July 26, 2021

What content strategy lessons are driving us in 2021?

BY DOUGLAS ROSS

man wearing a VR headset

By 2000, only half of the U.S was using the internet. Think about it—only two decades ago we were questioning if the web would really take off.

Just as the internet is still in its infancy, content strategy is even younger. But how we create, discover and use it is evolving at lightspeed. Here are some content strategy tips we think can make a difference to any organisation in 2021.

Don’t underestimate the power of mobile devices

New ways of producing and distributing mobile devices as well as innovations in WiFi access suggest one thing. The remaining 40% of people around the world yet to be active internet users are likely to log on with a mobile device first. Their experience of the internet, and the explosion of knowledge and innovation that comes from this, will come from a device the size of your palm…or even through more sci-fi options.

For organisations looking at their content strategy, this accelerating shift in usage provides exciting opportunities for content development.

Have you thought about how responsive your website is and how content is digested on different screen sizes? At Avion, one of our core frameworks for producing content for different devices is evaluating tone of voice, how scannable content is (this includes design considerations) and the structure of content.

From these considerations, we can then look at new ways to shape content for mobile and integrate it with new tech. From wearables to fridges that can talk, content strategy can start to see everyday objects as potential tools for communication and interaction.

The increasing importance of the ROT test

The ROT test is a common framework when auditing existing content. It stands for Redundant, Obsolete and Trivial.

It’s a well-known process but is now becoming increasingly relevant and useful for businesses, content agencies and content strategists.

When it comes to content audits, a useful framework for organising and evaluating content is to assign it a value:

Is the content redundant?

  • Redundant content is no longer useful or relevant. This could be for all sorts of reasons, such as repetitions of content across digital experiences or other changes.

Is the content obsolete?

  • Time-based content can become obsolete if it was relevant and useful but no longer serves a purpose.

Is the content trivial?

  • Does the content serve a purpose? This is a chance to really drill down on whether language or multimedia is serving a purpose.

The 2000s were all about creating the building blocks of the internet. Nobody was thinking hard about user experiences or the accumulation of content.

As a content agency, it’s common for a new client to come to us after realising their organisation has accumulated too much content over many years. This can include duplications of pages, a library of old PDFs…you name it. We use tools like the ROT test and other frameworks to streamline an audit, quickly categorising old content. It’s like the Marie Kondo way of refreshing your communications.

Designing for accessibility gives you a chance to fly

1 in 5 people in Australia live with a disability. It was never ok to ignore so many in our community when it came to building digital experiences. As a content agency, this is central to how we’re shaping ourselves as specialists and our approach to content.

Accessibility can be seen as a chance to innovate digital builds and celebrate diversity. When ‘rules’ are applied to any creative output, this gives the creator a chance to fly. Genius musicians learn their scales and arpeggios first, and then use this knowledge to break boundaries and create new experiences. Similarly, those working in the digital space can benefit from viewing accessibility as a tool for inclusion and innovation.

One great example is the InnoMake shoe, which uses ultrasound sensors to aid the blind in navigating obstacles. The potential for content to be used to enhance experiences with a tool like this are endless.

Authenticity is everything

In the 90s, nobody knew a thing about the web. The 2000s saw us turn our heads and notice it. The 2010s saw everything go a little bit crazy.

What about the 2020s? This is where authenticity has come to play.

By 2020, the feverish growth of influencer culture began to experience some push back. We learned global powers are producing fake content. But it’s not all bad. We’re getting smarter.  

Audiences look for language and content to trust and are intuitive when it comes to recognising authenticity. This has become everything when it comes to content strategy.

We work with clients to build trust in many ways. White papers that dive into complex topics, engaging longform content, seamless website experiences, consistent experiences with language and design – agencies like ours use these tools to help organisations build authenticity. 

Our work with conversational content for virtual assistants and ice-cream loving robots is helping us shape our understanding and expertise in creating authentic digital experiences. It now underpins everything we do as a content agency. We believe any brand or organisation can benefit from doing the same.

Want to discuss how you can incorporate some of the above into your content strategy? Get in touch and we can help you identify opportunities to improve your content.

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