If you’ve been creating content for a while, you very likely have a process, and it is probably some variation of this: Choose the topic, write it up, send it to the editor, and hit publish. But what if you could do a little more to set your new content up for success?
There are a lot of other steps that you will take when creating your content. The goal here is to give you some ideas to apply to your workflow to strengthen your efforts’ success.
Selecting a winner
Content selection is the first – and maybe most important – step of any content creation process. Everybody has resource constraints, and prioritizing timely or breaking news is a natural flow. Why do you choose to cover one story vs. another?
There should be a reason behind every story selection. Here are things to consider when selecting your next story:
- What is the purpose? Information? Entertainment?
- Whom are you reaching with this story? Are they a part of your target audience?
- Is it relevant to your audience?
- How timely is it? Should it be added to a queue, or does it need to be done immediately?
- Is it evergreen? If not, can it be transformed with a few simple changes to become evergreen and allow it a far longer shelf life?
- Can you create a good headline/image set up for the piece?
If you can run through these questions, you’ll have a good idea of what you’re trying to accomplish with your piece.
Creating the story
You’ve figured out your story. How should you tell it?
There is so much more to a story than the who, what, when, why, where, and how. If you’re working in the news, are you offering something unique? A quote from one of the players? New audio/video/images? A different take? Specific expertise? Consider what you can add to a story. If the answer is nothing, maybe it’s worth pulling a wire story and not creating anything original.
If you are working on something specific to your niche, an evergreen piece, or anything else, you may have a lot more leeway with your selection. In this case, make sure that you tailor your content to your audience. Make sure that you are speaking their language. Stay true to your brand and be consistent in your presentation.
It isn’t over when you’ve written the piece. There are many ‘next steps to creating a story! The best strategy is to create a checklist to make sure nothing gets missed. Here are elements that can ensure that a story gets the shot it deserves:
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO): SEO is essential. Choose your keywords carefully! If you have no idea where to start, tools like Semrush can help. Once you have your keyword, a plugin like Yoast can help ensure that you’re hitting all essential SEO requirements. Help people find you!
- Multimedia: IMAGES ARE CRITICAL! Creating a post without an image is a mistake. Ensure that you include any video, photo, audio, or social embedded elements that are relevant. Don’t clutter up your post more than you need to, but have enough to tell the story well.
- Tags and categories: This ties into your metadata setup, but it is critical. Check all the boxes. Tag what you need to. You will be forever grateful.
- Excerpts: Make sure you know what is going to pull through on social media. Most SEO tools will ask you to create an excerpt, which is helpful. Fill in your excerpt fields!
- Social fields: If you have social integrations, make sure you are filling in the fields! It is worth the time to craft your Twitter or Facebook copy, so it doesn’t pull a full excerpt or first line of the text.
- Choose the best stories.
- Invest time in your setup
- Look at your SEO, your tagging, your excerpts, and your images.
Completing these elements will keep you on the road to successful content creation.
How True Anthem can help
If you aren’t sure where to start, True Anthem can look at your data and help you figure out what is working and what is not. We can help you set up your metadata to make sure you’re getting the most out of your setup process. Once you’ve got your content, True Anthem can help you get it to your audience.
Set up a demo now, and we’ll show you how we can tailor our product to serve you best.