Creative Content: How it’s helping businesses get noticed online
Success in the digital world requires a good first impression. A fast and user-friendly website is a start, but brands must formulate unique and innovative content ideas to overtake the competition.
Users are consuming content in a multitude of ways. From videos to podcasts, photos to infographics, and blog posts to newsletters, there are so many avenues for exhibiting your brand’s creativity and achieving your business goals.
Understanding what types of content to provide is another piece of the puzzle. What does your audience crave? And more importantly, what types of content do you excel at creating?
Once you find the sweet spot of content that addresses your audience’s needs, combined with content that you’re skilled at producing, you will be able to keep your audience engaged and converting.
What is Creative Content
Creative content is the fuel in the engine of digital marketing. It should be developed with the consumer in mind, as well as having the goal of creating content that makes consumers recognize and trust your brand. There are many styles of content creation that have gained traction, but here are some of the most prevalent types today.
Pair the boost in technology of iPhone cameras with the rise in popularity of photocentric social media platforms, and you have a renaissance in the world of photography.
Not only can you post images across social platforms, you can also post them on your website, add them to product emails, and get them to rank in Google Images (yes, images can be used to improve your SEO).
Video marketing has also seen a boost in popularity. By the end of 2022, video content will make up more than 82% of all consumer internet traffic.
People are watching videos on the go, all day everyday. Whether they are on the train, working out at the gym, or sitting at their desk (while “working”), there are ample opportunities for marketers to reach new consumers through effective video messaging.
Even brands that didn’t historically churn out video content are beginning to see the value in it. Local services businesses are utilizing YouTube to express their authority and give customers a reason to hire them. One example of this would be a local plumber who uses YouTube to create how-to videos, like ‘how to unclog a sink.’ This could have two benefits, a) ranking the video in YouTube, and b) possibly drawing in new local customers.
The popularity of podcasts has been a sight to behold. Today nearly 50% of U.S. homes listen to at least one podcast, which is amazing considering that many people hadn’t even heard of the word “podcast” a few years ago.
Podcasts might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but if you are able to put in the effort you can see nice results. This can be a great channel to connect with your audience, answer their questions, and express your industry authority.
Yes it’s one of the oldest methods of content creation but it’s still the most popular for a reason. Content writing is relatively easy to do, and it doesn’t require any unique coding or graphic design skills.
It’s still one of the best methods of driving SEO results hands down. You can write a keyword-rich blog post and see it rank within days or weeks.
Content writing doesn’t have to be just words on a page either, you can add catchy illustrations and other graphics to convey your intended messaging. It also doesn’t have to be restricted to blog posts. Content writing applies to pretty much any form of creative writing, including (but not limited to) newsletters, press releases, whitepapers, case studies, and eBooks.
You can identify specialist writers to assist with many of these different types of content.
Types of Content
Content can serve a number of purposes depending on the stage of the consumer’s lifecycle. A piece of content that’s meant to target cold traffic versus content that’s targeting past customers will be two different things.
Generally speaking, there are five main types of creative digital content you will use to address different needs along your consumer lifecycle.
Informative content conveys information about your business as a whole. It’s not intended to convert readers into customers right away, it’s oftentimes the first introduction an audience has to a particular brand or product. Think of it as content that sits near the top of your sales funnel.
Many brands will create long-form guides and other more extensive content pieces to increase the potential for SEO rankings and referral traffic. By not sounding overly promotional, brands can come across as more of a genuine authority on the topic while being perceived as more value driven.
This is a great opportunity for evergreen content creation. Instead of being specific to a particular time period or event, evergreen content can live forever. Examples would be a post titled “The Ultimate Guide to DIY Home Projects.” This content remains relevant year round, making it especially effective for reaching audiences around the clock.
Content that’s meant to entertain audiences would include virtually any type of social media post. From Instagram reels to Facebook stories, your primary objective is to boost the potential for likes and shares to your social pages.
Entertaining content might have an emotional component to it as well. It could be a touching video showing how your organization is making a difference in your local community, or a personal essay from a past consumer who made an impactful connection with your brand.
Entertainment can come at just about any stage of the sales funnel. You may be using it as a way to initiate new customers or as a way to keep existing customers engaged.
Persuasive content is usually geared towards warm traffic. These are people who have previously engaged with your brand, whether from a paid ad campaign or an organic search visit. The purpose of persuasive content is to lead potential customers towards making a sale.
This content will be a little more heavy-handed with calls to action and sales pitches, but it should also provide value. Persuasive content provides information that may challenge the consumer, but it should ultimately serve to enlighten them.
It could touch on sensitive topics in the realm of politics, healthcare issues, or other emotional touchpoints, with the goal of leading consumers down a particular path.
Educational content has grown massively thanks to the rise in remote learning. There have never been so many people taking courses and mastering new subjects from the comfort of home.
Not only are universities pumping out e-learning materials at a record pace, but so are businesses.
You can engage and educate your audience through comprehensive webinars, video series, games, and other content styles.
