10 Tips for Creating Content Worth Sharing
Content is, apparently, king. But often it isn’t given the attention it deserves because of time and financial constraints. With some creative thinking and strategic planning, you can create shareable, relevant, unique content that boosts your brand and engages your customer without a huge budget.
1. MAKE PLANS …
Great content doesn’t just happen by accident. It takes planning and brand knowledge to give you the confidence that the content you’re creating will hit the mark. You should also make sure you know who the audience is and what kind of emotions you want the content to evoke before you start creating it.
‘The process lies in the preparation’ says Sveinn Birkir, Director of Communications at Promote Iceland. ‘Knowing your audience, and knowing your brand is important. What does your brand stand for? How do you consistently deliver your message and maintain a specific tone of voice and persona? What does your audience expect from you? This is what builds the trust between you and your audience that will allow you to turn almost any idea into a great piece of content. Because, most of the time, the success is not based in the idea itself, but the execution of the delivery.
An opinion echoed by Isabel Mosk, Founder of Sherpas Stories. ‘Develop content from your USP’s. The stories should be part of your destination DNA and fit with the meaningful experience you offer. Focus on the right theme and season and then create a content plan with the right stories for each channel.’
2. … BUT MOVE YOUR OWN GOAL POSTS
Make sure you have a clear goal for the content you’re planning to create in advance, but don’t be afraid to improvise during the process. Sometimes the best ideas happen when you break out of your own guidelines. Enjoy the process, see what happens and publish what you think suits your users best.
3. KEEP IT RELEVANT
Content needs a reason for existing and to ensure its relevancy it’s a great idea to set your own parameters to measure this. Look at your brand and identify up to 5 values or themes it stands for then create any content with these as your guides.
‘We use a very simple methodology’ says Adam Caerlewy-Smith, Head of Marketing at Visit Jersey. ‘All our content must have 3 main elements. A strong sense of “Place” – we try to draw out the unique personality of different areas of our destination. A sense of “People” – people are really important, we use real people (no models), it's more authentic and engaging. Finally, “Accessibility” – we always curate an experience that is accessible to the visitor.’
4. ENGAGE IN AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION
User-generated content (UGC) can be a great way of showing authenticity by using different voices and viewpoints. Studies show brand engagement rises by 28% when consumers are exposed to it in addition to any content you’re creating in-house or professionally. Many destinations are already working with influencers to create high quality, creative UGC but why not go a step further and connect with your day-to-day visitors. Encouraging visitors to share their imagery, video and diaries with them via an app during their trip is yielding unique, real visitor content for tour company Trafalgar.
5. SHARE THE LOVE
Generating ideas for content can sometimes be a challenge when it feels like everything you come up with has been done countless times before. But identifying knowledge and interests within your team can not only reveal untapped topics and stories but potentially new voices to tell them with too.
‘Great content ideas come easier when there is passion behind them’ says Bodil Tveitan, Digital Advisor at Visit Sørlandet. ‘One of our team, Inge Dalen, is a passionate camper and wanted to showcase all the great camping opportunities in a more personal and fun way last summer. This resulted in a lot of great (and different) material about camping in Southern Norway.’
6. TAKE ACTION
The strongest pieces of content all have one thing in common, a strong call to action. Whether you’re putting together a video or writing a blog post you should have a clear idea of what the person engaging with it should get out of it. Calls to action don’t necessarily have to involve making a booking or anything else transactional. Maybe you want to change their opinion on something. Or encourage them to further research a topic. How will your content achieve that aim? There’s multiple ways to guide them ranging from subtle nuances in language to explicit visual signposting so it’s important to gauge what feels right for your audience and your brand.
7. WELCOME FEEDBACK (POSITIVE AND NEGATIVE)
Your content isn’t always going to resonate with everyone so don’t try to force it to. It is useful however to tune into feedback on your content to gauge whether there is anything you could be doing better. Read comments, look at social media engagement with it and communicate directly with your audience about where you’re going wrong to help evolve current items and shape future content creation.
‘Think about what your audience will enjoy and engage with’ says Simon Lewis of Travel Concept Solution. ‘But if it isn't perfect and your audience knows that they can help you craft better content and will enjoy giving feedback.’
8. DON’T SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF
The beauty of digital content lies in both its timeliness and its impermanency. It’s possible to create content that’s relevant and reactionary fairly quickly but if you’re held back from committing to pushing it live because it might not be perfectly crafted remember it can always evolve, it isn’t set in stone. Make a decision if timing or quality is the leading force for creating a piece of content and balance the editing process accordingly.
9. THINK SOCIAL
‘Engaging content is often about context ’says Jessica Riches, DTTT Expert and Social Media Consultant. ‘Who are you creating it for, what are they doing and where are they doing it? Think about the time of day, the feeds they'll engage with it on and the needs it will help them fulfill.’
10. EMBRACE NEW TRENDS
It’s very easy to get stuck in a rut, always turning to the same types of content because they work well and you know how to create them. But new trends in content style and delivery are springing up all the time and gaining familiarity with your users, which could cause your outputs to feel dated and less relevant by comparison. There’s no need to adopt every trend that comes along but consider adding content R&D days to your activities calendar and spend them exploring whether new approaches might work for your brand.