How to Dominate Content Creation
By Brad Morley, a content marketing expert that has been working with eCommerce brands for multiple years to launch, scale and master their social marketing campaigns.
Recently I had the pleasure of hosting a webinar for the ImportXperts community on “How To Dominate Content Creation”. This is something I’ve invested a lot of time and energy into over the past 5 years and have benefited greatly as a result and you’re about to understand why… So I’ve written this guide to help you build your brand with killer content – and you’ll find a checklist of all the best tools and resources too.
And if you’re interested in watching the webinar recording, you can apply to join our community and get access to this webinar (along with many more!) by clicking on this link.
So let’s get into it!
Many business owners seem to disregard the need for creating content. They underestimate just how important it is, regardless of the type of business.
But the crucial thing is…
Without content in this day in age, you’re going to be left behind.
First things first, let’s break down why content is so important.
WHY CONTENT IS SO IMPORTANT
Let’s start with some clear indicators:
- Content improves brand reputation by building TRUST with consumers (very important for conversion and building your client base)
- Content helps build brand equity. Think about how you want to be perceived by your customers. This can be judged by the content you produce.
- Content increases engagement levels and conversion (providing it’s good enough)
- Your ads will convert better if your content is on point. Ad creative is half the work to a successful campaign!
- Content helps to tell your brand story.
- Good content will help you set yourself apart from your competition. It gives you a unique edge on other players in the market.
- Content is essential to your funnel to help convert consumers into buyers as they move through their purchasing journey
- Content forms a large element of your marketing strategy
- Your content will have an impact on sales – positively or negatively depending on how good it is
We could go on forever. Just know that if you aren’t creating content every day and investing a lot of time and energy into it, then you are already behind and most likely, leaving sales on the table.
Content, in my opinion, is the number one driver in any online brand.
Mark Brazil, Ikonick Co-Founder
Content marketing is not just about creating a few graphics for your social media. Content comes in various forms from image to video to audio to written and much more, and should be distributed across multiple mediums which we will get to shortly. Firstly, you need to identify what type of content is relevant to your niche and what’s going to align well with your target audience.
The holy grail to benefiting from content is through creating what I refer to as ‘Content Pillars’.
We go through this in more detail on the webinar but essentially think of this as your content territory.
- What types of content will you be sharing?
- What is going to align with your ideal target customer and their interests?
- Also, you want to break the repetitive pattern by switching up the type of content you are sharing so that your consumers don’t experience any social fatigue from seeing the same content day in day out.
For example – a lifestyle apparel brand that donates part proceeds to a sea life conservation might choose to split their content up with something like:
- Product shots
- Lifestyle shots (influencers, models, beach/ocean shots)
- Eco updates & other forms of educational posts
- Relatable quotes that align with the message
BE INTERACTIVE WITH YOUR CONTENT
Stats have proven in my own experience that consumers love to be involved and purchase from brands that are interactive and engaging. They like to feel as though they are part of the process and decision making. They like to be heard. Social apps especially the likes of Instagram have added features for you to easily take advantage of this.
Some of which includes:
- Live videos
Tools like Canva will make it easy for you to create content presets that integrate with these features as a background to keep the brand image consistent throughout and seem more aesthetically pleasing than just a plain background.
MULTI-CHANNEL OVER SINGLE CHANNEL
One mistake I see people make is put all their eggs in one basket by only creating content for one social platform. Although you may find one app to be the best suited, most engaging and convenient to use – you have to be prepared for what happens if that one app shuts down tomorrow. Although it may seem unlikely, you need to retain full control.
Let’s say Instagram goes down tomorrow for good.
Goodbye to the hours and hours worth of content, which may have taken a long time to build up, and your entire online presence. Seems scary right? You’re left with nada. Think of the impact that will have on your business as a result!
I dread to think.
Whereas if you are creating content and building your social presence on a variety of other social apps and being active across multiple platforms where people are consuming content, you’re reducing the risk of any bad impact should things change in the tech world whilst building your audience and awareness at a bigger scale across multiple outlets.
Gary Vee posted a video recently informing people that they should be posting content 100x per day across multiple channels. Although this may seem absolutely insane and unachievable (especially for people flying solo without a large team to help), I do believe you should do what you can to produce as much content that’s achievable to get daily activity going across your media outlets.
Here’s an idea for some platforms you can leverage:
You also have various other mediums like:
- IGTV series
- Facebook Watch
- Email newsletter (for written format)
- Website blog
FACT: 85% of consumers say they’d like to see more video from brands in 2019! Bear this in mind.
Video is becoming more and more popular for social apps like Instagram and is great for engagement.
An add-on app I hype about regularly is IGTV.
It’s underrated, under-used and in my opinion, more people should be taking advantage of it for longer-form content that coincides with their Instagram content.
