Aug 07, 2012

Little Bits: A Bite-Sized Video About Content Strategy


What is Content Strategy? It's a question I cannot avoid. The practice is still so new that parents, friends, and strangers ask me all the time, and sometimes more than once.

Part of the job of being part of something new is explaining it in a way that people can “get.” So in addition to working with clients, the content team at Hot has been collaborating with other content strategists to define the practice and communicate its value.

Hot's always taken content seriously. We carefully consider every word and every image in the design systems we deliver. But working with organizations to plan, create, and deliver compelling content is getting harder. The world is getting more and more crowded with more devices and more channels every day. Twitter. Facebook. Pinterest. iPad. Nook. Kindle Fire. How do you, as an organization, make sense of these multiple platforms internally and for the people you’re trying to reach?

"Little Bits" is a stop motion video the content strategy team made to talk about our approach. In it, we use the metaphor of tiny wooden blocks as our "little bits" of content. Through these blocks we show what we care about: designing “smarter” content that meets business and audience needs, and streamlining the editorial and publishing processes.

Not going to lie: it took a while to make this video. There was a trip to Home Depot and some physical labor involved to build a table to fix my camera above a flat surface. We borrowed a professional light kit and a better lens (thank you Vanessa Carr). All told, I took about 2,160 images—moving the blocks sometimes one at a time to make each image—and then, through some hours of editing, chose the right ones. We also did some user testing at a content strategy event we hosted here at Hot with The Bay Area Content Strategy Meetup Group and, like good user-centric designers, incorporated feedback to make a better version. At some point, after a bit more editing, we decided we were ready to share.

We hope that the video, and our blog posts to follow, will help people understand our approach to content strategy—and maybe inspire other content strategists to express their thoughts in interesting and engaging ways that help people make sense of what we’re all about. Thanks for taking a look!


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