Content Creation for Beginners: A Quick Tip Guide
This is our no-nonsense, quick-tip guide for beginner content creators. Let’s get started!
What is content?
Content is anything a customer or lead can see as it pertains to a particular brand: words; videos; pictures on your website; billboards; social media; memes; blog posts—even public customer feedback like Instagram comments or Yelp reviews. These are all forms of content.
What is content creation?
Our digital friends over at HubSpot define content creation as “the process of generating topic ideas that appeal to your buyer persona, creating written or visual content around those ideas, and making that information accessible to your audience as a blog, video, infographic, or other formats.”
Who can be a content creator?
Content creators come in many forms! Whether you’re a: small business owner running your own social media or in the process of starting one; a social media manager; a photographer or videographer; graphic designer; YouTuber; TikTokker— or somewhere in between, you are still a digital content creator!
Regardless of if you’re just starting out or have amassed an Instagram following of 100k, we think you’ll be able to take something from our top tips for creating content that will get your follower count growing.
Let’s jump into the top 6 tips we think you need to know to be a successful content creator:
1) Know Yourself, Your Brand, and Your Audience
Before you can start successfully putting content out into the world, you have to be confident in 2 things: 1) knowing who you are creating content for and 2) knowing what value that content is providing your audience.
Consider the values of the brand that you are creating content for. It doesn’t matter if it’s your personal brand, your small business, a big client’s account — none of it matters! If you are looking to grow an audience using content on any marketing platform, you must stand firm in your brand’s personality and values. Answer these questions (seriously! Get your answers down on paper!):
- What do you (or the brand you’re assuming the identity of) stand for?
- What’s the purpose of your account?
- What value are you offering followers?
- Who / what inspires you, the content you wish to create, and the followers you wish to attract?
Let your social media ecosystem inspire your content. Make sure that you are following the people you wish to attract as well as people that inspire the content you wish to share. All of this will allow you to successfully build a genuine relationship with your audience as you create and deliver content that resonates with them.
Our final tip here is paramount: Do not forget to engage and nurture your audience. Be genuine when interacting with them as you would from your own personal account, and don’t hesitate to engage with those outside of who you’re following. Identify hashtags that speak to your brand and the audience you wish to attract. More about hashtag strategy in our next step:
2) Plan Your Strategy
You know we love to talk about planning. Seriously… we write about it all the time. Check out this article for creating a solid marketing strategy.
Once you’re clear on your offer, create a content strategy by breaking your offerings and values down into a few pillars or major themes that align with your brand and guide your content creation & curation.
Answer these questions to help get you started with your strategy:
- What are the major themes or pillars of your brand? These will serve as reference points to the content you create, curate, and share.
- What will you post? If you need to spark some inspiration, reference our 2021 social media calendar.
- When will you post and how frequently?
- What are your desired goals as a result of you sharing content with the world?
Once you’ve finalized your content strategy, you can move on to building your assets. Using your pillars as a reference point, start gathering various groups of hashtags that speak to your brand and your audience. When selecting hashtags, try not to opt for only ones with large volumes. We suggest a healthy mix of 30 hashtags ranging from those with about 40k posts to those with posts into the millions (we use Instagram to search and qualify hashtags). Keep your hashtag groups in an easily accessible location.
Next, it’s time to batch some content! Although we suggest not being afraid to post on a whim, batching content helps ensure consistency and ultimately saves time and reduces stress. Trust us, managing a consistent flow of content to your social profiles can be overwhelming if not properly prepared for. Make sure that your posting schedule works for you by establishing a frequency that’s manageable for you to follow. This will help determine how much content to batch at a time.
If you find yourself stuck while working on your strategy, take a look at these trends shaping the marketing and content creation industry.
3) Repurpose Your Content
Now that your content strategy is out of the way, it’s time to think about your channels strategy. It would really be a shame if after all of your hard work to produce or curate content, it only saw the world one time on one marketing platform! The truth is there are only but so many hours in the day, and as a content creator, you have to think about all the ways in which you can use each piece of content.
Consider how you can use content across multiple channels such as your website, email marketing, or blogs. In addition to traditional channels, consider others like SMS marketing, Tik Tok, and Twitter. Apps like Tik Tok and Twitter allow viewers to see other sides of your brand’s personality that your audience may not be privy to on Instagram. Use our list of social platforms changing the game to help you decide what other types of social media platforms may be a good addition to your channels strategy.
We know you’ve heard this a million times but here’s one more: CONSISTENCY IS KEY. We cannot stress this enough. The more frequently you post, the stronger you get at editing, writing copy, and the better you get to know your audience. Practice makes perfect! We’re not suggesting photobombing your followers with something crazy like 10+ posts a day— that can be overwhelming for both you and your audience. Instead, start with a frequency that is manageable for you--try holding yourself accountable to 3x per week— and slowly increase from there when you’ve got your rhythm down.
5) Don’t Let Imposter Syndrome Get in The Way
Have fun and experiment with different types of content and delivery. Trial & error is key to becoming a successful content creator. Stand strong in your brand values and refer back to your pillars if you’re ever feeling unsure on your journey.
6) What Else Do I Need to Actually Create The Content?
Honestly, this really depends on the type of content you wish to put out into the world as well as your budget. If you’re a photographer or videographer, chances are you already have some basic necessities for creating high-quality content. If you need to design graphic assets to share— assess your level of expertise. If you’re new to the game, try a user-friendly app like canva. If you’re more advanced or looking for the ultimate flexibility in your design, you’ll want to look at apps like Adobe Photoshop.
Are you building a brand as yourself and documenting your daily life while recording the occasional Tik Tok or Reel? Your smartphone and ring light will serve you just fine! If you feel like you’re ready for the next graduate to graduate to a camera or lighting set and have the means to do so, go for it! If you have a product to showcase and you’re not sure where to start with the technical part of creating content, take some time to research what you might need for engaging content. I’d even suggest checking out what the young, tech-savvy Gen Z small biz owners are doing on Tik Tok.
Last but not least and above anything else, you will need patience while nurturing your content, audience, and channels.
Advice From Some Professionals
What’s one thing you know now that you wish you would’ve known when starting your content creation journey or career?
“Trial & error is a better teacher than anyone. Messing up is a gift in disguise.”
Kaitlin Kerwin, Communications Coordinator
“You can train your audience to receive info. Being consistent with your platforms shows people exactly how you post and helps them engage better! It let’s them know what to expect!”
Casey Corradinn, YouTuber
“Pull inspiration from everywhere. Consume tons of content from different lanes. Check out new platforms. Think about if you got on Tik Tok first instead of thinking it’s only for the kids.”
Matt Atkinson, Media Specialist
“Know the community you’re creating content for.”
Alexandria Wynter, Podcaster, TV Host, & Co-Founder of She x Shines