Ok, I’ll admit it: I love magazines. That doesn’t mean I’m some kind of dinosaur enamoured with unfashionable print – although print still has an impact and role all of its own. What I mean is that I like the idea of a magazine: a place for information, ideas, thoughts and entertainment all centred on a particular subject, or aimed at a particular community.
Because they focus on a shared interest, magazines have a personal, warm tone of voice. They’re authentic and human – at their very best, their readers will love and connect with them with an emotional depth other forms communications rarely inspire.
All of these principles apply to online just as well as to print. When I edited the Engine Room, I approached editorial planning just like a magazine editor would. The ability to share and engage are strengths unique to online. But without a narrative, a strong concept and editorial direction, there’s a risk that bits of content merely dissipate in the ether.
This is where a great content strategy comes in. It’s the strategy that defines the over-arching message, groups it into themes, then identifies individual stories to hang off them. If these stories are told in a consistent tone of voice, the resulting content will be instantly recognisable. Add craftsmanship and creative flair, and your audience will love hearing from you and your brand.