We each have our own process or steps towards creating compelling contentI have the honor of teaching “Content Marketing” as part of the Integrated Marketing Communications program at West Virginia University this Fall.
Although I spelled out a content creation process in my book, Global Content Marketing, here are some steps, suggested by my students, that you can take to create compelling content. Consult my idea file – A notebook in Evernote with hundreds of content ideas I came across on blogs, in books, on TV, in conversations, through research, etc.
Consult my community – I regularly check-in to see what readers want to see, what topics they are most engaged in, and what formats they prefer for content. Consult metrics – Past performance of content can be a great indicator of what content should come next. Outline, then fill in the blanks – For all content, I start with a topic, then list out the main ideas, add a few bullets for each main idea, fill in the blanks under each subheading, then add an intro and a closing. The more extensive my research is of my target audience, the greater knowledge that I will have to move forward with a purpose that is fully relevant to the audience.
Pulse internally and externally for input – These internal sources would include anyone from senior leaders to peers in my function or other functions to front-line employees. Compile, brainstorm, and create – After meeting with and hearing from various sources, I would want to move forward to compile and make sense of my findings to pull into the brainstorming process and create a first draft of content.
To create compelling content (in my opinion) is just as difficult as nuclear physics — but instead of working with atoms and a reactor your trying to get a desired reaction out of Adam. In fact, to create compelling content that attracts the attention of consumers and generates a desired response can seem, at (most) times, impossible. So how do you do it? In my experience and opinion creating compelling content is a creative process that is just that: a process. Exploration:In my experience this should include a “start-up” meeting where the creative team is presented with all the information they need to get started on content creation.
Incubation: This is when the creative team takes a step back from content campaign to let what they’ve learned in the preparation stage sink in. Verification: Once the completed content has been approved by the necessary higher powers, it is released to target consumers using desired delivery methods. It’s very interesting that three of them took different angles to answer the same question – “What are some steps or processes that you can take to create compelling content?” Alyssa’s response focuses on her personal process, Ashley’s on working with others in a company, and Libby focuses on the creative part of the content creation process. You need to sit back and understand what you want to accomplish in the context of your roles.
Testimonials “Finally the book that explores all critical aspects of Global Content Marketing! Obligatory Disclaimer: The blog is based on author(s) personal opinions & interpretations & not those of author(s) employer(s), past or current. Your goal as a marketer should be to, over-time, transform your website from a stagnant brochure into an optimized piece of machinery which regularly attracts new visitors (via social media and search engines). One of the best ways to attract and convert visitors is to create valuable content in the form of a compelling offer. Brainstorming can be the most difficult part of the process of creating a compelling offer because it’s so easy to get derailed. Next, make a list of a 5-10 keywords that could be the foundation of a meaningful offer and brainstorm offers based on those keywords. Take a look at the offers you brainstormed and select the offer you believe you have the most available assets for and could easily knock out in a day. Pro-tip: Set a timer for yourself so you have a set amount of time to spend on the project so it doesn’t end up taking over your entire work day. Previous Entry MAKE SALES NOT WAR: 3 Ways to Stop Blasting Emails & Start Nurturing Leads! Marketing Julep is a one-woman inbound marketing services agency run by Boston-based marketer, Shannon Bullard Sweetser. Compelling content – everyone talks about it, yet it is as difficult to articulate as it is to create. This is usually followed by examples of compelling brand content in various mediums – videos, infographics, memes, e-books, podcasts, etc. It’s as though the answer to the million-dollar question of how to compel people with content is – make the content compelling. While these are actionable content-creation techniques, no commandment is to be taken as gospel because the method must fit the marketing strategy.
For instance, a cellphone brand could recall the evolution from the bag phone to the flip phone to today’s smartphone; or an education brand could relive the maddening experience of using microfiche and the Dewey decimal system. There is likely to be some sentimental artifact related to your brand that people yearn to remember. OfficeMax used the power of this insight for its Elf Yourself website, transcending viral media into mainstream culture. And then there’s Coca-Cola, which took a long-established product and increased sales by 2% in summer 2014 by slapping first names on its cans and bottles as part of its Share-a-Coke campaign.
