The dynamics of online content creation in the gig economy vary from field to field. Content creators, who are primarily the drivers of this economy, generally come up with original content for digital media with a particular end goal in mind.
While many may connect content creation to influencing and other works related to marketing, content creation covers a broader space. Understanding your brand and working on a niche genre will set you apart from the crowd, enabling you to build and grow an organic following on the social media platform you choose to use.
What is content creation?
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An online content creator may create written or visualized content such as posts, news articles, press releases, content for social media and documents, as well as visual media like videos, graphics, illustrations and software. I, for instance, create content in the form of posts, documents and news articles. Photographers for example, create visual content, as in photography. Make up artists create visual illustrations and social media posts…and so forth.
Why content creation?
Some people get into content creation purely for commercial interests. These people are given the title of Digital Marketers in some companies, and oversee digital activity to influence receivership of products and or services. Other people get into content creation purely out of fun interest, then gradually commercialize their brands depending on the level of their influence on consumers. These are commonly referred to as Brand Influencers.
I have, over time, written on a diverse number of issues, online and offline. In my line of work, professionalism and mastery of the craft is an essential tool to stand out in this space. Listed below are a few valuable tips I have learned along the way.
- Do your audience research
If you aim to create content on YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, blogging, etc., it is vital that you understand your audience. Study what your target audience wants to consume. Is it the latest make-up trends? Is it the latest business news? Sports? Perhaps celebrity gossip, music and showbiz?
Understand your audience and start from there. Find the defining characteristics of your audience and work with that.
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- Create content with a purpose
In the competitive world of content creation, your content should stand out as valuable and informative. Be what people will remember. Create a platform for people to think about as a reference when they need information.
Provide answers to questions by your audience and inspire action. For instance, if you are a content creator who focuses on University education, cover all angles affecting University education. Which are the best Unis? Which are considered the worst? Which Uni has the best student leaders?
If your goal is to monetize your content, ensure it triggers engagement and responses as well. Above all, your content should retain your readers/followers/audience.
Successful content creators will agree that content creation is not only due to passion, but also due to the people that influence us to create this content. Mentors and other people inspire us to think differently and level up when it comes to quality content creation.
Networking forces you to expand your knowledge, listen to others’ considerations and share ideas. Spend time on social media to check on thought leaders in your space and follow them. This will ease the process of in-person networking. Exposing yourself to other people in your field will help you learn how others like you have done it before, and create an opportunity for learning and growing.
- Create content that offers solutions
Remember your audience needs. Do not simply repeat what everyone else is saying, or what your audience already knows. Create a unique and informed perspective in your work. Readers, who are consumers of written content, are looking to satisfy specific needs, not just consuming content.
Couple this with curiosity. This way, you will be able to identify problems worth solving. Get in the habit of having a genuine concern in solving problems affecting your audience.
- Stay relevant
Do not dwell in stale news or information. Try as much as you can to keep up with trends. If you are in the fashion space? Which clothing is trending currently? What sort of “challenges” are trending on social media?
If you are focused on business or sports news? When and where is the next F1 race? Which team in the local football league lost a match an hour ago? Keeping up with important events will help you retain a dependable reputation with your readers.
- Look at other brands
As a content creator, you will sometimes be stuck on how to successfully grow your brand. In such times, simply look at what other brands in your space are doing. Is it more marketing? Are they promoting their work more? Check what similar brands are doing and borrow a few ideas that might work for you. Remember, do not copy others. Just borrow from their ideas and work on yours.
- Post often
In light of staying relevant, post your content often. Maintain a healthy social media presence and engage with your audience. To help you do this, create a work structure for your work. Schedule social media posts using apps like Hootsuite and link your work to your posts.
If you have a blog for example, use a direct link to your blog on your social media posts. This will help draw traffic to your blog using the direct link.
Also, check on your interactions with the audience and remain actively responsive if they have questions regarding your work. Position yourself as an expert and genuinely interact with your audience.
- Do follow-ups
Every so often you may have questions on a certain area of your field. When that happens, do not panic. Work with what you have done before. If you had written about something that was about to happen or a product that was about to launch, feed your audience with a follow-up on that.
Create guidance for your audience and try as much as you can to link relevant previous work to your current work.
- Invest in your content
Investing in your content means going over and beyond for the success of your content. If you have a problem with traffic, invest in social media promotions or post boosting.
For video content on platforms like YouTube, invest in quality equipment like cameras, tripod stands and other paraphernalia. Invest in learning as well. Read and find as much as you can about your area of work and how to expand it. Show up for content creation summits and webinars, ask questions and invest in yourself and your craft.
In conclusion, content creation is more than publishing and posting content. It is more than the followers and the likes. Create soul for your work. Be passionate about it and understand who you are creating it for.
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