Professional web design & development, from an agency of creatives.
Digital is in constant flux, so now is the time to future-proof.
Web design and web development covers more than simple site construction. Today, online means marketing, sales, customer service, and social engagement via app development and design, microsites, content marketing assets, and so much more.
Smoking Gun’s dedicated designers have in-depth experience in creative content, sitting alongside comms professionals who understand end-users, from consumers to business partners and B2B clients. Hence our work garnering real results for brands.
Building Digital Content
With social media now one of the most important aspects of any brand’s overall marketing and comms mix there has never been more pressure for companies to start building digital content to share online. But trying to figure out what form that content needs to take is far from easy.
From written words to short films, gauging how to start building digital content should start with one question— what do you want to gain from that content? From here you can look at where the content should be distributed, opting for the platform best-suited to the overall aims and goals.
Why brands should be building digital content
Businesses should be building digital content for a number of reasons, the most important of which is imply because without unique, branded digital content there will be very little to share via social networks which truly depicts the identity of the company.
Of course sharing content from third parties is also a great idea— the public reacts well to a mixture of in-house and external content, which can help develop a community based on a shared interest. However, it’s no use simply acting as a vessel for other people’s work without having some innovative and interesting content of your own which can help spread the company message, carrying logo and brand name wherever it is shared.
Video content is king
By the end of 2017 69% of US internet traffic resulted from people either uploading or viewing video content. Indicative of a wider global trend, even if you’re not in the US, and don’t sell to the US, when looking at developing a robust plan for building digital content it’s impossible not to take video very seriously indeed,
Video content works so well because it is far more engaging and easy to consume than blogs and articles. Literary advocates may not like this reality— wherein a 15-second clip can go viral without really saying much, while a well-researched story crammed with facts and stats might struggle. However, this is the reality of the situation.
The rise in live video— particularly on Facebook— cannot be overlooked, either. In 2017 the network went to great lengths to encourage people to make the most of live streaming, rewarding producers with greater organic reach. If that means nothing, then think of it like this; brands using Facebook Live were in effect far more visible on the network than those that were not.
People still read, but that’s not the only purpose of words
When it comes to building digital content in a written form it’s vital to understand that this can potentially serve multiple purposes.
Brand blogs and articles are always best hosted on the company website, meaning those who click on the link you share on social media will be redirected to the official business domain. This increases the chances of visitors continuing through to other areas of the site, and potentially making enquiries or placing orders.
Building digital content in the form of a blog or article does more than simply provide a gateway for people to find your website, though. Thanks to the huge SEO benefits of regularly updating and adding to your domain, over time well-written content will begin to have an impact on the company’s placing on search engine results pages.
Be warned, though, this does not mean best practice is to shoehorn keyword after keyword into articles to the point where they become almost unreadable for real people. The focus should still be on writing for human eyes, but without overlooking the potential for those words to boost your search engine ranking.
Pictures tell 1,000 words
While video production can be a complex process, and the written word requires a competent scribe, in many ways building digital content is easier when the focus is on imagery. This is because we’re all armed with exceptionally high quality cameras in our smartphones, and thanks to powerful filters and post-shot editing effects offered by the likes of Instagram and Facebook, it’s possible to create professional-looking imagery without much experience or training.
As a result, photo content is incredibly popular across all social networks. Twitter separating images from the character count limit helped establish it as a great platform for pictures, although Instagram is the top dog when it comes to photo-led content, accounting for 2/3 of all posts.
A relatively new term in the world of content, native content does not rely on social networks to be shared, but instead is placed on prominent domains, either owned by a brand or a publisher that sells editorial space to companies as a means of advertising.
The most important thing to understand before considering building digital content of this type is quality— wether it’s a written article or short video, the production will need to be of a very good standard in order for it to have the desired impact. It’s also vital to consider brand message, and if using a third party host utilise links where possible to direct traffic back to the brand’s own website.
How building digital content can work for your brand?
Building great digital content can have a number of positive benefits for any business. At Smoking Gun we have a dedicated digital content team, in-house designers and video producers that can realise concepts on behalf of our clients, creating exceptional work that is highly shareable and engaging.