David Meerman Scott has written an interesting new book about using content to drive web site visitors to action. In “Cashing in with Content” he profiles 20 organizations – large and small – from a diverse range of industries (e-commerce, business-to-business, nonprofit, education, healthcare, music, politics) who are successfully using web content to deliver a competitive advantage.
Judging from the “first chapter”:http://www.davidmeermanscott.com/documents/Cashing_in_with_Content_preview.pdf (PDF 1MB – free download), it looks like a very worthwhile read if you are at all interested in maximising the way content is put to use on your web site.
h2. “Branding is for Cattle”
Scott obviously has strong opinions about the ongoing focus on aesthetics over content. To quote:
bq.. Another common mistake marketers make online is focusing on aesthetics over information. Imagine if the people who publish newspapers and magazines only cared about how the publication looked.
What kind of magazines would we have if no one was in charge of the content, yet dozens of people worried about cover color palates and graphic placement? What kind of publishing world would it be if Pulitzer Prizes were only given for design, usability, and functionality but not the actual content?
Yet this is exactly the current state of the Web. Companies build sites based on design, rather than content.
p. Yessir! My experience with building web sites totally validates these comments. Content is always the poor cousin of the site’s design.
h2. 12 Best Practices
He finishes with a section on “putting it all to work” which includes 12 best practices he has observed from his case studies. Here are the first three:
# When launching a new site, start with a comprehensive needs analysis
# Speak with one voice to create a consistent site personality
# Dedicate editorial resources to create consistent and informed content
Anyway, I’ve just sold myself on buying this book. If you want to as well, you can order it from Amazon.