simple ways to keep content and branding fresh

the cost of complexity

Keeping your website and social media feeds up to date can be time-consuming and complicated, so it’s worth taking a little time to invest in a planning process to ensure you are getting the most out of your investment.

The problem some organizations encounter is undergoing a complicated and detailed process, and then falling short when it’s time to follow through with the plan. An elaborate planning process is brittle, so once things start to slide the whole thing falls apart. It’s a little like the expensive piece of exercise equipment you buy after the New Year that that devolves into a coat rack in a few months. Here are some simple ways to keep content and branding fresh

a good plan is one that works

A good plan is one that fits your organization’s capacity for developing content and keeping your branding fresh. A good planning process is also one that can withstand change without falling apart. There are great resources out there for helping you develop social media plans, including companies like Endsley and Company in addition to products like Smart Sheet.

Event triggers are a very easy, low-overhead way to keep your content and branding fresh. A trigger is simply any newsworthy event, including:

  • new projects or programs
  • events
  • new hires or volunteers
  • change of leadership

Documentation links each trigger with a series of steps, for example, a Facebook post, a Twitter post, and blog post, etc. The process and people responsible for it is documented and built into ongoing communication. These communications can be consolidated and streamlined, to minimize the amount of time it takes to generate the content. It all happens at once.

a system that grows and evolves

This simple process can grow and evolve as your organization’s capacity grows. For example, you can build a succession of posts in your website that are categorized and automatically used to keep different content areas fresh. In our Power Past Coal website, for example, we’ve organized the posts that feed into the news area or the video area.  At heart, the system is simplicity itself: a series of trigger events delivered as a series of categorized posts. The same strategy can also be used in combination with calendars.

next steps

If your organization struggles with keeping content and branding fresh, start by asking questions about what your audience wants to know and list them as a series of events. Then, when one of those events happens, create and deliver content about it. Done consistently, processes like this will help you rank higher in search engines, connect with, and engage your audiences.

Eric Shew is a graphic designer and front end developer living in Bellingham, Washington.

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