Content creation seems to be everywhere nowadays – especially given social media’s huge influence on our lives.
Yet, while content creation might seem rather surface level in some cases – say, if its sole purpose is pure entertainment – there are also many cases where it serves a much larger purpose.
Photo credit: amenic181 / 123RF
Case in point: content based around thought leadership, which can be a key component of companies’ B2B marketing strategies, helps retain customers by instilling trust in a firm’s capabilities and making its value proposition much more obvious.
If you’re a marketer looking to take your firm’s content creation to the next level, here are some useful strategies and things to consider.
Eyes on the prize
First things first: You have to know what you’re actually trying to achieve with your content marketing.
“For instance, maybe you’re new to the market and want more people to know about your brand. For this, you’re setting out to raise brand awareness,” Melvin Chen, creative lead at Tech in Asia, said during a recent master class on content marketing to teach attendees how to create purposeful and meaningful content.
(Background, left to right) Melvin Chen, creative lead at Tech in Asia, and Nathaniel Fetalvero, product manager at Tech in Asia / Photo credit: Tech in Asia
In other cases, firms may be looking to scale and hire more people. The goal then would be to create content that can encourage people to apply to open positions at your company.
Once the objective is clear, you can start setting metrics to gauge how effective your content strategy will be. For instance, the measure of success for a content strategy based around recruitment may be to get 50 new applicants.
“This sets you up for success by keeping you aligned and focused on what you need to do later in the process,” Chen said.
Getting into their heads
The next crucial step is understanding your audience, and it goes beyond just knowing their general profiles.
You may know that you’re targeting tech professionals or SMEs, for example. But an effective content creator has to go deeper than that.
Nathaniel Fetalvero, product manager at Tech in Asia, suggested that content creators and marketers should consider the following as well: What are they doing between the hours of 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.? What is their experience in a particular field? What are their needs and wants? What keeps them up at night?
“These are the things that inform you and give you a better, more holistic picture of who you’re speaking to, who you’re trying to reach, and also informs your content strategy,” he added.
The empathy map / Photo credit: Gamestorming
A useful tool for this is the empathy map canvas, which gives the user a better understanding of what their target audience really cares about.
“You’ve got to identify who it is you’re trying to empathize with and the need that they’re trying to address,” he continued. “Who is it that you, as a company and as marketers, want to reach?”
Cooking up content
Last but not least, we get to the meat of the matter: crafting your core content needs.
Chen indicated that, generally speaking, content falls into four main categories, depending on audience size and how you want to appeal to them. This gives marketers four approaches to crafting content: to entertain, inspire, educate, or convince.
An example of a content matrix / Photo credit: Tech in Asia
“For example, content made to inspire are things like human-related stories and people overcoming great odds. Maybe you’ve got a great story about someone who slept in an airport and had to work their way up to build a successful company,” he shared.
Once you’ve decided on the direction of content, it’s time to brainstorm some ideas.
One strategy for crafting ideas is known as 25 boxes. For this, content marketers can get their teams to sit down together and take around 10 to 15 minutes to fill up 25 boxes worth of content ideas.
Next, each contributor expands on their own ideas as creatively as possible, and the team eventually votes on the idea that they feel is the best.
“Focus on the content and not the medium,” Chen said.
For example, if you’re trying to market a blockchain-powered digital payments startup, you should be thinking about making content that are most relevant to the sector – such as security or how blockchain can speed up transactions – instead of focusing on whether to produce an article or video.
Trimming the fat
With your new content ideas in hand, it’s time to refine what would work well and what wouldn’t. For this, online tools can help marketers get a sense of general public sentiment and interest or even consider new angles to their existing ideas. These include things like Google Trends, AnswerThePublic, Deck of Brilliance, Tableau, or even ChatGPT.
Using Google Trends is a great way to gauge general sentiment / Photo credit: Tech in Asia
For example, let’s go with the example of a blockchain-powered digital payments startup again. A marketer can consider using Google Trends to see if there’s more interest in “blockchain” or “digital payments” as a topic. Using that data, they should adjust the scope or general direction of their content so that it’s tied in to what people care about.
That said, going forward, marketers shouldn’t be overreliant on these tools as they aren’t the end all be all. “These are mostly used as tools for validation to help inform your content strategy,” Fetalvero explains.
While saying that such tools are a great help, he added that some people might not take to them right away. To those still sitting on the fence, he said: “You might feel like it’s much faster if you think about these things yourself, but once you get into the habit of using these tools, it actually becomes very beneficial.”
“Your content also becomes more reliant on data, which is always good.”
Tech in Asia Studios held a master class on February 7 to share our insights from years of experience in content marketing and hosting events big and small. We had a blast teaching attendees how to create great content.
If you want to join us in putting out content that matters, click this link.
This content was produced by Tech in Asia Studios, which connects brands with Asia’s tech community. Learn more about partnering with Tech in Asia Studios.