If your organization is just beginning to get beyond the “5 great ways to blahblah” kind of advice so that you can get strategic with your content creation, use the thoughts below as a starting point as you assemble your plan. You may find thinking this way more valuable and practical than the 5 inane things to do or even the well-meant advice of content calendars etc.
There’s a reason to make content and distribute it to the world. The reason isn’t to generate likes or followers. It’s to demonstrate knowledge, mastery, experience, craft and all of the other qualitative aspects of your organization that influence and inspire people.
Different kinds of content demonstrated different kinds of things. This is why it’s so frustrating to listen to “gurus” and “experts” hand out simplistic advice like “make short blog posts because people don’t read” or “post lots of photos because people are visual.”
Those reasons may be true, but they don’t take into account the strategic reasons for an organization to make the content in the first place.
Here are some ideas on how different content formats demonstrate.
Text demonstrates thought
As one of the most abstract content formats around it should come as no surprise that text gives you an opportunity to demonstrate something about thinking. Whether the text is long or short, it can outwardly demonstrate:
- clarity of thought
- method and logic
Making text content also helps the content-maker. It helps to get ideas situated and formulated. In some cases, this alone may be worth the undertaking of making text content. There’s a reason teachers encourage their students to write. It helps to make for a stronger, more perceptive and fluent mind.
Photography demonstrates perception
Two people can be in the same place but see completely different things. What your eye is drawn to, what connections you make in the world around you, are different from everyone else. Photography provides others with a demonstration of what it is that you see, how you see the world, what is important enough to you that you capture it.
Video demonstrates mood
The choice of subjects, lighting, pacing and sound cues of a video play directly into mood and emotional content. As one of the least abstract content formats, video works on a visceral level.
Great content demonstrates all of these things, regardless of format
Masters of a format can extend the meaning and demonstrate whatever they choose using their format. The items above are simply the starting ground, the direction to consider as you begin, the way to follow if you want to go with the flow.
You can use content strategically not just to gather up followers or improve your reach, but get inside the minds of your audience–literally. You can use strategic content to demonstrate humanity in an increasingly digitally sanitized world.
Oh, and yes of course there are other content formats (charts/graphs, presentations, songs, etc) but I figured I’d just start with these three basics.