By Hope Voelkel of Journey Group
You know those public speakers who seem so at ease when they talk? Like they’re having a conversation with you in the most natural way and haven’t spent the last 40+ hours of their life preparing?
Think Brené Brown’s TedTalks.
We know, of course, that in reality they’ve spent a ton of time preparing for their talk or digging into research to present. It feels like they’re simply going with the flow because they’re so familiar, so comfortable, so prepared.
It works like that with online content, too. What’s happened in the background of really strong communication platforms is thoughtful preparation.
Most of the clients we work with have small content teams and huge communication needs. One of our many goals is to help them make the most of what they have and provide the best content they can. And a lot of times that comes down to this simple idea: know thy flow.
The first step in know thy flow is knowing your team. Depending on the skillset of your particular group, some content will be easier to produce than others. Some groups are strong in producing branded content, but not as great at diversifying (which leads to predictability, which leads to yaaawwwwn). Other teams keep a diverse flow going, but aren’t prepared to be relevant when the moment calls for it (a cultural event, for example).
All public institutions have ongoing publishing needs, but there aren’t great tools—or service design ideas—around how to curate for audience downstream from the enterprise brand. It’s very often the case that upstream producers are creating RSS feeds or tags/categories to help the subsidiaries, but they lack the wherewithal to ingest and make use of it. The same thing is generally true of social. Same stories, but the question remains: how do we attach the best ones to our particular flavor of the brand for our particular audiences?
Three Tips to Improve Branded Content
- Be interesting. There’s a lot to read/watch/listen to out there. Be a frosted strawberry pop tart in a sea of dry toast.
- Titles matter. Opening hooks matter. You have precious few words to gain the attention of a reader.
- Stay focused and concise, yet human. Every pairing of words and ideas is an opportunity to keep a reader reading. Don’t take that responsibility lightly.
One of the things we’ll be digging deeper into during our talk this October is how to use APIs and purpose-built micro applications to connect with target audiences. It ain’t rocket science, of course, but it does require some preparedness, awareness, and willingness to go with the flow.
About Journey Group
Journey Group is an editorial design agency motivated by the belief that intentionally crafted, thoughtfully designed stories are the most persuasive messages in the marketplace. We build web applications that help organizations tell their stories: Tools, platforms, and systems that balance brand, service, innovation, and sustainability through thoughtful, human-centered design.
Want to Learn More?
Josh Bryant and Zack Bryant of Journey Group will be presenting “Know Thy Flow: Harnessing Open Graph, Instant Articles, and Social Content” at edUi 2016. Learn new tools and technologies for capturing orbital content, how to navigate the shifting sands of social APIs, and tips for reducing the strain on internal content creators.