What is digital content production?

Digital media production is the backbone of the internet. It’s the generation of everything from video and audio to interactive online experiences. Harnessing media production skills for online marketing and business promotion doesn’t take a four-year degree. Instead, it can often be learned through online resources and a whole lot of practice. In fact, this kind of media production is often perceived as something at which only the big firms can succeed, but much media can be created in a budget-friendly manner for small businesses.

Digital media encompasses any kind of media that is created in a machine-readable-only format, and it includes everything from MP3 files and ebooks to videos and website design. No, you don’t need to go to school to learn these skills. Still, digital media production degrees are now hotly sought after and are offered in universities and technical institutions around the world.

From mom-and-pop shops to multinational companies, digital media is now at the fore of how a business communicates with the public. Social media and websites have become almost mandatory for companies looking to have strong consumer loyalty and a reliable brand name. Having dated or obsolete online properties can make companies seem as though they’re behind the times or floundering financially.

Digital content creation is an important part of a digital strategy. Every piece of content you create—including eNewsletters, white papers, blog posts, case studies and more—should be carefully crafted and designed to drive prospects to your brand, multiply the organic reach and increase conversions.

Digital Content Creation: 6 Steps to Success

After you have identified your target audience, there are several steps that can help improve the quality and impact of the digital content creation process. Although some steps may not be appropriate for all types of content, they are generally applicable to most of the content generated by B2B brands.

Determine the purpose. Different types of content have different purposes. For example, while case studies demonstrate your organisation’s experience and expertise in specific areas contributed articles may be intended to inject your brand into conversions about newsworthy topics. By determining the purpose at the beginning of the content creation process, you can improve the likelihood that your content will achieve the desired results.

Create useful, quality content. In digital content creation, the rule of thumb is that every piece of content you create must be useful and relevant to the target audience. The more useful the content is, the easier it will be for audiences to contextualise it to their situations and share it with others in their circles of influence.

Promote content on social media. Share different content on each of your social media networks to expand your brand’s reach and add scale to campaigns. The content you share on each site should be unique to give your followers a reason to follow you on more than one network. Blog posts and other types of content that have a lot of views likes and shares usually deliver higher search engine rankings.

Utilise photos and multimedia. Supplement your written content with photos, infographics and videos. According to a study by MDG Advertising, content paired with captivating images gets 94 percent more total views on average than those without. The same MDG Advertising statistic reveals that 67 percent of online consumers consider clear, detailed photos to be more important than product information or customer ratings.

Implement an SEO program. Instead of guessing keywords to use throughout your content and hoping that it resonates with the audience, it’s more beneficial to implement a formal SEO strategy that leverages Google tools and other resources. A strong SEO program helps you discover the most searched, valuable terms for your location and industry.

Track and analyse content. Ideally, your analytics program should go beyond simple page views to evaluate the online behaviours of the individuals who are viewing specific pieces of digital content. Additionally, it’s important to remain aware of how well you rank in the top search engines and continuously aim to improve those rankings.

Critical Multimedia for Businesses

Social Media: Beyond status updates and messaging, social media allows savvy companies an ongoing focus group experience with their fans and potential customers. Content can be user-generated or brand created, but it must be compelling, engaging and shareable. Social media is not just about broadcasting your message but rather about creating open dialogue and relationships with your consumers.

Video: While many sites have pivoted to video only, the wisest companies have a balance of content styles. Video can be used on websites, in tweets, on Facebook and beyond. Even Google reviews allow video now, so the online format is a need-to-know. Video editing is a valuable skill for anyone managing online properties.

Website and Mobile Development: A functional, fast-loading, easy-to-use website is still critical. Many small businesses have taken the easy way out and deleted their websites in favour of using Facebook company pages, but this is a dangerous venture because it puts control of house marketing materials in the hands of a third party. WordPress and Squarespace offer simple web platforms, but a wide range of designer solutions exist for a variety of budgets. Mobile-ready pages and apps are now critical, as more than half of the world’s web activity happens on smartphones.

Who Creates Digital Content?

Everyone! If social media has taught us anything, it is that we are all content publishers. On his website, marketing and communications consultant, Adam Vincenzini, includes tweets, Facebook status updates, photos, videos, blog posts, audio files, games, and ebooks on his list of 50 examples of digital content. If digital content is considered any piece of information that is published, that means with every tweet you share, every video you upload to Facebook, and every time you update your blog, you are taking on the role of a digital content creator.

