Fast Track Your Creative Output With A Content Hack | Varn


10 December 2014

Fast Track Your Creative Output With A Content Hack

A Content Hack day takes a bit of preparation and the right mix of characters to succeed but when the results can mean half a year’s content in one day, then it’s clearly worthwhile.

Why Content Counts

To remain competitive or to excel in your field and sales – it is wise to stay in the forefront of your industry by demonstrating your knowledge, ideas and company values through creative content. New customers and existing customers need courting. Ask yourself – what stops them from going somewhere else if a similar offer is only a click away? Be engaging, explain why your proposition is the best, communicate your knowledge and vision.

Content is the cornerstone of any website, whether that’s website updates, news, blogs or social media, including videos. It propels the website into the fray in terms of SEO and gets your customer community engaged in your business. Having keywords that explain your business entwined into relevant and well written copy, which is regularly updated, keeps the website competitive in terms of where it is displayed. Content is therefore not a luxury – it’s an essential element to keep fresh for a website.

Whereas it is normal to ‘eek’ out content production in weekly or monthly instalments from writers and video makers – the Content Hack is a storm of activity to produce as much as possible in a small window of time – using many creatives and experts, who are pooled together.

Rising To The Content Challenge

Writers at Varn were recently hired in a Content Hack Day for Bombora TV, a London based webinar and live video production company. The brief was to produce 15 scripts, 15 video presentations from those scripts and 15 blogs converted from those scripts. All 45 pieces of content could then be used to great effect – with further opportunities to convert and spread within social media formats. There were three teams – each comprising of a writer, presenter and service expert. Each team then had 20 minutes to compose a 250 word piece five times in a row. The results worked well and the pressure made the speed of creativity accelerate. By lunch time, all the scripts were complete. After this, they were loaded into an autocue and the presenters went to work to be filmed in a nearby ‘green room’ adapting scripts as they went until the presentations felt right. The writers then rewrote the scripts into blog formats during the afternoon. By the end of the day – six months’ worth of quality content had been produced in only eight hours. This proves this is a good way to conjure up your content in one go if you are organised enough, although it’s not for the faint hearted or work-shy!

Here’s a guide to a Content Hack Day preparation:

  1. Provide Research Information

Make easy-to-read research notes for your teams – bullet points are good. There won’t be time for in-depth research during the day, so they will have to pick out what they want to use from these notes. This also give you a level of management and control over the content produced. Allocate the work evenly to the teams.

  1. Organise Teams

Organise teams to include a writer, a presenter and a product adviser / expert (someone from the client company). Make sure introductions are made. Make sure Wi-Fi passwords are given and working in case online research is needed to check a fact.

  1. Make A Clear Day Agenda And Timetable

Have a clear day plan – micro-manage time segments – for instance, advise the teams on the average times per story or it will take too long.

  1. Review Each Other’s Work

Stop the teams after a couple of turns to review each other’s work. This helps make the work more consistent – shares ideas and angles and provides positive feedback which may be needed to review or tweak the work.

  1. Provide A Creative Environment

Make the environment as conducive to creativity as possible. Make sure each team has a comfortable sitting arrangement that is easy to collaborate over with a shared computer. Have plenty of refreshments and nibbles near to fuel creative minds.

  1. Inform and Advise Before The Day

Try and contact the team members ahead of the day and tell them as much as possible about the day so they can choose to prepare for the challenge.

For more information on content creation please contact Varn.

Article by: Tom, Managing Director of Varn Digital Marketing More articles by Tom

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