Content is at the heart of every web marketing strategy out there now. More an more, web designers, social media managers, and marketers are playing the role of digital hunter-gatherers. You find images, blog articles, tweets, and photos. Then, you process it all into content that will (should) be of value to the audience.
When building an intelligent guide – or tour – for the web there are additional challenges. And, whether the content will be delivered by desktops, mobile devices, or a mix, there are common considerations.
Here are some helpful hints based on what we’ve seen in hunting and gathering content for building intelligent guides to places and things.
What Content is Your Audience Seeking?
The most important first step is to ask yourself what content your audience is seeking. Take a moment and step back. What you envision and what they are really seeking may be different. Is it image rich content? Is it more detailed text content? Are there geographical considerations or limitations?
Draft an Outline or Skeleton for Your Content.
This isn’t a school assignment where you have to turn in a detailed outline. But, taking another moment – if only to scribble a draft on a napkin – can help a lot.
Many content management systems, like WordPress, enable you to get a draft started quickly.
If there are images or a flow in the content, map it out. For example, our Whitepoint framework for intelligent tours and guides enables you to build a draft while simply using image or text placeholders. Very shortly, you’re able to envision the structure of your creation. Taking a few moments more in planning may save lots of time later.
Don’t Worry, It Probably Shouldn’t Be Perfect Just Yet.
It is easy to obsess about getting that perfect photo. Unfortunately, your entire project may be held up as a result. In today’s world, it’s all about relevance and timeliness. Instead of getting that perfect image, use an acceptable photo and update it later. Write quality content now, but think of the project as ongoing.
In Fact, You May Never Be “Finished.”
Good content is hardly ever “finished” any more. And, the process of updating gives you an opportunity to call attention to your work again later. This is especially important in mobile tours and guides, because they remain relevant and up-to-date.
For digital content hunter-gatherers, this is good news. The concept of living content is explored in a recent article at Convince and Convert. Many a content vehicle – including Whitepoint – now enables you to create this “living content” rather than finishing up one project and moving on to dreaming up another. Take advantage of this.
Your content can be much more effective when you find out what aspects your audience likes or dislikes. Not only does this process improve the quality of your content, it makes both your content and you more engaging.
Ask your audience for feedback, encourage conversation, and act accordingly.