Content Creation Business Ideas Content creation is not just the work of “content creators.” It’s so much more than that. In fact, content creation is becoming a key pillar in business development and growth. If you’re in a digital marketing role, or if you ever want to be, it’s important to understand how content creation can help your company.
Content creation is the process of discovering, creating, distributing and promoting organic content based on online marketing strategies. The term organic content or original content refers to digital content that is produced by an individual or company, as opposed to having been created by a specific marketing campaign. It may be found on blogs or in various forms of digital media. Content is often shared on social media platforms. The main objective of content creation is to gain exposure through search engine optimization (SEO) and increase traffic to websites or blogs.
Use your analytics
One of the best ways to find out what your audience likes (or what works for you) is to use your analytics.
Your social media analytics can tell you what’s working and what’s not.
What you’ll want to do is to study your top-performing posts and re-create them. Here’s how to find your top posts with native analytics on Facebook, Instagram, and more.
One way to find your top-performing Facebook posts is to go to your Page Insights > Posts and manually look for posts with high reach or engagement.
A shortcut is to use the Pages to Watch feature in the “Overview” tab. When you click on your Page, Facebook will show you your top posts for the week.
To get the analytics for Instagram, you’ll need to have a business account. (Here’s how to convert to a business account if you wish to.)
In your business account, tap on the analytics icon on your profile. Then, tap on “See more” under the “Posts” section. Here, you’ll see your top posts sorted by impressions. You can also sort it by engagement, reach, and more, and adjust the period.
If you are using our Pro or Business plan, you can easily find this information in your Buffer dashboard. Go to your Analytics tab and then Posts report. Then, click on “Most Popular” to see your most-engaged posts.
Once you’ve found your top posts, try to find a pattern among them. Here are some questions you could ask yourself:
- Is there a common topic among them?
- Is the content from a particular source — your blog or other publications?
- Does a particular content type — text, image, or video — perform consistently better?
- Did people leave any interesting comments on those posts?
Ask your audience
The second strategy is to ask your audience.
You could simply post a question or a poll on your social media profiles. For example, “What content do you want to see us sharing?”
If you would like open-ended replies, posting a question will be great. If you have a rough sense of what your audience might be interested in, you could create a poll and list a few options. For example, a while back, we created a Twitter poll to ask our followers what sort of content they would like to see more of from us.
A few people also replied to the tweet to give us more suggestions.
As Facebook and Instagram (Stories) only allow two options for polls, my favorite way around it is to do a manual emoji poll.
Alternatively, you could email your blog subscribers and ask them what they would like to see from you. For example, at the end of 2017, we reached out to our blog subscribers with a survey. In the survey, we asked them what topics they enjoy the most and what topics they would like to see more from us.
From the answer, we learned about what to create for the blog and also what to share on our social media.
Learn from your industry peers
The third strategy is to learn from your industry peers.
Look at the top pages in your industry and see what is working for them. If you have a similar target audience, what worked for them will likely work for you, too.
It’ll be great to go beyond just your competitors. Are there other companies that you admire, which you can learn from? Maybe because they are in the same space but aren’t your direct competitor. Or perhaps their way of marketing resonates with you. For example, I often like to check out the social media profiles of HubSpot, MailChimp, and Airbnb.
Here are a few ways to research your favorite companies:
On Facebook, you could use Pages to Watch. This feature allows you to quickly compare the performance of your Page with similar Pages. You can also click on any of the Pages and see their top posts for the week. For instance, here’s a recent top post from Shopify:
You can find this feature in your Page Insights, at the bottom of your Overview tab. This feature will only appear once you have more than 100 Likes on your Page.
On Twitter, you could create a Twitter list of the companies that you would like to learn from and regularly check out what they share.
Here’s how to create a Twitter list:
- Click on your profile photo and select “List”
- Click on “Create a list” and fill out the fields (You might want to keep this list private)
- Hit “Save list”
LinkedIn Answers: Choose an appropriate category and find great questions for blog posts, videos, emails, etc. Or, ask your question and use the answers (with attribution) to create your blog post.
LinkedIn Groups: Another source of questions on LinkedIn. Be sure to join local groups as well as groups that focus on your industry or your customers’ industries so you can hear your customers’ biggest concerns, problems, and gripes.
Your emails: Never answer a good question from a customer or prospect again! Well, what I mean is: take that question, turn it into a Dear Abby style post, then send the person a note thanking them for their great question; it was so great that you felt other people could benefit from it, so you turned it into a blog post (and send them the link.) Figure, if one person asked you, how many hundreds or even thousands of people are asking the same question at Google?
Wikipedia: Search for your keywords and use the Contents section for inspiration.
Wikipedia Part Deux: For even more inspiration, dig into the See Also section of the page.
Wikipedia, Threepeat: Still searching for content? Dig even deeper into the References section.
Competitor’s FAQs: Go over to that section of your competitor’s website that no one else is visiting. Go through their FAQs and breathe new life into them. Each one is another blog post that can be read, shared, and linked to. Repeat.
Yahoo Answers: This is one of the web’s more popular Q&A sites.
Twitter Search: Search for phrases and hashtags that impact your industry or your customers’ industries to uncover new topics and questions that need answers.
WeFollow: This site helps you find influential people on Twitter in your industry. They’ll regularly be tweeting out inspiration for new content ideas, so be sure to follow them.
Google Suggested Search: You know those “suggested searches” that pop up as you start to type? Those are other people’s questions that have already been asked, and probably will be again. Gold, people, pure gold.
Google’s Related Searches: Now just scroll down to the bottom of the page and find even more related searches that may not have started with the same phrase.
YouTube’s Suggested Search: Same idea as Google, but using the world’s second most popular search engine.
Google Insights: This tool gives you loads of information on historical search data, but you want to scroll down to the bottom of the page to find top searches and emerging trends.
“Keyword/Industry” + “Discussion Forum” Search: Chances are there are plenty of discussion forums for your topic. Check them out with this formatted search. (Note that I used Bing this time around just to show I don’t always rely on Google.)
Google Analytics: OK, back to Google for a moment. Review the keywords that drove traffic to your website. If you see some promising keywords, or especially themes of keywords, create more content there.
Get Seasonal: Tie your regular old content to a holiday or season. The 10 Scariest Questions to Be Asked in a Job Interview for Halloween, or How to Perform Spring Cleaning on Your Inbox.
WordTracker’s Keyword Questions: This is a great tool for uncovering questions that people have already asked at the search engines. Tip: use just one word if possible for best results.
SlideShare: This is the YouTube of PowerPoint presentations. Use the search box to find your topic. Depending on your category you can view the handouts for dozens or even hundreds of presentations. Think there might be a blog post or two in there somewhere?
Google Trends: This nifty little tool tells you what’s hot right now. See how you can leverage hot topics into your content.
ÜberSuggest: This site will generate related keywords for your topic; just the thing you need to create content that people are already searching on.
Ask.com‘s Related Questions: See, it doesn’t always have to be about Google. Ask serves up related questions to your searches, perfect for Dear Abby style posts and videos.
There you have it, some easy and effective content creation business ideas. Whether you’re a professional writer or blogger or looking to become one, the above-proven techniques will allow you ample opportunity to monetize your skill-set. However, you choose to implement them, make sure you execute them consistently. You will see that it won’t take long for demand to grow within your niche and soon you can easily replace your day job income with what you generate through your own business.