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Digital content principles

Our digital content principles:  
1. Always define a purpose
  • Why are we creating this content?
  • What audience or service need does it fulfil?
  • Knowing this helps us gauge success.
2. Know the space and make a plan
  • What’s the plan for this content?
  • What are the points for review and retiring?
  • Where will we share it?
  • How are we differentiating from our peers?
3. Be mindful of context of use
  • Where are people accessing our site?
  • What devices are they using?
  • How much time do they have?
  • We must provide content that supports different browsing needs, from longer reads to short synopses.
4. Think mobile first
  • The world is mobile.
  • Think about word counts and whether it is easy to spot the next logical step on a small screen.
5. Strike the right tone of voice
  • Actual conversations are conducted in an open, natural and first-person voice.
  • Our tone should also be upbeat and positive, using active verbs to engage audiences.
6. Find your hook
  • Having a clear hook or central idea is key to creating content people want to share.
  • A hook can be tonal, based on choice of content format or even the person writing it, giving the content a human face.
7. Edit ruthlessly and
aid scanning
  • Reading text online is slow, so people tend to scan read – picking out keywords, headings, sentences and paragraphs of interest.
  • We need to edit and edit again, simplifying sentences and making every word count.
8. Meaningful search engine
optimisation (SEO)
  • SEO is important but it is also vital to create quality content that is meaningful for audiences.
  • Always write flowing, logical content that makes good use of synonyms and related terms first and foremost; this will aid SEO.
9. Clear calls to action
  • Ask yourself: What do I want the user to do next - register, share, download, enquire, view, comment, read more?
  • Never leave people asking what they should do, give them clear calls to action to guide their journeys.
10. Know what success looks like
  • Measurement is the big advantage of digital.
  • We can watch and learn from audience behaviour, shaping the content to fit what people naturally choose to read, watch and do (but we need to define what we’ll measure first).