Are you looking to start your journey as a content creator, or have you already started but wondering how to gain more traction?
The EWOR team spoke to Arfiana Fatimah, a young Indonesian content creator, about how she rose to success, and how she works to create such interesting content.
Arfiana is currently an undergraduate student in marketing and communications. Her interest in marketing and content started in school, where she created her own social media accounts and was involved in activities like debating. “I started creating content and realised, ok, I have a passion for communication,” she explained.
After graduating from high school she took part in six marketing internships at once, which in itself is an incredible achievement. Arfiana made a TikTok about that experience which went viral, reaching four million views and gaining her thousands of followers. From there, she started creating consistently on TikTok, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, and other platforms.
We asked Arfiana about the kind of content she creates. She told us she first tried to do travel, food, and fashion videos, none of which took off. “Then I finally shined with my own passion, my own interests, education; I became popular with that,” Arfiana said, emphasising the popularity of educational content in Indonesia. Especially during the pandemic, it was important to help students learn from home, as they couldn’t get to school.
How to Build a Content Creation Strategy
Arfiana manages multiple platforms at once, and produces content for all of them consistently. We asked her how she maintains this, and how she built her content strategy.
“I’m a very analytical person,” she explained, so analysing her content stats comes naturally to her. The first thing to note according to Arfiana is that not all content works on every platform – something that works really well on TikTok might not be appropriate for Facebook of LinkedIn, for example. This is why finding out what works where is crucial.
The most basic KPIs surrounding content creation are quite obvious, Arfiana explained. You can look at views, shares, comments, and likes. But if you go more in depth, you can also see how long people watch your videos for, and whether they watch them until the end. “There are so many metrics you can use when you analyse video platforms,” the content creator told us. Don’t limit yourself to the basic ones.
As she has lots to keep track of, Arfiana uses Google Sheets or Excel to input her metrics and statistics, and cross compare performance of various pieces of content. From there, she decides what content type and message might work best on each of the platforms she is active on.
How to Manage Engagement
Another crucial aspect of content creation is engagement. Thankfully, Arfiana had plenty of insights on the subject.
Her first piece of advice was to pay attention to your followers. To do so, according to the content creator, you should analyse your comment sections, your inboxes, your DMs – what do these mean? What are your followers saying about your content and what they want to see?
“Content creators are actually not that different to start-ups,” revealed Arfiana. “We’re here to solve people’s problems, to provide a service to people.” As such, it’s important to be attuned to what people are after, so you can identify solutions to the questions they are asking. Being in touch with your followers is also a good way of identifying what type of content works best for you, and how you could replicate it in the future.
We asked Arfiana if she currently considers content creation as her profession, and she told us for now it is all for fun. “There is definitely a content creator economy,” she said. “Some people approach me to speak on webinars, some brands want me to promote their products, and sometimes I sell my services as a professional digital marketer. Basically, for now I’m like a freelancer,” she explained.
If you are looking to promote brands and products, the content creator had a word of warning. “If I promote something, it’s not about money for me – I recommend it to my followers, so I have to be credible,” Arfiana stressed. She puts time into researching the product to check that it is fully legitimate, and whether it would be interesting to her followers: “I have to understand if the products fits my market, my audience.” Otherwise, you risk tainting your reputation and losing your audience’s interest.
Advice for Aspiring Content Creators
Arfiana had some useful advice for anyone considering starting out in content creation.
- Be yourself. It’s important before you start creating that you understand yourself, she explained. In order to do so, you could try using frameworks such as SWOT, to identify your strengths and weaknesses.
- Define your objectives. As a content creator, is your aim to go into education, entertainment, business, technology? Do you want to share your experience? Your knowledge? Knowing the answers to these questions is vital before you start.
- Understand your target audience. In order for your content to be successful, you need to know exactly who you are creating for. Once you’ve decided on a target audience, research what their interests are, and what makes them click.
- Be consistent. Content creation requires consistent hard work. In order to build a successful brand, you need to post regularly.
- Analyse what works. As she mentioned above, Arfiana places high importance on metrics and KPIs. They inform her strategy and enable her to be smarter about creating content.