It’s more convenient now that it can be consumed within the Instagram app. You’ll be surprised what a difference this could make to consumer engagement levels purely for the convenience factor of not having to leave the app.
With over 25 million installs since the launch in 2018, it may seem nothing compared to bigger competing platforms like YouTube… However, I see this as a good thing as it’s less saturation and more for you to take advantage of.
Find your niche and own it!
MY CREATIVE TOOLKIT FOR CREATING KILLER CONTENT
OK so when it comes to dominating content creation, you’re going to need the right tools to make it happen. Luckily for you, I’m going to share with you some killer apps that I use on a daily basis to create high converting content for clients and my own brands.
Load up your toolkit ready to execute! See below:
- Adobe Creative Cloud Package: roughly $27 p/m (get Photoshop, Illustrator, Premiere Pro, Lightroom & more). I became a design expert in a matter of months from learning tutorials!
- Motionarray: (roughly $25 p/m – perfect if learning to use the above tools)
- Canva/Snappa: Highly recommend, both provide you with tons of templates to use for creative inspiration and provide multiple features
- DesignLab: Great mobile app, I use a lot when on the move for my personal feed (£5 p/m)
- Inshot: Great for quick edits on videos (mobile app)
- Musecam/Lightroom/VSCO: great for editing images and making more Instagrammable!
- Grids: Great for creating a unique aesthetic for your feed. Splits one image into multiple banner images
- Adobe Rush: Another good mobile app with editing options and allows to share directly to social apps
- Editorial Calendar: Schedule your content and plan ahead! It’s a great way to keep organized and consistent with all of your channels.
- Adobe Spark: Social graphics, short videos, etc
- iMovie: If not familiar with Adobe Premiere Pro, this isn’t too bad of an app.
- Hashtagger: Great for generating popular hashtags
- Tailwind: Pinterest & Instagram scheduler, analytics & marketing tool
- Freepik: 1000+ vector images
- Flaticon: 1000+ icons
PRICING COSTS FOR OUTSOURCING
For those of you that are far from the creative type, the alternative option is to outsource to somebody that is while you focus on other areas of growing your business.
Prices vary dependant on many things from experience, country of residence, freelancer or agency and many other reasons. However, the below is a guide to give you some idea as to what you could be looking at spending if that were the case:
- Ad copy: $10 to many thousands of dollars
- Copy for a website page: $50 – $1,000
- Blog post: $25 – $300
- Ebook: $200 – $2,000
- Series of posts for social: $5 – $50 per post
- Video script: $100 – $1,000
- Half to full day content shoot $450-$1000
- Monthly retainers for daily hero content: $500 – $5,000+
USING INFLUENCERS & CONTENT CREATORS
You also have the option of utilizing influencers to create content for you. Something else that can be very lucrative for your business in terms of gaining awareness/traffic, direct sales or building trust and social clout as a brand.
Some things to consider when picking the right influencers for your content:
- Analyze who influences your ideal target customer for best performance
- Only choose people with good content
- Use the likes of Instagram to find them. Search through hashtags, competitor brands ‘tagged’ images on Instagram, and reach out for pricing. Prices will vary from free (product gifting) to 100’s to 1000’s dependant on engagement levels, audience size, etc.
An influencer can be any type of public figure, industry expert, or generic page that holds influence in a particular field/industry or that has a highly engaging audience. For e.g Youtube creators, social influencers, reality TV stars, models, bloggers, athletes, and generic niche pages.
How often should you really be posting to each social app? Here’s a rough guide to give you an idea to make sure you’re benefiting the most from your efforts:
- Instagram: 1-3x feed posts per day for feed, 3-5x per story per day
- Snapchat stories: Not essential to all brands now that Instagram has added new features taking most market share. But again I’d be posting 3+ posts per day.
- Twitter: 10+ tweets per day. Requires more activity to really benefit from growth. Much easier to repurpose content on the basis that the volume of posts are higher for this app
- IGTV: 1-5 per week. Great for bite-sized content (under 10 mins) or create an exclusive series for IGTV viewing only.
- YouTube/Podcast: Daily or Weekly. Anything less will be slow growth. (create snippets for socials to promote and divert traffic to those other platforms)
- Pinterest: 5+ per day. Repurpose content, use catchy titles for clickbait (more effective)
- Facebook: 1-3x per day. Can share your Instagram content from within the app which makes it one less job to worry about.
INSTAGRAM STORY HIGHLIGHTS ARE YOUR NEW WEB PAGES
With Instagram quickly becoming the point of sale, it’s defeating the need for websites by the day as people can find everything they’re looking for within the app.
Instagram story highlights are tabs that stick underneath the bio on your page available for people to see before scrolling your feed. This is why it’s super important to utilize them well. It’s one of the first things they’re going to see so it needs to be relevant and to hook them in.
