Does it bring you joy?
I’m talking about your content strategy, not your sock drawer.
Yet this was the question Marie Kondo threatened our possessions with in her Tidying Up Netflix series last year. It saw the purge of old clothes and keepsakes from the home and into landfill. Living rooms and kitchens felt spacious. Surfaces sparkled.
But now, in 2020, economies are falling apart and whole industries are in tatters. And the chances are your content strategy needs a damn good clean too.
“Clutter has emerged, dusty and triumphant, as a defining byproduct of the pandemic,” says the Guardian. Cluttercore is the name given to the unabashed piles of books, knick-knacks and strewn cushions clogging up social media. Yet, there is a more extreme and yet refined interior design trend that we should be taking our content strategy cues from: maximalism.
Good content strategy isn’t minimalist monochrome, high gloss and austere. It’s big, bold and colourful. It has lots of ‘stuff’ but all carefully chosen and placed. It’s textural and multilayered, provocative and surprising in the choice of elements. Just like an oversized lamp or an obsidian green bedroom, a well-designed content strategy solicits conversation.
“I think maximalist interiors have had a bad rap in the past because spaces can look like they’ve been decorated by someone who’s had seven cups of coffee while nursing a hangover: chaotic and messy with an overwhelming thoughtlessness and disarray that feels jarring and not at all serene.” So says interior designer Abigail Ahern in her new book Everything: A Maximalist Style Guide.
Abigail Ahern has made a name for herself with her swampy, inky decor and boho-meets-glam style. More is more in her London home — “the average room needs 8-10 lamps,” she advises — and it’s a maximalist mecca for some 175,000 Instagram followers.
Yet, just like a good content strategy, Ahern says “maximalist interiors don’t happen by chance. They are carefully planned and curated.”
Great interior design needs a central framework and answering some key questions about what you want the room to deliver. The same can be said for your content strategy. Interrogate how it is going to achieve the desired outcome, and what needs to be put in place to make it happen.
The goal posts have moved. The KPIs adjusted. What mattered yesterday may look very different today.
The pandemic has fractured industries and professions, and not everyone’s experience is alike. Now is the time for real data, rather than guesswork.
The familiar roadmaps will only get you so far. A largely remote workforce means channel preferences have changed, yet onsite workers can’t be forgotten.
Online giants are fast-tracking prospects to purchase. Awareness-raising content that has compassion, empathy and relevance is vital if you aren’t to be overlooked.
Reflecting on whether her KonMari Method is still relevant in the age of Covid-19,, Marie Kondo has said, “We’re all mired in vague unarticulated anxiety right now.” “And tidying provides you with a strong foundation to ask questions of yourself: ‘What’s important to me right now?” In B2B marketing, you should also be asking what’s important to your clients and their customers – and whether your content strategy has both style and substance.
2020 may be a mess but your content strategy doesn’t have to be.