To be a successful content creator, you need to understand content marketing along with the five basic, yet powerful fundamentals.
What is content marketing?
Content marketing is the act of promoting or selling products and services through online material such as videos, emails, blogs, and social media posts.
With the rise of social media, content marketing has become a key factor in most company and business advertising campaigns as research has shown consumers are viewing more YouTube over traditional TV as well as purchasing more products recommended by Influencers and Content Creators over products endorsed by celebrities or paid actors.
With these stats, it makes sense that 67% of consumers have expressed interest in being paid content creators for their favorite brands, but unfortunately many will try, but only a small percentage will actually succeed.
This comes down to some basic skills every content creator seems to have and what you will need if you want to be successful in this market.
Fundamental #1: Copywriting
Copywriting is a must if you want to be a successful content creator as copywriting is the words that are written or spoken in digital content that gets a viewer to complete the desired action. This can include increasing engagement such as comments, likes, saves, and shares along with increasing traffic to a companies website or converting reviews into sales.
Oftentimes, content creators do not think they need to understand copywriting because they are not writing blog posts or emails, but even the captions on social media posts and scripts for YouTube videos are all a part of copywriting.
The key to being successful in the copywriting department goes beyond proper grammar. You want to ensure your words can really make a viewer stop and connect with your content as well as resonate with them so they take action.
Most content, no matter if it is a video, email, blog, or social media post follows the same copy formula; hook your audience with an attention-grabbing intro, engage with your audience through storytelling and desire, and end with a call to action.
Fundamental #2: Videography/Photography
For most content creators, having basic videography and photography skills is a must. Knowing how to set up your lights can instantly increase your production value.
Also knowing the basic fundamentals of how your camera works, and the different settings you will need for video and pictures is key to creating high-quality content that can be used to make money online.
Some helpful information when it comes to taking photos you can use in your content creation is understanding how your ISO, Aperture, and Shutter Speed work.
ISO controls the grain in the photo. The ISO is usually turned up to a higher amount in dark settings as it allows for more light in your photo. When doing this, without any other light source such as spotlights, box lights, or ring lights, the photo will have a high amount of grain. To avoid this, always use a light source when filming in dark spaces to increase the image quality and reduce grain, unless having grain is the goal you are trying to achieve.
Aperture controls your depth of field. Having a blurred background is a common technique in content and this is achieved by controlling the aperture or f-stop. The higher the f-stop the more depth of field you will have which will create a more focused image overall. A lower f-stop number decreases the depth of field which is where the blurred background effect happens.
Shutter speed controls the image’s sharpness. The higher the shutter speed, the more sharp a photo will be, which is great when taking action shots.
The same fundamentals are applied with videography as well, but you will also need to know things such as frames per second and dimensions.
Frames-Per-Second: is the rate and which consecutive frames appear on the screen. The higher the FPS, the more frames appear and the smoother the video will appear. Although not every content creator likes shooting in the highest FPS.
- 24fps creates a very cinematic look and is commonly used in movies and films.
- 30fps is what is commonly used in standard television
- 60fps or higher is used for filming live tv, sporting events, or by content creators who vlog, as well as those looking to create a slow-motion effect in post-production.
Dimensions: is the width and height that the video is filmed in and is measured in pixels. Like the FPS, the higher the dimensions, the more pixels are in a frame which gives the video more detail and a high-quality appearance.
- If shooting in 720p, you will want your dimensions as 1280 x 720
- If shooting in 1080p, also known as high definition, you will what your dimensions set to 1920 x 1080
- If shooting in 4k, you will what your dimensions set to 3840 x 2160
Fundamental #3: Understanding SEO
Once, you have the basic knowledge of how to create high-quality content, you will need to understand how to get your content to the right viewer, which is where SEO comes into play.
SEO stands for search engine optimization and it is the practice of increasing quality, organic traffic to your content through search engines such as Google, YouTube, and Pinterest.
To create high-quality SEO content, you will need to understand who your target audience is, what your content is about, and how your audience is searching for this content. This way, you can add meta-data, also known as descriptive information, to your content to increase visibility. To really become a master at SEO, understanding each search engine’s algorithm is important as you will need to know what information holds the top priority and which keywords are searched most often.
For example, on YouTube, the Title holds the greatest importance around SEO, so making sure to add a keyword, or keyword phrase into the title will increase your content’s ability to rank higher in search.
So if someone on YouTube is looking up “How to become a content creator” this is an example of a keyword phrase. So if you made a video answering this question, you can title your video “Become A Content Creator In 3 Easy Steps” to increase your SEO score and rank higher in the search results.
Fundamental #4: Social Media Management
At the end of the day, content creators wear many hats, and one of those hats is Social Media Management. Social media managers are in charge of planning, monitoring, analyzing, executing, optimizing, and evaluating the success of a social media channel.
As content creators, you must always stay up to date with trends and your target audience’s viewing behaviors, plan content with specific goals such as high engagement, high sales, or high CTR. You also have to measure the success of your content so you can plan your next piece of content to do even better.
Something to help in this department is to create goals in your content creator business and an evaluation system that will keep you on track. We went into more detail in this blog post sharing what successful content creators focus on.
Fundamental #5: Graphic Design
Another helpful skill to have as a content creator is graphic design. This is something that will be used in all areas of your content creator business no matter what you focus on.
As a YouTuber, graphic design comes into play when creating your Thumbnails, which is VERY IMPORTANT when it comes to getting more views.
For blogs, the design of your website is used to convey your personal brand better and really connect with your target audience.
For social media such as Instagram or Pinterest, graphic design is a must to capturing your audience’s attention and stopping the scroll so they will read and engage with your post.
The reason this is such a big part of a content creator’s success is that 80% of our communication is nonverbal and understanding how to use visual communication with your audience will be key.
Graphic design goes beyond just the aesthetics of the content, it is a science of how a visual image will effect a person psychologically.
Take this photo for example:
It seems like a simple photo with text until you start to read it and realize you went in the exact order it suggested you would without anyone verbally prompting you on how to read it.
As a content creator, knowing your audience this well will allow you to create content that helps increase your ability to capture their attention and follow through on the call to action that you need them to take.
Pair that with the ability to create high-quality photos and videos, copy that hooks and engages the audience, and SEO that ranks your content in search results for quality, organic traffic, you have yourself a recipe for success in your content creator business.
Let me know in the comments which of the 5 fundamentals mentioned above that you still need help with.