Today I’m going to tell you about the very important relationship between content and content experience.
Corona Extra is the most imported beer in the U.S and you know what!? I totally get that. Corona with lime makes for some great liquid content.
But, there’s a big difference between a Corona in my basement in the middle of January and a Corona somewhere on a beach on a sunny, 75-degree day.
The content (the Corona) is the same, but the experience surrounding the content is completely different and it’s for that reason that somehow, magically, the Corona on the beach just tastes better.
The Environment Elevates the Experience
Let’s break down the definition of content from Wikipedia:
Clearly, content can come from many different mediums.
And the truth is, you can’t always control the content consumption environment (where someone chooses to watch TV, listen to music, etc.).
However, when it comes to content that lives on your website, you can control some of the experience.
Enter: Web Design, Web Development, User Experience (UX), etc.
The issue is that many people lead with the experience and not the content. They ask “what will the experience be like?” before asking and solving the problem of “how will the content help my audience?”
In order to elevate the experience, you need a foundation of good, helpful content.
The Content First Approach to Websites
Define who the content is for (someone seeking information, transactions, etc.)
Direct your content based on evidence (keywords people actually search), which will become a list of current website content to update/reorganize + new content to create.
Develop a library of content templates (topics that you target from your keyword list).
Create your content directed by the templates (landing pages, blog posts, etc) in Google docs.
Once your content is created and/or updated, then you can start considering elements of web design, development, and UX to elevate the website experience.
Trying to create a good experience before knowing the core value of the content is a waste of your time. Next time you design a new web page or an entire website, write all content in Google docs before even looking at designs and layouts.
Once you’ve created your raw content, then you can add in the elements that elevate the experience of consuming that content:
For a Corona it might be:
Sand between your toes
Sun on your face
The sound of waves on the shore
For your website content it might be:
A table of contents on a long article
A related blog posts section
A video to go along with your written content
Get it? Now go get to work developing better content for your audience.