Those campaigns were massive, but the core insight can be applied in countless ways, from featuring user-generated content on your website to placing your email subscribers’ names in your subject lines.
Imagine if a brand like NASA apologized for making us memorize in school that Pluto was the ninth planet in our solar system?
It is never more evident that we are suckers for sentimental content than when the ads with cute puppies air during the Super Bowl. We also love a good underdog story or a debunked myth that makes us see ourselves differently. Dove takes the initiative to a heightened level to draw on emotions when it incorporates its mission to improve self-esteem in young girls by helping them “overcome beauty-related anxieties that stop them from being happy and confident enough to reach their full, amazing potential” and invites viewers to join in that mission. Be it the huge volume of expert content for small-business owners on American Express’s Open Forum, or the countless recipes from Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s, content marketing has given rise to the prevalence of brands providing free, useful content. Creating content that is free does not mean churning self-serving, evergreen articles replete with shameless plugs and links to your product pages. Brands often forget that they possess some of the most valuable, interesting, and rare information available. So, there you have it – 10 compelling answers to that million-dollar question: How can we create content that compels people to consume it?
You can learn more about creating compelling content from dozens of successful entrepreneurs who have created a profitable business using content.
Head of content marketing at digital marketing agency, MullenLowe Profero, Patrick is passionate about creating content strategies for his clients using his background in writing, social media, SEO and email marketing to develop a holistic approach to content marketing. Join Over 150,000 of your Peers!Get daily articles and news delivered to your email inbox and get CMI’s exclusive e-book Launch Your Own Content Marketing Program FREE! I need to make sure I don’t break these 10 commandments and build amazing content for people to enjoy. Any special kind of skills or qualification is not required for this, just normal typing and a reliable internet connection …. Time limitations are not here to start work … You may work on this any time when you get some time …. John Amour is a Columbus, Texas native who has successfully operated various businesses over the years. Cause marketing (aka cause-related marketing) is generally the promotion of an altruistic, philanthropic or environmental issue through the concerted effort of a nonprofit and a for-profit organisation.
Cause marketing can also be taken to mean campaigns by none other than the nonprofit itself, as in the wildly popular Kony videos released in 2012.
In any case, the majority of consumers have a greater appreciation for companies that have demonstrated or acted upon social conscience. American Express is widely credited for coining “cause marketing” in 1983, when it launched a fundraising effort to renovate the Statue of Liberty. With the rise of social entrepreneurs, cause marketing campaigns have never been easier to execute. A little more established in the arena of cause marketing is Dunkin Donuts, particularly its Illinois branches. Other cause marketing campaigns understand and leverage the clout of their production resources, creating and uploading potentially viral video content on the interwebs. If you’re have a profit interest, cause marketing is only as good as the cause you support or create.
It is paramount that you select a nonprofit partner with a cause relevant to your brand, like what Olay’s skin cancer awareness projects did in behalf of the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery.
Your chosen cause marketing partner should also have a reasonable understanding of public relations.  Typically, this means a solid grasp of socio-technological mediums and its mobile enablers. Cause marketing doesn’t require you to be a paragon of saintliness, but it is a step in the right direction.

NewsletterBusiness Adviser wants to help entrepreneurs and business owners like you succeed. They may not be the red hot content marketing format they were a few years back, but that doesn’t mean that your brand should be ignoring infographics as a means for creating and delivering compelling content. Whether you’re new to infographics or looking to squeeze more brand recognition, back links, and traffic from your efforts, this step-by-step guide will show you how to develop a winning topic, find the data you need, and get your infographic content in front of the people who matter most. Sure, you can craft your infographic around a popular topic, but it’s not necessary in order for your infographic to perform well.
Google Trends: If you want to go the hot topic route, you definitely want to do some research on Google Trends to see what information people in your industry are currently searching for.
