What is Content Creation? A Guide to Content Writing

Writer:
Richard Lee Peeler
Editor:
Published: Feb 02, 2022
Last Updated:
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The objective of a profitable content strategy is to produce a piece of content that fulfills your marketing goals — increasing brand awareness, engagement, and revenue. Keeping your end goal firmly in mind as you plan, create, and optimize your content will guide your selection of content type and delivery channels.

Documenting your content creation strategy can bring a 538% increase in success because your whole team works toward the same goals using the same plan. Get the Content Strategist's Playbook free.

Here are nine steps to building a successful content creation strategy document:

  1. Determine your business goals.
  2. Describe your target audience.
  3. List your content core topics.
  4. Describe your content types and delivery channels. Your audience preference determines these.
  5. Create a publishing schedule, so people know when to expect your content.
  6. Set your content standards to ensure meeting your goals.
  7. List the people on your team and their responsibilities.
  8. Develop workflows, processes, and your tech stack so everyone can use the same tools.
  9. Determine the metrics you’ll use for evaluation.

Creating a comprehensive brief for every content piece will ensure that your team works together to produce it on schedule and that it meets your standards.

Let’s take a closer look at content types, so you have a good understanding of your choices.

Types of Content Creation

While long-form blog content is in high demand, video has surpassed them in popularity, and podcasts are the rising star. However, it doesn’t matter which content type your audience responds to because unique written content is necessary for all of their success.

Even though consumers demand long content because of its educational value, there is a trend toward shorter, bite-sized material. Long pieces of content need to be broken up by infographics, images, or short videos to hold a reader's interest.

Creating each type of content requires a process and expertise. Writing emails is very different from creating video scripts.

After your team has created highly-engaging content, an email campaign is still the preferred form of informing your audience about it, followed by social media.

Video Content Writing

People love watching videos on their smartphones so much that it has become the leading content form. And all those videos need scripts. And they need SEO descriptions to rank on Google search.

Video scripts require about 150 carefully crafted words per minute, so word count grows fast in long explainer videos.

According to Facebook, live streams that announce new products, do Q&A, or how-tos get six times more interactions and ten times more comments. They hold viewers’ attention three times longer than prerecorded videos.

Video scriptwriters need to write the way people talk. Reading scripts aloud helps you get cadence, timing, and flow right.

Blog Posts

Blog posts and articles were the kings of content until last year when video surpassed them in popularity. Marketers serious about blogging are 13x more likely to enjoy a positive ROI on their blogs.

Blogs will remain one of the dominant forms of content because they:

  • Drive organic traffic
  • Inform consumers
  • Naturally enable keyword optimization for multiple keywords
  • Get inbound links and the traffic coming with those links
  • Are easy to include on your website
  • Enable you to establish topical authority

Articles that use images are 94% more likely to be read, while posts containing video get 50 times the organic traffic of plain text.

Writing blog posts requires careful research. You need to uncover original content and be familiar with SEO writing and how competitors are using the targeted keywords. Posts must be skimmable using headers, subheads, and bullets. It’s essential to match the voice and style of the site you’re writing for.

White Papers, Case Studies, and Ebooks

Each of these written content forms has its place in the sales process, especially in B2B marketing.

Ebooks work well for expanding your email list. White papers demonstrate leadership, deep expertise, and detailed knowledge of processes. These content forms are usually 3,000 to 5,000 words long, require extensive research, and possibly interviews.

Case studies are time-consuming and expensive to produce because they usually require interviews, but 42% of B2B marketers say they plan to increase production this year. B2B consumers want case studies to illustrate how other businesses have successfully solved problems.

Check out real case studies here.

Website Pages

Every brand needs professionally written content for its website. That content requires constant updating as website design and consumer trends change.

The purpose of website page content is to move users to the next step in the buyer journey. The content needs to:

  • Grab attention by putting the most critical information first.
  • Hold attention by describing benefits, not features.
  • Contain lots of white space, images, graphics, and short videos.
  • Be in the second person using the target audience’s language.
  • Formatted using headings, subheads, short sentences and paragraphs, and bullets.
  • Put quotes in a block to stand out.
  • Finish strong with a compelling call to action.

Email

Email continues to be one of the most effective kinds of content writing. It generates an astounding $42 in revenue for every $1 spent.

Businesses use email to inform their market about new products, other types of content, and events. Writing emails that are opened and responded to is an in-demand skill. Every email needs:

  • An attention-grabbing headline so people will open it.
  • Personalization.
  • A short, concise body in the reader’s language.
  • One or more calls to action.

Emails containing images, gifs, or short videos get a higher click-through rate than plain text.

Here are the 50 best email subject lines to get your emails opened.

Infographics

67% of B2B content creators use infographics. They work because people remember information received through visuals better than thorough reading or listening. And infographics are easily sharable.

A good infographic displays information on a single screen that could require hundreds or thousands of words to write out. Today’s trend toward more bite-sized content means that demand for infographics will only continue to increase.

How-to Guides

Google how to do anything and search immediately responds with an abundance of blog posts, videos, and infographics. Including ‘How to’ in your title increases open rates because it’s one of the primary topics users search for.

