Content is worth big bucks.
Think about it.
Netflix rakes in $18 billion in revenue a year with their video content. Similarly, YouTube makes $16-$25 billion in annual revenue. Meanwhile, the blog for all things tech, TechCrunch, was bought by AOL in 2010 for a whopping $25 million.
But what, exactly, is content? What is a content creator? And what is the purpose of creating content?
The subject matter can be a little confusing.
That’s why this blog post will get you right up to speed. 🚴♂️
I’ll cover what content is, what a content creator is, the benefits of content, examples of work from the best content creators, and I’ll even give you insider tips and tricks to becoming a stellar content creator yourself! Just read through the below sections:
- What does content mean?
- What is a content creator?
- Content creators: The hows and whys
- Examples from the best content creators
- How you can be a stellar content creator with Process Street! 👌
Let’s not waste any more time and dive straight in.
What does content mean?
Content – which is synonymous with digital content, online content, web content, or digital media – is media that you come across on the internet. It could be a blog post, a video, a video game, an interactive website, music, social media – the list is endless (and not to mention broad).
“Typically, digital content refers to information available for download or distribution on electronic media such as an ebook or iTunes song, but many in the content industry argue that digital content is anything that can be published. Following this line of thinking, it is safe to say that if you are on the internet, most likely you are looking at, watching, or listening to a piece of digital content.” – Eileen Mullan, What is Digital Content?
Simply put, pretty much everything you look at while online is content.
This very blog post by us at Process Street is content.
The video below explaining what Process Street is, again, content.
Now, content is something of a holy grail for marketing teams, solopreneurs, and makers alike.
For example, it:
- Engages audiences with entertainment and/or information. 👀
- Establishes a relationship with your audience. 🤝
- Builds personal/brand credibility and authority. 🧠
- Helps convert traffic into leads. ➡️
- Provides value. 💪
No matter if you’re a content marketer at a SaaS company or a Twitch streamer, you can hook an audience in line-and-sinker with gripping content (especially if you’re making use of digital storytelling).
Once an audience has been found, you can establish, foster, and develop a relationship with your audience through content. Feelings of trust, loyalty, and commitment can occur – after seeing the right content, of course.
I recently took to Google for plant advice. Specifically, my monstera wasn’t looking too spritely due to the change in season. I scoured Reddit, specific-plant forums, and professional blogs to find authoritative advice I could follow to bring my monstera back from limbo. It took mere minutes to find exactly what I needed (Miracle-Gro is a wondrous thing), and I now use two particular sites for all my green-thumbed needs. So, if you’re publishing solid content on the world wide web, you’re promoting your brand as credible and authoritative, which helps visitors turn into more permanent fixtures.
Once you build traffic, that audience can be converted into customers, users, donators, and subscribers. For you, that means more $$ and an increased bottom line.
Let’s say that somebody stumbles upon your content, but they don’t stick around to become a part of your audience – there’s still value in getting content out there! After all, it provides useful information or entertainment, helps business branding, increases brand awareness, and furthers your business’ internet clout.
But what is a content creator? Who is a content creator? How is the term defined? 🤷♂️
It’s time to find out.
What is a content creator?
A content creator is a broad and loose term for the people behind the creation of content. A blogger, a videographer, an animator, a storyteller, a musician, a marketer; they can all be lumped into the category of content creator.
As Holly Sutton, a blogger and content strategist, further explains:
“A content creator is someone who is responsible for the contribution of information to any media and most especially to digital media. They usually target a specific end-user/audience in specific contexts. A content creator can contribute any of the following:
Anthony D’Angelo, who is a content creator and something of a digital content historian and sociologist (he was even dubbed “YouTube’s unofficial historian” by Chris Stokel-Walker), also discusses the content creator definition in this insightful, thought-provoking video:
With Sutton’s and D’Angelo’s similar definitions in mind, I, myself, am classified as a content creator.
Because I’ve spent a significant amount of time thinking of content ideas, researching, penning the content down, editing the piece, developing it so it’s informative, interesting, and unlike anything else on the web, and then publishing it.
Now, you might not be so focused on written content; perhaps your medium is video, animation, sound, or design. But that doesn’t detract away from the fact that you, too, could be a content creator.
Don’t believe me?
In the next section, I’ll explain – and show – the different kinds, types, and variations of content creators, and the mediums they’re working with to create captivating material!
Content creators: The hows and whys
YouTube content creator: The hows and whys
First up is a quick history lesson.