How it works: Just head over to Google Trends and enter a few keywords that make sense for your niche.
Looks like an infographic about gluten-free baking might be a topic worth pursuing, as searches for this term are trending upwards. The results will show you what types of infographics on your industry have been successful —  which can help you identify opportunities for original topics and approaches. If your business already has an active presence on a particular industry forum, you can even create a conversation thread that asks community members what topics they are interested in seeing infographics on.
Once you have your topics ready to rock, your next step is to gather the data you need to fill your infographic with compelling content. The best part about Google Scholar is that most of the papers you’ll find cite dozens of other research studies, which means that they’re doing all of the hard work for you! Use a maximum of 10 data points: Any more than this can get overwhelming, which means that your readers may not absorb or retain the information — including the brand that provided it to them. Tell a story: The best-performing infographic I ever created was for a client in the precious metal space. Once you’ve entered all of the important information, copy and paste the code underneath or on top of your infographic. The code will create a box of HTML that people can use to easily embed your work on their sites.
Social media: As with a blog post, social media is the first place you should turn to when you want to get the word out about your shiny, new infographic.
Infographic directories: Infographic directories can help generate buzz and momentum for your efforts. I just wanted to give you a heads up that I just created an infographic on [infographic title]. Considering you’re someone that loves writing about [topic], I thought you might be interested in seeing it.
Depending on your industry and the quality of your infographic, you can expect a 20 percent (or greater) share rate, with many of those shares coming in the form of a website embed. Even if you’re still not completely sold on the lasting power of infographics, I strongly suggest that you give it a go.
This step-by-step guide has good advice and details to help you develop infographic content. One thing that I don’t like about most infographics is that they are too heavy on data and stats. I think an infographic is more compelling when it tells a story using a combination of data, stats, images, and illustrations.
Really solid stuff Brian, especially the point about topics & strategy to focus on the right part of the long tail of SEO. Best way to get online visibility is by exporting the infographic in a HTML format which is SEO friendly. If the content is going to perform well, it has to compel readers to read it, and engage them enough so they share it. In many cases, interviews or user-based insight is a great way to make sure new content is engaging.
Not only does the headline determine if content will be consumed, but it can also change the way people read an article and the way they remember it. For example, with my client being a furniture retailer and my target being Millennials in a metropolitan city, making sure that my research goes beyond Millennial consumption behavior to include how Millennials shop specifically for furniture has helped me to understand a deeper purpose behind the content that I look to create. Looking outside the company, external sources can be typical consumers, customers, vendors, or investors. With their feedback, I may learn that I misinterpreted something that they shared or can expand more on that one nugget of insight in the content that I create to better attract the target audience, for example. With their help, this cycle can normalize so that we can get content developed and promoted quicker and quicker each time. When visualized, it takes the form of a model that includes four key stages: preparation, incubation, illumination and verification (Griffin, G. This is also where a creative brief of sorts should be distributed to highlight the purpose, timeline and appropriate delivery methods of said content. Afterwards, its effectiveness is tested using methods such as test markets, focus groups, etc. Whether you are a small business of a Fortune 500 company, it is essential to understand the 4P’s developed by Pam Didner. However, every day I talk to marketers who say they never have enough time to really grow their website’s assets.
To maximize the outcome of your brainstorming, start the process by examining pathways (keywords) your visitors are currently using to find your website using Google Analytics (refers) or HubSpot (Sources).
Think: “What are some top-of-the-funnel offers I can create based on these keywords?” For example, using a keyword worksheet I may want to create an offer based on the long tail keyword “easy search engine optimization for small business” since it’s likely that a person using that keyword may be interested in our SEO services.
Also consider selecting an offer that doesn’t depend on too many external resources or resources that have yet to be created.
Spend some time checking your email and working on other tasks so you can come back to your compelling offer with fresh eyes.
You’ve just created a compelling offer for your business that you can offer behind a form and collect more leads. Seminar after seminar, blog post after blog post, content marketers provide the same trite advice: Create compelling content.
