We all know that great digital strategies don’t begin and end with developing a website. But all too often content creation can feel like a burden rather than an opportunity.
A recent event at Reading Room offered a chance to hear some inspiring stories about using content, whether that’s video, photography, copy, infographics, games or audio. In each case the organisation faced different challenges and had found that a new approach to content had helped them overcome these.
Whatever your business, you need content. It doesn’t need to be complicated and it doesn’t need to break the bank. But it does need to be meaningful, interesting, useful and effective.
- Kingspan are a global leader in self-build housing and construction. With over 175 websites they needed a content approach which was consistent, made sense to their customers but reflected the local markets they operate in.
- Catalyst Housing are in the middle of a business-wide digital transformation. Part of this was looking at how to empower staff to use social content to better serve their customers. Moving from “Oh, no, they’re talking to us” to “hi, how can we help”!
- The National Archives wanted to find a way to celebrate the Magna Carta and engage children with this part of history. The resultant award-winning resource used video and game elements to bring the archive materials to life.
So what is the recipe for making the most of digital content?
Start with a strategy – The basic ingredients need to be agreed from the start and you need to know what you want to achieve. Otherwise you’ll end up with an omelette when you really wanted a soufflé. What is your brand story … and how can digital content help you amplify that message and reach your audience or customers?
- Understand your equipment– Work within your limits and don’t be overly ambitious, but equally don’t be afraid to be inspired. It would be tricky to cater for a dinner party of 20 with just a microwave, but not impossible. In the same way, what’s important is to choose the right kind of content and the right channel, to suit both you and your audience.
- A large spoonful of art direction– There’s no substitute for someone who knows what makes the difference between a good image and a great image.
- Taste, taste, taste– Great chefs taste as they go along. They tweak the flavours and can adjust to their customers’ palates. In the same way, content should be tailored. If you’re commissioning content then you need to work with someone who understands the nuances of your business.
- Share and enjoy– Great-looking food gets shared, whether that’s at the table or on Instagram! Great content gets shared too. If it tells a story, if it evokes an emotion, if it persuades or inspires … your content is a metaphor for the attitude and ideals of your brand.
And finally … to improve, don’t be afraid to ask for help. We all use cookbooks and recipes. Why wouldn’t you get an expert to help you develop your digital content?
By Morwen Johnson, Idox