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:

Brand-Centric Content

Lifestyle Content

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?

  • What drives your expertise?
  • What inspires your mission?

When do you want to show up for your audience?

Where is your audience?

  • Where do you want them to be? Think beyond physical place: where is their access point?
    • Point of sale?
    • Researching online?
    • What device?
    • What channels?

Why should someone engage with your brand? Consider this answer from the audience perspective.

How do you use your product or service?

  • How does it work?
  • How is it made?
  • How do you innovate?
Who are you talking to across channels?

  • Prospective customers?
  • Current customers?
  • Gen Z?
  • Employees?

What related topics can act as halos to your products, solutions or services?

  • What tips can you provide?
  • What visuals help comprehension?

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?

  • Where are they before or after they need you?

Why should they come back to you once they’ve purchased?

How do you add value to every day?

  • How can you guide users to their best experience?

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 highlighted company news through an employee lens. We shared stories of innovation, collaboration, philanthropy and impact—among other topics—from real voices doing the work.

This print publication emphasized 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 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

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