For lack of a better word, compelling answers on how to create shareable, or dare I say, viral content, are lacking.
It brought back the campaign in summer 2015 and even allowed people to personalize and purchase their own bottle through the website. President Obama hosting a Between Two Ferns interview with Zach Galifianakis at The White House to promote the Affordable Care Act on the Funny Or Die website is an excellent example. Dove capitalized on this technique when it created a time-lapse ad revealing how a model gets her made-up beauty. From airlines owning data on the best time to buy plane tickets to insurance companies knowing the safest times to drive, there is bound to be a piece of useful data your brand owns that it can use to create genuinely unique content.
They ask questions about your brand everywhere – via your customer service team, internal website search, social media, etc. Pouring money into a third party that’s offering a content marketing “solution” can be a recipe for mediocre content if you don’t continue to be involved.
These 10 things you have said to stick to are a really good way of making better content for readers.
In our niche publishing world, your post is something really helpful to share with the whole team–editors and salespeople too.
Like you said, it depends on the goal, but brand awareness can lead to conversions as well.
The nonprofit, seeking funds to stay afloat and spread public awareness of their goals, latch on to a for-profit company, seeking ways to get the most returns on its marketing budget, often bigger than its charity budget.
According to various studies, including the Cone Cause Evolution Survey, the norm is that consumers are willing to switch brand allegiances on account of a good cause. Just about any third party can strengthen the synergy of a commercial interest and a nonprofit. Since 2003, it has been holding the Cop on a Rooftop fundraisers, wherein Illinois law enforcers would stake out above Dunkin Donuts stores to help fill donation boxes benefiting the Special Olympics. Now past its sixth year, the department store’s Believe campaign is still one of the driving forces behind the Make-A-Wish foundation. There is no forgetting Dove’s runaway hit last year, “Real Beauty Sketches,” part of the soap manufacturer’s longstanding Campaign for Real Beauty. In general, you should choose the cause that will best position your brand’s favourability and visibility. Many corporations are at least framing their advertising campaigns as emotionally charged short films for online distribution.

We’ll keep bringing you quality content, and as a bonus we will email you, every new issue before it releases to the public absolutely free! In fact, now that the buzz has died down a bit, there’s more room on the web for your quality infographics to stand out. There are plenty of infographics on evergreen topics that make for compelling content (and even go viral). Looking at other infographics on relevant topics that have performed well can give you a quick sense of where consumer interest lies for your industry. Considering the hundreds of infographics published every day, you really want to invest in your design so it will stand out from the crowd.
Unless your information is being presented in a clean and clear way, readers will just move along. Look at all those references!” A long list of references helps increase the perceived value of your data.
Embeds generally have fantastic click-through rates, and the resulting link provides more of an SEO boost than a social media share does (although it should be said that most people that embed your infographic will also share it on social media). It’s one of the cheapest ways out there to build high-quality back links and drive targeted referral visitors to the compelling content you create on behalf of your business. There he publishes guides to help digital marketing agencies and small business owners get more search engine traffic to their websites using content marketing.
Your article is great and very useful in providing pointers for creating compelling content through Infographics. The secret is to organize the flow of information and data in a way that it is telling a story with characters, problems & conflicts, and include some takeaway messages to resolve the problems.
I’ve been getting away from data-driven infographics and leaning more towards story or tutorial style pieces.
The creative team conducts any necessary background research — familiarizing themselves with the goods, services or ideas driving the need for content, as well as the target market and so forth.
At one of my previous positions, the manager of the creative department would encourage us to leave the building for thirty or so minutes after intense sessions of background research. Working together, they build improved ideas off of each other’s thoughts, often morphing two or more key ideas into one creative content campaign. Read it and take your content strategy to the whole new level." — Ekaterina, Author of “Think Like Zuck” and Co-Author of “The Power of Visual Storytelling” “Many have tried, but few have actually pulled it off. To help increase turn around time on creating compelling offers for your website, here are some tips on how to accomplish the task of creating and completing your compelling offer in just 1 day. If you already have a fantastic webinar that you could use to create the content in your offer or a few blog posts on the topic, take that into account. To make it easier, block out some time in your schedule to spend some time writing out the bones of your compelling offer. Now, you can spend more time with your content and bring structure to abstract thoughts and ground the entire document in clarity and reality. You did it in less than a day and if you did it right you can offer this piece of content for quite some time.
