Content creation is now more important than ever.
The online content world is an influential resource for entertainment, information and education. Brands, entrepreneurs and KOLs of all shapes and sizes are investing heavily in content creation to drive marketing leads. In 2021, global content spending reached US$ 220 billion and is expected to jump to US$230 billion by the end of 2022.
With so many resources pouring into content creation, many brands will continue competing for seconds of our attention span through content to “buy this”, “read that”, “join us”, “think like us”, “believe in us”, “trust us”, “agree with us”. Aside from influencing our shopping habits, content consumption also influences our thoughts and perception on certain topics.
Consuming content has helped many of us stay connected with our loved ones and the rest of the world during critical times like the pandemic. But relying on social media and other online content platforms has been proven to impact our emotional wellbeing and mental health. Additionally, content also has the power to affect families, societies and nations over biases and ideas that drive negative consequences for years to come.
This month, as we celebrate the theme of #BreakTheBias on International Women’s Day, let’s also take a moment or two, as content creators, to reflect on our creative process and pivot towards a more mindful and sustainable approach to creating content consciously.
Why conscious content creation matters
“Today’s consumer is very attentive and unapologetically responsive. They’re not afraid to refocus their attention and finances to culturally conscious content”, said Harvey J. Austin, Head of Content Production, Syneos Creative Studios, Syneos Health Communications,
A survey published by Deloitte in Q4 2021 revealed that 57% of consumers tend to show more long-term loyalty to brands that actively address social inequities. Many young consumers aged between 18 and 25 years old now take more notice of inclusive marketing when making purchase decisions.
For brands that rely on content marketing to boost sales and brand loyalty, it is evident that creating appeal through content only drives short-term results. Our obsession over generating conversion rates and numbers of thumbs-up and comments are not enough anymore. Simply creating “wow” content is not enough. Long-term and sustainable branding needs to focus on increasing loyalty by establishing and maintaining meaningful relationships with customers through our content.
“The power to create conscious content is not optional but a standard that all content creators should uphold,” reflected Austin. As creatives, we have the power and responsibility to take an active approach to create content mindfully and consciously.
Depending on what campaign you are working on, who you are working for and what audience you are serving, taking the first step towards conscious and mindful content creation requires us as creators to look at our current process and identify areas for change and refinement.
What’s more, understanding and empathising with, not only our target audience, but other viewers beyond our circle of audiences can help us pinpoint what changes are needed to drive a more positive impact. Because quite often, the views just beyond the circle are potential new customers.
Not only is conscious content great for humanity, but it also identifies untapped audience groups for growth!
How to start creating content consciously and mindfully
Content creation is one of the most time-consuming and energy-zapping aspects of being a content marketer. Yet, with any creative practice, adjusting our content creation process is a practice in itself.
Just like training to do deadlifts for the first time, creating conscious content requires us to train our creative muscles and work for us in a different way. This opens up creative space for us to test, research, explore, develop, refine and evaluate our content ideas.
Especially if you are new to conscious content creation, small steps are key to helping you achieve your conscious content goals. Whether you are working as a solo content creator or part of a team, bring these questions into your process:
What positive contributions can I make today?
Why am I creating this content? Is it helpful? Does it spread kindness?
How many different types of people will see my content?
How will they be influenced by my content?
How do I want viewers to feel emotionally when they see my content?
These questions are a great way to discover new content ideas during brainstorming sessions or further develop existing content ideas during the creating phase. Through these questions, you might also uncover that what is really needed is more research to gain a better and more empathetic perspective of the audience groups you serve.
Ultimately, there is no one-size-fits-all solution for every conscious content creator out there. What works for a certain campaign or brand might need further adaptations or changes for another. But this is also where the excitement starts.
As creators, we are responsible for what we create. But we also have the ability to challenge our creative muscles and test what works, identify what didn’t and make improvements. This continuous exploration journey is what keeps us on our toes to challenge and expand our creativity beyond what we think we are capable of.
How do you create content consciously and mindfully? I am always looking for new inspirations to further develop my process. Write to me and let’s swap ideas!