August 29, 2017
It is important to get your content started with some strategy
By Simon Kearney, CEO and editor-in-chief
Ifyou read Gary Vaynerchuk, which you probably should, the trick to succeeding in content is just starting. And he’s absolutely right. When he gets down to explaining his view, there are a few strategy basics he talks about – all centred around parts of the old journalist credo – the what, how and where.
I’ll sum up his key points and add our own spin on things.
“What” is it you want to say? It’s important not to overthink this. At Click2View we used to come up with all sorts of descriptions of what we did and still people would say to us they didn’t understand what we did. Eventually we had to make it simple – we are an agency that makes videos and writes blogs, and we advise you on how to do all this very well. Once we did that the floodgates opened and people started calling us instead of us calling them.
The “what” is also what we call tone of voice. Again, it’s important to be honest here. Think about the character of your company, your business, yourself or your idea and match that in the way you create content. It’s easy to figure this one out, look at your competitors or peers, work out who you like, what you want to be, and then build your own style in a similar way. Is it any wonder every Silicon Valley entrepreneur sounds the same, they’ve adopted a similar tone of voice.
“How” is a bit harder, but I’d urge you to go with what you know and then once you get the flow going, repurpose like hell (which will be the subject of another best practice article). In my case, I prefer to write so start with the blogs and then move on from there. But you might like making videos of yourself speaking, you might be a visual person who would prefer to speak in headlines and graphs – if that’s the case, go with a slide share. Podcasts are still vastly under-utilised in Asia so if you’re more the fireside chat person – think about a podcast.
The good thing is that all the tools are readily available. To get started you don’t necessarily need to engage an agency – just give it a go. One of the most valuable things I taught myself to use was iMovie on my phone to edit my own clips. Now I can film my son doing something cool and in a few minutes share a movie, with cuts, effects and graphics with his grandparents. In fact, I’d strongly suggest going mobile first with all your content creation. I’m typing this on a laptop now in Evernote but I’ll finish it on my phone. When I was a newspaper reporter I used to print out my stories and go and have a smoke to read them through and rewrite them. Now I don’t smoke, and I don’t print because I usually email copy to my phone as that is how I’m used to reading most things these days anyway.
Other great apps to use on your phone are:
- Canva for graphic design
- Prisma for taking images and making them more like art
- Cinemagraph for making cinemagraphs, this takes a bit of practice but the app has heaps of handy guides
- Enlight of photo editing
- If you can draw, Procreate
- And then there’s all the great apps around Instagram like Hyperlapse, Layout, and Boomerang
- And they keep getting better, Facebook for Business has just released some great looking video editing apps
- Even the iPhone’s new portrait function is well worth a look.
Finally; “Where”. Another one where I’d go with what feels comfortable (and sensible) and expand from there. If you’re in your late 40s and speaking to a business audience of peers, like me, maybe Snapchat isn’t the best way to start. Start where it will work for you, maybe that’s Facebook, maybe it is LinkedIn, or the company blog. As Gary V says, the important thing is to start. I’d add that once you’ve started, don’t settle for what you’ve done, keep pushing the boundaries, follow your successes with reversioning into different mediums, learn tips and tricks of the trade, try out the new apps.
In recapping – the important thing is to do. Be true to yourself and clear about who you are and what you want to achieve when deciding on a basic strategy.
Finally, one thing I haven’t discussed above, it is absolutely imperative that you are consistent. Consistency is the first thing to go when a content amateur gets their first setback but it is so utterly important. I’d say apart from just doing it’s the next most important. With quality coming third (I hate to admit it but it’s true).
In old media, not putting out a news bulletin or a paper was simply not an option. It should not be an option not publish when you say you will either.
If you’d like to know more email me at firstname.lastname@example.org