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Content Development Tips

Image of social media apps by Jason Howie. On a typical day you can often find me spending hours, too many to admit, on the vast web. I scour reports, images, and recent trends, all in hopes of crafting clean, concise, engaging content for my organization.

I divide my time between creating and curating content.

Aristan Talent explains:

… [Content curation] involves selecting content from one location and placing it in another location. Content curation typically requires you to obtain content from many sources and present it on your website in an organized manner.

Whether you are spending more time creating or curating, there are basic concepts that you need to fully understand when dealing with content.

A few nights ago, I attended a panel event with content experts. Here are a few of the key lessons that I learned:

Brandon Carter on content

Headlines with the following elements have positive effects on click through rate (CTR):

  • Negative Extreme
  • Don’t
  • Lie
  • Surprise
  • Photo
  • Who
  • Dollar sign 

Headlines with the following elements have negative effects on CTR:

  • Imperative
  • Positive Extreme
  • Reader reference
  • Easy
  • Watch
  • Colon 

Write plenty of headlines

Try out different ones and see which ones have the highest CTRs

Laura Kisailus on content

Content development is a four step process, it is like a car

  • Shape the story (steering wheels)
  • Define the problems (wheels)
  • Create the content (engine)
  • Measure the results (odometer)

Due to the high demand for content, there will be a shift from creating content to curating it

Connect with individuals on a DNA, personal level

  • You need to send out more than a press release 

Tips from all of the panelists

  1. Fail forward
  2. There are no bad ideas
  3. Make sure all the content that you are creating matches your organization’s strategy
  4. Don’t forget to report back social statistics/ROI to management
  5. Know your consumer, donor, etc.
  6. Find out where people are listening

One of the most important lessons that I learned was understanding the audience for whom we create or curate.

As you create or curate content, have a “persona” in your mind and let it dictate the direction you take it.

Content development takes a lot of work. With practice, we improve.

Ethan Parry is an aspiring public relations practitioner. Tweet him at @EthanParry3.

Do you have any content development tips or resources? Please share in the comment section below…