Five Tips Friday: Creating a “Look” for Your ContentLast week we talked about how to begin to approach the process of developing valuable content for your company. One facet of content development that unfortunately often gets overlooked is how your content will actually look. The focus on developing the written part of your output tends to outweigh what your corporate aesthetic will be for the materials you are creating. Of course, your company can only look more polished, more credible, and more “together” if your content maintains a cohesive corporate look. Here are five tips to help develop a brand-building look for all of your company’s content.
1. Remember that your content is a representation of your company
A blog, a white paper, a webinar, or a power point shared on slideshare all are representatives of your company. While the copy is what people will find most valuable, your company’s brand will be strengthened if the piece is clearly of a high quality and professional. This means that your blog should be at a self-hosted URL rather than at a @wordpress.com URL. Your white papers would benefit from being printed on a high-quality paper if they are going to be handed out a trade show. A designer should approach the look of your blog and the formatting of your power points and white papers. The greater the investment you put into your work, the more credible it will seem.
2. Develop a common look for your company’s white papers
White papers can be great branding tools, but it helps if over time your white papers maintain a common look so that they are easily recognizable. This will prove even more helpful if people begin to recognize the quality of your work. When they see your white paper from afar at a trade show, for example, they will know that there is good information there.
3. For blog posts, make your copy as legible as possible
It can be tempting on a blog site to use a really flowery font or to reverse out your type. In order to make sure people are reading and making use of your content, you want to make sure it is as accessible as possible. Try to steer away from images in the background or other design choices that could distract a reader. Remember, people have limited time and limited attention. If your content is difficult to see or to read, they will go somewhere else.
4. Once you create a look for your content, keep it consistent across platforms
Designing is fun. Creating a look for a white paper can be a fun exercise and designing a blog site can also be entertaining (albeit frustrating at times). Don’t let the fun of design intrude with your branding efforts, however. Do your best to make sure that your blog posts, your white papers, your slide share presentations, and whatever else you are using to promote your content all at least reference the same aesthetic. Obviously there are some facets of a white paper cover design that may not work as well in the online world, but to build your brand, keeping these pieces and parts looking somewhat similar can only be advantageous.
5. Integrate the look of your content with the aesthetic you are using for other marketing tactics
As we so often preach, no single marketing tactic needs to exist in a vacuum. Don’t feel like you need to start from square one where the look of your content is concerned. Pick up elements from your website, from your new advertisement, or anything else you are using to promote your company. This is a great way to build your brand’s strength.
Developing content is hard work, and after the writing is done it’s easy enough to think that your work is done. However, creating the content is just one step of many. You want to make sure that what you are sending out into the world is a good representation of your company. It should be presented in a professional way that helps to build your brand. Don’t forget this important step!
Image Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/loop_oh/5454534736/ via Creative Commons
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