In a world of 140 character tweets, scrapbook-style pinboards, and quick scroll pages like Facebook, Reddit and Tumblr, how can an organization ever hope to make its mark in the ten seconds you eyes scans its post? Not surprisingly, companies have quickly adapted to the alluring call of visual information, focusing on brightly coloured and well designed infographics to smoothly transmit their ideas to the internet public.
And if clients choose to spread their information in that manner, it only makes sense that public relations practitioners use the same tool to learn their own trade. In this post, I will be looking at three images designed to summarize the elements of content strategy, and analysing whether I feel they are effective as standalone images in my understanding thereof.
First, I should quickly explain what Content Strategy actually is. Content is the critical information on any platform (website, application, intranet, etc.) that a user has come to read, learn, see or experience. Content strategy is the manner in which the correct selection of information is shared with the appropriate audience. The key element to remember is that this information should never be focused on an immediate or direct sell; instead it should be thought of as storytelling – building the world that the audience will eventually want to be a part of.
The first of these images is The Path to Content Marketing [Infographic] from B2B Marketing Infographics, which outlines the lifecycle of basic content strategy from the planning stages onward. Not only does it cover the main points in bold headlines, it then gives a brief description of each stage to better flesh out the topic. And while it has enough text to educate somebody new to the practice of content marketing, it is not text heavy or dense. The layout if easy to follow with dotted lines connecting consecutive thoughts, and the colours are easy on the eyes, but enticing (mint is definitely the comeback colour of the 2010s). All in all, I have to say that this is a great infographic for a crash course in content strategy, but is also a great refresher for anybody who could do with it.
The next Mark Smiciklas’ Content Marketing Strategy Iceberg, found through Intersection Consulting Ltd. Related to the first example, this image outlines the five basic components of content strategy, as seen on the underwater portion of the iceberg. The artistic value to that design choice is that these five elements occur outside the target audience’s awareness, leaving them only the frolicking form of wee penguin content on the surface. More so, it exemplifies the idea that that the bulk of the work occurs without public notice or recognition, in the same way that 90% of an iceberg’s mass in underwater. But aside from being distracted by the penguins, this is a great infographic for somebody who has at least a basic understanding of the field. Though the descriptive text is limited, it portrays the key components easily and cleanly. Plus, that blue-green and red colour combination seems to be a winner.
On the topic of Smiciklas, while I decided not to feature it in this post, I understand why his image 5 Ingredients for a Tasty Content Strategy is so popular on the CDPR 108 blogs this week. It is one of the best depictions of how the elements of audience, content theme, voice and tone, content format and platform fit together to create effective content marketing.
My final image is, by far, the most detailed. Some might even say ‘too busy,’ and at first glance I wouldn’t totally disagree. The Periodic Table of Content Strategy by Chris Lake was designed to give an all encompassing view of content marketing strategy, with the pleasently nerdy design of the Table of Elements. It doesn’t so much offer a timeline for strategizing, but instead beaks down the multitude of, well, elements conducive to the positive employment of content strategy. Though an eye full at first glance, this chart would actually be exceptionally useful to have lying around the office – from possible content topics, to helpful trigger hints, ans even measuring tactics, this table could help you build a strategy from beginning to end. Whether a fresh faced newbie or a seasoned professional, sometimes a helpful hint is in order and this chart could definitely supply it.
So just like any other topic on the internet, infographics on content strategy come in all shapes and sizes. Some give you wordless hints designed simply to push that lost thought off the tip of your tongue, while others seemingly aspire to teach complete amateurs how to take their social media sites by storm. In either case, if you’re in the market for an image to help your learning (or your teaching), there are plenty out there that could save the day.