— content creation
Content Creation – from concept to creation, in print and online.
Content has always been important. It’s a way of people finding out your message and what you’d like to communicate to them. It would be easy (and correct) to say that good content is more important than ever before, as we are presented with more and more information from an ever-increasing variety of sources.
Content is at the heart of your marketing and refers to all of the individual elements and assets that collectively contribute to your communication and marketing efforts.
As content allows people to engage with one element of your message, it also allows people to connect with other parts of your message too. Most people who discover us online nowadays don’t arrive at the equivalent of a front door – the more content you have, the more likely you are to be found by a wider variety of people through a wider variety of places, and for more people to discover a wider amount of your content.
What is content?
Content can be a large list of things: usually comprising text, images, graphics, or other elements that help inform who you are, or what you’re trying to communicate.
In trying to determine your master content, we aim to collate a range of reference documents that can be collated once, and then utilised multiple times across a range of outputs.
As an example, a restaurant may have a menu or menus that they update consistently. A cinema would have a list of movie times and videos to show trailers of upcoming movies. Businesses may have key fact sheets on what services or products they can offer, or a pricelist. This is all content. In collating your main content into referenceable assets, you increase the opportunity for that content to be repurposed in a range of outlets with consistency.
Whatever your objective, we’ll help you determine what range of documents can help outline your content, and how those documents can be used once for a range of benefits across multiple platforms.
Where to get content from
Many organisations know their content on the inside – but often don’t have it stored or presented in a way that it can be accessed by as wide a range of people as necessary. One of the key challenges to organisations that we work with is getting information down on paper so that you have content that can be found – and used.
Once you have factual information on paper, you’ll want to find ways to present information in a way that others can consume and digest. We work with individuals and organisations to help them think through their content – and find ways to present it in an effective way.
Different kinds of content can also be purchased, and while this sometimes has benefits, it also has its drawbacks.
The benefits of purchased content are that you may be able to produce your final output more quickly than if you had been trying to create unique content; you’ll also likely find that purchased content may be cheaper to produce, at least in the short term.
The downsides to purchased content are that the same content is often available to purchase by anybody, anywhere; that includes your competitors, and it can be a little frustrating to find out you’re both using the same content! Some forms of content are also often licensed on purchase – so it may not be available to you to use in all circumstances or all the time.
While stock libraries for images, video and audio clips are plentiful, it can be difficult and time-consuming to find good quality content in those same libraries. What you might save in the costs of producing original content can often be surpassed by the time taken to find alternative options.
We work with clients to help collate a range of content that can be used across a variety of platforms, whether that be content that is purchased from a third-party source, or content that is created specifically for your own needs.
Producing unique content
Producing unique content is one of the easiest ways to make more of your story, and to make your message stand out to your intended audience.
Unique content is undoubtedly more expensive to create, but when used extensively across a range of outputs, it can offer a great value on your initial investment while allowing your message to be seen more extensively.
At Tentmaker, we create a range of content across a wide variety of mediums. We either create this content independently, or where necessary we’ll bring in a range of other creatives, from illustrators and editors to coders and copywriters.
We work with clients to help develop content in mediums that they already recognise that they need, or introducing new concepts to help deliver different kinds of content.
When bringing in a third-party creative, we’ll also work alongside those creatives to ensure that the content produced fits with your brand identity and help manage the process from concept to creation.
Some other essentials you may like to know about content.
How to update content
Once your content has been collated, it then needs to be managed. This allows you to identify where content is likely to change over a periodic basis and to know where to look for the most recent versions of different elements of your content.
We utilise tools like Google Docs when working with teams – it allows us to collate large amounts of content in a central resource which can then be updated by a range of different users. The auto-save features and review history elements of Google Drive make it a really useful tool to see how changes have been made over a period of time.
How content will need to be updated will depend on what content has initially been collated, but we’ll help you to identify a useful process to have your content updated as part of the discovery process of your project.
Distributing content - using a content calendar
One of the main purposes behind collating your content is to provide you with ready-made marketing material that is readily available to be used across a range of outputs. Depending on your organisation, this may be used internally or can also be shared externally with other third-parties, such as sales representatives or local brand ambassadors.
A content calendar is a great way to help map out your content ahead of time. The name may seem fairly obvious, but if you’ve not used one before then the concept can take a little getting used to.
Essentially a content calendar is a way to map out your content and ideas ahead of time – ensuring that you’ve always got something to say. It increases the chances of people hearing your message, especially on ever-crowded social media platforms.
While content calendars provide space for organic content and ‘pop-ups’ as they happen, they also help you to ensure some key principles of communicating well, such as consistency.
Some of the key benefits of a content calendar are:
- You can plan ahead and make sure you’re talking about the things you want to talk about.
- It helps feed you with ideas
- It helps develop good habits
- It makes it much easier on sharing your content with others
- It amplifies your content
- It (should) achieve results
We’ve collated a separate guide with information on all of these points – if you’d like to see a copy, just let us know and we’ll be happy to share it with you.
Learn more about content calendars on our content calendar page.
Having a content strategy
When we are surrounded by content everywhere, it can be hard to keep up. It’s common to feel that you can either be chasing the need to constantly update social media channels or be bombarded with content from other organisations, especially through your emails or mobile devices.
Producing content is not the goal in and of itself, but rather it’s a vehicle to help you communicate with your audience in a more intentional way while encouraging them to follow through on a call to action.
Whether that is a commercial pursuit, or whether you are trying to engage your supporters to take a specific action, the content that you produce and publish should be about trying to engage your audience in some specific way and to help towards your organisational objectives.
it's not enough to speak once
One of the more challenging aspects of modern-day marketing is what we refer to as ‘digital dilution’. The range of outputs that we can now use to communicate provide excellent opportunities, but they also require a wider presence across a range of platforms.
Matched with the increase in the number of available mediums for communication is the challenge of the modern viewer having a much shorter attention span than would have traditionally been the case. This, therefore, requires a more concentrated effort in ensuring that messages are being communicated frequently and effectively.
Evergreen content - realising value from your content
Having invested time into creating your content, you’ll want to ensure that you’re gaining as much value from it as possible, and that it’s being seen by as wide or intentional an audience as you can manage – depending on your objectives.
‘Evergreen content’ does this particularly well – being the kind of content that doesn’t necessarily change over a period of time, hence the name ‘evergreen’. This content can be shared more than once as it’s likely that not all of your audience will see it the first time around, or they may like to be reminded of some of the key themes that you are likely to post about most frequently.
As well as referring to your key talking points, evergreen content can also provide excellent value as it has the capacity to be used frequently.
You don’t know what you do know
“You don’t know what you don’t know” is one of those sayings that gets bandied around – sometimes meant as a derogatory term, sometimes used to help people identify where their knowledge or skills are not as deep as they could be and where some help would be beneficial.
What we often see with clients is that actually the opposite is often true: you don’t know what you do know – or to translate, you know more than you realise.
The challenge of working with information specific to each client or organisation is being able to extract all of the information into a format that can then be used by us to process that information into different formats. We also want to help clients to see that the more information we are able to translate onto paper, then the more the rest of their organisation can also benefit from the shared value of having access to that information.
OUR GUIDE TO CONTENT
Our guide to content provides a range of information on all things you might like to know about content, including a guide to file types, where to find content and what you can do to create a content library.