How to Keep Content from Becoming a Chore
No serious digital marketer doubts the importance of generating fresh content on a regular basis, but this task is often easier said than done. After all, in the fast-paced digital environment, days can fly by like hours, deadlines can sneak up on you and the pressure to consistently create quality content can sometimes seem overwhelming. If you’re not careful, this can lead to burnout, turning one of your most powerful marketing tools into a drudgery. If you currently find yourself in this situation, what can you do to remedy it? Below are some key tips to help you keep content from becoming a chore.
1. Focus on the needs and interests of your target audience.
Many times we can busy ourselves with creating content based on a popular meme, a novel idea or some awesome form of alliteration (e.g., “Ten Time-Tested Tips to Top Tennis”), and while there’s nothing wrong with being clever, it can be easy to lose focus on why you’re creating the content in the first place. Your first priority is to connect with your target audience in a meaningful way through crafting high-quality content that will be relevant to their needs and interests.
If you haven’t done adequate research to find out what your audience is actually interested in, it’s highly likely that you’ll start pulling content ideas out of the air that may or may not resonate with your readers. This can produce a lack of direction with your content creation efforts, which can lead to boredom and/or frustration. Instead, decide to refocus and center your content generation strategy on your target audience; after all, they’re the reason you’re in business in the first place.
2. Solicit the opinions of your staff and/or colleagues.
Hold a content brainstorming meeting with people whose opinions you respect and trust. Quite often you’ll find that different people will approach the idea of content creation from completely different angles, which is a huge plus if you’re looking to generate solid, well-rounded content that can serve the broadest swath of your target audience.
You’ll be amazed at what 60 minutes in a room with forward-thinking people (and plenty of snacks) can do for your content creation strategy, so take advantage of their contributions of creativity and insight.
3. Change up the format of your content.
Sometimes all you need is a change of format in order to feel a fresh sense of enthusiasm about creating content. We can often become disinterested in our own content because we’ve been doing it the same old way every time–e.g., a catchy title, a handful of supporting points under subheadings, and a tidy conclusion.
When you decide to vary the format and/or presentation of your content, you open the door to a host of new angles and approaches that may not be possible with the standard issue format. Here are some ideas for alternate content formats to get the gears turning:
- Infographics – Summarize important relevant statistics or factoids using this popular visual medium.
- How-to instructional videos – Provide helpful how-to tips for your audience based on topics that interest them, and can possibly incorporate your products or services.
- Interviews with industry experts – Tap into the knowledge of a well-known influencer in your industry for the benefit of your audience.
- List posts – Everyone loves these, whether they’re “Top 10,” “25 Best,” “10 Worst” or otherwise.
- Live Q&A – Talk about an excellent way to engage with your audience! You can host the event via Twitter or Facebook, opening the floor for customers to ask questions and receive direct responses.
- Podcasting – Serve up a helpful and informative podcast for the audiophiles in your target audience.
- White papers or ebooks – Distill some of your most valuable knowledge into a downloadable ebook or whitepaper, and offer it free to your audience. You could also leverage this offer to build your email subscriber list by enabling the download only after the user opts in.
- Content curation – Who says you have to come up with everything? Sometimes your audience can extract significant value from various blog posts, infographics, articles, etc., around the Web that you curate and assemble into a helpful reference post. Pointing your audience to resources that they might not have otherwise found is a great way to earn their trust and spread goodwill to other content creators at the same time.
Content creation doesn’t have to feel like a chore. Use the tips outlined above to to ward off any dry spells, supercharge your content generation activities and provide genuine value to your prospects, fans and followers.