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Creating content that connects brands with audiences

Five tips to create quality content

Each October, Saïd Business School, one of our valued clients, publishes its Annual Review. It’s a reflection on the past academic year and a celebration of its research, event and alumni highlights.

Attempting to cover a year’s worth of quality content in just 60 pages is always a challenge. However, a strong theme can be a helpful filter. This year, we focused on technology and its impact on business. The topic was viewed through the lens of the School’s research, tackling 3D printing, the Dark Web, fintech, and big data in retail.

Common principles of content creation

The way we pull together The Oxford Saïd Review is a good example of how Caspian approaches content creation – whether it is for online or offline use.

After all, whether you’re creating a blog, animated GIF or a long-form feature, common principles apply. And these can help your content fly.

For those starting out in content creation, here are five top tips to consider:

1. Ramp up your research

Research is the cornerstone of all of your content.

The Annual Review features a range of perspectives, from alumni interviews to industry profiles. It includes the likes of Dominic Barton, former Global Managing Partner of McKinsey & Company, and Angela Ahrendts, Senior Vice-President of Retail at Apple.

Because we were well versed on these contributors and the topics that matter to them we could take a fresh angle and say something genuinely new.

Dominic Barton was one of the heavyweights involved in The Oxford Saïd Review

2. Collaboration is key to innovation

Create quality content by following the common principles of content creation

Angus Greig was one of the illustrators that brought the Annual Review to life

Collaboration is essential in business, as the School’s Dean, Peter Tufano, explains in this year’s Annual Review. It’s also crucial when crafting quality content.

We tapped into our network of creatives and worked with a range of talented illustrators and photographers (including Angus Greig, Kate Copeland and Chris O’Donovan) to bring the publication to life.

3. Don’t fear white space

White space, the area between design elements, can be a bone of contention between designers and clients.

But white space isn’t wasted space. It’s a great way to balance the ‘furniture’ on a page (printed or online) and ensure that the words and images work together harmoniously.

4. Don’t scrimp on quality control

Creating content involves several moving parts. That’s why a solid planning process and checklists are vital.

Develop brand guidelines and a robust style guide to ensure consistency across content.

And build in a number of review steps during your content creation process. These should be for internal teams and for your client. They will ensure content meets everyone’s objectives.

5. Prepare to be a jack of all trades

Editorial and design are just two parts of the content creation equation.

There may be printers and developers to liaise with and photo libraries to contend with too. Licensing costs, for example, can quickly add up for a client publication, so have a spending cap in mind and stick to it.

Finally, document what you have used and when. This can help you use assets for multiple content needs.

For more insights from Saïd Business School, download the Annual Review.

Need advice on online content creation?

We’ve put together a free content marketing guide that explains how to create quality content and bring it to life with brand storytelling and visual design. Download it now:

Download our free content marketing guide