Content design is vitally important. How much have you spent on direct mail, brochures, printing, and other carefully-crafted documents recently? What’s been your return on this investment?
Traditional marketing methods are losing their touch. Digital audiences have short attention spans, love visual content, are bombarded by information noise, are angered by fake news and prefer authentic voices. They are, however, advocates for engaging and provoking “idea starters” and memes that are shared and spark discussion.
Enter content design
Good content design attracts and helps retain customers. It involves consistently creating and curating relevant and useful content. It’s an ongoing process that starts by listening to your market, undertaking keyword research, identifying the thought-leaders, bringing together the key information on your website that your target audience can discover via search, and also sharing it across your social networks. This way you become the trusted news aggregator and thought-leader for your community – and it’s not cost you a penny in direct mail, brochures, advertising or printing.
This technique is a key component of the Digital Transformation Platform
Our Digital Transformation Platform will help you to listen and engage with stakeholders. By listening to customers and understanding the trends, search keywords and concepts they are interested in you develop valuable market intelligence which can be used create “idea starters” and memes that your community will want to share. With our help you can also use Open Source Intelligence techniques to ensure this content contains the best and most reliable information – this is crucially important in the age of fake news, astroturfing, and bots. This will increase your followers, drive traffic to your website and, by using the social media management tool Hootsuite, you can monitor and engage with these new prospects.
Watch how John Casson, a former UK Ambassador in Egypt, discuss how he used listening to the concerns of local stakeholders to enhance his engagement on Twitter.
Content design is the art of influencing your customers and prospects without selling. Good content design makes a person stop, look and think. Great content design can make a person change opinion.
But your content needs to be seen and read in order to have any impact. So the first rule of great content design is having a website with highly optimised off-page (technical) and on-page (content) SEO – please refer to the ABA page on WordPress websites – the top 5 results of any Google search get 65% of the clicks.
Good content design is not about “PR spin”, it is about authenticity, it involves listening to assist situational awareness, curating and sharing interesting content from relevant thought-leaders, undertaking keyword research about your target group and then using the intelligence gained from this process, and from Open Source Intelligence research, to create unique and compelling “idea starter” and meme content.
Examples of “idea starter” content are detailed 1,500 – 2,000-word website articles that focus on answering a key question, identified by keyword research, from your target audience. For SEO purposes the “idea starter” should use keywords and related keywords up to a keyword density of 1% of the article’s entire content. The “idea starter” article should contain short paragraphs, bullet-point lists, and multiple images/infographics/memes. Here is a good example of an “idea starter”. Given the relative complexity of creating high-quality “idea starter” content, you do not need to create more than one a month as they can be shared multiple times across social channels as links with varied related captions and images/infographics/memes.
Examples of meme content include sharing a link to the “idea starter” content but using an image or infographic from the “idea starter” content as the main picture of the story. You can also extend its reach using related hashtags; this is the most shared type of content on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. Anyone can create an infographic or meme, but the trick here is to include a link to the “idea starter” content in the text above the meme/infographic, or as a QR code in the meme/infographic. It is also important to optimise any image you share on social channels – this guide can help. The infographic or meme should be visual, simple and tell a story.
Click on this link and read a report on how memes have been used in influence campaigns.
Other examples of “idea starter” content include short videos, audio interviews, live video streams, webinars, articles, and blogs. The key element is that you use the intelligence gained from listening, keyword research and from OSINT research, to identify the key issues affecting your community, this knowledge enables you to create content that is compelling, relevant and influential.
For example, a QR code that links to custom audio or video content could have been added to the “Bring back our girls” meme.
We can help you with content design and content creation. Our associates include experts in:
- Messaging and Memes
- Photography, images, memes, and infographics
- Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) & Social Media Intelligence (SOCMINT) research
- Custom website design and creation
We can either train your teams in these techniques or provide services to devise a communications plan and create the content for you. Andy Black Associates is also a partner of Express KCS this enables us to offer very high quality, cost-effective and fast turnarounds on additional services such as interactive infographics.
By combining a content design strategy, the capabilities of the Digital Transformation Platform and employee training your business will be more than ready to take advantage of the Digital Economy. Also, make sure to read this recent report on SEO Strategy that shows how your business can generate more revenue, more organic traffic, and more clients.