Content first creation is one of those terms you commonly hear in the digital marketing world and we love to throw it around too. But what does it really mean to you and your web design project?
Let’s break it down into smaller pieces and remove all of the nerdy jargon. Let’s make it nice a simple and explain why it’s a great way to start any website, SEO or digital marketing project.
Start with the core messages in mind
As we see it, content first creation is all about starting with a vision or strategy in mind. It is important to know, approximately, the story you want to tell and the target audience. Then we start to build your website or digital marketing strategy around that story.
It could be as simple as listing all the core messages that you want to communicate or perhaps prioritising all the essential information customers ‘must know’ about your business.
We also like to understand the customer purchasing journey. How does a customer actually purchase your product or service? Most commonly, the purchasing journey can become the pathway a customer follows through your new website. This is especially important to understand for e-commence sites and webshops.
Importantly, with content first creation, we also aim to highlight your point of difference in the market place. What makes you special? And why the customer should choose you?
Often this can include the “human” stories behind your business. Who you are and the journey you’ve taken to be here today.
Create a simple customer journey
Once we understand aal the essential parts of your story, we like to create a website diagram. The diagram is used to logically map-out all of the core messages along the customer journey.
What this means, is that you have the end purchase in mind when designing your website.
It also means that we map out the website, before we create the sexy design stuff and visuals. This is because, more often than not, the headings and text within the website, help us create graphics and images that enhance the meaning of the text.
The result is so meaningful and intuitive customer experience.
What is so special about this approach?
Content first creation also allows us to thoroughly prepare the storyline and user experience, first! As we are doing this, we start to visualise the graphics, images and videos that we need to support your messages.
Then, we can specifically design the graphics and capture key images that will amplify the messages within the text. The result is a cohesive and meaningful website, that speaks to the customer on a deeper level.
After all, “a picture says a thousand words.”
The right picture (or video) can really help a customer understand the storyline and you point of difference within a split second.
Images can come first in content first creation, but not always
It’s true! Content first creation can start with the images and video. Images can provide inspiration for the website design or digital marketing campaign.
With this approach, the images can actually provide us with a deeper insight into your business, a human story or the products & services.
However, where it can become a little dangerous, is downloading a pre-made website theme or creating a marketing video, without understanding the deeper intention of the messages. Here we can get lost in the sexy visuals and our website can lose meaning and relevance to the customer.
Therefore, we usually like to understand the core messages and customer purchasing journey, before producing the sexy visuals.
SEO first can be another interesting twist
With content first creation, we can also begin the test the strength and relevance of our messages against the search engine results. This can be a very useful benchmarking tool, to allow us to see where your new website will appear in relation to competitors and customer search techniques.
We achieve this by formulating the key headings (from our website mapping process) into key search phrases and then we test these phrases in the search engine.
The first couple of pages of the search results will reveal the other types of companies and content that will appear in close association with our new website. By undertaking this discovery process, early in the digital project, we can fine-tune our core content with the search results in mind.
This allows us to have specific search phrases and digital marketing positioning in mind, as we develop the content for your website.
Although this is a more clinical approach, it can be a very powerful technique to help promote your website in the search results (after it goes live).
We appreciate that each website and digital marketing strategy is different, however, we truly believe in content first creation. Don’t get me wrong; we love photography and all the sexy design stuff. However, with content first creation, the graphic will unfold more organically in the second half of the process.
Investing solid time into the core story and customer journey will help create a meaningful and more authentic website that leads customers on an intuitive journey towards a purchase.