Free vs. Paid Digital Content

Perhaps one of the biggest hot button topics surrounding digital content is the free vs. paid content debate. Should consumers pay for their digital content, or should it be given to them for free? If it is provided for free, can a business still make money from their content? This debate is especially pertinent in the entertainment and media industry, which has come under fire in recent years regarding how digital content such as movies and music is handled online. Many argue that the entertainment industry has been slow to develop viable business models for the internet. We all remember the fall-out from Napster. Good-bye, free songs and hello iTunes. But even with laws being put in place to protect original content, file sharing sites are still prominent, and many content creators are still losing money to this illegal practice.

Other Media Production Skills

Multimedia isn’t just about video and audio and photos — it’s anything on the web. When you have e-commerce on your site, that’s part of digital media production, and so are location-based services and online games of all kinds as well as virtual reality and animation. If it’s online, it’s a digital media production application.

These are not overnight skills to pick up and rock — people spend their entire careers learning to excel in all of these. Hiring professionals to help for a small business is a smart plan. Still, there are also plenty of small businesses that learn how to run their online identities through social media, video and other accessible platforms while outsourcing some help in other areas, like website maintenance.

For those looking for skills in everything from content creation to copy production to video editing and even website designing, there are many great independent sites with helpful tips. Also look at pay-to-play educational sites like Lynda.com, which offers year-long subscriptions, and digital production is taught by experts in their fields via video and supporting text documents.

The pace at which digital content production has developed is little short of astonishing.

Consider, as one example, how quickly we’ve progressed from simple static GIFs to kinetic emails that allow consumers to purchase products with just a few clicks directly. In a few short years, our digital landscape has migrated from desktop to mobile, from broadcast to personalised communication, and from static to fully immersive experiences. Suffice it to say, for brands and marketers who embrace new possibilities, and digital content creation will transform their marketing approach.

The list of what we term digital content gets ever longer: apps, email, CGI, VFX, display, videos, VR, AR, DCO, social and more. To manage all these, rapidly expanding digital communication media, brands and marketers need some help.

In an ideal world, they would have access to something similar to another new-fangled tool of our age: the in-car satellite navigation system. Simply enter a destination and get dynamic directions that take you directly to your objective easily, quickly and efficiently, with smooth steering around any potential hazards and holdups.

Create Unique, Value-Adding, Brand Defining Content

At the heart of every great social campaign is quality content. Content that not only helps shape your brand and add value to your audience, but also supports broader marketing objectives and delivers tangible results.

Improved search performance, higher conversion rates, more time spent on site, increased web traffic, more social followers and engagement – these are just a few of the results we see across our content marketing projects.

Blogs

Your website’s blog is the perfect place to start distributing A-grade content. We can work with you to build an authentic blog strategy that appeals to your audience and supports broader business goals.

  • Improve website search performance
  • Build trust and authority in your industry
  • Establish your brand story and voice
  • Educate and inform customers
  • Reach and engage with potential customers
  • Leverage blogs to grow followers on social media
  • Get in touch to start blogging today!

If you’re still on the fence, here’s why you should start blogging.

Podcasts

Ever thought of having your own talk show? If you have a lot to say and no time to turn your thoughts into well-worded articles, podcasts are a smart way to create value-packed content that your audience will love. They’re also great for getting across your unique brand personality!

We can take care of everything from initial setup and overall strategy to ongoing planning, production and distribution. Your voice, your insight and your commitment are all we need from you.

  • Share meaningful stories
  • Reach and engage new audiences
  • Provide information and advice
  • Position yourself as a thought leader
  • Leverage podcasts to create blogs and social content
  • Get in touch to find out how we can help you grow with podcasting.

Video

True to the saying, a picture is worth a thousand words, video is by far the most effective form of content for marketing your business today. Audiences are ten times more likely to engage with video content more than text-only blogs or related social posts, and 71% of consumers say that videos lead to a positive impression of a company.

Adding video content to your digital marketing strategy will also help:

  • Improve brand recall
  • Build trust and engagement
  • Boost your site’s SEO
  • Deliver marketing messages more effectively
  • Engage even the laziest of consumers
  • Improve on-site conversions
  • Generate new leads
  • Get in touch to discuss how video can be used to grow your business.

Because the vast majority of any content marketing program relates to research, strategy, and analysis, some might call content production the “fun” part.

It is, after all, the point in the process when your uptight, left-brained strategists finally unleash a horde of neurotic, right-brained creatives to turn your plan into reality. (Sometimes the same person is responsible for both strategy and production—take it from me, you don’t want to hear the conversations going on in that head.)

What has come to be known as “digital media production” is the method in which digital files are developed, enhanced, encoded, and distributed using different types of processing with computer hardware and software applications.

Files of this kind serve as assorted media types, which can include the likes of audio, video, graphic, and written content as can be easily be looked at online.

