As we step into 2020, more people will inevitably take the bait and fall for the trap of content creation. I know, I know, everybody is talking about how much content they need to produce in order for their business to grow. While creating content is definitely a must-do practice, people need to understand the purpose of creating content, how to actually do it and most importantly…understand the context as a base for content. I’m here to say that in 2020, you will need to learn how to not fall into the content trap. You will learn that content is not king, context is!
There are currently over 600 million blogs and over 1.7 billion websites. The digital world is crowded and noisy, nor will it get better anytime soon.
To put it simply, the reason why context is king is that it directs the narrative…the who, what, where and why of your content.
Let’s use fires as an analogy. Firefighting is all about context and taking into account certain variables, in order to even begin fighting the fire. How you fight a fire in a rainforest during the dry season, is completely different than how you would do it in the rainy season. Depending on the location of the fire, how fast it is spreading, is it better to let it burn and nature take its course or should we put it out.
There are so many factors that are considered and the context must be understood before they actually go about formulating a plan.
Content creation is the exact same thing. We must understand the context and the variables of our specific markets and much more that I will discuss before we even start to create content that actually has any impact.
If you think simply creating content based on what you think needs to be created is going to move the needle, well my friends…you will be creating a whole lot of content and probably won’t find the success you are looking for.
If just creating content isn’t enough, then what needs to happen for us to create content that leads to having an impact.
Well, a few things…But here are my top 5 things your content needs to do in order to have an impact on your niche.
- Reflect Context
- Based on Data
- Understanding the mindset trap of content
- Carving out a niche
- Getting Noticed & Getting Paid
Here in Trinidad & Tobago, we tend to consume content from 1 specific market, the US. We watch a lot of their programming, follow their experts on Youtube, invite them to come and speak at our conferences, etc. One of the first things that I learned when I moved here was that much of the things I understood about the mobile market back in Canada & The US, simply were not a fit here in T&T.
For example, there is a reason why Samsung is the #1 smartphone brand in the US but not in most other countries. There are so many factors that play into that and understanding the context of why Samsung is popular in the US but is not in the top 3 in China goes a long way.
But since here in Trinidad, most people are consuming the US content and following the US Tech Experts on Youtube, in their perspective, Samsung is the best devices on the market and they are willing to pay the extra money for those devices.
Companies like Huawei, Oppo, Xiaomi, Vivo, who are boasting some of the best devices and high volume sales but are not sold in the US market, means that most of the Tech Youtubers in the US won’t talk about it, which means most of the market here in T&T have never heard about those devices. When you look at the buying patterns of consumers for phones in the US, they tend to always buy whatever they get on a contract for a subsidized price.
In China, consumers don’t buy phones on contracts and tend to buy phones off contract for cheaper prices. Our market is very similar to the Chinese market.
In creating content when I first came, I needed to outline the context of why Samsung was popular in China and why people in T&T never heard about the other brands. Doing this, allowed me to introduce the other smartphone brands, raise awareness and ultimately sell those products. If I never focused on putting things into context, it would have been an uphill battle for me.
Your content needs to create the context for our market. Every market in the world has experts that focus on their market and their niche. Many of us are trying to create universal content, that ultimately misses the mark. Create context and ultimately you will create a connection within your niche.
Based on Data
One of the key reasons why your content doesn’t hit home is because of its irrelevance to your market. Many people create content based on what is “popular” online and not necessarily what is good for the niche in their market. Yes, the digital world has made everybody connected but when you analyze where most people’s content stems from, it is problem’s within their part of the world and in their niche.
Most of the people creating content, are looking at stats from the US, problems of the US and want to create content around the solutions that fit people in the US.
If you want to start carving out your niche in the Caribbean, you need to start getting hip to the tools that will provide you with the data on your market. If you start focusing on creating solutions for your specific market, you will have a much bigger impact and onlookers outside of our market, can reach out to you and learn about how you managed to conquer your own market.
