Once a month I'll be running a series called "Confessions of a Content Strategist". If you are a content strategist, and you'd like to be featured (anonymously or not), please let me know. Details at the bottom.
Ok, so as we've learned in this week's post, as well as last week's newsletter (sign up here) pages are dead, dead, dead. We need to think of our content in chunks, marked up (or down) so that it can display on any device. This is a critical piece of multi-channel publishing and we all need to learn how to do this.
5 Ways to Let Your Client Know the Page is Dead. Forever.
Understandably, your clients are going to freak out when you tell that they can't think about pages anymore. Most people are so grounded in pages, leftover from the days of print publishing that they will have a hard time thinking of their content divorced from design.
So, how do you explain it to them so they can understand?
- Show them broken mobile pages. Nothing convinces people like seeing it for themselves on their own sites.
- Show the difference between print and the web. Get a Crate and Barrel catalogue (or any furniture catalogue) and show them how the print designers laid out the furniture, descriptions and pricing to match the photo on the page. Then show them the website. See the difference?
- Demonstrate the pain of shared documentation. If you've ever gone back and forth with someone on a Word document and use version titles (ex: v1, v2, v1113g) you know the pain of shared documentation. But when you get your content structured and ready for multi-channel publishing, you don't have to change it every single time there's a change. You just change it once. It's a beautiful thing. (You may want to use Google Docs to demonstrate how easy it is to change in only one place.)
- Explain markup and style. Talking about how markup simply tells content how to behave, and templates assign design behaviors to that code. This will help your clients make the jump in understanding how structured content with appropriate markup can make their lives easier.
- Tell them to watch an episode of Doomsday Preppers. See? Structured content ain't that bad when you compare it to the end of the world.
How about you, Oh Brave Content Strategist? How have you broken the news that the page is dead?
Confessions of a Content StrategistIn order to be considered for this series, you must have a certificate hanging on your wall from The Content Strategy Institute of the Galaxy that states that you, X, are a content strategist because when you tell people what you do, they look at you with a blank stare. Even your spouse, partner, mother, best friend, second cousin once removed still don't understand, even though you've patiently explained it several times AND made them sit through a PowerPoint.
So let me know if you want to be featured in "Confessions of a Content Strategist." I'm sure it'll prove to be far more enjoyable than an episode of Doomsday Preppers. And almost nearly as terrifying.