Updated: May 17
I was asked by one of my workshop attendees this question. She is not confident with her writing skills but fears any changes on social media platforms will leave her with no owned channels to count on.
Content creation refers to the process of producing and publishing content that is valuable, informative, and engaging for a specific target audience. While blogging is a popular form of content creation, there are many other types of content that businesses can use to reach and connect with their target audience.
Did you know that video is one of the most popular forms of content and has been shown to increase engagement and conversions? Consider creating short videos that showcase your products or services, provide tips or tutorials, or share behind-the-scenes glimpses of your business. You can also repurpose existing content, such as blog posts, into video format to reach a wider audience.
If you're not a writer or don't have the resources to maintain a blog, there are still plenty of ways to do content marketing and engage with your audience. Some ideas include creating videos, infographics, social media posts, podcasts, and webinars. By focusing on the needs and interests of your target audience and providing valuable information in a format that they prefer, you can build brand awareness, establish credibility, and drive traffic to your website.
To tackle this, I think it is best to understand what you want to achieve first. Because perhaps a blog isn't the only way out.
How to write or create content for Content Marketing?
What is the purpose of your content in Content Marketing?
Recommended Tools List:
1. What is content in Content Marketing?
Content creation in content marketing is about building trust and interest. That means it is driving for overall brand awareness. Content marketing is part of an inbound method focused on attracting leads throughout the funnel. Audiences will judge the brand based on the quality of all content across different channels. It will affect their level of trust as they are interested in the whole brand rather than just one offering. (Think of buying something from a brand because it is your favorite brand. It doesn't take a promotion to get you interested in their product)
Want to learn more about why you should even consider Content Marketing?
2. What is the main objective of your content in Content Marketing?
"88% of your customers are researching your company through your online content before they ever reach out."
In essence, content should provide information. It is supposed to do the talking for you, so you don't have to do it yourself. But that doesn't mean you're simply putting everything online.
Content readily available online should be information that many people want but are things you do not want to keep repeating yourself on. In the content marketing sense, they would be content in the awareness and interest stage. The content should express who you are, what you do, and how you can help. The finer details can come into play after your customers reach out. After all, you shouldn't be serving them the whole game plan before they become your customers.
As the statistic states, you can imagine that just a handful of content pieces aren't going to do the job. It will require a consistent flow of content to fulfill this 88% of customers considering learning more about you.
3. How to write or create content for Content Marketing?
To follow up on the last point, my tip on creating a consistent flow of content is to never choose something that you don't feel comfortable with. For example, video has been a prized execution for quite a few years. But the time it takes me to create something of value takes ages. That hinders my content creation process. So, it should not be the main type of content I produce. The same idea goes for those who consider writing as stressful. They should not commit themselves to blogs. It will stress them out and result in too little content for the 88% of customers.
You might ask then, if you don't create blogs, how can you enjoy the reach from search and SEO? Well, here are my 5 suggestions to tackle content writing for beginners:
i) Create and perfect your landing page/ website
SEO does not only take form in a blog. It also takes the form of a landing page and a website. Implement the right keywords and set up a UX-friendly sitemap that can be understood by both people and bots. Then, you can still reach the right people through search. Because writing the meta description and setting up an SEO-friendly URL is much less intimidating when compared to writing a whole 1,200-word blog.
ii) Create images and work your ALT text
You don't have to fill a landing page/ website just with words. You can create images too. Visuals such as infographics, comic strips, photographs, and even hand drawings can work. Upload them accordingly and write your ALT text.
As defined by Super Cold Design, "'Alt text' is a contraction of 'alternative text'. It's a short written description of an image, which makes sense of that image when it can't be viewed for some reason. Well-written alt text is important to your website's accessibility, and its search engine optimisation (SEO). Accessibility."
iii) Extend your reach in forums
Do you feel like your writing is too casual, or are you concerned with grammar? Why not accept it and write as you will on informal channels like forums? Try participating in threads or even opening a Facebook group to overcome the idea of having to write like a professional. Not to mention, threads can still appear in search, so you still get to enjoy the benefits of SEO.
If you are a freelancer or slasher, I think this works to your advantage because it increases the level of authenticity. By writing like how you would speak, your potential clients are likely to feel more connected to you personally. You can rework these conversational exchanges into clippings, FAQs, or even short blurbs back on your landing page/ website to make sure they're not lost.
iv) Use transcriptions
If you want longer formats of text on your owned channel, consider transcriptions. You can record a video, audio, or interview someone. Then, transcribe that and upload the text as a blog. Highlight that it is a transcription so readers will understand why the language may be more casual.
I personally love doing interviews. All I need to do is write a short opening paragraph and grammar check my questions. Then, I can simply transcribe my interviewee's answers and paste them in.
v) Think outside of the box
Your blog doesn't have to be the same as other blogs. Your blog can be a mishmash of case studies, quotes, interviews, short writing, and graphics. You can pull ideas from other sources (of course, with credit), so you're not the only person doing all the writing.
Readers don't assess your blog based on how long it is but on how helpful and entertaining it is.
4. What is the purpose of your content in Content Marketing?
For any of the suggested ideas above to work, the content itself must be of value. You must think about how content writing helps the business. Here are four elements you can consider while assessing your content:
Context - Your content should explain the where, when, what, why, how, and who. Take this blog as an example. My where is online; my when is when people are looking for alternative content executions; my what is the replacements for blogs; my why is due to an inquiry; my how is by understanding the real goal of content creation; and my who is those who don't have confidence in writing. If you don't give your audience the full context, they might get confused, lose interest, and exit.
Choice - This does not only refer to the chosen topic but also the format of content and its mode of distribution. Your content should feel natural and appropriate in its format. Reading off a list of things and creating that as a video simply doesn't work. Why not create a checklist instead?
Conversations - Your content should strive to start conversations. It may not be an immediate conversation with you, but the reader might decide to share it with their friends. Whether your content is briefly mentioned over coffee or is shared literally, consider the conversational aspect of a piece as you create a piece of content that can drastically affect its reach.
Confidence - Don't say things you don't believe. Don't back ideas that you wouldn't carry out yourself. When you're making a claim, make it proud. Don't be wishy-washy with the way you express your ideas, regardless of what content format you execute it in.
Additional update - Content Marketing with AI (2022)
How to build your content writing
AI writing assistants - are they worth a shot?
As a Content Marketer who has never used them in my regular workflow, I've decided to test them myself! Whether you're a solopreneur/ entrepreneur struggling to pump out content by yourself or someone finding it hard to hire a writer who gets your style - this video might inspire you to adopt AI writing assistants in your daily work!
Hopefully, the concepts and ideas proposed can help you on your content creation journey. As Scott Adams, an experienced entrepreneur has once said, "Ideas are worthless. Execution is everything.” Start executing today!