The Key to Content: Understanding the Content Creation Process

Most people know that successful campaigns require very calculated and precise planning to achieve measurable and desirable results. This isn’t any different for deciding what kind of content to share with your prospective clients. That is why Brand journalism is becoming increasingly popular. Brands are now able to share more information with potential leads prior to them even reaching out. The benefit of this is two-fold: You’re able to boost your SEO rankings and in turn attract more leads to your website.

If you’re considering adding more content into your marketing strategy, here is how to do it properly so you can actually generate more leads.

Establishing Goals

The most important question to ask before even creating content is, “What do I want this person to do after viewing my content?” The answer to this question is the easiest way to establish the goal of your campaign and to figure out what form your content should be in. For example, an up and coming realtor may want to gain more contact information from prospective clients. This could be established as the ultimate goal of the content campaign.

Understanding Your Audience

The next biggest step after creating your goal is to decide who you ultimately want to attract to your content. Establishing who you want to write for can be difficult, which is why buyer personas can be extremely helpful. A buyer persona is a fictional representation of who you want to view your content. Understanding their demographics, behaviors, motivations and values will allow you to write more targeted content speaking to their specific needs and challenges.

Using the realtor example, they may want to target first-time homeowners. They establish a persona using a buyer persona tool, and come up with “Greg & Nancy New Homeowner”. Greg and Nancy have been married for 5 years, both work full-time and have 2 small children. They are looking for a home in a good school district, but have some budget constraints. They are also concerned that they won’t have enough time to really look for a home so they are looking for someone who can walk them through the home buying process, and do so efficiently.

Knowing challenges and demographics such as those of Greg and Nancy will help shape your content strategy and messaging.

Tailoring Content

After targeting your buyer persona for the campaign, the next step would be to actually create the content focused around that goal. Depending on the goal for your specific content campaign, this could mean white papers, an informational PDF, specialized research, an infographic, or another downloadable document that provides value to your specific buyer persona and fits with your campaign goal.

In the example we’ve been using, creating tailored blog posts about being a first-time homeowner could be a great step to attracting the right audience. Speaking to the process of buying a home and mixing in how you personally approach the process will help build trust with potential clients.

It’s crucial to always keep the established goal in mind so the message stays consistent within the entire campaign and is aligned to achieve the right results. Since the realtor’s goal was to gain more contact information, an option is to create a contact form at the end of the blog post to sign up for an e-mail list for similar content. For a downloadable offer to capture more lead information, you could offer a checklist for new homeowners to use when preparing to purchase a home.

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Relevant Promotion

After the content is created, you want to decide what channel is appropriate to reach your buyer persona and is also relevant to your campaign goal. Should this content be promoted through social media or through email marketing? Going back to our realtor example, it could be helpful to promote this through a targeted Facebook Ad or through a focused email blast.

One of the best parts of online content is its reusability. While it may seem like it could be a “one and done” kind of deal, it’s the right timing of promotion that really carries online content. Maybe a certain blog post didn’t go so great, but suddenly the topic is trending again. Updating your content can give you a leg up from the competition by revitalizing an old post that didn’t go so great the first time, but already exists within your database.

Figuring out Key Metrics to Track

Figuring out how you want to measure performance is a crucial part of the content creation process. Without it, there would be no way to really show how this piece of content affected your business. The easiest way to create this metric is to go back to the main question: What do I want this person to do after viewing this piece of content? Creating a metric based off how many people completed your desired goal is the simplest way of determining the right metric for your campaign. Using the same example, we can measure success simply by how many people signed up for the mailing list at the end of the blog post or downloaded the checklist.

From there, you can branch out into looking at more specific bottom-line metrics, such as how many leads become a signed client, the average cost of sale, and even the cost per lead or client.

Key Takeaways

Creating content is not done for the sake of creating content: it’s a well thought out and planned strategy that helps attract desired individuals to your business. If you’re ever stuck creating content, remembering these three questions can help guide your content strategy:

  • What do I want this person to do after viewing this content?
  • Who do I want to view this content?
  • What outlets will I utilize to promote this piece of content?

The great part of content marketing is that it’s a continuous cycle. After analyzing the results of one piece, it’s easy to jump back in and start again with a new piece of content. Content helps establish authority and when used correctly in combination with SEO techniques, can pull your website higher up on search results.   

It’s important to remember that content marketing does not produce instantaneous results, but is more of a long-term investment to attract reliable and dedicated clients to your business.

About the Author: Sarah Laoyan

Sarah Laoyan

Sarah is the Marketing Coordinator at 41 Orange. She recently graduated from San Diego State University with a degree in Journalism, with an emphasis in advertising.