Creating the Didot Effect with your Content Strategy

In the 19th century a French printmaker greatly advanced the content delivery revolution. Today, we struggle to align our content strategies with a multitude of increasingly fast-paced content delivery networks that only a Jules Verne or H.G. Wells could have imagined.

Firmin Didot, the printmaker in question, revolutionized the business of reprinting novels by improving the stereotype process, invented in 1725 by Scott William Ged. A “stereotype” in printing refers to a page formed into a single metal block and cast from a mold. Unlike movable type, invented by Bi Sheng around 1050, using the stereotype process made reprinting a novel economically feasible because printers were no longer faced with the enormous expense of re-casting type for each reprinting.

The Rising Tide of Social Media

Didot’s improvement on the stereotype greatly improved on the content delivery mechanism of his time and meant that novels, like Jules Verne’s Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (1870), were able to be reprinted at a much reduced cost. Due to increased supply, these “cheap novels” could be distributed among a much wider audience. This change in distribution created waves in Didot’s time, and is key to understanding the nature of the Web today. We push content to an unprecedented number of readers who process it and push it right back. And therein lies the problem for most businesses: replies, tweets, and other forms of Web-based commentary “liberate” content from its original restrictions, but also create a wake of “noise” that businesses find particularly challenging to deal with.

Connect to Craft Your Content Strategy

Despite the ability to meet and engage directly with clients where they are (Facebook, Twitter, etc.), businesses still struggle to earn and retain loyal customers. There is truly a staggering amount of content being created daily, and the prospect of crafting a content strategy that includes social media is as foreign to them as the bottom of the sea and as terrifying as walking alone into the Morlock’s tunnels. Many businesses choose to ignore (sometimes willfully) the fact that to be heard above the noise, their communication efforts must be cohesive, niche-targeted, and engaging: in short a comprehensive content strategy is necessary.

Be Heard Above the Noise

Use the following steps to begin planning and managing meaningful content that matters to your customers.

  1. Complete a brand audit.
  2. Do customer research.
  3. Refine your content strategy.
  4. Create an editorial calendar.
  5. Nurture your feedback loop.

“By the Roots” is a collection of articles that pull up current trends “by the roots” to disrupt and broaden our understanding of current user experience and strategic design issues and to provide steps to integrate solutions that help to plot, firmly plant, and grow your brand.

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