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4 Tips for Content Generation


Author: Cieana Detloff, Content Manager, Empowering Brands 

Some marketing professionals collaborate with outside agencies to generate content, while others create content with whatever in-house resources are available. If you consider yourself part of a small marketing team, this doesn’t mean you can’t do a lot! I’ve seen what a team of 6 can accomplish with a little brain power and a lot of tenacity! Here are some tips to help as you work to generate content for your company.

  1. Sometimes you have too little content. What can you do to expand it? Think about what you are assuming the reader already knows. Some technical writers are so familiar with the content they are generating, that they forget the diversity of their audience. They assume, without realizing, that there are some details or concepts the reader already knows. Writers, take a step back and think about what you are assuming the reader already knows, then realize that those points are worth including! Some readers in your audience may be new to the concept, so make sure to include additional explanations, no matter how basic. These additional bits often give more depth to the story you are composing. A second point to ponder is, have you covered the always important ‘who, what, where, how, and why’? Including some of the reasons why or how is often beneficial to your readers.
  1. Sometimes you have too much content. Let’s say you’re already starting with 3000 or 4000 words. In some technical papers, every word is needed. But if you are repurposing content, say taking a technical whitepaper and converting it to a shorter blog post, for example, think about the theme of the paper and streamline it to capture only the key points. Try putting the content in a bulleted list, and only allow yourself 100 words to explain each bullet point (for example, 5 bullet points = 500 words). Sometimes giving yourself some rules for trimming content helps you reshape it for your medium.
  1. Always think of your medium. The really talented content generators can look at one piece of content and see it in all the different ways it can be reformatted and shared with audiences on different platforms (digital, print, on mobile devices, versus desktop, etc.). One piece of content can be translated into a technical paper, a blog post, an infographic, a slideshow, a landing page on a website, a printed flyer, etc. Think of how your audience is accessing and digesting your content, then shape your content so it is the *easiest* to access and the *quickest* to consume (if your reader can’t understand main point of item in 30 seconds, you’re doing it wrong.)
  1. Always think of your reader. What do you want them to get out of reading the content? Write for your audience. Write down a quick list of the people you know are reading the content, with a note about what their key interests are. Granted, your company has priorities about what content they want to focus on, but it’s all about how you present material. For example, if you start out writing about a product, consider focusing that article on how the technology behind that product helps people who are in need of that product. Talk about the details that matter most to the people who are reading your content.

I’d love to hear about your approaches to overcome content generation challenges. What are the challenges you face when generating content? Please use the comments section below!