How To Create Content That's Engaging And Genuine For Yourself Or A Brand
Putting together content for a personal profile or brand can be a challenge without the proper guidelines. The 5 prompts listed below give you a basic set of criteria to use when asking how to create content for social media or other platforms.
5 Questions To Help Define Your Content
When creating content there is essential two approaches: let the camera roll and adjust on the fly (literally and figuratively) or the more calculated route where you define criteria and fit your message to the mold. With the first option you have as much of a chance as going viral with less prep if the message is entertaining, but for content that is more informational or lead generating the second option would likely be a better choice. The five questions listed below will help you narrow the focus and shape the content you plan to produce so that it is genuine to your audience and engaging.
- What type of content do you plan to make? – Format
- How long will the content be? – Duration
- What is the point of this content? – Value
- Who is targeted audience for this content? – Demographic
- Where does that target audience congregate online? – Community
What Type Of Content Do You Plan To Make?
Starting with any idea, you must first define the content format. Will the project be text only, audio centric, or visual? It can be tempting to give yourself a wide scope of media for exposure but in the beginning it’s best to concentrate on a media type you can deliver efficiently without sacrificing too much quality. Another factor to consider when deciding is knowing what format works best for your audience. Do they prefer to communicate through video clips or large forum discussions? Per your choice on this matter, you’ll want to then research the best platforms to serve up this format. Understanding the intended platforms can ultimately help influence the content format for the better.
How Long Will The Content To Be?
Defining the length of your content is just as important the type of content, because this also impacts the reach and impressions of your posts. Think about how often you personally come across a piece of content that you might initially be interested in, but are eventually put off by because of the overwhelming length or lack thereof. In lieu of having an audience to test this against, however, you should set basic parameters and use your gut on each individual piece. Don’t sacrifice quality for the sake of meeting a word count or video duration target.
What Is The Point Of This Content?
Before hitting record or writing a single word you should also consider the intended point or theme of the final product. Is the post meant to be entertaining, informational, or collaborative? Can you produce the project in such a way that highlights this intent without distracting from the content itself? Most importantly you should ask yourself does the intended value align with what the intended audience really wants?
Who Is Targeted Audience For This Content?
Understanding your target audience is key to producing genuine content that appeals to them. Without this knowledge, your message runs the risk of being miscommunicated and falling on deaf ears. For reference, just think of all the junk mail you receive that either doesn’t bring you any value or the value itself is unclear and therefore irrelevant. How often have you sat confused through an ad or post only to find out it was for something you actually needed and might have been interested if the content were presented better? Gaining insight on your intended demographic gives you a much better shot at communicating with language, symbols and messaging that speaks them.
Where Does That Target Audience Congregate Online?
Finding existing communities online that cater to your target audience plays another important role in the process for creating content. If you can track how the members of the group interact with different content formats, durations, and values then you have a leg up in producing something appealing. Having a direct line of communication to a group with shared interests can also allow you to a/b test what works and what doesn’t.
Putting It All Together!
Good online content is a combination of genuine messaging and marketability. The first three questions prompt you to define your intended messaging and format. The last two push you to understand where your market meets online and how that market communicates. Working to combine these factors is essential to producing high quality content that makes sense for your brand and feels genuine to the audience.
1. Pick a platform
2. Create genuine content
3. Develop audience
4. Develop lead content AND genuine content for audience demographic
5. Engage community off-platform via website
6. Repeat steps 1-5 on different platforms
7. Monetize all traffic
8. Reinvest to build value products and services for community
9. Expand niches and interests within reach
10. Repeat step 7-9 indefinitely