Tis far from 'Content Creation' we were raised...
Friday 10th November saw me in Dublin for 'Publish Or Perish' - Ireland's first content conference. Organised (to perfection) by Far From Avocados, the line-up of speakers included representatives from some of Ireland's biggest and best content publishers; marketing organisations; and legal firms. The whole process was MC'd by the one and only Blindboy Boatclub - half of the fantastic Rubberbandits, and in my humble opinion one of the most creative public figures that Ireland has produced. If you'd like to find out more about this fantastic event, check out the links above, or my Twitter
As content creators - whether freelance or integrated into a larger organisation - social media continues to revolutionise our role. While brands and editors/creators often have different priorities, this area can provide endless scope for win/win situations - the brand gets exposure, the content creator gets a space for their work, and customers get entertained, whats not to love about that?
With that in mind, here are some tips for creating great content, gathered both from my own experience as a content developer, and from the expertise and experience gathered together at #PublishPerish!
1) Know Your Audience
It is vital to know in advance who you are aiming a piece of content at. Not only does this help you style and compose the post, but it is also useful in terms of scheduling; choosing your platform; and monitoring responses.
2) Have a Clear Voice
It is so important to present and maintain a consistent tone with your content, especially on social media. If you compose content on behalf of a brand, it is likely that there are guidelines referring to the brand's public image and/or manner of interacting with the public. It is your responsibility to work creatively within these guidelines to produce a clear, personable 'voice' for the brand.
3) Anything can be Content
Something which many people don't realise, is that anything can be successful content if you know how to present it properly. Social media and content are not just about selling your product or service, but also raising your profile and developing a relationship with the public. Engage with online discussions and trends; comment on current events; and make it clear that you are engaging with them, and not just expecting them to engage with you.
4) Having a presence is better than being perfect
It is important to have the courage to put yourself - and your brand - out there. On the vast majority of occasions, it is better to have a post out there and available for people to engage with - even provide feedback on - rather than to hold back and potentially miss out on those customer interactions. Having said that...
5) Do the best you can
While a level of involvement is always preferable to 'online wallflower' status, I cannot stress enough the important of spell-checking, grammar-checking, and basically life-checking your post. Beyond the basics (spelling, using the right #, tagging the correct people) it is important to be aware of any fake posts that you may encounter if you are engaging with news sites or current events discussions.
6) Keep Up!
Obviously if you are engaging in discussions online you need to know what you're talking about - just like in real life! If you represent a brand online, then it is important to keep up not only with the general trends and topics, but also industry specific ones - what events are coming up? What are your competitors talking about? What are the experts talking about - even the ones who aren't directly in your field?
7) Have Fun!
Social media provides an outlet for you - and your business - to express yourselves in ways that are new and exciting, for you as well as the consumer. So have fun with it! Whatever medium you work in - video, sound, image, text, - be creative and see what happens. An eye-catching title, a jingle, a good pun - or even better, a bad one - I personally love seeing a brand engage with social media that seems like they're really enjoying it.
I hope these tips have captured your imagination, and that you're inspired to either step up, or start creating more personable content for you and/or your brand. If you have any further questions - or feedback for this post- then please feel free to contact me. Now I think that is enough content for today, I'm going to go and create a cup of tea for myself!