Motivational content is huge across social media, especially in the health and wellness space. These can be images, videos, or long-form content that is geared towards firing your audience up and making them feel like they can shoot for the stars.
By motivating your audience, you will encourage them to take action and engage with your product or service.
If you are a personal trainer, you could use a motivational video to get potential clients inspired to change their fitness. You could also show before and after photos of past clients to demonstrate your skill set.
The Importance of Creative Content
There’s a common misconception that creative content lacks conversion value. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
Once you determine your most effective channels, you should write up a creative content calendar to ensure you are staying on task and distributing content on a regular basis. This calendar will also help your creative content creators feel a sense of direction as they craft each piece of content.
A successful creative content strategy will help you connect with and nurture new audiences. If you can post consistently to your top channels, the results will be consistently positive.
Give Your Company a Face
Strong content gives your organization a face and it compels your target demographics to take action. It makes your organization more relatable when you’re able to share motivational, inspirational, or other personable content especially when audiences can directly interact with you.
Ask me anything (AMA) sessions are all the rage these days. These involve video or text chat exchanges between leaders at the organization and their consumers, allowing the latter to ask them anything.
Above all, professionalism is key. Even if you are trying to invoke humor in your entertaining creative content, it’s vital to remind customers that you take your brand seriously. And most importantly, your brand takes your customers seriously.
Promote Team Building
Who says creative content production has to be all business? When you can enjoy the process, it is usually reflected in your results. Assembling a team of creative content creators, creative content writers, and others who enjoy the creative process will make things way more fun for everyone.
Organizations who value teamwork and value input from different parties throughout the creative process will see tremendous value. It will effectively bring various individuals together within your organization under a common cause.
Your creative content management strategy should embolden your team to work together in unison.
Improve Your Website
Creative website layouts and web design choices will make your site stand out above the others. From unique designs to improved usability, there are numerous advantages to implementing creative content across your site.
Content creators can add unique graphics, videos, and other content to engage your website visitors. Let’s say you have a creative eCommerce website and you are trying to highlight your product line. Creative content might include stylish product photos, how-to videos, and well-designed catalogs.
Tips & How to Make Creative Content
There’s no right or wrong way to make creative content, but there are certain components of the process that might make your life a little easier.
It’s common for brands to struggle with ideas, especially if it’s your first foray into creative content production. The best way to start is by brainstorming concepts with your team.
Like we said before, this can be a fun way to bring the squad together and unite your organization behind a common cause. It encourages members of your team to rely on their strengths and focus on creating content that they excel at.
Next up is the collaboration phase. This should happen repeatedly throughout the content process but especially when forming your content calendar. Bring your team together in each stage of the content creation process to ensure that they are feeling actively involved and that you are delivering the best quality content each step of the way.
The mind mapping method has been widely used as a way of organizing your team’s thoughts around a central theme. For example, if your content’s theme for the month is centered around “wellness,” your mind mapping illustration could include concepts like “losing weight,” “improving mental health,” and “tips for staying active.”
Mind mapping is great for more visually-attuned people, laying out exactly what the content plan will look like. It’s a convenient way to share hub and cluster ideas amongst your team, and see how you plan to piece content ideas together.
Top Tips for Creative Content Development
Avoid Similarities to Competitors
There’s nothing wrong with borrowing inspiration from other brands, but make sure the messaging is your own.
Competitive research is valuable, especially when it comes to determining the right channels for your business. You want to produce creative content in the right places. Places where your ideal audience may already exist.
But as far as the actual content is concerned, try to retain your own identity,
Focus on Your Customers’ Wants and Needs
Ultimately, your content endeavors revolve around the needs of your audience. You are trying to address pain points in creative ways.
Learn from your customers, collect feedback, and use it to improve the overall quality of your content.
Use Videos, Graphics, and Other Visuals to Improve Messaging
With people constantly on the go these days, it’s important to keep things visual. Consumers would rather glance at a creative graphic, or a colorful post on Instagram than navigate through an extensive blog post for tedious information.
If you’ve written extensive blog posts already, there’s no need to freak out. Just go back and add some engaging images or videos where appropriate.
Tinker with Different Types of Media
Don’t limit yourself to one or two types of media. Experimentation is another key component of a successful content strategy, and may require extensive A/B testing across multiple channels.
Most top brands are actively creating content across many platforms. If you are a smaller brand, you may have to get more selective about where to post, but that doesn’t mean that the quality of the content has to diminish.
Creating a Strategy & What to Do with the Content
It starts with a sound strategy. If you want your audience to feel as immersed and connected as possible to your brand, you have to establish the right gameplan.
Considering your prospective customers’ wants and needs, then acting out a viable content strategy to target them will result in more long-term customers.
Whether it’s your first time embarking on a creative content strategy or you’ve been at it for years, you need a team of experts in your corner. At Blue Laser Digital, we’ve had years of experience helping brands of all sizes achieve their goals, and we’re ready to help you do the same.