How to Define What Type of Content to Create
This post is part of a 9-step guide to creating a Content Strategy. To return to the landing page for this guide, click here.
You’ve set your goals, developed your personas, analyzed your competitors, and completed the painstaking process of conducting a content audit. Now, it’s time to figure out what type of content you can actually create and how creating that content will help to meet the goals you set.
First, let’s address what content you can create. You need to be honest with yourself and ask what content can you realistically create?
Yes, from your research earlier on defining your audience, you found that one of your personas responds best to video. So you would really like to put out a weekly blog post that includes a video too.
But, do you really have the capability to do so?
Producing video is expensive and time-consuming. You need to have a staff member on hand who can shoot and edit video. If you don’t, then you’ll have to hire one (either as a freelancer or through a video production company) which can be even more expensive.
So yes, they respond best to video but maybe their second best medium of content are in-depth, informative blog posts. That may be much more realistic for you, or your company, to produce.
Basically, don’t get ahead of yourself and understand that you might not be able to produce certain types of content right away. If that’s the case, you may need to change your thinking, or go out and hire the resources to do so. Consider producing content less often, different types of content, and so on.
Also, remember that creating content is only part of the battle. Coming up with ideas, tracking performance, promoting, all take up time and resources too. You don’t want to skimp on any of these, especially promotion.
I would say that for the amount of time you put into producing a piece of content (whether it be a blog post, video, course, etc.) be prepared to spend a minimum of two to four times as long on promotion. Effective promotion takes time (we’ll discuss that more in its own section step here). But for now, understand that there is more to creating content than just actually creating it.
Here are a few more questions to ask yourself before deciding what type of content you can create:
- How many employees are on hand to work on the content creation, management, and promotion process?
- How many hours can you dedicate towards publishing and promoting content (you need to do both, otherwise it’s a waste of time)?
- What type of skills do you or your team have?
- Do you have a graphic designer or video editor on hand?
- If not, do you have the financial resources and time to find and hire one (either as an employee or freelancer)?
- Do you want to create branding & style guides to keep all your content consistent?
Sit down, answer these questions, and really evaluate the types of content you can create.
Okay, now let’s get to the type of content you need to create in order to meet your goals. Again, keeping in mind the type of content you have the ability to create.
Now, I can’t tell you exactly what content to create. The information and qualities defined in your specific personas will help to define that.
For instance, maybe one of your personas is a young individual who spends most of their time on social media like Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube. Maybe it would make more sense investing into visual mediums of content like video and really high-quality images followed by sharing them on those networks. Rather, than producing lengthy blog posts. You might also consider Pinterest and Instagram Ads.
MVMT Watches does this and they do a fantastic job of it. Their products are very visual, so these networks lend themselves well to the products they sell and the customer they are trying to capture.
Or maybe one (or all) of your personas are in an older demographic and still find much of their content in traditional mediums like newspaper, magazines, radio, and television. Yes, it still happens and you’ll want to put your focus on creating content for these mediums (possibly in the form of advertising).
Every step before this one is going to guide the content you decide to produce. Make note of where and what type of content you need to produce and get together with your team to come up with ideas.
In any case, below are a few examples of the types of content you might make depending on your goal:
Increasing Search Traffic
If your goal is to increase search traffic, then you’re probably going to spend time producing content for your blog. There are many ways to go about doing this, but I believe the best content to produce are long, in-depth articles that really aim to inform and educate.
They should be the top resource on the subject, and because they are so comprehensive, they are unlikely to be replicated by others. On top of that, you’re creating amazing content that people want to share and link to.
Finally, it gives you a resource to reach out to influencers in your industry and try to get backlinks (the number one factor for ranking high in search).
Increasing Email Signups
If your goal is to increase email signups, then you may want to put more time into optimizing the content you already have.
Maybe you already have some great articles but aren’t making use of the traffic they get.
Consider spending time creating content that would entice people to sign up to your email newsletter. This could include lead magnets like content upgrades (an extra piece of content, like a PDF or ebook, that a visitor can download in exchange for their email). This might also include creating courses, webinars, slideshows, etc.
Basically, any content that would entice a visitor to sign up with their email.
You would also want to take a look at your call-to-actions (CTAs). Do they need to be redesigned? Are they specific to the page they’re on? Are you using pop-ups and other email capture methods?
That will be another place to spend time on, rather than producing new content.
Increasing Brand Awareness
If your goal is to increase brand awareness, you may focus on creating content that is more broad in order to introduce more people to your company. For instance, rather than covering a really specific topic like “Advanced Content Marketing Techniques”, you may cover something more broad like “What is Content Marketing?”.
You may also want to create content that is more viral like an emotional video or interesting infographic.
Finally, rather than producing content on your own website, you may reach out to do more guest blogging opportunities as a way to get your name out there.
Establishing Authority in an Industry
If your goal is to establish yourself as an authoritative figure in your industry, then again, you’re going to want to produce really in-depth content that aims to educate and inform readers/viewers. This might be in the form of articles but you may also consider video, webinars, or slideshows.
You may also want to come up with a visual presentation and try to book a speaking opportunity at an event in your industry.
Similar to the idea mentioned for increasing brand awareness, you might also try to do some guest blogging opportunities. You would reach out to popular and authoritative sites within your industry as a way to get your name out there and to show you know your stuff.
This is why we spent all that time defining our goals and discovering who our customer personas were. They guide what content you will create, where, how to promote it, and everything in between.
For a few more specific ideas for content, I recommend checking out these resources: