Let’s talk about content creation. How do you optimize your stories? Do you have standards for headlines and image selection? What about your tagging, categorization, and meta fields? Do you spend time setting up your SEO?

Here’s the thing: Writing the copy is probably one of the easiest parts of the process. There is so much more that goes into ensuring that your piece is ready for distribution. It’s time to dive into your content creation process.

The importance of a content creation strategy

We’re assuming at this point that you’ve already selected your content. If you haven’t, make sure that the content is something relevant for your audience, that you can tell the story well, and that you have chosen your angle. That is just the first step.

Looking at the whole presentation should be an essential piece of selecting your stories and getting them ready for the world. If you have a great subject but cannot choose an angle or develop appropriate visuals, it can make the process difficult. How you set up a story is critical to its success – you will see results if you take the time to make it searchable, social-friendly, and easy to navigate. Aesthetics and functionality are critical. 

So let’s dive into the process.
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The setup

You’ve chosen your subject. You have your angle. What comes next?

Content creation begins with story selection, but the execution can make or break your piece. Let’s start with the blank post. Let’s talk about the elements you should think about before you even begin writing.

Headlines

Headlines are a crucial element of overall success. They set the tone for your piece. A good social headline will draw the reader in, concisely capture critical story elements, and identify any key players or topics in the text. 

Some things to consider:

  • What is your lede? Make sure that your headline captures the most crucial part of the story. Don’t bury the lede.
  • Are you delivering on what the headline promises? Clickbait is a headline that falsely advertises a story. Always make sure that your headline accurately sells your story.
  • Are you giving people a reason to click? If you tell people the entire story in the headline, they’re very likely to share without reading. There is an art to this: Balance the tease with the facts.
  • Who is your audience? You’re going to package a story differently for different consumers. Make sure that you are using appropriate language for your intended audience.

 

Images

What is content creation with a visual? Make sure that you are selecting an image that accurately illustrates your story. 

Things to consider:

  • Do you have permission? Make sure that it is legal. You do not want to deal with the legal fees. Chances are you have an AP/Getty subscription. Use it. Do not assume free sites like Pixabay are safe, as users can upload images without the required image licenses/rights.
  • Is it a compelling image? Don’t use a gritty image that is hard to identify. Don’t use the same AP photo of a politician for every story. Get a little creative if you have to, but consider what will cause someone to stop their scroll and click.
  • Is there an image from the corresponding event? If you’re writing about a speech, event, etc., try to find pictures that are actually from the event.
  • Lastly, make sure you are choosing an image of the right person. Mix-ups happen frequently, and they are embarrassing for a publisher every single time.

Multimedia components

Is there a video? Slideshow? Social media post? Consider which elements you can embed and how they will work within your post. If the technology isn’t going to accommodate the media, don’t use it. It creates a poor user experience.

Getting it ready for distribution

So, you’ve got your visual elements. You’ve crafted your headline. You’ve written your copy. What else is there? SO MUCH MORE. Content creation isn’t over until that story is ready for distribution.

We love lists around here, so we’ll give you another list of things to consider:

  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Get a plugin that will help you. Identify your keywords, fill out all the meta fields. SEO is a critical component of search success. If you want search engines to find your content, make sure that it is locatable. Yoast is an excellent option if you have WordPress. 
  • Social meta fields. These fields may or may not be an option, depending on your CMS, but they can make a huge difference. For more tips on setting up your social copy to be excellent, check out our deep dive.
  • Tagging and categorizing. There is some more information on setting tagging and categories up here. Consistently applying tags and categories is imperative to a successful SEO & distribution strategy. Cleaning this up later is a nightmare, so knowing your process can save you a ton of time.

What True Anthem can do for you

Custom CMS fields and other backend meta modifications can be challenging if you don’t have developers on hand. Never fear! True Anthem can help because Metadata is our thing. Before we implement our AI posting process, we take a long, hard look at your CMS and your structure to ensure that we can access your content and get to the Metadata that we need. 

Bonus: We can strategize + build custom CMS fields, help you streamline your process, and answer any questions you may have.

If you want to take your meta to the next level, set up a custom demo here.