content with content?

[this was in my drafts. seems somewhat relevant to publish this now. i feel 2017 is going to be a big year for content creators in brunei]

local content is aplenty.

you can read whatever you like in a glossy mag or on online blogs. the issue now is not “omg why is there no local content out there!?” but “as a content creator how can i get my stuff out there?!”.

i get saddened by really interesting content that doesn’t reach its intended audience but more fascinating is how larger productions (in terms of how many people were involved in creating the content) struggle to get their word out.

how many hashtags do we really need in the world? how many short-term competitions do we need to promote something that will be forgotten in six months? how many pages need to be printed before the message comes across? 

so, here are some questions i’ve come up with for content creators who want to share their work. i am thinking here for photographers, youtubers, part-time models, instagram shops, publishers, etc. etc.:

  • who is your audience? seriously, who is supposed to read/watch/enjoy your work. think it over. it shouldn’t be as blanket as “brunei”, but more honed towards, “school-leavers who enjoy painting”
  • what is your message? is it supposed to be a fun event? am i supposed to bring kids? tell me!
  • is your content appealing for your audience? is it really relevant to the audience you identified. is there something you could do with the format to engage your audience?
  • is the content presented in the best way possible? i.e. is the text large enough, have you considered how it would look in different formats online.
  • what are you doing to ensure your content is reaching your audience? have you talked to the relevant people who have the channels of reach?

these questions which admittedly overlap, worryingly are only addressed by few producers of content. i’m sure there are more things that could be added but these are the tops ones that should be considered.

the time your team or you as an individual has spent on producing work, should be at least equal to the amount spent promoting or ensuring it’s out there to the right audience. this isn’t a rule of thumb but i think helps in thinking about the relationship between content and finding an audience for it.

i’m not talking about putting out a full page advert in the paper, or some big over the top statement but building your audience and working towards creating quality content for them. not creating content to fulfill advertising goals, KPI or certain individuals but an audience.

most of these points are probably familiar to those working in marketing, advertising or whatever but i just don’t see it. personally i see familiar struggles of getting the word out there, or not knowing if anyone is coming at all. similar patterns of advertising that are dull (hashtag competitions anyone?) and similar events essentially trying to get the same message across. come because…urghh local support.

come on guys. be content with your content.