Creating and curating content – an uneasy task

Creating and curating content – for some seems easy, for others an insurmountable burden. But what exactly is content creation?

It is a process of generation of different formats of collateral serving the needs of an intended audience, building authority, credibility and utility between the brand and the target audience.

 

 

 

 

Key stakeholders in content creation is the online community, then come influencers of a given industry and third party sources.

The online community provides user generated content; can respond to a call-out, can be rewarded and amplifies the marketing efforts, often is willing to collaborate (“resonance”).

By coordinating the outreach strategy of industry infuencers the brand builds its own industry authority. To pinpoint the most authoritative individuals use social media and social listening channels. Influencers can be followed or connected, then you should reach them with a personalized message.

Third party sources are industry-related platforms and software, like SemRush.

 

Content formats and types

 

  • white paper: it is an in-depth report with a persuasive and authoritative tone, on a specific topic; presenting a problem and providing a solution
  • eBook: not as formal as a white paper, usually shorter. Has more capacity for engagement and links to further content of multimedia
  • info-graphic: an other, creative way to present large volumes of boring data. Shows numbers and statistics in a digestive format. Is easy to read and visually appealing
  • blog: usually a combination of text and images. Provides regular updates on business activity, but before all improves SEO ranking
  • interactive content: full screen, engaging formats; extends dwell time
  • images: either graphic or photos, resized to the platform requirements. By branding conveys message instantly
  • articles: long form social posts. Build leadership and credibility. Can include pictures and videos. Present thoughts and opinions of the author, or learning and insights. Can be commented
  • templates and checklists: solve a pain point, add utility and demonstrates true effort to help the audience
  • video: the most consumed format, comes in multiple expressions. Audience, platform and consumption format needs to be considered
  • webinar: carefully chosen topic, dedicated care, good platform for questions and answers
  • podcast: listening on the go, this content format is on the rise, can be repurposed

Advantages and limitation of content types and formats

Advantages:

  • brand awareness
  • excitement and advocacy
  • can reach wider audience
  • though leadership

Limitations:

  • accessibility
  • excessive data usage
  • silent auto-play
  • vertical compliance
  • crisis situations

Content segmentation

 

It exists a content segmentation method called “dark posting“, where it can be decided which audience will see which content at a certain time. This feature is available on Facebook and Instagram.

Benefits of content segmentation are:

  • no wastage: it is assured that the content is 100% relevant to the audience which will see it
  • avoidance of irrelevant messaging: no reach to wrong audience
  • allows tweaks: tweaks possible in copy, imagery and language with no intervention at the level of master brand

 

Content creation tools

 

Content can be created simply in Word, but there are also tools to create it: Pressbooks, Hubspot.

Images can be processed with several image editors, among others Canva, Pixlr, Gimp, PicMonkey, PhotoShop

Info-graphics can be created with Piktochart, Infogram, Visual.ly, Easel.ly, Venngage, Adobe Illustrator

Long-form video creating tools: AdobePremiere, Adobe After Effects, Final Cut Pro

Short-form video creating tools: PhotoShop, VivaVideo, Powtoon, Animoto

Native video editing tools: Snapchat, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter

Tools to proof your content: Word, Adobe Acrobat Reader, Grammarly

Choosing a content creation tool apply such criteria:

  • functionality
  • frequency of use
  • ease of use
  • resources needed (people using it)

The content creation tool best practice: it should be aligned with goals, consistent, measurable, fit for platform used, and be useful.

 

Content curation

 

It is simply utilizing content of third parties, which are relevant to the business, brand or industry. This content helps to grow credibility and leadership.

The content should be enhanced with an additional insights, context and private opinion.

What is the difference between content creation and curation?

  • content creation: the content is author’s and original, has 100% ownership, highly credible and required high resource investment (knowledge and time)
  • content curation: use of the proprietary 3rd party content, there is a limited ownership, investment in resources in lower, commentaries are or should be added, there is a community input

There are great benefits of using curated content: firstly, you appear to be less promotional about yourself (but you still are!), the audience loves you more, you crawl in the direction of the industry leader an the content generates an overall good will.

 

There are 5 types of content curation:

  • aggregation: multiple relevant pieces are brought together to one centralized location
  • distillation: takes out “the noise” from the original content and covers only the key points concerning a recurring topic in the industry
  • elevation: when the content curator gathers multiple threads and on the basis of that forms a hypothesis
  • mashups: merging complete different points of view and creating a relevant content of it (check the book “Freakonomics“)
  • chronology: pieces of the curated content are aligned along a timeline or story line; showing an evolution of a concept or theory. Individual pieces of the content are mapped back.

 

Content curation tools

 

Content for curation can be sourced from different locations:

Content curation tools need to be customizable, trusted and cost efficient.

 

Brand personality

 

There are three areas which define the brand personality: how do you speak to your customers, the tone of voice you use and the style and image linked to your brand. Defining the brand personality allows you to differentiate from competitors, create a unique vantage point and resonance with the customers.

Before the brand defines its personality, needs to decide which story it want to be associated to:

  • functional: speaking about products, offers, competition, customer service, education, information
  • emotional: put the weight on humor, excitement, passion, bold leadership, reactive approach, being topical
  • essential: prices, promotions, availability, distribution, locations

Each brand, before starts its story telling should precisely:

  • define the personality and brand
  • identify the audience
  • carefully map the story to personas
  • align the story to business objectives

 

Content personalization

 

It is a process of deploying different content at different stages of the buying journey, so the content is hyper-relevant to the right user at the right moment. Benefits of this approach are:

  • the content is highly targeted and relevant
  • brand affinity increases
  • efficiency
  • high conversion rate

To give the content a personal touch the company needs to leverage customer data, measure and analyze them and according of the results, target the messaging.