by Kenneth Rudich
Agreeable revolves around the idea that the style elements and mode of delivery should complement the purpose.
Let’s start with mode of delivery. This refers to the communication mechanism(s) and platform(s) that are used to supply the content to the consumer. It could be a blog, a Whitepaper, a video, a social media site, or any of the other possibilities that exist. In order for it to be an agreeable experience, the platform must be compatible with the purpose.
Compatibility has to do with the technical-usage expectations that are commonly associated with different mechanisms and platforms. It’s important to understand the distinguishing characteristics of each platform, and to stay in accord with the rules that govern its use.
For example, you wouldn’t want to publish eBook-length content on a social media platform like Facebook, a blog, or a discussion forum. Nor would it be wise to convert a Facebook post into a pdf file and promote it as an eBook. A mismatch of any kind or magnitude will work to your detriment in the eyes of the audience.
One thing you can take advantage of is the piggybacking opportunity these different modes of delivery present. It’s advisable to employ one mode of delivery to drive traffic to another mode of delivery. For instance, you might use social media to whet interest in, and drive traffic to, a free eBook or Whitepaper that can be retrieved from your website. The download page itself could have an opt-in form, which might in turn provide a good sales lead to follow-up on.
Agreeability also addresses the elements of style. These elements typically add polish, class, professionalism or personality. Because you’re enlisting the content to help groom the brand image, both internally and externally, there are two levels of style to consider: basic and advanced.
The basic level concentrates on the fundamental elements of style. For example, content can be less than optimal due to poor organization, awkward grammatical structure, misspellings, typos or other unacceptable errors. For certain communications mechanisms — such as a Whitepaper, Special Report, eBook, or video — this can be distracting. In some cases, it can even blemish the brand image.
For these reasons, it’s a good idea to have the material edited or proofed by someone with a facility for doing this kind of work.
Other basic level considerations might include characteristics such as a formal versus informal tone and mood; depth of coverage; audience learning style and preferences; and communicating in either emotional (soft ideas, attitudes, feelings, perceptions) or rational terms. Since you’re trying to strike a chord with the audience, it’s important to give these matters careful thought.
The advanced style elements attempt to make the content stand out or be more memorable, usually by fortifying it with flavor and personality. This philosophy is built on the idea that anyone can do prosaic work, and many content developers often do. Getting noticed amid such clutter requires the ability to rise above it, not just merely stand in with it.
Where possible, think about ways to introduce your own signature style. For example, producing original content (as in, never before seen) offers one potential means for differentiating the work.
Another possibility is to re-work pre-existing material, so as to transform it into something unique. This could be based on any number of gifts a content developer might have, such as the ability to tell a good story, a distinctive writing style, offering a fresh twist or viewpoint, adding new insight, or using humor to prop it up and make it more interesting.
A social media platform is a welcome avenue for someone who genuinely enjoys social networking or has a charming personality. The ability to connect with people and engage them may well be one of the better qualities an enterprise can have in this day and age.
Here at MSM, we’ve developed our own signature style for converting PowerPoint-to-Video. We call it Stylized PowerPoint-to-Video. It combines crisp writing with advanced graphic design and video editing techniques to make the presentation more effective and also quite unique. With the fast-emerging reliance on video for online marketing and communications, it’s a good alternative to the higher-priced, higher-end video production process; and to the often tedious bullet-point ridden PowerPoint template.
Before we end this brief discussion about advanced style elements, there is one caveat to give in parting. Successfully doing it usually hinges on having content developers who can naturally pull it off – in fact, it’s ill-advised to force the issue if they don’t already have a knack for doing it.
Come back for Part 3, won’t you?