In the context of any creative project, there are 10 main questions that should always be answered. Talk through these questions within your team, or with your client to set the goal and scope of each project.
Knowing when the project is to be delivered tells a lot about the choices you will have to make at early stages. An emergency deadline may require a bigger team and budget, or a change in the project's specification to land it on time. On the other hand, a longer deadline might give you the chance to take your time preparing, which always leads to a smoother production phase.
Adapting your work and tone to who you are talking to is paramount. You will often hear about "engagement". Engagement usually means "people's positive reaction to your content". "Hey Bro! Wassup?" might work with your friends, but things might be quite different with your teachers and the bank manager.
How will you figure out whether your content strategy has been a success, or not, if you don't know what you want to achieve in the first place? Although this might sound like basic thinking, this is probably the key question - whether it's increased clicks, conversions or contacts, have in mind your goal before spending any money.
When getting into a creative process, people often start to feel powerful about the amount of information they can convey. Be careful, too much information often leads to nothing but the guarantee that you will leave people in doubt about what they have just learned. Focus on the key message. One core message per production is key to great engagement.
This is linked to the question about your eventual goal - There is way more than Youtube views or Facebook comments to determine a campaign's success for example n umber of registrations to an event, connected sales or appointments planned are very powerful metrics that can be directly linked to your content consultations... Metrics are defined depending on your goals and will condition the way you write your project.
Creating content is like buying a suit. You can buy a suit for 150€ or 3000€. Both are suits. But one might be ok for a local business meeting but not enough if you want to attend the Oscars ceremony.
People watch content in various occasions and in different contexts: facebook on the bus, computer screen at work, cell phone screens in the street when walking by... You want to adapt your content to what people are, but also to what people will be doing when they check it.
It can feel frustrating at first, but 80% of content production time usually takes place on paper. Why? Because it is way easier, cheaper and faster to change what was written on paper, than it is to recreate a 3D video from scratch because you changed your mind.
When projects get ambitious, this step is often forgotten or neglected. Producing various types of content can take time. Although adding elements on the way can always be done, it might impact budget or production schedule. And no, adding "it is just a little something extra" to your email request won't make it easier or faster to produce.
References are key to get aligned on the guidelines. They might be from your competitors or on another market you want to inspire from. References help to refine goals, metrics, tone, budget... They are concrete examples of what you like and got inspired from. It is very useful for your creative team.
Here at Takeaway Content we love creating content that gets results. Reach out to us with your questions or tell us about your pre-creation questions.