Content Strategy is the planning, and in this case designing, for future content. Have we forgotten this crucial step in our clients marketing campaigns?
In print design we are fortunate enough to know the scope, target, and end-state of the finished product. Print design knows what the content will be. Static. Printed. Set.
As an interactive designer I was handed a project without clear deliverables, message or content. Everything was up for discussion and everything was an option. Dream task or impossible endeavor? Initially I floundered and thought the end-goal, an email marketing newsletter, impossible.
Taking a step back, I was thinking the glass was half empty. Instead of looking at the larger picture, I felt tied-down in the endless nothing, lost.
The client wants an email newsletter that fits the brand. I know that they want everything and I get to set that ‘style-guide’ in to motion. Instead of viewing the trees, I took a step back and viewed the forest. I know they want video, text, images, primary and secondary CTAs within a generic framework. Working within those parameters and building a comprehensive library and guide for how to proceed in the future we were able to meet the clients’ needs now and later.
Thinking about content strategy and planning for eventual ‘what-ifs’ allows the designer to plan and design according to the present and the future. Thinking about it in a print world- it is an illustrative brand, style guide. Designers who have thought out the piece’s content strategy know the physical state that the design was created for, and where and how it will evolve. Successful interactive designs have successful and thorough content strategy plans which allow for a dynamic, beautiful end product.
The lack of information is not a hindrance to the designer as long as we have listened to the information the client has given. It allows them to plan their designs to grow and change as the eventual happens- instead of designing for now and worrying about later, later.