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Content value—you cannot separate it from the design value

Content lives in design and design communicates via content.

Mark Lewis, the celebrated technical communicator and a veteran in the industry published Deep thought leaders discuss the “value of content”, in this month’s STC Intercom on LinkedIn.

Mark has listed a few industry best references (writings, talks) on content value and content metrics. In my understanding, the notion of content as a profit-center have been largely discussed in context of why to invest in content, for business value. Likewise and most often, the mapping of content-metrics for content ROI is generally organization-centric, though the data points are customers-interactions driven.

Today when I see how some of the high-growth product teams (Airbnb, Slack, Intercom, Facebook, InVision, ProfitWell (formerly Price Intelligently), and Dropbox to name a few) invest in the content as if content is an internalized part of the holistic brand experience (product, internal and external audiences, community), content value goes much beyond metrics and ROI.

Content lives in design and design communicates via content. So content value is a direct derivative of the design value, which is the product value or brand value itself. Content is the brand message.

  • Will our customers continue to pay us next year?
  • How the churn rate graph looks like? How content is tied to the churn?
  • What does the NPS say?
  • How the extended marketing team in the APAC region plans to 10x the outreach in next quarter?

The answers and solutions to such statements are as much content-centric as these are design-centric or product-centric. So I cannot actually separate the content-value from the design-value. And we should not.

Content is beyond conversions of course. Content is how Tom Shoes empowers a community or how Away Travel is doing.

The key is to identify how content can contribute to a brand’s sustainability goals, to the organization’s community model, to the citizens-society trust, to the vox populi.

Of course numbers give directions and goals helps us in roadmap. But content value is far beyond numbers, it spans across the canvas and we cannot measure it.

To discuss content-value is questioning its worth. As if a disrespect to content.

We should not separate content-value from the design-value.

PS: I know Mark many years now. I sought his advice to prepare a content project business case in the past, and I interviewed him once in a Medium publication.

Photo credits: Unsplash

Vinish Garg

Vinish Garg

I am Vinish Garg, and I work with growing product teams for their product strategy, product vision, product positioning, product onboarding and UX, and product growth. I work on products for UX and design leadership roles, product content strategy and content design, and for the brand narrative strategy. I offer training via my advanced courses for content strategists, content designers, UX Writers, content-driven UX designers, and for content and design practitioners who want to explore product and system thinking.

Interested to stay informed about my work, talks, writings, programs, or projects? See a few examples of my past newsletters—All things products, Food for designInviting for 8Knorks. You can subscribe to my emails here.

Vinish Garg is an independent consultant in product content strategy, content design leadership, and product management for growing product teams.