Digital Content Creation Course for Brands
In this section, we provide the standards for content production.
How to hire a creative team and what is image usage.
Step-by-step workflow for creating content for a Blog, Email Newsletter, and Instagram.
Hiring a Creative Team
Most established companies hire creative agencies to execute their marketing. Think of the big brands like Apple, Coca Cola, and Nike. There's a team of marketers, account managers, and creative professionals that produce the numerous ads and marketing content for these major brands. With the help of agencies, these brands have invested decades of branding, advertising and marketing that have elevated their products and brand values into household names.
Here’s visually how it works:
In summary, a BRAND hires an AGENCY with team of CREATIVE/MARKETING/PRODUCTION professionals that create content to deliver via different media channels targeted to the brand’s ideal CUSTOMER/CLIENT/COMMUNITY.
As you can imagine, this is a lot of work. But it’s important to note that when you hire professionals to execute your vision, you are investing in creating the legacy of your brand. Our services and offerings are a fraction of the price you’d pay for a traditional agency, because we are consciously seeking to support the emerging brands that have the intention to create a meaningful impact.
Nature and Intent is a creative consultancy that consciously provides a holistic approach in creative, marketing, and production. Our services and offerings that take your unique authentic essence and purpose to your ideal client, customer, and community.
Throughout this course, you’ve learned to define your intention- the first step to Content Creation. Then, you created a road map for your Content, and now you will learn all the steps to create content.
Whether you identify as creative or not, you are capable of creating visual and written content regardless of your budget. This course provides you with insight and ability to produce your or co-create content with a creative team.
It's important to note that the quality of the content you create can only go as far as the level of practice and skill. Because creatives spend years cultivating their skill, they are able to execute content in a way that would provide a different level, quality and perspective.
Hiring a creative team can be either a relatively easy or daunting process. Also note that freelancers and independent contractors have various levels of skill, experience, and work dynamics. Working with over 100+ brands and personalities, we've been able to strengthen our work partnerships and create seamless client experiences with clear systems and contracts.
Below is everything you need to ask and include a contract when hiring a photographer. It would also apply to work you do with an independent contractor.
As a business, it's important to create clear contracts for all partnerships to prevent miscommunication. You can refer to the agreement if any issue arises and both parties know what to expect.
Production involves a multi-step process. Now that you've established your intention and a road map for your content. Plan the action steps for content production. This outlines production for
1. Prep and Concept
- Mood boarding
- Use the Content strategy worksheet to determine content types to create and ideal platforms
- Shot list & Call Sheet
2. Hire Creative Team
- Find creatives in your network or hire our team for content production and support.
3. Day of Shoot
- Coordinate with team
- Use shot list
- Pay independent contractors, studio/venue, etc.
- Editing & Revisions
- Archive assets and export/render for best quality in preferred platforms
- Share on appropriate platforms
Tip: Prepping for a shoot is essential for efficient shoot day. When shooting on location or multiple looks or set-ups, keep in mind the time it will take for outfit changes and different set-ups. Create a shot list with your content strategy in mind.
$0 - 500 Budget
Having a very limited budget doesn't restrict you as much as you think. There is ample opportunity to create content with almost no budget. With the exercises of the course, you can create your own written content in different platforms. In the next section, we outline how to capture quality images using your iPhone.
$500 - $1,000 Budget
With some budget, you can work with a creative team to execute your vision. For fashion brands, you can allocate your budget for a photographer and model. Shoot outdoors without the need for studio lighting or equipment. For service based businesses, I would recommend investing in creating images for your website. This could be hiring a designer to create graphics for your landing page or photographer to shoot a portrait for your About page.
The more you can invest in your content shoot, the higher the quality of your content. The benefit of hiring a creative professional and team to execute the production for you is that you will have more time to devote to your business. We offer content creation starting at $750. View our full offerings here.