If you need content ideas, check out the FAQ section for any product or process to see what consumers ask for help on.

The Most Important Content Creation Skills for Your Marketing Team

A successful content creation team requires members with different skill sets. The need for cohesive effort is why a documented content creation strategy and comprehensive briefs for each content piece are vital. Your digital content team needs the following skills:

  • Content manager/strategist to oversee production and coordinate everyone internally and externally
  • Researcher
  • SEO content writer
  • Content editor
  • Graphic artist
  • Videographer
  • Tech geek to ensure that all media works together and displays properly
  • Email expert
  • Social media whiz

One person may fulfill several of these roles on small teams, but production and quality may suffer if you ask an individual to wear too many hats.

Content Creation in Social Media

Consumers expect every brand to be present on their favorite social media platform. Brands that use social media only as a content distribution network are missing out because social media is capable of much more.

Successful social media content creation requires understanding each platform.

Facebook is still the 800-pound gorilla in social media. Facebook changes regularly, but social media posts on this platform can still lead to an increase in traffic and leads for your sales team.

Twitter

Twitter helps you get the word out about content you’ve published. Writing short, engaging tweets of 280 or fewer characters optimized with hashtags lets you reach your target audience fast with announcements.

Instagram

While Instagram is most widely known for its photo and video sharing, it also allows plenty of space for lengthy written descriptions.

YouTube

Google ranks YouTube videos high in search because it owns YouTube. Until Google algorithms learn how to parse video, it will continue to use written SEO descriptions.

Successful content creators leverage every type of platform they can to meet their content marketing goals. Learn more about social media marketing and how to incorporate it into your content creation process.

Helpful Content Creation Tools

These content creation tools can’t replace human creativity even though some try to. Using them will give you the time to produce more high-quality content.

Content creation tools allow you to make high-quality quality consistently. From scheduling posts through an editorial calendar to generating creative content ideas, these are several powerful tools to make your content writing process more manageable.

Content Research and Planning

Keyword planning has traditionally been the start point for research, but content producers increasingly recognize that trends are profitable.

SEMrush

Although it’s pricey, SEMrush excels at doing keyword research. You can also do topic research to create blog outlines and a publishing calendar. With over 20 SEO tools, SEMrush tries to be a complete answer.

Ahrefs

Ahrefs is similar to SEMRush in that it analyzes backlinks, traffic, and organic keywords. The tool analyzes all major modern search engines and not just Google.

SparkToro

The key to creating engaging content is understanding your ideal audience. SparkToro gives you valuable information on your audience personas. This makes it easier to create relevant content while keeping your audience in mind.

BuzzSumo

Find influencers and discover what the most shared content is for any topic. Identify hot trends fast.

SEO Content Writing Software

Content writing software makes it easy for writers to create SEO articles that rank on page one. You get:

  • A word processor/editor
  • An analysis of your competition’s posts for targeted keywords
  • A list of associated keywords to include in your article
  • Questions to answer
  • Suggested topics for subheads

Surfer SEO

Widely used to generate first-page rankings, Surfer SEO is feature-packed and easy to use for writers producing SEO content or agencies planning content calendars.

InLinks

Built around the natural language processing phrases used by Google, Alexia, and Cortina, InLinks includes trend research. It also builds the internal link structure critical for getting your content ranked on search.

MarketMuse

MarketMuse is a content writing solution powered by AI. It's one of the most widely-used AI writing tools available. If you're working with a small team of content marketers, this powerful tool is useful in maintaining a steady stream of producing content.

Grammarly

Grammarly is a comprehensive content editing program. It identifies grammatical errors and provides suggestions on how to fix them. The tool is great for freelance writers who want to check the quality of their blog articles before publishing.

Pro Writing Aid

A favorite of professional writers, Pro Writing Aid is less expensive than Grammarly but is slightly slower checking short pieces. It shines on long-form writing and fiction.

Discover more about search engine marketing tools.

Content Creation Services

Most businesses see content creation as necessary but outside their operational scope. The ones with internal content creation teams excel at integrating content with marketing and other business functions, but internal teams are expensive. You can save big and get top-quality content from a content creation service.

The internet’s insatiable, never-ending demand for content has given rise to content creation services targeting every type of organization, including B2C and B2B companies.

  • Content mills use AI-generated content or pay writers one to five cents a word to serve private blog networks and small, local businesses.
  • Lower-end content creation services churn out material for sites that recognize their need for SEO content but don’t have the budget for a serious program.
  • Mid-range agencies create well-designed and professionally written content that will rank high on search.
  • High-end content created by the top agencies commands premium prices.

Freelance content creators market themselves to content creation services or directly to content buyers.

Content writing is the foundation of content creation. The need for excellent content writers shows no sign of decreasing because of high demand and the inability of artificial intelligence to match human creativity.

Need help developing and executing your content strategy? Compose.ly has you covered.
Learn More

Learn how to work with AI tools, not against them. 

Download our free guide to AI content creation and discover: 

✅ The benefits and limitations of generative AI
✅ When to use AI tools and when you still need human assistance
✅ Tips for writing effective ChatGPT prompts
✅ 6 ways to leverage ChatGPT for content creation
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