content: as an art form
I’ll take a moment to share more about myself, the blog writer, Hannah, Senior Alliteration Enthusiast, out from behind the ambiguous persona of CommCorner’s weekly voice. Founder of DuchesneCommunications as it exists today, this is my place to house my theories and overarching strategies for what we do day-to-day for our clients and for ourselves. My hope is that I can provide questions and thought processes and examples here that will get your wheels turning for your own special snowflake situation. I want those who only ever see my writing online to benefit from having read, alongside the clients I work side-by-side with to create their brand – their identity. With these blogs, I want to help people start thinking in the right direction and be able to discern when they’ve gotten to the right answer and when to stop there and start Doing the Work. I want the blogs to stand alone and enhance my work all at the same time.
I like to think I appreciate art. I love art festival season in the Bay Area. I purchase art. I regularly visit art museums, watch art documentaries, take the time to notice things like font symmetry and literal shades of grey. In preparation for this blog post, I did some research on what people (Art Critics) consider to be “good” art. Some posit that it’s all about taste. From a person that pretty much thinks there’s a right and a wrong way to do Absolutely Everything, that sort of judgement seems teeteringly (ironically, we remain unconvinced this is a word but it absolutely should be) close to unfathomable. So, based on the judgements of all the judgey art critics I crowdsourced, here are my basic requirements for good art and wait for it…good content.
good content is...
Now we’re going to talk about content. Don’t produce a single piece of content without purpose. Expand this principle to underscore every decision you make in your life…be purposeful. /life coach pep talk. Run your content ideas through this Litmus test before proceeding with any actual creation work. This involves developing an actual strategy. You will be aware of the goal. This is key. Then you will know if what you’re planning to create will support the overlying goal. Then you will know if you should spend any time devoted to creating that content, Doing The Work.
There’s simply no excuse for bad content. You should be an expert at whatever it is that you do. You should be producing content relevant to your business. Ergo, you should be able to produce expert-level content (or be able to identify what is and isn’t Good). Which leads us to our next point. (Fragmented sentence alert!) You don’t have to hand craft each piece of everything that goes forth as content from your platforms. If you don’t have the know-how or the bandwidth, absolutely find someone who does. It is absolutely always worth your while to identify something you’re really bad at and figure out how to Make It Happen The Right Way, one way or another.
You know when something looks good and when it doesn’t. If you don’t, you can train yourself to learn how. Just as literally almost everything else in the world, you can learn how to understand it. There is an actual philosophy of beauty. Understanding when something is Good To Go and when it isn’t is critical in Making It in the content game (game? If content is a game, it is absolutely the Longest Game in Chess History). Make sure your content is attractive. Magnetic. Charged. Emotive. Familiar. Memorable…which leads into the next point…
You always remember the good songs you’ve heard, even if you’ve only heard them once. In the online blur, you want your content to be clicked on, retweeted, shared, regrammed, subscribed to, understood, empathized with, liked. This means you’ve got to constantly have your finger on the pulse of your audience. A true artist understands his (her, their, your) time. You’ve got to know what they’re looking for and give them the best possible version you can produce.
While it is accurate about 98.7% of the time that content should be timeless, we’re in the Social Media business after all and we all know that there are many stones left unturned and the information our content is based on is transient, at best. It is more accurate then to say that content should be adaptive. To us, this means that it matters to different people for different reasons and the way an individual experiences the content (as an art form) is different based on context and experience. The key is for it to be meaningful for as broad a group as possible, so as to be helpful to as many as possible. The purpose of everything should be to make everything better. Content is no different than art. Artists seek to understand and communicate the world and their understanding of it on a different, flexible level. Content Creators should feel their missions are no different.