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Day 2 – Caring for your content

by , Content Strategist, GatherContent

Behind door two of our Content Strategy Advent Calendar we have author of Content Design, Sarah Richards. Do you care for your content? in today’s quick video, Sarah shares three reasons why we should care for our content in the same way that we care when we’re buying gifts.

Video transcript

Hello content people, happy December. Today I’d like to talk to you about caring for your content. So in this kind of season of caring, not really sure why we don’t care for the rest of the year but let’s just go with it for the moment, let’s talk about how you might like to choose a gift for someone. The perfect gift.

You would spend all afternoon walking around the shops and there’s lots of gifts, there’s lots of lovely gifts, nice gifts that this person that you want to buy for might like, but it’s not the perfect gift, yeah. Now the perfect gift is made up of three parts.

One, it needs to have a relevant purpose to the person. So say in July this person said, who loves Star Wars for example, said I’m never going to wear socks again. If you’ll go walking around the shops and thinking, hmm look, Star Wars socks, it’s not relevant is it? It’s kind of ok because it’s Star Wars, but this person’s already decided that they’re never wearing socks again so why would you bother.

Next it would need to reflect the person. So say this person actually said, was a serious sock wearer, maybe they don’t like novelty socks. They still love Star Wars but why would you buy them novelty socks because they don’t like it. Again, they’d wear it. They probably would. But it wouldn’t be the perfect gift, would it?

The third point is does it do the thing that they need it to do? So say this person is a thin sock wearer. You know because they only wear boating shoes or something. Buying them thick fluffy socks that would probably be better on an allotment, on a cold December morning, digging up potatoes, not relevant, yeah. It doesn’t serve the purpose, doesn’t reflect the person and it doesn’t do the thing that they need it to do.

“If you’re going to care about your content, if it’s going to be the perfect thing for your user, needs to have a relevant purpose, needs to reflect their needs, and it needs to do the thing that they need it to do.”

That’s kind of exactly the same thing as content. If you’re going to care about your content, if it’s going to be the perfect thing for your user, needs to have a relevant purpose, needs to reflect their needs, and it needs to do the thing that they need it to do.

“You need to care for your content in exactly the same way that we care when we’re buying gifts. And remember, content is not just for Christmas.”

Content is a gift to whoever looks at it, be it a cute kitten picture that makes people smile, or maybe it’s a step-by-step instruction on how to get out of debt. So you need to care for your content in exactly the same way that we care when we’re buying gifts. And remember, content is not just for Christmas. Alright, whatever you’re doing this December, have a very good one. See you later.

About Sarah

Sarah spent 10 years working in digital government, ending as Head of Content Design for the UK Government Digital Service. There she created and developed content design as a discipline for the GOV.UK website. Sarah now runs the Content Design Centre, training and consulting in content strategy and content design for organisations around the world.

Sarah is also author of Content Design, a short, lively and practical book that uses real-world examples and imagined examples to take the reader through the content design process one step at a time, explaining everything along the way.

About the Author

Content Strategist, GatherContent

Rob is Content Strategist at GatherContent. He is a journalism graduate and has previously worked as Studio Manager and Head of Content for a design agency and as an Audience Research Executive for the BBC. He’s a published author and regular contributor to industry publications including Net Magazine, Smashing Magazine, 24 Ways, WebTuts+, UX Matters , UX Booth and Content Marketing Institute. On occasion Rob speaks about content strategy at leading industry events.

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