Key takeaways in this post:

  • Content design prioritizes understanding and addressing the specific problems of your audience, ensuring the information provided is relevant, useful and timely, which fosters user engagement and satisfaction.
  • By defining the problem, plotting an informative path and guiding users to action, content design creates a clear and logical flow that helps users easily find and act upon the information they need.
  • Utilizing tools like heat maps and seeking direct feedback from users can help identify pain points and optimize content to improve user experience and conversion rates. Engaging a content strategist can provide additional expertise and fresh perspectives to enhance this process.

You know the rule: Put your audience first. But sometimes good intentions aren’t enough to meet your audiences’ needs and successfully convert them.

Do you wonder if your audiences find your content useful or just information overload? How can you measure if your content truly converts to meet your marketing goals?

Content design offers a more systematic approach to putting your user’s needs at the center of your content strategy. According to Sarah Winters of Content Design London, content design is about “using data and evidence to give the audience what they need, at the time they need it and in the way they expect.”

For example, imagine you’re seeking advice on how to choose a health plan. At the next family gathering, you ask your Uncle Bob how he chose his plan. But instead of offering his considerations and recommendations, Bob launches into a rant about the cost of his latest X-ray. You’re receiving a lot of information — who knew there was so much to learn about X-rays? But none of it helps you pick your health plan.

Don’t let your company’s content be the equivalent of a well-meaning yet unhelpful relative. With the right content design strategy, you can become the savvy friend everyone turns to for advice.

Content design uses the problems your audience faces daily to reimagine your information and present it in a way that meets their needs. The goal is for your audience to experience your content as easy to understand and act upon.

A content design process includes these three key steps to move your audience from problem to action.

1. Define the problem

Many companies begin their content with their solution, sometimes skipping the problem altogether. If you skip this phase, you miss out on connecting and empathizing with your audience. If you accurately define their problem, you’ve demonstrated you understand them. And then they are more likely to engage with you.

2. Plot the path of information

Create a tantalizing trail of breadcrumbs that appears just as your audience’s appetite to learn more kicks in. Content design uses data, testing, page hierarchy and other strategies to prioritize information based on what your audience is searching for. This creates a personalized experience that gives them the right information at the right time in the way they expect.

3. Convert to action

Along with creating a custom experience, content design drives your audience toward a specific goal. This approach makes content design a go-to for sales or marketing because it encourages audiences to take a specific action. Every morsel of content to this point should remove friction and make it easy for your audience to act when the time is right. When they arrive at the call to action, they feel confident and ready to take the leap.

Graphic depicting the three steps in the content design process: define the problem, plot the path of information and covert to action

Image: Content design graphic depicting the three stages of define the problem, plot the path of information and covert to action.

You’re ready to write smarter content that fits into an audience-centered experience. So where do you start?

Here are some ways you can apply content design strategy to your website and digital experiences:

  1. Learn your audience’s top problems and questions. Don’t assume you know what your audience struggles with — you’d be surprised! Ask them directly about their experiences, problems, challenges and ideas for improvement. One-on-one conversations, focus groups, surveys and ratings can all provide insight into your audience’s pain points. You can also talk to administrators or patient-care staff to learn the common questions or complaints people raise.
  2. Add heat tracking to your website. A heat-tracking program, also called a “heat map,” uses color to visually represent user behavior on your website or blog. It will help you see what content on your website currently attracts visitors and will also show you where they lose interest. This data will continue to inform your content design as you optimize it.
  3. Engage the help of a content strategist. Sometimes you need a fresh perspective to reimagine things from another point of view. Plus, content strategists have experience breaking down the steps to good content design.

Are you excited about starting with content design but don’t know where to begin? Content strategists at WG Content have abundant experience and knowledge of content design, especially in healthcare.

We can work with you as the content design expert so you can add this crucial strategy without compromising your internal team’s capacity. Together, we can turn your website into a conversion machine. Contact us to get started today.

Content design is a systematic approach to creating content that focuses on meeting the specific needs of your audience using data and evidence. According to Sarah Winters of Content Design London, it’s about giving the audience what they need, at the time they need it, and in the way they expect. This approach ensures your content is useful, relevant, and helps drive your audience towards taking desired actions, such as making a purchase or signing up for a service.

Follow these steps to start using content design:

  • Engage with your audience directly through conversations, surveys, or focus groups to understand their pain points and challenges.
  • Implement a heat map on your website to visually track user behavior, which helps identify what content engages visitors and where they lose interest.
  • Consider hiring a content strategist for a fresh perspective and expert guidance to optimize your content design strategy.

The key steps in the content design process include:

  1. Define the Problem: Start by accurately identifying and defining the problems your audience faces to build empathy and connection.
  2. Plot the Path of Information: Create a structured flow of information that prioritizes the user’s needs, using data, testing, and page hierarchy to deliver the right information at the right time.
  3. Convert to Action: Ensure that every piece of content guides the audience toward a specific goal, reducing friction and making it easy for them to take action when prompted.

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