Our needs and problems are different locally, which means we need to gather data from our market and focus on creating solutions for it.
Using data as the basis for all content will ensure that your content is relevant and also ensure that you gain valuable SEO traction from the search engines since they will be able to point people to your relevant content.
Understanding The Mindset Trap of Content
Another area that needs massive work for 2020, is understanding the mindset trap of content. Too much of what we do or the way we plan is in isolation, which leads to the creation of ineffective content. We have 3 key mindset blocks when it comes to how to think about content and they need to be addressed in order for us to move forward.
- We are heavily focused on isolated triggers. We believe that our products or services are the best, we focus on selling the features or our value propositions and believe that it is enough for people to want to do business with us. When we need to focus more time on understanding how we can connect our solutions and analyze why people shared the successful content we created.
- We also tend to preserve our content, rather than leveraging it to create more opportunities around it.
- We are in constant search of the universal best practices for content. Since we are always trying to figure out how to create content that gets shared by everybody in any market, we never create the context needed for our very own market. Since we do not live in the US/Canada/UK, are content will never have any deep impact because we do not know the context intimately in other markets for why their content was created.
Carving Out Your Niche
You have heard this many times already but it is worth repeating, if you are talking to everybody, you are talking to nobody. For the most part, people still aren’t niching down enough here in the Caribbean.
We don’t niche down because we are still hoping to catch the eyes of the international markets in hopes to get a contract. I can’t stress enough that creating content that doesn’t solve the needs of a specific group of people, will never bring you the credibility you need.
If your market is the Caribbean market, make your content specific to the market and define a group within that market.
Example…If I was selling or educating people on Pre Natal care. That’s a great niche but not all prenatal care is the same. I would niche down further and target the people I really want to address. “I help Caribbean women living with diabetes get the best prenatal care possible.”
Someone can now say…Ahhh…this person is speaking to me! I am a Caribbean woman, with diabetes and I need help getting prenatal care.
The reasons can now truly identify you. If you create a buzz in that niche, people outside of the niche will begin to recognize you and check out your work.
We need to stop trying to create universal truths and start creating content that is reflective of where we are and within the context of our market.
Getting Noticed & Getting Paid
Did you know that there are over 300hrs of videos uploaded to Youtube every single MINUTE? More than 95 million photos uploaded to Instagram every day? Heck, there are more than 380 websites being created every minute today.
Equipment and software to create content range from free to really expensive, depending on the quality but still have never been more affordable. We are sitting on tons of free publishing platforms thanks to social media, to host all of our content and spread the word about our businesses or cause. The problem of getting noticed is real.
On the flipside, after we create all of this content then what?
How does getting paid for this content work? Or are we suppose to create content and not see any return for our efforts. Learning how to get paid or leverage our content to paid activities is another key problem that many creators in the Caribbean are falling into.
Going over the previous points in the article, this is why context is so important when you are creating your content.
If you are creating content for a niche, in a specific market, it’s much easier to cut through all of the noise happening throughout the entire global digital space. People in your market will come to look at you as the expert within your space and your brand can begin to grow.
Once you are looked at as the expert, now you can start to figure out how to leverage your content in order to get paid for your content.
You can do your own workshops, if you have established yourself as a thought leader, people will come. If your business is successful, people would hire you to come to speak and talk about how you built your business. You can sell digital products, work with companies in your space and there is so much more that you can do, once you have established yourself.
To wrap this all up…Content is extremely important, it has been one of the best things I have learned and continue to learn how to do. However, in creating content, you can easily lose steam if you are falling into the trap of creating content for content’s sake.
Creating mass amounts of content isn’t going to have any meaningful effect if there is no context for your content.
Context looks different for all markets and for what is uniquely happening in your market.
So I argue that context supersedes that of just creating content.
Hopefully, this makes sense…I would love to hear from you all in the comments below or if you got any questions, feel free to shoot me a DM.
This is a great piece. Would love to connect with you Keron