Why content creation is worth the time investment (the ROI speaks for itself)

14 August 2020 | 5 min read | News
Portrait photo of Paul MacKenzie-Cummins
Paul MacKenzie-Cummins

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Your customers, clients, however you describe them, are a particular bunch. They’re finicky not only about what they read, watch and listen to but also how often they do it and how long for.

They can access any amount of content in pretty much any format they want, and just as easily reject any article, blog, podcast or social media post thrust in their general direction if it doesn’t quite hit the mark of what they’re in the mood for.

If you’re a producer of said content, it’s tricky to know what works and what doesn’t in terms of how well your content is perceived and received. But unless you understand this, you may find yourself spending too much time thinking about and then creating content that the people who matter the most to you aren’t that interested in receiving.

The challenge for content producers is not about HOW to cut through the noise, or even generating ideas that are unique and original. Rather, it’s about getting who your audience is and selecting the ideas that are right for them – those that will have meaning to the challenges and scenarios they are encountering both in the here and now and others which may be just around the corner.

It’s about trying new things and accepting, as Adam Grant says in his book Originals, that there will always be an element of risk.

Unless you really understand your customers, don’t waste your time creating new content in formats they will never be interested in consuming

So, think about what that might look like in practice. Suppose you’ve written a brilliant blog – well, don’t stop at that. What else could you do – maybe film a short video on your phone covering the key points of the article? Or record it as a podcast. You could create a short animation.

Why not do all three of these things because your audience will consist of people who one day will have time to sit and read your beautifully crafted piece of prose. But if it’s been a particularly testing and demanding week, then donning a pair of headphones to listen to your dulcit tones might be the perfect solution for a content craving decision maker.

Here’s a great snapshot of how good content helps recruitment companies, but it’s impact spans all sectors.

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Technology has opened up a wealth of possibility for all of us. Your job is to understand how it can be used to your advantage. And before you shout back at me to bemoan “I haven’t got time to do all this stuff”, then right back at yer – this “stuff” not only makes you and your business look good, it builds trust, enhances reputations and even if that sounds like a bunch of fluff to you – it drives new revenues too.

Need proof?

We’re it. We tripled our turnover in 2018 from the year before and then doubled that in 2019. We did zero advertising, zero new business development. All we did was ensure there was a steady flow of thought leadership/insights/shared experiences posted on our website and social channels every week.

Good content does many things – boosting your reputation as a true expert is one, opening up new revenue channels is another. And we’re proof of that – Clearly’s turnover has doubled year on year thanks largely to our content strategy (that’s why we create so much of the stuff!).

Yes it’s a time investment, but one that delivers an ROI far greater than any advertising or traditional marketing campaign ever can – I should know, I worked in advertising for 11 years before creating what eventually became Clearly.

And it works for our clients too. Which is kinda obvious when you think about it – after all, our growth has only been achievable because we did a blinkin marvellous job for our clients who then recommended us to others.

I refuse to turn this into a sales pitch. So I’ll finish up now and sign off by saying that if you do need a steer on how to develop a content plan for your business, just give me a shout and we can organize a virtual coffee.

PS. As an aside, if you happen to responsible for creating article content for a recruitment agency or executive search firm, Clearly’s dedicated writing service for recruiters – Recruitment Content Now – may be of interest. Take a look: recruitmentcontentnow.com