The Effective Content Creator

This week I will discuss:
     - How to be an effective content creator & communicator

Last week we decided that YES(!!!!!) your company needs a content specialist… Kristina Halvorson, CEO of Brain Traffic and writer of “Content Strategy for the Web” says that you must “recognize content as a valuable business asset”.

Let me dive into that a bit further by discussing how to be/come an effective content creator and communicator.  First, focus on the best practices of successful content creators.

Successful content creators know that good content is appropriate. Author of “Clout the Art and Science of Influential Web Content“, Colleen Jones knows this far too well and in her book emphasizes CONTEXT as one of the most important things for good content dissemination and acceptance.  Jones argues that, “the faster and better you understand context, the faster and better you can influence it through context”. For example, if you are starting a general women’s boutique on the Northeast coast, you are not going to be selling swimsuits in the middle of January.  In that season, in that location, the weather is terrible and gloomy; ergo, you probably would not have many swimsuit sales. However, during that same time of year, a general women’s boutique in Southern Florida will have just the opposite problem. If you do not understand the context of your audience, you are not going to understand what they need and what they want.


Photo credit: Marketoonist

Good content is also useful and user-centered. Kissane says that, “greater specificity produces better results”.  In other words, you should not be producing content for the sake of content. Remember, the more content you create, the more content you have to maintain. So, make your content user-centered, user-friendly, and useful.

Another important factor in successful content creation and communication is the way in which your content is presented. Is it clear? Is it concise? Both clarity and concision are important because too little (or too much) of something can scare your customer away. For example, in this clip, I show the differences in two banks and their “user friendly” websites. You will notice, even without my commentary, that one of the websites is full of information- to an almost overwhelming degree. The other bank’s website, is more clear and clean and not only easier to navigate, but easier on the eyes.

Lastly, your content should be consistent. You should be reasonable, but you should still demand that your content is consistent. From the website colors down to the fonts on your press releases- consistency is key! Kissane argues that,

Consistency of language and presentation acts as a consistent interface, reducing the users’ cognitive load and making it easier for the readers to understand what they read. InCoNsIsTeNcY, on THE other HanD, a+d+d+s cognitive EFFORT, h_i_n_d_e_r_s understandING, &&and >distracts< READers.

…see what I mean?

Come back next week to find out about…
     - The audience & their needs
     - Developing content

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