Nowadays, with the ever changing and ever expanding online landscape, we need to be able to give our web projects the best possible chance at standing out for the crowd and receiving the audience they deserve.

Nowadays, with the ever changing and ever expanding online landscape, we need to be able to give our web projects the best possible chance at standing out for the crowd and receiving the audience they deserve.

This is partly done by making sure our web projects are filled with the best, attention grabbing and action provoking content. It’s no longer good enough to fill sites with old or generic imagery and some mediocre copy - we need more than that to make it amazing, we need good content.

Up until recently content has been seen as a bit of an afterthought. But every web project should involve the gathering of and/or creation of content and assets at the very beginning to help formulate and mould the design, support the brand strategy, provide real value to the customer and ideally help drive the audience to the desired outcome.

Think of it this way, when you write a book you start by writing the story, not thinking about the design of the front cover, the type of paper it’s going to be printed on and how the pages are glued together.

And now there are more possibilities than ever for content usage online. With the never ending improvements and developments online it means that video, high resolution imagery and graphics and user generated content are all very possible. Not only that but they are expected from an ever growing number of online users.

Let’s have a look at these content types in more detail:

High resolution and unique photography

While this seems obvious to many of us, it’s still something that needs focused on and budget put aside if quality imagery isn’t already available. Using stock imagery can work in some instances but nothing works better than commissioned photography that has been shot specifically for a project. Pictures speak a thousand works and all that!

Video content

While video usage used to be a no go for many online projects, it’s now handled far better online which allows us to use if for a huge variety of scenarios. Full page background videos, hover over videos and more are all video content that can really bring a web project to life. Video is great for showcasing new products, introducing new concepts and showing users how something works. But it also has the ability to immediately set the tone and create a scene for users to immerse themselves in.

Motion graphics & animation

Something that may but not necessarily take a little longer to do and may eat up more budget is motion graphics and animation. Depending on what the idea is and what it’s going to be used for, motion graphics and animation can draw users to a site like moths to a flame. It’s great for some light entertainment but equally it can be good for making dry and sometime dull subjects become much more interesting to a wider audience.

Professionally written copy

Getting a professional copy writer to create content for a project not only makes sure the copy is of the highest standard but it also allows us to communicate the brand values. Briefing in a copy writer lets you really think about the content and what it is there to do. And this ultimately is the main aim of the web project or site, to target the heart of the users and get them to take action.

User generated content

Online users respect and want to see social content and user generated content. It makes them believe in the brand or product when they see others interacting or reviewing it. User generated content is something that costs very little but has arguably the most effective outcome. This is where a good social strategy really comes into play and with good social interaction comes rich content feeds from these channels. And that is something that users really respect.

All of this rich content really is an asset to a site or web project and shouldn’t be forgotten about or left to the last minute, it should be thought about, planned and created at the start of a project as part of the information gathering stage to make sure it is used and showcased in the most engaging and effective way. Fighting for attention online can sometimes be tough but with quality assets it really doesn’t have to be. Content is most definitely king so it’s more important than ever to have a clear strategy for it to maximize the design and get the best possible outcome.

So, show us your assets!

By Pamela Weaver, Senior Designer