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Before Creating Your Online Content

Content generation is essential in any digital marketing effort. Before clicking away to write your blog or recording your instructional video, here’s a suggested process:

DEFINE YOUR GOAL

What is the overall point in making these content?

Your content goals should align with your marketing goals. They should be SMART --- "Specific," "Measurable," "Attainable," "Relevant," and "Time-bound." An example of a SMART goal would be to increase organic traffic to your website by 20% in three (3) months.

CREATE BUYER PERSONAS

Buyer personas are representations of your target audience. Chances are, you’ll have multiple semi-fictional characters depending on who you want to attract to see your digital offerings.

If you are a destination hotel owner, your buyer personas could be 1) a young traveler who likes doing adventures with her friends. You might want to call her Adventurous Anna 2) a married couple looking for a place to unwind. This could be the Chan Couple 3) a mother looking for accommodations for the family’s getaway. She could be Mommy Martha 4) a travel agency owner looking for recommendations for clients. Let’s say you call him Greg the Guide.

Your content will now be targeted towards Adventurous Anna, The Chan Couple, Mommy Martha or Guide Gina. One article could resonate with just one, two or all of your buyer personas.

But few things spell successful inbound content than to make each reader feel like you’re directly speaking to them.

Before creating your content topics, take time to “get to know their obstacles, their pain points, their challenges, and fears. Similarly, you should understand their best possible outcome, their dream solution, and their biggest fantasies.” (https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/content-creation)

CONSIDER BUYER’S JOURNEY

Now that your content has more direction, you will also need to get familiar with the buyer’s journey. These are different stages of a buyer’s mentality in relation to buying your product or service. Some are in the Awareness Stage, others are in the Consideration Stage and some might already be in the Buying Stage. There should be content to satisfy them or guide them at each stage of their buyer’s journey. This way none of them falls through the cracks, and every one of them feels like they’re getting relevant and useful information.

Source: Hubspot

CREATE A CONTENT AUDIT

Before things get muddled up into a pile of content mess (yes eventually you will have a lot of content), put it in place already, with a Content Audit. This can simply be a spreadsheet containing your current content inventory so that you can insert future topics to fill in the gaps of a logical content plan

You will have columns for target keywords, buyer persona, buyer’s journey stage, format, page views, shares, engagement, etc. You may have a column to note down whether it is an excellent piece and could be a peg for future content, needs to be rewritten, or could be merged with another post.

While a content audit may seem tedious, you’ll be thankful down the line that you made it as it organizes your content plans and saves you time in the future for the million other things that need your attention.

Now you’re ready to write your content, enjoy!