Five Steps to Better Content Development
Looking to develop better content? Here are five key steps to make that happen.
Your business has an ideal image of itself that it wants to show to the world—not just to its clientele, but to its business partners and employees. The content your business produces is an integral part in enhancing and endorsing that image. What is “content”? In media and publishing, content is information directed toward an audience. So whether the intended audience is a website end-user reading an article or a person viewing a commercial, the content should convey its information clearly and professionally, while also enhancing your business’ image.
To develop better content, there are five key steps to follow:
First, you need to decide three things: 1)is there a reason to create the content, 2)is there an audience for that content, and 3) does that content fit our image? As an example, say you are helping to create content for a medical-related website. You are sent an article on rebuilding the engine of a 1971 Volkswagen Beetle. While there is a reason for this content and an intended audience, it obviously doesn’t fit the image. Often, a marketing department’s research is important in deciding what content should be created.After the decision to create the content has been made, there should be a well-organized planning stage to ensure that the entire project goes smoothly. This is where experience is very important, as most people who have worked on several projects have figured out how long it takes to get things done and where potential problems can arise. In the planning stage, overall project concepts are worked on, schedules are laid out, and budgets are decided on. Without this pre-production stage, your project can easily fall off track—or off budget. Developing a production plan well before publication can help ensure the best results overall.
The next step is creating your written content, and that requires a great deal of detail, accuracy, and consistency. Writing should be clearly constructed and accurate, and the content writer should always keep in mind the reason for the content, the intended audience, and how the content will reflect the image of the business. The writer should choose a consistent style and tone from the first moments of the project, as changes in style and tone can be very jarring to the reader. A consistent style also prevents a lot of rework in the review stage later, which can slow down schedules. Ensuring the consistency of the style and quality of writing from the start is a must, but it is also important for the content to be clear and easy to understand, no matter the format of the final product.
Once you have written content, it needs to be placed within some type of media format. If the written content is a script, the media format could be a television commercial, podcast, or animation. With a book or website, that format involves text and imaging. A good design showcases text and images within an overall concept that is both pleasing to look at and easy to follow. That means you need to make sure there is a balance between images and text in the final product. For example, images shouldn’t set so large that they overwhelm the surrounding text or disrupt the flow of text on the page. Doing so can make your content harder to understand, and that lack of clarity reflects back on your whole company. Establishing a clear design and maintaining consistency with that design improves the success of your project—and your business as a result.
The content has been decided on, planned out, written, and placed in a designed format. We’re done, right? The answer is definitely no. In fact, the review stage may be the most critical stage in the content development process. The review stage ensures your content is clear, understandable, and free of errors—whether those errors refer to formatting, design, spelling, and grammar, or fact-checking. For websites and video projects that involve reader interaction, the review stage ensures that none of your web links are broken or inaccurate. For academic, scientific, research, or professional projects, peer reviewing improves the status of the project on top of verifying, evaluating, and validating the quality of the content.
- Work with professionals
While you can achieve some of these steps on your own, working with an experienced and professional company for content development will save you time and money in the long run. Contact us to get started today.