People often don't realize just how difficult digital marketing and content creation can be until they're already in the thick of it.
When you're on the outside looking in, things appear easy: “all I have to do is sit down, come up with a topic, write a few hundred words and publish – how hard could that really be?”
But when you realize how much time each of those things take – and then learn that you're expected to do it again tomorrow, and the next day, and the next day – you suddenly start to re-evaluate those initial expectations.
However, things can be just as “easy” as you originally thought it would be. You don't have to wake up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat, wondering what you are possibly going to write about today. You don't have to find yourself trapped in the daily marketing grind from which there appears to be no reasonable chance of escape. The only reason you're running into these problems…
… is because you didn't adequately prepare beforehand.
Digital marketing is about content creation (among other things), and content creation is all about preparation. There are a number of key reasons why this has always been true and it always will be that are certainly worth exploring.
Preparation Forces You to Learn More About Your Audience
If you want to create the type of content that really resonates with your audience, you need to learn as much as you can about them as possible. You have to intimately know who they are, where they're from, what they like and what problems they have.
What you may not initially realize is once you have that information, you more or less have everything you need to start planning your next six months of content today.
Is it very important to your audience to learn how to get the most out of the product they just purchased from you? Perfect – there's the topic of your next video series, which you can film and get out into the world via a service like Uscreen.
Is your audience unclear about why they should upgrade from the version of your product that they already have to the one you're about to release over the next few months? Now you know that you should sit down with a piece of presentation software like Visme(which I founded) and dive deeper into the topic.
By acknowledging the importance of preparation, you're essentially forcing yourself to begin not with the content, but with your audience. Once you've learned as much about the people you're trying to serve as possible, you know what they want to hear.
At that point, all you have to do is give it to them. Suddenly, the “daily marketing grind” is officially no more.
Preparation Forces You to Think About the Bigger Picture
Preparation before content creation also helps you focus on the bigger picture in two distinct ways. First, it lets you see how each piece of your content puzzle fits together, eventually telling a larger story that is more effective than any one of them could tell on their own.
Secondly, it makes it far easier to actually post that quality, relevant and valuable content on a regular basis. You're not laying the proverbial train track down right in front of the train, so to speak. The track has already been built. All you have to do is take the journey.
A tool like a timeline creator can be very helpful in that regard, as it allows you to lay out in a visual way what you're going to post and, more importantly, when it will be posted. Everyone on your teams can see what they should be working on, when it needs to be finished and how it's all going to fit together.
The benefit of this doesn't just end with the fact that it's suddenly far, far easier for you and your people to keep up with the insatiable demands of the modern audience. Creating one helpful piece of content is how you get someone's attention. Creating as much as you can on a regular basis is how you keep it.
The advantage of this also extends directly to your audience, as they now have access to a steady supply of Infographics, blog posts, white papers, videos and other helpful content that will genuinely meet their needs and improve their lives over time. At that point, the raw value that you're able to generate for your audience is literally never ending – which is all you were ever trying to pull off in the first place.
Author's bio; Payman Taei is the founder of Visme, an easy-to-use online tool to create engaging presentations, infographics, and other forms of visual content. He is also the founder of HindSite Interactive, an award-winning Maryland digital agency specializing in website design, user experience and web app development.