Commercial use is using any work for marketing and promoting purposes. If you are a business owner, it's important to know about copyright. In music, the fee for licensing songs depends on the scope of the use. An artist or record company will license music for a national tv commercial differently than for a video online. The same goes for photography, the creation of images are owned by the photographer or content creator that creates the image. The image usage depends on the platform it's shared. The current standard and what's relevant for digital brands is a 'digital use' license for websites, email marketing and social media. If you wish to use images for print and other platforms, you can request additional licensing.
User Generated Content
In the wild wild west of the internet, there is less enforcement on proper image usage. User Generated Content is content created by others. Brands can leverage using others content with permission. Unfortunately, there is a growing number of artists, designers, content creators, and photographers who share their work on platforms like Instagram only to have brands repurpose their content without crediting or paying for the use of their work. At minimum, creators are willing to allow use of content with proper crediting. But unless you ask permission from the creator, you don't have rights to use the content as it infringes on the copyright of the owner. This course was created as part of a solution to this rampant content theft problem. The creative economy is slowly but surely finding ways to enforce protecting intellectual property. To avoid and legal issues, always ask for permission if you will be using UGC and credit properly within the caption.
WORKFLOW FOR DIFFERENT PLATFORMS
Creating blog content involves writing at minimum. Your blog can also contain images and videos. Evaluate how much time you will commit to creating content on your blog and how frequently you'd like to post. Below is a workflow for blog posting.
Step 1: Write a post.
It's important to start a new blog introducing the reason behind the blog. In the Nature and Intent Journal, we share our intention behind the journal and introducing what we are sharing on future posts. You can share content based on your offerings and different categories of content you've defined in the Content Strategy worksheet.
Step 2: Add images/graphics/videos as needed.
After writing the post, include any relevant images/graphics/videos for the post. Laying out the images/graphics/videos on a blog involves some creative and design skills. Try placing in different areas within the post to see what flows aesthetically.
Step 3: Edit post.
Ideally, you would want to edit your post to check for any grammar errors.
Step 3: Publish post and drive traffic.
Once you have your post published. Drive traffic to your blog by sharing on other social media platforms and/or your email newsletter.
Your email list is very valuable. It's standard for online businesses selling products to have a way to communicate your offerings to your current and prospective customers. A list serves to inform your community of any new collection, services/offerings, sales and promotions. The goal of email marketing is to drive traffic to your website. Creating personalized and captivating emails is an invitation.
Step 1. Personalize the email by including the first name.
Mailchimp has the option to merge tags. Learn here.
Step 2. Include Visuals for your newsletter.
Create or re-size images 600px. Crop and edit as needed.
Include a logo to create branding.
Step 3. Write body of email.
Keep it relevant and concise. Include appropriate links.
Step 4. Edit
Spell and grammar check.
Step 5. Send Test Email
View the email on your desktop, laptop and mobile to ensure the email has no errors and broken links.
Step 6. Schedule and Send!
The process of creating and scheduling an email newsletter will vary based on experience. Ideal to have ample time for creating, editing and scheduling.
Creating content for social media does not need a huge budget or production. In the next section, you will learn step-by-step how to capture images using your iPhone and editing workflow. Most important to keep in mind is how the visuals and content will be viewed. You are creating a digital experience for your audience. Test different tones and repurpose content from your website and blog for social media, creating slices of the 'pie'.
Step 1. Choose an image from your Camera roll.
Step 2 (Optional) Plan to curate your grid using app UNUM.
Create a visual story and flow to the grid.
Tip: Move content around to visually shift the order of photos. Demo in the Basics of iPhone photography video.
Step 3. Open image on Instagram app
Share the full image or crop the image to square.
Add filters or edits.
Step 4. Add caption, relevant hashtags, geo-location tag and accounts to tag and mention.
Step 5. Post!
Graphics & Illustrations
If you're not versed in Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator, sign up for Canva to create graphics and illustrations from thousands of templates.
Before you move on to this week's lessons, please review the previous week's lessons by completing the worksheet below:
From learning about Content Production, define :
The Value of Hiring a Creative Team
What to include in a Contract
Steps for Production
Working with your budget
User Generated Content
How to create a Blog post
How to create an Email newsletter
Step on posting to Instagram
Tools for Graphics & Illustrations
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