When it comes to content consumption, we live in an on-demand world. We can access video, editorial, audio and broadcast content whenever, however and wherever we want.
When it comes to writing, speaking and blogging (i.e., content creation), however, very few of us would describe the process as “easy.” Content development can be time-consuming and intimidating, and many smart people with deep expertise lack the confidence to create, post and publicize content.
That’s a shame because good content has never been more in demand — or easier to distribute. Business leaders and consumers alike are hungry for decision support tools, insights, analysis and easy-to-understand synopses.
Here are five tips to make the content creation process less intimidating and time-consuming:
- Don’t worry about format. Good content is based on good thinking. If you don’t have the time (or inclination) to write, dictate your ideas into a tape recorder or voice mailbox –or put together a list of key bullet points. Once your thinking is in place, others can repurpose it into many different formats.
- Write/speak about topics you know well. Make a list of the subjects that you know better than anyone else. Commit to writing or speaking about every item on your list.
- Repurpose your thinking. In the course of your work, you create a great deal of unpublished content – proposals, memos, meeting comments. Ask a colleague to gather and synthesize as much of this “informal content” as possible. Highlight (or have your colleague highlight) the most interesting points. Then add a few examples (real or hypothetical), details, stories or “how to” steps. In no time you’ll have formal content, ready to publish.
- Expert-source. One of the easiest ways to create content is to identify a provocative question or issue – and then ask credentialed colleagues to weigh in with answers. You can format the responses as a Q&A blog post, or weave the answers into a longer-form article that begins with an introduction and ends with a conclusion. Alternatively, you can interview your colleagues using a FlipCam and post the responses on your website, blog or microsite.
- Do the math. Talking about a problem or opportunity is one thing. Demonstrating how big it is in dollar, percentage or aggregate terms is another. Quantification is a good way to bring an abstract issue to life and make it real. Often, you can build significant awareness for an issue simply by quantifying its impact in terms that matter to your audience.
In my next post on March 14, we’ll look at five easy ways to structure content.
In the meantime, please share your tips on how to 1) identify thought leadership and (2) generate content. How do you overcome “content block?” What tactics do use to simplify the content creation process?