and communicate who you are, what you do, and why you’re the best.
From this perspective you’ll better define your brand, what you should create, and what it means to the end consumer.
You don’t need to reinvent the wheel, you just have to apply your own little twist to it. I don’t create groundbreaking content anywhere and neither does our agency for clients. Rather it becomes groundbreaking by the context, the specifics, and the uniqueness.
Studying from the top creators that fit your own personality is the best way to begin defining your own ‘voice’ if you will. Before I started creating I would read every article/post from @Josh Fechter @ Gary and @ Neil Patel . Studying from 3 of the best creators in my space built the framework for topics, style, and distribution.
Study don’t copy -> If you try to be someone you’re not, it will fail you. Rather apply what you’ve learned to your own perspective finding a happy medium of the two.
I recommend finding top content creators in your space, but also studying from those outside of your own industry. If your industry is outdated in terms of content creation, the latter is more than likely the best choice.
3. Just start
It’s sort of like ripping off a band-aid. It will hurt, and you WILL expose your own wounds.
The #1 reason people tell me they don’t create is time. The #2 reason is they don’t want to “expose” themselves, often chasing perfection before creation. Since time is a BS excuse we’ll move “exposure” to #1.
Yes, you will expose yourself. But, it will be the greatest decision you’ve ever made. Here’s why:
Regardless of the industry, your consumers want transparency. They would rather buy from someone they know than someone they don’t. You are human, your consumers know that. So funneling back to your poor website, not speaking 110% perfect on camera, and writing as a C- English student throughout school, don’t matter at all. (And yes, the last one was me)
These imperfections will do more in terms of connecting you to your audience than pushing them away. So push transparency, show your flaws, even display them. Your consumers will love it and your competitors will still be too afraid to go down that path – essentially you’ll dominate that content medium for your industry.
B. Brand Personality
The biggest trend in brand development is personification – brands acting like humans. Less in the sense of screwing over customers, more in the sense of making independent, seamingly ‘risky’ decisions. (link back to nike article)
Creating content even from a personal perspective within a brand, will show the humanness of the brand. This will do wonders for customer engagement and connection, as well as set your brand up for long term success.
You can’t improve in areas you don’t know you’re lacking. Without exposing yourself, you won’t be able to define those areas for improvement, thus you’ll never get the chance to improve within them.
I was an awful writer in school – now I send an unhealthy amount of emails every week and write 5-10 articles a month. I’m far from great, but I’ve certainly improved. So starting out you might not be the most knowledgable, the best on camera, etc… but you will improve – so don’t stress it.
I will say it until I’m blue in the face, but the only way to create content that wins is by testing. You might luck into it here and there, but overall you’ll need to consistently test variables at high frequency. Here’s a testing example:
Content – long form vs. short form
CTA – website vs. email
Distribution – IG, FB, LI vs. LI + promos on FB & IG
This is an example of a test we’d run for a client or myself. This scaled out over weeks will allow you to determine what works best. Then you’ll test again:
Content – short form auto-captioned vs. short form cool design
CTA – email vs. no cta at all
Distribution – LI + promos on FB & IG vs. LI + paid media
To recap – you know the value in creating content. So instead of letting the 100 variables cripple you from starting, it’s best to ignore them and jump right in. I hope this guide fuels your creators mindset, allowing you to crush it in 2019.