Here’s an idea of some ideas that can stick well for what you could include:
- Your Brand Story (the ‘about us’ and/or why you exist)
- Reviews/UGC (show before and after shots!)
- As seen on (tag influencer images)
- New campaigns
- Flash sales
- Q&A/IG Takeovers
You can brand up your highlight covers too through an app like Canva who provide 1000’s of icons you can use to describe each highlight well.
CONTENT IS 50% THE SUCCESS OF YOUR AD CAMPAIGNS
Your ads will not convert well without good enough ad creative, or in other words – ad content. Other than the main things to check for performance, content is definitely a large part of the ad’s success. Think of it like this:
You see an advert on TV. What makes you watch the ones you do? It’s engaging? Relatable? Funny? Fascinating? Clever? Interesting? Unique? Creative? It’s all down to the content that keeps you watching it. The fact a media buyer or specialist has selected the right time to post the ad to get in front of the ideal target market, selected which channels to publish the ads on to ensure it’s attracting the right crowd, and any other data specifics – the ad creative itself, is equally as important in creating a successful campaign that converts.
The best thing to do is to test.
Test different creative to see which performs best as without this you’ll never know what converts and what doesn’t. It’s about understanding customer behavior and what makes them click on the ads. What reels them in. How you relate.
Also if you take a look at ads from other businesses/brands, you can get a good feel for what appears to be working by looking at the engagement on the ad alone.
QUICK HACK: A quick way to check out another business’ ads, is to head to the Facebook Ad Library here and it will show you all live ads currently running.
CREATE A MOOD BOARD FOR CONTENT INSPIRATION
This isn’t just a way for non-creatives to get good inspiration for dominating content, it’s actually something even the biggest brands in the world still do to pull together some good ideas for content to share with their own audience.
There’s a difference between inspiration and imitation.
Don’t just copy others. The idea behind this is to get inspiration on some ideas that you could do for your own content by creating a mood board and pulling creative pieces from your favorite brands and that you can see has published content that appears to have performed well judging by their own engagement levels.
You can use the likes of Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook and online Publications for this. Create a document or a folder full of images and videos from your favorite brands and reference against when you feel you are needing some creative inspiration for content.
This will help you create content that is partially already validated and that you know has engaged well with the end-consumer whilst keeping your creativity levels at a high.
TIMING IS KEY. NOBODY WANTS TUMBLEWEED!
Timing. Is. Key.
When it comes to distributing content, timing plays a big part. You want to make sure you are posting at the right times that suit your audience otherwise it’s going to be unnoticed. Let’s face it, nobody wants to spend hours on creating content that isn’t going to get the hits and views you deserve! So pay attention to your data and stats and incorporate the relevant timing into your posting patterns to ensure your content is going to get seen by as many consumers as possible and that each piece performs well.
Some tools you can use to analyze analytics are:
- Instagram business tools
YOU MUST HAVE A CONTENT STRATEGY
This is not necessarily something generic, and pulling guides off of Google will only take you so far. As will this entire article 😉
We can plant the seeds for the ideas and suggestions, but ultimately a content strategy should be personalized and tailored to your business to stay relevant and align with your target consumers’ interests otherwise you’ll lack the true benefits as a result.
Some things to think about when creating your content strategy are:
- What’s your objective/goals?
- Choose the best channels that suit your target audience.
- What type of brand are you? Content should reflect (loud, formal, bubbly, slick).
- Consistency is key. Create a content planner.
- Test what works. Gary Vee is always trying out new types of content. See what your audience tend to like and dislike the most.
- Distribute multi-channel.
- Track results, pay attention to key metrics to help improve performance.
TIP: Make a record of your best performing content. It’ll be helpful to repurpose on a quiet sale day.
NOW GO CREATE!
OK so now you’ve heard enough from us, it’s time to go and execute on these suggestions and begin tracking the results.
I see too many people make the mistake of trying to make every piece of content perfect – even if it means skipping days on posting anything. You’re better to post quantity over quality (to a certain extent).
People will find value in even the smallest things even content you may not find to be entirely special. Don’t spend so long trying to make things perfect. Just start creating and improve over time, take note of any feedback and seek areas for improvement, and continue to find ways to stand out in your field through creating unique content marketing strategies for your business.
If you want to dive in deeper into this topic and pick up some more step-by-step help on dominating your content creation, apply to join so you can take advantage of the exclusive members-only webinar I hosted along with all other key resources offered within the platform, as there’s a ton of action-packed content for you to pick up on and the feedback from attendees was overly positive.
Click here to apply to join and get access to this exclusive webinar.
I’d love to hear how you are getting on once you begin actioning any suggestions within this article or the webinar either below or for those that are members, within the Import Xperts Community Facebook Group!
If there’s anything else I can help with or questions to be answered, just comment below and let’s open a discussion.
Until then, I hope you took some value from this article and go create some killer content!