design thinking

Content is the driving force of products and services. Without great content, it is difficult for the customer to travel down the marketing funnel. Incorporating Design Thinking into your content marketing strategy can help you up your marketing game. As a content creator, how can you ensure that your contribution is consumed by the right customers and provides them value? One way to do so is to incorporate design thinking into the content marketing strategy. 

A few questions that can be solved by incorporating design thinking into content marketing are:

  1. How do we build a meaningful relationship with our audience?
  2. How can we build high-quality content and increase engagement? 
  3. Why does an individual want to purchase a product? 
  4. What are our audiences’ needs? 
  5. What value are we offering to our audience? 

What is Design Thinking? 

Design Thinking is a solution-based approach that is driven by empathy. It essentially came into view between the 50s and 60s. It uses an iterative process driven by empathy, ideation, prototyping and testing to create products or services that provide an improved customer experience. It is a structured methodology used in all areas of an organisation in today’s world. Several tech-giants and global brands such as Apple, Nike, Adidas, and PepsiCo have adopted design thinking steps into their daily activities. These brands have seen great success with the adoption of design thinking into their business process. 

Phases of Design Thinking 

  1. Empathise – Why are you creating content?
  2. Define – Who are you creating your for? 
  3. Ideate – What are the unique ideas for your content?
  4. Prototype – How will you structure this content?  
  5. Test – How will you gauge performance and optimise your effort? 

Additional Reading: What is Design Thinking and Why it is important in Business?

Content Marketing and Design Thinking 

When it comes to problem-solving, we can surely say that content marketing aligns with design thinking. Content needs to have a high-impact to serve various business goals, and it is no longer effective in only high quantities—quality over quantity. Just like design thinking, content marketing is also iterative. Individuals working as content marketers should be working to optimise and improve their content through various methods, be it implementing on-page engagement and SEO changes, creating new content from scratch, repurposed content, or optimisation of existing content. 

If content marketers apply design principles, they can ensure that this content is intentionally developed and crafted, keeping in mind the needs of the end-user. This content can be enhanced over time with the changing requirements. 

When content marketers are looking to revamp their marketing strategies and develop new ideas or plans, design thinking ensures that this marketing strategy is effective by following a strategic process. It provides a foundation for long-term content marketing success. 

Additional Reading: How Design Thinking has Revolutionised Five Prominent Industries

design

Mini Case Study 

The problem statement:

The brand image, tone, and voice on various digital platforms are not par with the other content levels, such as campaigns that fail to resonate with the target group. There is a disconnect between the teams. Content and design teams need to work together to solve it. 

The design thinking phases:

1. Empathy: Before creating content, you need to figure out what your user’s needs are. Which digital campaigns have worked well with your customers? Are their needs being met? Finding the answer to these questions from empathy will help you create the right style of content for the right audience. 

2. Define: Defining your user’s needs and their problems is the next step in the process. We must understand why the campaigns are falling short, is there an inconsistency between the content levels on different platforms? Is the tone of the content the same, or does it different on different platforms? (let us assume that your brand follows a slightly more casual tone on social media and a more formal tone on-brand campaigns).

3. Ideate: After defining the problem, it is important to create ideas that can help you solve the problem at hand. We need to understand if the users expect a more casual or playful approach to social media and if they are expecting a formal tone while engaging with a brochure or blog post? How are the visual creatives treated in each situation?

4. Prototype: You can then work on creating the solutions. Will a unified approach across all digital platforms help in fostering a clear picture of the brand identity?

5. Test: Test your solutions to check if they are working well. Try out a few variations or combinations of approaches in voice, visual creatives, and tone of language. Consider how different content can be reused at different levels. 

Solution:

Based on the testing phase of the content strategy and design thinking process, create a unified content marketing strategy that resonates with your brand and the test group, as this will help you consistently deliver value to your target audience. 

Conclusion 

Design thinking has the ability to transform businesses with the help of improving their content marketing efforts. Upskilling in this domain can help an individual take their business to the next level and climb the corporate ladder faster.\ If you are a professional who wants to build a career in the field of design thinking, then look no further. Upskill with the Stanford Executive Design Thinking Course in collaboration with Great Learning and learn how you can upgrade your content marketing efforts with the help of design thinking. 

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