Last Updated: 12 Jul 2016

Here at Big Ideas Machine, we love being inspired by other agencies and hearing from great speakers in the industry. Two of our BIM team spent the morning at Digital Shoreditch 2015 last Friday listening to Catherine Toole’s unique workshop on content strategies. Here’s 5 valuable lessons, particularly for the ‘uncool’ client.

digital shoreditch1. Just get your content out there

Catherine heavily emphasised the need to simply get your content out there; mentioning that people, not content, hinders the overall quality of your final piece. A solution to this is to simply reduce the number of people working on a piece of content to avoid diluting or completely straying away from your original message. In the sign-off procedure, be sure to seek approval from colleagues and assert a firm deadline as merely asking for feedback will only lead to a further round of editing. Catherine’s content marketing agency Sticky Content found that time-in-revision was reduced by up to 90% when asking for approval rather than feedback. Remember: approval is feedback in itself.

2. Why so serious?

Content doesn’t necessarily have to be serious – so laugh at yourself. If you know your business is bland or flawed – laugh about it. Taulia knew their cloud-based invoicing system wasn’t particularly riveting – so they created video content that made fun of what they do. Your readers, viewers or customers will value this transparency and will be more inclined to engage with your brand.

3. Presentation is key

How are you presenting your content? What is the title of your piece? Where are you hosting it? Think about how you present your content to your prospective viewer. SAP simplified their ‘accessing valuable business intelligence briefs, demos, webcasts and white papers’ content to ‘Top 5 Solution Briefs’ and saw a 24% increase in downloads. This happened because the word ‘top’ indirectly presented the idea that others have already been involved in the process behind getting something ranked ‘top’, making the the content seem more popular and valuable than it may be.

4. Passing the ‘me me me’ test

Take a look at any piece of content you’ve produced; a recent blog post will suffice. Hit Ctrl (or Command) F on your keyboard and search for words ‘we’, ‘our’ and the name of your company. Make a note of this number then do the same for the word ‘you’. If the former surpasses the latter, you’ve failed the test.
The reality is people don’t always want to hear what you have to say. People want to hear what they can get out of what you are offering.

5. Give people what they want

One of Catherine’s overarching points was the importance of putting forward content that gives people want they want. Do you have a complex product or service that consumers may struggle to get to grips with? If so, drive content in creative and articulated ways through simple explanations. Aquent produced a comprehensive guide on hiring a user experience designer, with the first chapter titled: ‘I know I need UX. But What is UX again?’ This simple language choice teaches and reminds new and existing of UX, before introducing both to the new insights Aquent have to offer.


You can view Catherine’s presentation below:

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