October 10, 2018
When it comes to content creation, there is a step to take that is fundamental to all output that follows. That step is what I call, uncovering and understanding the W’s.
By W’s, I am referring to the ‘why?’, the ‘what?’ and the ‘where?’ of a business – without which a content producer can be easily lost. The questions that must be answered include – but are not strictly limited to – why do you do what you do? What inspires and drives you to be a success in your industry? What challenges are you working hard to overcome with your offering? Where (in terms of geographical area) are you targeting with said offering and where would you like to target going forward?
WHY, WHAT & WHERE
There is an ocean of content published each and every day, and to cut through this it is essential that your pieces resonate with their intended audiences in a way that speaks to them directly.
It is also essential to demonstrate a thorough understanding of the challenges an industry faces, and how best to overcome them, but there are other areas that are often overlooked too. For example, in highly competitive markets, where suppliers abound, it can often be the story of why you do what you do that raises your company to the top of the list. Every company has a story to tell, and it is the content producer’s responsibility to extract it, shape it and ultimately leverage it to help the company gain new business.
Have you ever spoken to the owner of a company? Invariably they are brimming with passion and enthusiasm for their company, its industry, its products or services, the people surrounding it and the future of its output. Turn then to their website or other written output, however, and that enthusiasm - that spark - almost always seems to be missing somehow.
Not everyone in this world is a writer, yet it often falls to people within an organisation to produce content when their particular skillsets could be better deployed in other areas. My advice, before you delegate writing tasks to somebody, would therefore be to ask yourself… is it really an integral part of their role? Often, writing is placed in the hands of the people who are most likely to be good at it, when it could perhaps be better taken care of by professionals dedicated entirely to the craft of shaping value added content pieces.
Giving the aforementioned craftspeople the opportunity to do what they do best can pay dividends. A skilled content producer will always be objective, will always think first about what their audience is likely to respond to and, critically, will get under the skin of your organisation to incorporate the W’s to greatest effect.
Content is not an area that should ever be viewed with a cheapest is best attitude. Ask the question, will the person I have in mind within my organisation produce a piece that will truly add value to my goals, or is it the case that it makes the P&L look a little more attractive that month? If it’s the latter, forget the immediate numbers and engage a professional to take on the job. The value you will create by doing the job properly will see those numbers soaring in no time at all.
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Endless chattering does not content make. The inarticulate, speechlike sound that is birdsong will not drive traffic like thoughtful long form substance. Sure, tweets are part of the conversation, but in business, don’t you want to dominate? Roar.