I took a stab at it and present you with the 10 commandments of how to create compelling content.
Find nuggets of forgotten pop-culture lore that relate to your brand, and create content that evokes nostalgia. The satirical exchange between the two generated over 30 million views and helped lift traffic to HealthCare.gov by 40%. It revealed the myth behind commercial beauty, reinforcing Dove’s ongoing messaging about what true beauty looks (and feels) like. If everybody and their mothers are talking about how amazing Cronuts are, create a top 10 list of why Cronuts are the worst thing to happen to the culinary world since McDonald’s McLobster.
It can be as simple as one piece of useful, well-designed content, like a cooking cheat sheet or in-depth, brand-free buying guide. Become a trusted resource for valuable information first. Identify trends in the questions they are asking and feed them the content before they even realize they are asking for it. It’s important to consider the long game and create numerous types of content with varying goals. To a for-profit organisation, it’s like hitting two birds with one stone, increasing brand recognition (leading to revenue generation) and enhancing customer relations.
Also, Alloy Media’s College Explorer research contends that 95 percent of students are less likely to dismiss ads by cause-invested brands. Last year, Cop on a Rooftop raised $300,000; there is no doubt this year’s event will be a sweet success again. KFC learned this lesson the hard way when it once decided to pair with a breast cancer awareness nonprofit. To convince customers that your campaign is not a money grab, try holding more than one event in support of the cause. If this trend means anything, it only underscores the need of the public to feel good with their spending habits.
And its strict editorial guidelines ensure that the data you find is legit and trustworthy.
Not the sexiest topic, but it grabbed and held people’s interest so that they read it from start to finish — which made them more likely to share it.
However, these services are usually not worth paying for, so make sure you only submit your infographic to free galleries. The way of using living examples to portrait the logic behind infographics is just commendable. Any insights that I can get from another lens by using such avenues as focus groups, surveys, or quick face-to-face meetings would help to drive additional creativity. Often, the creative team would take short field trips to a nearby farmers’ market or the local Starbucks to help get our mind off the task at hand so our brains could absorb what we just spent hours discovering. The creative process illustrated: how advertising’s big ideas are born [Google E-book version]. In your first draft, don’t focus on how it reads, instead focus on the value of the content.
In the case of a webinar, perform a few couple of run throughs of your slides, adding in any necessary information or transitions to make the presentation clearer.
The content might not go viral, but your customers will appreciate it, and it will lessen the burden on your social community managers and customer service reps.
Emerson College students Nick Reynolds and Chris Dobens partnered with Milwaukee-based t-shirt maker Ink to the People to raise money for the One Fund benefiting bombing victims.
At the same time, effort must be made to not appear sanctimonious, and—heaven forbid—inauthentic.
As you’re about to see, these references can also help you get people to promote your infographic for free.
If you’re offer is a webinar or a video, spend your time story boarding out your presentation. If you are creating a new online resource, find out what has been created and make something 10 times better. For example, a 3-page check-list or white-paper might be easier to create than a 20-page ebook with multiple contributors. You don’t have to pick a taboo or politically divisive subject and you don’t even have to pick a side – just plant the seed and stay on the sidelines while people engage on their own. Investing time into the quality of your content is always more effective than investing money into the quantity of your content.
From just hoping to shift dozens of these shirts, Chris and Nick were able to sell more than 59,000 tees. A webinar is a great offer that can be planned for a later date, but you could work on building the slides for the webinar within 24 hours.
Travel site First Choice asked Pinterest and Twitter users which country was the most beautiful in the world. What better way to get people to share content than provoking them to passionately argue their side?

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