By Mikela Dennison, Senior Account Executive @ The Clarity Business

We've been spending a lot of time recently speaking with our clients about the value in creating original, interesting, objective-driven content that engages their audience and provides an opportunity to share knowledge on a regular basis.

Lots of businesses think it's hard to create original content - but it doesn't have to be.

Content isn't just the written word

Worried you aren't a wordsmith? No problem! Either get some professional help (aka - get in touch with us) or think about other ways you can create original material that you can use in multiple ways.

Take a minute to think about the amount of content you consume in any single day: online, offline, in the post, on the bus, news, video, podcasts, infographics, reports, white papers, blogs, photos, illustrations, tip sheets, charts… I'm sure you get the point. There's more to content than screeds of text, so use your creativity and start brainstorming some ideas of what would be a good fit for your business and audience.

Here's a useful post with some great tips on 37 types of content you can create, simply and regularly to raise your business profile and communicate with your audience.

What's your objective?

Your business objectives should be at the heart of your communications: do you want to raise your business profile, connect with a specific audience, create a behavioural change, be seen as an expert, increase sales, or something entirely different?

Whatever your objective may be, working backwards from what you want to achieve is the best way to plan and execute your content strategy successfully.

Shape your message

Well, I guess we would mention this, wouldn't we (our blog name being Shape The Message and all).

But in all seriousness, ensuring your message is strong, consistent and articulates precisely what it is that you achieve for your clients, customers, or stakeholders, is imperative.

Your message gives you a theme, a call to action, and a stand point from which all your communications should be based. Once you have that message locked in, you'll be surprised at how much simpler it becomes to describe to people what it is that your business does and the value you add.

Your message guides the content you create too, so make sure you have it nutted out before you start on your exciting content journey.

Who are you having the conversation with?

There's no point in shouting to an empty room. Knowing who you are trying to create a conversation with is key in getting the tone, topic, style and distribution of your content right.

You might have an older audience who like consistency and something tangible: consider creating a regular hard copy newsletter, with interesting stories and engaging visuals to entice them.

Perhaps you've got a younger, tech-savvy audience who you need to communicate with? Short blog posts, with tweeted links and quirky memes could be a better route.

If you don't know enough about your target audience, how you can add value for them, and how they relate to your business objectives, it's time to do some serious research and planning to ensure the 'room' you are speaking to, is speaking back.

There are lots of ways that make it easy for you to share, distribute and repurpose the content you create. It doesn't have to take up lots of your time and it's not painful - once you get into a good routine, you'll wonder why you never did it sooner.

Get a content clue with Clarity

Still no idea where to start? Check out this funny infographic offering 22 ways to create content when you haven't got a clue.

If you do want to get a clue, and get on the road to creating interesting content that can be easily shared across a variety of channels, and in a range of formats, get in touch with us today so we can have a chat about your business objectives and how smart content and distribution could get you there: emailmikela@theclaritybusiness.co.nz or george@theclaritybusiness.co.nz or tweet us via @ShapeTheMessage.


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