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Content Creation

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Digital Marketing - Study Notes:

Steps in creative process

So, what is content creation? It is the process of creating different creative assets and formats that serve the needs of your content strategy objectives. It engages your campaign personas in such a way to help build authority, credibility, and utility between your target audience and your brand. By creating content that interests your audience and helps them solve a need, you are building your brand in terms of trust, relevance, and credibility.

How important is creativity in your content development? Content development should, of course, be guided by audience, competitor, and keyword research. However, it's important to remember that creativity is also required to add a splash of color to those research findings and bring your content to life.

The creative process involves these steps:

  1. Researching and consuming information about the brand and product to get ideas
  2. Brainstorming ideas and identifying themes
  3. Taking a break to leave the ideas alone for a period
  4. Returning to your ideas to critique or validate them in terms of your objectives, audience, and strategy
  5. Creating prototypes or content samples (where possible) to explore and test your content in its simplest form before investing further
  6. Creating your content

Validating or critiquing content

When validating or critiquing your content, it is helpful to have a checklist that addresses your main goals and objectives for the content created. Verify that you have accomplished what you initially set out to achieve by asking questions such as:

  • Is this content useful for my audience?
  • Is it fit for the platform I’m publishing on?
  • Can I accurately measure the impact of this content on my campaign?
  • Is this content consistent in appearance and style with my brand?
  • Is this content aligned with my business goals?

It’s also valuable to understand what motivates users to share your content. You can then take these motivations into consideration when creating content, and make it more shareable:

  • Incentives: Offer your audience incentives such as competitions they can enter to win a prize, or a loyalty scheme they can join.
  • Fame: Give your audience sharing options so they can show their friends and connections on social media that they have donated to a charity, or won an award, for example.
  • Utility: Provide your audience with content that will be useful to them or help them in some way. For example, tutorials, toolkits, or templates.
  • Topicality and trends: Create content that is topical and based on trending themes that people are likely to want to discuss or find out about.
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Will Francis

Will Francis is a recognised authority in digital and social media, who has worked with some of the world’s most loved brands. He is the host and technical producer of the DMI podcast, Ahead of the Game and a lecturer and subject matter expert with the DMI. He appears in the media and at conferences whilst offering his own expert-led digital marketing courses where he shares his experience gained working within a social network, a global ad agency, and more recently his own digital agency.

Connect with him on Twitter (X) or LinkedIn.

By the end of this topic, you should be able to:

  • Identify the benefits of using personas in content marketing 
  • Critically analyse the relationship between buyer personas, target audience and content marketing 
  • Systematically analyse techniques for sharing and promoting content and for measuring content performance


    Content Marketing
    Will Francis
    Skills Expert

    This short course covers the principles of content marketing and demonstrates techniques and useful tools that you can use to develop and refine your content marketing strategy.

    You will learn how to:

    • Apply best practices for developing and enhancing content throughout a content marketing campaign
    • Create buyer personas for use in content development
    • Develop a content brief
    • Conduct keyword research to inform a content strategy
    • Curate, personalize, and repurpose content
    • Craft a brand story
    • Schedule content development and publication
    • Promote content
    • Measure and analyze content performance

    Approximate learning time: 3 hours