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The Content Production Process

Never ever think of giving up. Winners never quit and quitters never win. Take all negative words out of your mental dictionary and focus on the solutions with utmost conviction and patience. The battle is never lost until you’ve abandon your vision.

Content production is a system, not a goal. It’s a system for the creation of information for a defined audience. It involves working out who you want to speak to, and what you want them to do. As such, your content strategy should always lead your content production system. Common goals for a content production system is to build awareness, leads and sales. The type of content you produce needs to meet one of those goals. That’s true for written content, video, or illustration. This is also true for wherever someone consumes that content—online or offline. The type of content you are producing will determine how you produce it. You can define content according to its format—like a blog, or an article, or a video. But it’s more useful to define content by the action you want your audience to take after consuming it. If you define content by its results, it becomes a lot easier to measure it and understand whether it is working for you.

- Types of Content

There are three main types of content. They are cornerstone content, gated content, and evolving content. Cornerstone content is content that attempts to cover a single topic in a definitive way. The goal of cornerstone content is often thought leadership. You produce it to establish your authority with your audience. Gated content is content that can be exchanged for something (like contact information). You produce gated content to establish a connection with an audience. Evolving content is a stream of regularly produced content. It may take the form of a series of blog posts, or regular news reports, or regular episodes of a program. You produce evolving content to create awareness of you among your intended audience.

The actual amount of content you need to produce varies from company to company, and industry to industry. A short answer to is to say you should only produce the minimum amount of content you need to achieve your desired results. But that isn’t satisfactory for a lot of people. It may be easier to think of how much content you should produce for each content type. Cornerstone content should be thoughtful and authoritative. So it would take a long time to produce. As a result, you wouldn’t try to produce too much of it, as it would be a large drain on resources. By its nature, cornerstone content demands the greatest resources of any content type. Those resources may be time, or knowledge—but thought leadership requires a lot of both. Gated content doesn’t have to be as definitive as cornerstone content to achieve its aims. Of course, it can be. But because the aim of gated content is to establish a connection. So more pieces of less-definitive content could serve this purpose. Evolving content requires regular production. The aim of evolving content is to create awareness. You do that by creating and distributing new content on a regular basis. If your potential audience is aware that you are doing that, they may become curious to find out more about you.

We all intend to plan ahead, but too often let the day-to-day minutia get in the way of making a calendar for the year. Sure, you can’t know every detail to anticipate. Heck, you can’t know half the priorities that will pop up in any particular month. But you can plan for big picture seasonality, busy-times, and events.

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