5 QUESTIONS FOR ASSESSING YOUR CONTENT CREATION

In 2021, 82% of businesses made use of content creation strategies1.

Photos, videos, graphics, podcasts, documents, or blog posts like the one you are reading now. A content talks about the brand or its products or services, and has vast ROI potential.

Content creation is one of the most effective forms of inbound marketing and is able to generate up to three times more leads than other instruments, while costing an average of 62% less2.

 

Content creation KPI

 

All our buyer journeys are becoming more and more digital.

We are now used to finding answers to our queries and solutions to our needs by searching the web with Google, browsing marketplaces such as Amazon, or simply asking Alexa.

Brands are well aware of this, and to ensure that the right people find them, they have to create contents suited to each of their customers. However, there are many content creation activities, and they differ widely.

Creating a content demands great energy and resources of marketers, so they inevitably ask themselves, “am I creating contents in the most effective way possible?”. If you’re reading this, you may well have asked yourself this question 😊

On this article, as well as a flash on the concept of content creation (and a few curious facts!), we provide a quick quiz with five questions you can ask yourself to assess whether your content creation processes are really effective. Reading it will provide you with some useful practical inputs for improving your work and that of your whole team!

1 The Ultimate List of Marketing Statistics for 2022, 2022, HubSpot.
2 The Ultimate List of Marketing Statistics for 2022, 2022, HubSpot.

Index:

 

What is content creation?

What makes a content marketing strategy unique is its ability to dialogue with potential customers, provide them with values and guide them towards a more or less informed choice.

For example, The Lego Movie, which entertained millions of spectators in cinemas in 2014, reinforced the toy brick brand’s positioning.

LEGO Movie

IMG 1: Lego Movie 2 - One of the video games based on the Lego movie

Without spending budgets of feature film size, the big Italian brands also invest in content marketing.

Examples? The Barilla Spotify playlist for perfect timing of pasta cooking or the Buitoni YouTube channel with its video recipes.

So content creation is not only found in the strategies of the large global corporations.

Thanks to content marketing, customers reward brands by purchasing their products and services, because through contents brands entertain them, reply to their queries and share their knowledge on topics of interest in an authentic way.

 

Content marketing: a long story (quickly told)

The term “content marketing” was coined in 1996, but don’t get the impression it was a child of the Internet era. Digitisation merely required brands to dust off a technique that originated about 300 years ago.

It was in 1732 that Benjamin Franklin, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, launched Poor Richard’s Almanack. Apparently, this was an annual calendar with weather forecasts, advice for the home, riddles and stories of various kinds.

The structure and quality of its contents attracted an ever-growing number of readers, who eagerly bought the latest edition each year. Published for 26 consecutive years, the almanac promoted Franklin’s printing business.

Another historic example of content marketing is The Furrow, , the magazine first published in 1895 by John Deere, the owner of an agricultural machinery business. Providing useful advice to farmers, the magazine – still read worldwide today – played an important role in the positioning of Deere & Company, the corporation founded by its historic author.

The Furrow Magazine over the years

IMG 2: Some covers of "The Furrow" magazine

We are all more or less familiar with the rest of the story.

Today, content creation - in both B2B and B2C contexts - is the vital heart of brands’ strategies, increasingly deployed in a digital environment, from search engines to e-commerce sites.

 

The role of content in business 2.0

Given the volume of user interactions recorded on the web every day, the continual creation of new contents is essential. In Italy alone, more than 50 million people use the internet3 on a daily basis.

Search engines are the main tool through which consumers discover new brands, outstripping more conventional methods such as TV commercials and word of mouth. New media such as social media posts and brand websites are also growing at a dizzying rate4.

 

Tools to discover new brands

Fonte: Digital2021 Italy, 2021, Hootsuite

The multiplication of touchpoints requires the continual production of digital contents, customised for each channel but all aligned and consistent with each other.

The activities required vary a great deal depending on the company’s organisation, the type of asset to be produced, and the intended channel. However, there are a series of common steps involved in all content creation.

To be specific:

  • The creative brief
  • Creation of the concept or draft
  • Approval of the content
  • Its distribution
    • Internal (across all company teams)
    • External (to the market and stakeholders in general)
  • Analysis
  • Subsequent revisions and updates

These activities are normally supported by technology and especially DAM, or Digital Asset Management solutions, which enable brands to manage all phases of contents’ lifecycle.

3 Digital2021 Italy, 2021, Hootsuite.
4 Digital2021 Italy, 2021, Hootsuite.

 

5 questions for rating your content creation

Data and statistics reveal a close correlation between ROI and content marketing.

Measuring their content strategy’s return on investment is fundamental for marketers, since this activity requires a great deal of energy and resources. However, calculating this is a complex undertaking, because it is often hard to measure a content’s impact on conversions.

In spite of this, there are some parameters which, although they do not supply a numerical indicator, help to define the value of content creation activities. Below, we summarise five basic questions you can try to answer to assess the quality of your team’s content creation. Shall we start?

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1. Whether you are a content creator or a Project Manager, how many different channels does your company use to share feedback on contents? Also include revisions exchanged with suppliers such as agencies, photographers and freelancers.

Some examples: e-mail, Microsoft Teams, WhatsApp, Telegram, file sharing services such as WeTransfer, cloud spaces like Google Drive or Dropbox. “Follow-up request” phone calls also count 😉

 

How many tools do you use to manage revisions?
  1. +3
  2. 2-3
  3. 1

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2. Do you and your company use structured activities for the approval of contents for publication? If so, are workflows flexible and can they be personalised independently by the team?

Bear in mind that: although company chats or emails are “digital tools”, they are not able to create efficient processes - they simply generate unstructured communications.

 

How would you define your company’s internal digital processes for content approval and collaboration?
  1. I don’t have any digital processes
  2. Inflexible
  3. Flexible

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3. Getting lost in the maze of activities for the creation of every single content is easier than you might think. Especially if you do not have suitable tools to keep you on the right path.

Bear in mind that: filling your diary with “progress updates” to find out what your colleagues are doing is not sufficient to avoid bottlenecks and provide an accurate overview.

 

Are you able to monitor the process of activities?
  1. No, but the team and I compare notes at the start and end of the process
  2. No but I constantly align my work with my colleagues
  3. Yes, at any time, with one click

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4. Think about how long it takes to populate web and e-commerce sites with contents and the relative product data. Have you ever thought you are spending “too long” on managing this activity?

Bear in mind that: a content without its accompany product information (such as SKU code, materials, size, colour, etc.) is unlikely to have a positive impact on your business, because it will provide only a partial experience on the final channels. What’s more, you will be unable to measure its real impact in terms of ROI.

 

Does it take time for you to associate product information to contents?
  1. Yes, it takes a long time
  2. Not me, but colleagues take ages
  3. No, the pairing is automatic

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5. Analysing the results of your content creation activities is a fundamental step for creating contents of ever-improving quality. To do this, you need suitable instruments, combined with “traditional” tools.

Bear in mind that: tools like Google Analytics or SemRush only provide a traffic-based quantitative analysis and do not include a qualitative analysis of how contents are used.

 

Are you able to obtain data and statistics on your contents’ performance?
  1. No, I only use traditional web analytics
  2. Yes, but I only glance at the figures
  3. Yes, and thanks to them I have a data-driven strategy

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Want to know how you got on or ask us some questions? Write to us at marketing@thron.com.

 

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