Creating content is often what we freelance writers do these days. When you’re asked to write content for a client’s website, or when you suggest a client needs content it helps to understand what that client is trying to achieve.
Some of your clients will know exactly what outcomes they want from their content and even have ways to track the success, or lack of success, their published content gives them. Others will have only a vague notion that ‘content’ is something they should ‘do.’
As writers our job is often to help our clients clarify their goals. If we’re smart, we sometimes go further and actually work with them to set reasonable goals for the writing they then hire us to create content.
All of which means, of course, we’ve got to have some understanding about the ins and outs of content and what it can create for clients.
But first, some definitions of content
The term ‘content’ is pretty squishy. It exploded on the scene with the Web and we’ve been told that ‘content is king,’ that creating content can create money for clients, that content should be short, long or in between. In other words it’s a moving target.
Lee Odden wrote What is Content? Learn from 40+ Definitions at the Top Rank Marketing blog. Yep, 40+. I like JL Braaten’s minimalist approach: “I’d define content as information presented on the web” which while true also begs the question a bit. Content includes articles, blog posts, videos, white papers, ebooks and reports, slide shows and more presented on the internet, mostly through the web. As a writer creating content does give you a lot of potential scope.
What to think about when creating content
Marketingprofs.com pointed to an infographic by Brandpoint.com that’s designed to show the “…complete conversion funnel in action and what outcomes to strive toward…” with creating content marketing. Although aimed at measuring the outcomes, I find this infographic particularly helpful in seeing the big content picture if you will.
For example, it starts with Awareness. It lists three desirable outcomes, points out that 93 percent of “online experiences” begin with a search engine, and notes the rather surprising statistic that there’s been a significant decrease in the click through on first-position content. This is followed by specific recommendations. And so it continues through Consideration and Conversion.
I think every step or point there’s some content creation we writers could write – an article, a blog post, etc. etc. I can also imagine taking even part of this information and showing a client how we can begin creating content that is likely to work for them.
What do you think? How can you see making use of this information?
Hit tip to Jay Magpantay who first suggested I look at this infographic.