YouTube was launched on February 14th, 2005 by three colleagues who previously worked at PayPal. A few months later on April 13th, one of the co-founders – Jawed Karim – uploaded YouTube’s very first video: Me at the zoo.
Despite it now having over 80 million views, it’s a simple video, to say the least.
Although YouTube started from humble beginnings, it has grown into nothing short of a behemoth.
It’s become the go-to place for aspiring video content creators wanting to break into the industry and become the next viral YouTube Creator, like Zoella, Shane Dawson, or PewDiePie (who, alone, has over 102 million subscribers.)
However, nobody said it was going to be easy: Over 400 hours’ worth of content is uploaded to the platform every minute, so there’s certainly stiff competition.
But the payoff, should a content creator rise through the ranks, is worth it: YouTube has paid out more than $2 billion to their Creators.
Now, what’s particularly interesting is that, from a business and marketing perspective, the modern, internet-loving public is more interested in YouTube Creators than other public figures. Research shows 70% of YouTube subscribers relate better to YouTube Creators than film or TV stars.
This is for multiple reasons.
Firstly, the content that appears on the platform feels more real. Usually, there’s only one – or a small team – of people involved with the creation of the content. There’s not the multi-million dollar budget, the hundreds of people, the A-list celebrities who have, due to their global fame, elevated status.
YouTube Creators, therefore, are far more down to earth. Which resonates with today’s audience.
Secondly, YouTube’s content is incredibly accessible. Not only is it extremely easy to view content on YouTube – in fact, all it takes is a few clicks of a mouse and some strokes of the keyboard – but the very medium of it feels more personal. Sure, there’s a comment section that includes activity from other users, but when you’re watching a video from a content creator, it feels as if they’re talking to only you.
To put it simply, YouTube Creators are so successful because their content – and the platform they use to host their content – breaks down barriers. It enables creators to establish and engage an audience in, rather ironically, a more human way.
So no matter if you’re planning on using YouTube as an MUA content creator or as a SaaS business where you upload how-to videos, webinars, discussions, and your video-based marketing materials, it’s certainly worth time and sustained effort. Just don’t expect miracles overnight. 🌱
Social media content creator: The hows and whys
Follow. Like. Upvote. Share. Comment.
Social media has radically changed the way we, as a civilization, interact and communicate with each other – all 3.2 billion of us (which is nearly half the world’s population, might I add).
This begs the question: How many times have you looked at social media today?
Personally, between WhatsApp, Twitter, Instagram, and all the other apps that are screaming for my attention, I can’t even keep count.
But, thankfully, it’s not only me that can’t stay away from social media:
- 500 million people check Twitter each month.
- There are 800 million monthly active users (MAUs) on Instagram.
- Facebook has a whopping 2.45 billion MAUs.
Social media content creators (sometimes known as influencers), then, are capitalizing on this goldmine. They’re tapping into the pool of billions upon billions of users, adding their quality, engaging content to feeds.
Considering each social media platform is different, you’ll usually find differing kinds of content creators on each.
For instance, Instagram is particularly popular for content creators in the fields of beauty and health, diet, wellness, fitness, and clothing. This is mainly because they can visually show the benefits of their products and/or services.
For instance, I’ve got a personal trainer called Mark (hi Mark! 👋) who works at the gym I’m a member of. Mark’s Instagram feed is chock-full of results pictures, showcasing how he’s transformed the bodies of his clients after improving their diets, workout regimes, and overall healthcare.
Twitter wouldn’t work as well for him; it’s the visual content that captures the attention of potential leads. That’s why for P.T. Mark – and thousands of others in the fitness sector – Instagram is the go-to app.
Meanwhile, Twitter is the standout choice for those working with words. Particularly blogs, news sites, politicians, and comedians – after all, as per Sutton’s and D’Angelo’s definitions, they’re content creators, too.
Speaking of which…
Written content creator: The hows and whys
In my article How to Gain Customers and Influence People with Digital Storytelling, I discussed the benefits of great, written digital content at length.
You see, there’s a deep-rooted need for the written word. From the fairy tales of olde to the modern-day digital blog post, the written word informs, challenges, excites, and encourages.
But what exactly does a written content creator, well, create?
