How to Kick-Start Creative Content Development
By Amanda Welshons | November 11, 2022
With a seemingly endless sea of content types and channels, brainstorming and developing creative content for your brand can be overwhelming. Here, MSPC content director Amanda Welshons shares three ways to create authentic content that educates, entertains and engages your target audience.
When it comes to content creation, starting can be the hardest part. There’s seemingly endless possibilities to content types: blogs, print articles, emails, podcasts, Instagram Reels, Pinterest Pins, on and on. So many channels and messages—not even close to enough time to consume it all!
So, what’s best for you? And, more importantly, what’s right for your audience?
Whether you’re launching a new content marketing program or recalibrating an existing one, you’ve come to the right place. At MSPC, we excel at content strategy, ideation and execution, among other services—and I’m thrilled to outline some tried and true tips to engage, educate and inspire your audience.
Here are some ideas to ramp up creative content development:
1. Be Intentional
Do not create content in a vacuum. To do it well, you need quality over quantity. Not every content type or channel will make sense for your company. Before you start, be strategic: know your audience, use whatever data is available to you and align your marketing plan to the sales funnel. Who are you talking to and how do you add value to their lives? Are you crafting content for awareness, or should you prioritize retention tactics?
Encourage creativity with your team and put yourself in the shoes of the consumer as you brainstorm. This exercise will help lead to content that’s relevant, authentic and evergreen.
2. Serve Your Audience
Brands often need to nurture their audience. To do this, publish content with utility—aka content your audience can actually use. Valuable utility content educates, answers questions, entertains, welcomes users and reinforces loyalty.
To me, utility content falls into two categories:
Brand-centric content: The things people should know about your products and services to get the most out of being your customer.
Lifestyle content: Adjacent topics that help explain how you naturally fit into the everyday life and aspirations of your target audience.
At MSPC, content ideation starts and ends with the audience. Here are key questions to ask as you ideate:
|Who can help you tell your brand story? Identify internal subject matter experts and voices who have a compelling point of view.
What topics can you own as a brand?
When do you want to show up for your audience?
Where is your audience?
Why should someone engage with your brand? Consider this answer from the audience perspective.
How do you use your product or service?
|Who are you talking to across channels?
What related topics can act as halos to your products, solutions or services?
When does your audience need you, and what is on their minds in those moments?
Where is your audience when they need your product or service?
Why should they come back to you once they’ve purchased?
How do you add value to every day?
Taking the time to answer these questions should lead to a variety of topics that can help you tell your story, hook your audience and build community.
3. Share Employee Stories
Do not underestimate the value of content for and about your own employee base, especially if you are a large company. Case in point: The 3Mer magazine.
Our employee communications work for 3M highlights company news through an employee lens. We share stories of innovation, collaboration, philanthropy and impact—among other topics—from real voices doing the work.
This print publication’s success emphasizes the power of storytelling and that authenticity is worth striving for on your owned and social channels. After all, authenticity is key to connecting with your audience—a sentiment we’ve heard directly from readers.
Need help generating content? We’re never short of ideas. Get in touch with us.
Read next: The Value of Evergreen Content