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Content Production: A Diagnostic Checklist

how toThe content you create is a crucial way of engaging with your audience: is your organisation doing it to the best of its abilities? Ask yourself the following diagnostic questions to see if your approach to content creation is working and find tips around what to focus on and how to best reach your target audience.

What is the purpose of the content?

Have you thought about why you are creating your content and who you are creating it for? Content that tries to be all things to all people can often fall flat, so it’s important to recognise and meet the expectations of your target audience, no matter if it’s a high-end augmented reality production or some simple behind-the-scenes footage.

Who is your target audience?

Use analytics from your website and social media accounts to gain insight on the behaviours of your audience: what posts have been well received in the past? Arts and cultural organisations have enormous potential to entertain existing and new audiences, and therefore defining your target audience will help you to:

· Tailor content to their interests,

· Know when and where your current content is being consumed and the optimal time to post, and

· Asses what social media audiences are working for you, and ensure resources are spent developing platforms which will deliver the most significant return.

Where will you showcase the content?

Once you’ve considered the purpose of your content and the target audience, you need to decide where to host it based on those considerations. What’s the best place for your content to reach the most people?

Factors like audience retention will vary across different platforms and can inform your content strategy – will your content idea work best as an attention-grabbing Instagram video, or a compelling slow-burn podcast?

What resources do you have?

Be realistic about how much time it takes to make a 30-second video – do you have the resources to make it as good as it can be? Similarly, are there any shortcuts or time-saving editing apps which could achieve the same results with less effort?

Do your facilities match up to the type of content you want to create? You can record a podcast on your laptop microphone or in a dedicated soundproofed studio, but the content itself is still the most important thing.

Is your content part of a strategy or campaign?

Is there a larger marketing plan and/or brand identity to which you need to adhere? If there are multiple departments working on a single campaign, it’s best to ensure the objective is clear across all stakeholders. Something as simple as a mood board or a rough treatment with scripted parts can convey key concepts from the outset, allowing you to work with other departments to produce great content.

How will you measure results?

What Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are you using to measure the success of your content? Have you set a target for audience reach or engagement? Do you have the necessary analytics tools to track results and gain insights into your audiences’ preferences, location and demographics?

Reviewing your output will help you to improve future projects and deliver stronger results.

What next?

This checklist has introduced some important methods for assessing the impact of the content you create across all platforms of your organisation. To learn more, you can read one of the articles linked below.

The Digital Culture Network is here to support you and your organisation. Our Tech Champions can provide free 1-2-1 support to all arts and cultural organisations who are in receipt of, or eligible for, Arts Council England funding. If you need help or would like to chat with us about any of the advice we have covered above, please get in touch. Sign up to our newsletter below and follow us on Twitter @ace_dcn for the latest updates.

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