What is Content Creation?
Content creation is a term used often in digital marketing, but what is content creation?
First and foremost, we must answer: what is content? And, unfortunately, there is no simple answer. Content as a term is often used to refer to different things by different people and acts as an umbrella term for the various types of content. HubSpot, for example, has identified twelve different types of content: blogs, videos, infographics, case studies, eBooks, user-generated content, checklists, memes, testimonials and reviews, whitepapers, how-to guides and academies, and influencers and paid ad content.
Some marketers include social media posts under the ‘content’ umbrella due to the ability to cross share content between digital platforms and channels. Repurposing blog posts into social media graphics, for example, blurs the lines between social media marketing and content marketing.
So, What Is Content Creation?
Digital marketing is now so nuanced and inter-platform that as ‘content’ is not one fixed term, so is the same for ‘content creation.’ Content creation describes the actual, physical creation of any form of content. This means that creating content can be writing, filming, photographing, designing, illustrating, or a mixture.
Content creation is different from content curation. While content creation is original content that you (or an agency/freelancer acting on your behalf) create, content curation refers to “content you share from external sources that you do not own and cannot claim as your own.” This includes sharing someone else’s article in a social media post, featuring guest articles on your blog, and sharing industry research findings from official sources. It must be clear that you are sharing other people’s work and are not claiming the content as your own, with proper references/credit given.
Creating Written Content
Written content is perhaps the most commonly thought-of definition for ‘content,’ especially in the context of content marketing. Creating and running a blog can increase your business’ credibility and thought leadership, as well as improve your website SEO; companies that run blogs gain 97% more inbound links than those that don’t.
Blogs are highly valuable to your audience and consumers. Evergreen content is the most common type of blog, referring to articles that are not time-limited, and can stand the test of time with only minor updates for accuracy/relevance. List articles and checklists are great for informing and educating your audience on a certain topic or as a short how-to guide. On the flip side to evergreen content, news articles are time-sensitive and focus on current news and events; they will become outdated over time.
To get the most out of your blog content, create a content marketing matrix to plan ideas and content schedules. You’ll need to go in with an idea of your content marketing goals so that you know which KPIs to track for your content going forward. From there, you can devise a content creation plan tailored to your business, industry, and, most importantly, target audience. There are tonnes of content marketing matrix templates available online to help you get started!
Creating Whitepapers, Case Studies, How-To Guides, and eBooks
Aside from blog content, written content also includes whitepapers, case studies, how-to guides, and eBooks. Something these content types all have in common is that they require a combination of content creation methods. For example, eBooks need to have written content as well as visual content such as images and custom designs, and a custom landing page (on your website) for users to download the eBook PDF. They all also require a great deal of research, far more than your average blog article.
Creating Visual and Audio-Visual Content
On the visual side of content, we have the creation of images, graphics, and infographics. This visual content can be used across all your marketing channels, such as on social media, in print or digital advertising, and on your website. Visual content is incredibly engaging and should be utilised frequently in your marketing efforts. In findings from Venngage, 48.2% of marketing contained visuals, and original graphics were used most frequently.
On the audio-visual side, video content is hot in marketing right now. Videos help you tell a story, sell products, engage customers, and educate the viewer. In content marketing, the primary form of media used is video. Video content also extends to live streaming and short-form video on social media, both of which are extremely engaging methods of communicating with customers.
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to be a graphic design or cinematography expert to create compelling visual and audio-visual content. For images and graphics, there are plenty of free and affordable alternatives to using pro software such as Adobe Photoshop that are suitable for beginners and/or marketers short on time. Likewise, for video creation, there is some great software available helping marketers create and edit videos for social, ad, and website content.
Creating Social Media Content
Although some marketers do not include social media content within the ‘content’ term, we simply cannot exclude social media content from this discussion. Social media content is, in our opinion, part of the ‘content’ umbrella, especially as repurposed written and visual content continues to be cross shared between digital channels. Modern social media content is more engaging and creative than ever before. Social infographics, animated GIFs and videos, and repurposed content marketing pieces are all prevalent on social media, gaining traction and engagement for brands everywhere.
If you’re stuck on new social media content to create, follow these tips to breathe new life into your social media feed: conduct market and competitor research, diversify your content, repurpose your existing content, optimise your existing resources, and invest in social media advertising. When it comes to diversifying your content, it can be tricky to know what to post and when.
We find that to 60 30 10 rule for social media content creation is a great framework for making diverse, engaging social media posts. The rule states that 60% of your content should be engaging, aiming to inform/entertain/educate your audience and stir up conversations. 30% of the content you post should be from external sources, showing that you’re knowledgeable of your industry. Lastly, only 10% of your content should be promotional. Leave the heavily sales-focused content for paid advertising; first and foremost, your organic content should bring value to your audience’s lives.