Ultimately, it depends on the sector the writer is working in. A content creator/writer for a SaaS company – like me – could find themselves writing any number of things, including (but not limited to):
- Landing pages
- Onsite blog posts
- Offsite blog posts
- Product descriptions/copy
- Help site articles
- Subscriber emails
- Social media posts
Each kind of written content here has a varying purpose, but what ties them all together is that they’re there to inform readers; about the product or service, why it’s useful, ways to use that product/service, and updates on any features that are added to the product/service in question.
However, content writing for a video game will have a wildly different set of duties, such as:
- Establishing and building the story
- Creating the narrative arc
- Writing quest or mission text
- Establishing dialogue between characters
- Penning the dialogue that’s directed to the player, not the player character
- Writing the game’s website copy
Most of these duties are carried out so the game contains an engaging narrative, ensuring gamers will keep playing the game over and over.
This is something that game developer Valve exceeded at with their Half-Life series. Ever since the original Half-Life in 1998, which my colleague Oliver Peterson discusses in his post Secrets of the Cabal: Half-Life’s Organizational Management & Other Agile Tales, people return to the decades-old game due to the game’s thrilling content, with the written content playing an undeniably important part of its overall success!
As you can see from these two examples, what a written content creator will work on differs on a case-by-case and sector-by-sector basis.
However, it’s a staple for solopreneurs and multi-national businesses alike to properly acknowledge, invest, and believe in written content.
Because it works.
(You’ve read this far, after all.)
Examples from the best content creators
In the last section, I covered the hows and whys of content creators – the mediums they use to create, the platforms they use to host their creations, why they use those specific platforms.
But now we’ll be looking at some of the best content that’s been created by various content creators.
Let it be known: Compiling this list was no easy task. Plus, it’s highly subjective.
What I think are glorious examples of content could highly differ from yours. But that’s the (great) thing about content – there’s a lot of it, and each piece works for different people!
From podcasts to blog posts, streams to webinars, here’s the best content on the web from 4 different mediums.
Examples of the web’s best content: Podcasts
Imagine a world without podcasts.
What would we do while at the gym? On the bus? Waiting at the airport?
It’s almost unthinkable!
Luckily, due to their immense popularity, podcasts are here to stay. Ever since Apple launched Apple Podcasts back in 2005, there have been over 50 billion podcasts downloaded. (This is only on Apple’s platform – imagine how many were downloaded through Amazon, Google, and the rest!)
One of the (many) reasons why SaaStr is at the top of their game is due to the varied, interesting, and intelligent guests they bring on the show.
This keeps things fresh and exciting – a quality that all great content possesses. From HubSpot to Chargebee, Glassdoor to Airtable, tech-loving listeners are treated weekly to thoughts, opinions, and advice from some of the world’s best brains.
Have I piqued your interest? Fancy giving it a listen yourself?
I don’t blame you.
Examples of the web’s best content: Blog posts
Blog posts are the culmination of various content; from written content to interesting infographics, great graphic design to innovative web design.
It’s one of the many reasons why pretty much every business (or business-minded individual) has a blog.
One company that consistently knocks their blog posts out of the park is Officevibe.
They effortlessly meld the aforementioned elements (written content, infographics, graphic design, etc) to create engaging, informative posts that are a joy to both look at and read.
In fact, whenever I get a notification that they’ve published a new post, I’ll wait until I’ve finished work so I can sit down and enjoy it!
For example, check out their post Why We Got Rid Of The Annual Review, For Good.
In it, Officevibe discusses an important topic: How their parent company (GSOFT) got rid of annual performance reviews, and instead, adopted regular appraisals.
This is something, I too, have written about in my post How to Provide a Successful Performance Appraisal (With 5 Free Templates) because annual reviews just aren’t working for modern businesses.
Research from SHRM and Globalforce show that 45% of HR leaders believe that annual appraisals aren’t an accurate way to judge their employees’ performance – and the truth is that they aren’t. Performance, instead, should be reviewed at least quarterly, if not monthly.
It’s an eye-opening read I’d advise everyone to read through – not only to learn about why annual appraisals are no longer cutting the mustard, but also to understand what makes a solid blog post.
If you’re also interested in performing regular reviews for your organization, we have a performance review template for that – 4, even!
Examples of the web’s best content: Streams
As mentioned earlier, content can be incredibly varied. Sometimes it’s business-focused. At other times, it’s more entertainment-focused.
Then, once in a while, it’s just plain wild.
Earlier I mentioned a platform called Twitch. If you don’t know what it is, or have never even heard of it before, it’s an incredibly popular streaming platform for gamers.
Usually, subscribers tune in to watch their favorite streamers play a wide variety of games. The streamers in question will interact with their audience via chat, and entertain their viewers.
