Interactive content, like all content marketing mediums, needs more than just one wheel to move in the right direction. Let’s think about this for one moment — this blog, this glorious blog that I just sat down to write, will pass the desks of several marketers before I hit “post.” I will send it to an editor to check for grammatical mistakes and they will try to not judge any misuse of there, their, or they’re. Once they complete proofing, it heads to a designer for any imagery needed to help me tell my story and then I will send it to a colleague that is also a subject matter expert and they confirm that everything I am stating is accurate. So, before this post goes live, it will hit roughly 5 inboxes — five is a lot of hands but it’s also a necessary evil to ensure that I am putting out the best content that I can.
Content Takes Time and Time is a Hot Commodity.
Sitting in front of a white board, bouncing ideas off of other marketers is an exciting and fun time for all of us here at ion. But, like most marketers, we always have to pull ourselves back and ask, “do we have the resources to execute on this?” and often we find ourselves sticking projects on the back burner waiting for the resources to free up. Marketers are busy, busy, busy and with so much to accomplish every day it’s no wonder that some tasks just don’t get the attention they need.
But, with a little planning and strategic direction, we can tackle our projects and goals in a way that works for our business and available resources.
Teamwork Really Does Make the Dream Work
Working with a team that understands their role in a campaign can help to speed production along. When it comes to creating a piece of content, there must be several roles that are accountable, have actionable tasks, and are eager to create a piece of content that accomplishes goals and objectives.
The type of interactive content that you plan to create will help determine who should be on your interactive content marketing team. But, with any content marketing effort, it helps to assemble a team of individuals who cover a wide range of skills.
Typically, our most successful projects have the following experts on their team:
- A project manager. The project manager manages all the details of the interactive content project including the collection of content, delivery of content, and checking off all of the necessary to do’s of the project.
- A designer or a visionary. The designer or visionary will help bring your vision to life. In addition to bringing the experience to life with attractive and fun visuals, there needs to be focus on the user experience and the interactive elements that are selected for the content. An experienced UX designer can help pinpoint any friction points that a user may experience when navigating the content. Additionally, they can confirm that the experience is optimized for all devices.
- A subject matter expert. When creating an interactive experience (like a static content piece) you should have someone on your team that really knows the in’s and out’s of the subject matter to ensure accuracy in the content.
- A campaign manager or digital strategist. The campaign manager takes the experience that you create to market — they determine where the experience will be marketed online including what email channels, what paid search campaigns you will launch, and what the KPI’s are.
- A data expert that understands more than the final report. Interactive content is unique because it gives you so much data about what your audience found engaging with the content. A data expert who understands what would be the most valuable information to collect will be a great resource for your interactive content project. Data experts can tell you what to tag, what to give hierarchy to, and so much more.
Be Realistic About the Time Needed to Launch Incredible and Successful Content
There is a saying that goes, “you can have good work fast but it won’t be cheap or you can have cheap work fast but it won’t be good.” So, let’s think about this in terms of content… if we want to write a really good blog post or create a really great infographic, we either need to allocate the right resources to accomplish it in an acceptable timeline OR we have to accept that it will launch quickly but it may not be as amazing as it could be if we invested more time in to it.
When it comes to interactive content, here is how I see the above statement translating:
- Want to create content quickly and have it be really great? Then you will need to allocate the right resources to accomplish that. Minimal resources means one contact acting as the project manager, designer, AND the subject matter expert. We all wear a lot of hats every day and most of us understand what can happen to a project when the weight of it falls on one person… Distributing responsibility early on in a project can help us move through each stage quickly and with less friction.
- Content that is great may take time and that is ok. Spend a lot of time on finding out who your audience is and what they know about your product or service long before you ever decide what type of content you want to create. Knowing your audience gives you power to create truly engaging content that will convert them from browsers to buyers.
- Create content that you would want to read, engage with, and learn from. If we are creating content that we know in hearts sucks and adds no value to our audience, it’s time to rethink our goals and then determine why we are creating this content in the first place. Did we create this content for SEO purposes or to trick the algorithm? Was it because our competitors created something similar and it was successful with their audience? Consider the reason why the content was created in the first place, and then we can re-evaluate the value of the content so that we can make better decisions about future content. It’s important that every thing we create is valuable and has a purpose.
When we are strategizing an interactive content experience, we think about the time that needs to go into every stage of the content — how long will it take to write the content or pinpoint what will be repurposed from an existing piece? How long will it take to gather assets like imagery or iconography? How long will QA take? How long will it take to go through legal review? All of these steps are so important when launching an interactive experience and cutting corners, like skipping QA, can have a real negative impact on your content success.
The creation of a successful interactive content experience includes many moving parts, not just on the development side but also from the creation.
The earlier in your project that you assign tasks and responsibilities, the more successful your interactive content will be. Don’t wait until it’s time to run through QA to determine who will wear that hat; do it long before you write the content, pick the experience, and start building.