A client approached me before the holiday season. They had an interesting situation and wanted to capitalize on it for the new year. After reworking code from a previous app, they were wanting to get a new content machine up and running.
Sounded like a sweet idea. A good base to start from and a lot of motivation. They had wireframes and a site in mind and my app development team was ready to dive into the work. The client was gearing up for a mass push for the brand to build up momentum once the site breaks public. It was going to be a swell program supported by a website full of helpful content for customers.
I only had one question: How much content is ready?
They assured me they would have plenty when the time came for it.
That conversation was at the top of December. And as the end of January approached, it was clear they had turned their attentions more to the sales aspect. Our weekly meetings began to consist of update checks from both sides.
“How’s the website coming?” They’d ask.
“It’s stalling a bit. We’ve got everything done up to this point, but now we need content.”
“Well we’re working on it. I’m looking at the website right now and there seems to be a few features missing.”
It was tempting to just say “Yes, it’s the content we don’t have.” But I know what they’re looking at. They’re seeing a lack of archives. No option for searching. Several features that every site has...with the content to support them.
The wheels grind to a halt eventually and our meetings get cancelled. I lay my hand out, “I don’t think we have anything to talk about until we have content. My web development team has done everything we can and it’s a waste of time without the meat of the site.
In the end, the mistake was not their motivation. Nor was it them wanting to build a brand. Really, they wanted to see their name in lights. And the ‘lights’ part of a project is what a website and brand looks like.
But a logo is just that: a set of colorful words. Without content, all it represents is a name.
Content is king and without it, a pretty website is useless...since it’s not framing anything. Turned out to be a hard lesson to learn. But now that we’ve learned it, we’re working together once again to get the content churned out and framed nicely with a sharp site and striking logo...at the cost of a few months of deadtime.
Don’t let yourself get caught up in the lights. You need that branding to mean something. And that something is always content.
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