Well, this is what usually happens.
In 2014, an anonymous Australian programmer wrote a variation of the classic 90s game Pokémon. The premise behind their version was that the Twitch audience would have direct input, deciding what the character would do through what they typed in the chat bar.
However, the audience of the Twitch Plays Pokémon channel had an average of 80,000 viewers at any given time. That’s 80,000 different people all commanding the character to do different things.
Suffice to say, (slow) chaos ensued.
Considering the programmer of this content was anonymous, who was the content creator here? Was it the programmer? Or was it the 80,000 people who had direct, democratic input?
It raises a lot of thought-provoking questions. Plus, it’s a good little philosophical lesson on what happens when there’s no leadership!
It has since become a mythical piece of streamed (and recorded) content – and it even achieved a Guinness World Record for most participants playing a single-player video game!
Examples of the web’s best content: Webinars
Last but by no means least is the webinar.
It seems that everyone and their grandmothers are hosting webinars, right?
That’s for good reason.
Webinars are an opportunity to gather an audience, build a relationship with that audience (or further it), establish authority, and then, once it’s over, the whole session can be documented and repurposed as a YouTube video!
To boot, it’s extremely cost-effective to do. With tools such as Zoom where screens can be shared, audiences can ask questions, and the webinar video is super high-quality, it’s far, far cheaper than hosting an IRL event.
For SaaS companies around the globe, webinars are something of a must-have. In fact, we regularly host webinars here at Process Street.
They’re delivered by our brilliant customer success team, and usually led by the head of customer success, Blake Bailey.
Blake has a ton of experience when it comes to using Process Street like a true pro, and building out nifty automations to save time, money, and effort every single day.
Check him out in the webinar below, where he guides users through the building and using of advanced automations.
I don’t want to toot our own horn too much, but I think this is a stellar example of a webinar.
Because Blake manages to target all audience members at once, right from the newbies all the way to the PS professionals, helping them to create super useful automations. While delivering the webinar, he also makes sure no one gets left behind, quite literally, in the process.
Once he’s finished discussing and demonstrating advanced automations, Blake then spends over 20 minutes answering questions posed by the audience! (Which is far longer than many webinars allow for Q&As.)
All in all, this is a standout piece of webinar content.
Want to become a stellar content creator yourself?
My oh my, do I have the checklist app for you…
How you can be a stellar content creator with Process Street! 👌
Process Street is superpowered checklists.
No matter if you’re creating a checklist for writing a blog post, creating and publishing a YouTube video, or preparing an upcoming stream on Twitch, you’ll first document the process’ steps via a template.
The best part?
You can launch an infinite number of checklists!
This makes being a content creator a breeze, and ensures human error never gets in the way.
For more on Process Street, check out this introductory video (if you didn’t do so earlier on in the post).
As a content creator, I know you’re busy. There’s so much pre-planning, strategizing, and thought involved.
That’s why, to aid you on your journey of creating stellar content, I’ve included a list of ready-made templates you can jump into straight away.
No need to start from the beginning.
No need to document it all yourself.
Just sign up for free and add the appropriate templates to your organization!
Written content creation templates
- Blog Idea Processing Checklist
- Newsletter Template Process
- Peer-Editing Checklist for Bloggers
- The Ultimate Blog Post Editing Checklist
- Ebook Launch Checklist: The Step-by-Step Guide to 1,000+ Downloads in One Day
- Ari Meisel’s How to Develop a Content Distribution Machine Guide
Content promotion templates
- Content Promotion Checklist
- Advanced Content Promotion Checklist
- Daily Mention Tracking for Content Promotion
- SEO Checklist: The Keyword Research Process
- Podcast Formatting Checklist
- Podcast Publishing Checklist
- Get Your First 100 Podcast Listeners
- Ari Meisel’s How to Automate Podcast Production Process
Visual content templates
- Graphic Design Process
- UX Design Process
- Blog Image Design Process
- Social Media Image Design
- Visual Content Publishing Checklist
Social media templates
- Social Media Influencer Outreach Checklist
- How to Market on Instagram – The Ultimate Guide
- Buffer’s Social Media Etiquette Checklist
There you have it – a mini-library of templates to help you create amazing content, no matter your preferred medium.
Here’s to creating great content experiences.
Are you a content creator? Do you have any tips and tricks you’d like to share with the rest of the Process Street community? If so, type them in the comment box below! 💡