The Future is now

These types of media are specially coded to operate in a predetermined environment or platform. The production of digital media dominates as the primary subject of interest for the establishment of digital music, streaming video, and similar content which is made available to today’s mass audience.

  • This field of the industry makes it possible for the whole world not only to see, but also hear things differently, and with a lot more imagination.
  • Those seeking a top-class production company in UAE can find one with just a few clicks of their mouse.

Matters of Definition

The definition of digital media production is an ever-changing arena as the frontiers of modern technology expand by the day.

In many cases, it can refer to the development of video productions, as in digitally enhanced animation; or those of new media creation, which involves website building and creation and multimedia authoring to name just two.

Due to digital media files being based on the binary numeral system, (which applies to the individual states of zeros and ones as a description of information), the types and potentialities of creation are infinite as technology moves forward.

Today’s digital media production has now come to incorporate an area which is presently responsible for numerous processes, which then have the further possibility of creating media of multiple genres, types and styles.

Technology and Science

Before the 1980s, media outlets depended on the likes of print; real graphic art and crude, analogue techniques, like those used in television and radio broadcasts, to communicate ideas and entertain a world audience.

As technology advanced during that time period, the face of the media and the system behind its production converted it into a science.

This science combined the use of one or more computer workstations, special software applications, and creative technicians who developed a continuously moving and changing art form.

A New Era of Media

When the media eventually changed, it changed forever, and so did the fundamental components within:

  • Music
  • Film
  • Television
  • Advertising
  • Journalism
  • Personal communication

The creation and establishment of modern digital media production standards have definitely influenced one of the earliest and most prominent technological inventions in history.

And Even in the World of Ink

The printing press has also seen a profound transformation occur with technology by way of digital image manipulation and computer publishing software.

This can effectively allow for a single operator at a workstation to work as the author, editor, publisher, and printer of its very own publication.

Content production is the process of developing and creating visual or written assets, such as videos, eBooks, blog posts, whitepapers, or infographics.

The term might be useful in a broad sense, but the reality is that the details of content production vary wildly depending on the type of content.

For example, in addition to a manager/overseer for each piece:

A blog post generally just requires a writer. But a branded video, depending on the scale, sometimes requires a much larger team, including a writer, producer, director, camera operator, gaffer, audio engineer, editor, and possibly many others throughout the process.

A white paper will rely heavily on a writer and also require some light design. In contrast, an infographic will fall more on the illustrator or designer, requiring only light writing (although the writer often establishes the structure).

Nailing the Handoff

Regardless of the type of content, the more time you put into the handoff from strategist to creative, the better your outcome will typically be. A few tips for setting your creatives up for success:

Provide a Creative Brief

Most creatives prefer to work from a creative brief, which is simply a document outlining the project’s context, purpose, and deliverables. A creative brief should include:

  • Background on the project (why you’re doing it)
  • Audience demographics
  • Description of the deliverable you’re requesting
  • Timeline/deadline
  • Resources (might include supporting statistics, similar content as inspiration, related articles, etc.)

Do a Kick-Off Meeting or Phone Call

Every now and then, introverted creatives might not think they need this part of the process, especially if you’ve provided a thorough, creative brief. Don’t let it slide—there are questions that naturally arise during the course of a conversation that might not come up via email. And, as most of us have learned the hard way at some point in our careers, tone and meaning aren’t always accurately conveyed in a creative brief.

So make sure to talk with your creative(s) one-to-one before letting them race off to their caves to work. It’s the best way to ensure that everyone shares the same, accurate information and expectations for the project.

Provide Access to Subject Matter Experts

Particularly with long-form written content and videos, your creative team will need access to product managers and other subject matter experts for information gathering or on-camera interviews. Queuing up the best contacts in advance can be a big help once the content production process starts rolling.

The Future of Digital Content

With so many different types of content available, the question plaguing information experts today isn’t what kind of content to create, but how to deliver it. With the continued popularity of smartphones, tablets, and eReaders, the average consumer now has a variety of options to turn to besides their computer to get the latest piece of digital content. Therefore, to be successful in the digital content realm, content creators must determine the best way to present their digital content to consumers. Maybe it is an ebook. Maybe it is an app. The right choice depends on the needs of the audience.

How a business chooses to deliver its digital content could drastically affect its financial standing. For example, in February 2011, Google made waves in the digital content publishing world when it announced its plan for Google One Pass. This subscription plan allows publishers to sell digital content on the web and through mobile applications using Google’s existing payment service, Google Checkout. With Google One Pass, Google takes 10% of each transaction, while Apple’s subscription model required 30% of each transaction of digital content, like books, music and magazines within its App Store. With numbers like these, content creators must choose their mode of delivery carefully.

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