Content Production: Where to Start?
You’ve heard of content marketing and how it works, but where to begin? Design is axis that holds marketing messages together, so as designers we should be thinking about the stages before the creative just as much as the design solution.
One of the first questions to tackle when examining how best to plan a digital marketing campaign around the client is to examine their existing assets. Breaking down the existing marketable assets of a business can really open many different doors for inspiring content. This is a great starting point. Mar
ketable assets come in all shapes and form both in terms of the content and its tangible production across digital mediums. I’ll explore what these assets are in this post.
Here are five top tips for creating ideas for content production:
What content has been created in the past? What worked well and what flopped? Can you reuse and better purpose the content?
It is really important to review previous campaigns and understand what content was popular and how you can expand on it. Set the bar and benchmark the current state of the client’s efforts. When reviewing a campaign and measuring the gains at a later date, a benchmark is fundamental to not only proving your worth (and building trust) but helping to make the client’s life easier. They have to answer to their boss so make their life easier and build a great relationship. It’s no great surprise that the best results come from the best relationships.
2. Client involvement
Get the client involved from the off. You will never know the client’s businesses as well as they do. They will have insights that you will never gain; encourage the client to throw down any ideas and contribute to the process. In our content team we pool hundreds of ideas before refining and perfecting a select handful before going into production. Even the not so great ideas can inspire other ideas and often tangent into other creative thoughts. Create an ideas pool and share this with the client. The client should be able to contribute and help you refine this process, it can also avoid any issues regarding sign off at the last minute if they are on the ball from the beginning.
3. Thought leadership: Content from keywords
If your client has an SEO initiative and a precise set of keywords or keyword groups that they are chasing then this is a great starting point for content production. This is particularly so when it comes to written content such as editorials, industry insights, commentary or news stories.
Generate regular themes or a series of regular content that can be for industry publications or for your client’s own blog.
From here think about how the content you produce will offer value to readers and editors, as no one will publish an advert. Build those relationships with editors and webmasters over time and become a reliable source for content. Keep delivering quality insight and stories and eventually they’ll be coming to you for content.
4. Marketable Assets
This could be an article in itself but I’ll cover some basics.
From the tea lady to the gardener, people are often the best marketable assets of an organisation. They have knowledge that no one else has, the have insight and understanding of the business that no one else has. Make the most of your organisation’s subject matter experts (SMEs).
While the outstanding example is Richard Branson other organisations have adopted similar tactics. The National Trust are a great example of how they have worked with their staff in a new way to engage audiences and instil the idea of direct involvement. Some of their head gardeners and marketing managers have become big personalities on Twitter talking to visitors and members and offering incredible insight. Staff as marketing assets can help reach and engage audiences, both new and existing.
Events and news stories are other primary marketable assets. If you have a reputable brand and a large engaged audience, produce content that they’ll love. Content such as hanging up the shirts in the changing rooms at a football club before a huge derby match may seem mundane and insignificant to those doing it every Saturday, but to the audience this insights an emotive response that they will gain from viewing behind the scenes content; a powerful way to make customers or supporters brand advocates.
Behind the scenes images, video and audio content can manipulated producing powerful brand messages, can be especially powerful when topical or interactive . It might be insight of the preparation of the ground on match day or a view into what happens the morning before a match. Topical content is paramount. This content from Manchester United is a great example of utilising social media in their content production strategy.
For smaller businesses with lesser-known brands it is important to start thinking about the people in the organisation as SMEs – use their knowledge and expertise as marketable assets. Produce written content and editorials for industry journals and publications and create your organisation as an authority in the sector. Consider how your CEO and Senior Executives can provide valuable, newsworthy insights for industry stories and publications with unique and original perspectives. Not only does producing content gain great brand exposure it also has fantastic search marketing benefits as you gain links.
Creating content is a helpful part of the battle. Placing it and getting content published is another ball game. For all content campaigns it’s crucial to uncover where your industry stories break, where people are talking about your product or service, and why they are talking about.
Consider what contribution you can offer to industry publishers and think why or how you can provide something unique and new, and something that will create discourse in the community.
Gain insight and knowledge from the client, they know more about their sector than you do.
See everything within the organisation as a marketing tool. How can a spin or story from these assets be manipulated into quality content.
Think visually, and think as the user. What content do they want to consume? How can you reach them?
Find the big fish in the biggest pond. Create relationships with relevant people.
Become an authority. Be the go-to source for the story and insight.
photo credit: abee5