Updated: Feb 9
How to Organize Your Company's Content, Digitally
If you've ever hired a designer to update your company's website or create a brochure for your business, then you've probably been asked to send content. But sending over content to a designer can be challenging. You might send them your logo and a few pictures, you might have an old brochure you share or you may have asked your designer to go to your Facebook page, asking them to pull information.
And while that's ok, and most of the time you've received a nice piece material back from a designer, have you found yourself asking yourself one of these questions?
Did my designer really understand my business on this piece?
Did it take my designer too long to create my flyer?
Did I have to over explain what I wanted?
If you've answered yes then you might want to consider organizing your content in a way that will allow you and your designer to communicate easier! And in doing so, marketing yourself will be easier too because you'll have a guide and you’ll have everything in one place.
The first thing we suggest to our clients when organizing content, especially if the content is going to be used on their website, is to gather their information online. And we’re not talking about just off Facebook.
Press Releases and Citations
The first place you’ll start is online attempting to find any press releases and citations of your business.
Here’s what you do:
Search Google, Bing, DuckDuckGo and Yahoo!
Save the links you find in Google Docs
Copy the content to your document
Save the URLs
Conduct a search for your business's name. Search Google, Bing, DuckDuckGo and Yahoo!. Save the links you find in Google Docs. Name the document something like this: “[Your Business Name] Complete Company Content”. We use Google Docs because of its user-friendly way to link between several documents and because we can access it anywhere we are from any device. While you are checking out the pages, go ahead and copy the content to your document. If you see mistakes, don’t worry about fixing them right now. For now, just download any images and copy and paste all the content to your document - just be sure to save the URLs.
If you have press releases or articles about your business that can't be found online, gather those too. Here’s what you do with those: Copy (or scan and create a .pdf that you can copy and paste or export from) and paste them into your document, each one individually, or, put them on your website so they have a specific page. Whatever you do, DO NOT just upload an image file. Be sure you have actual written content. Then, copy their URLs (if you’ve put them on your website) and add them to the copy in your Google doc.
If you have images that go with the articles you’ve now gathered, don’t upload them into your Google doc, just reference them where they need to go for now. If you start to add images to the document now you’ll get overwhelmed with all the content. Instead, rename all images accordingly so you can link them correctly inside your Google doc. Name the media folder: “[Your Company Name] Complete Media Folder”. You can upload the media files into the document via links as long as you keep a folder in your Google drive that has the originals. This way you also know that you have high quality images and now downsized versions.
Next copy all of the content from your website into your document.
Here’s what you do:
Copy every page of your website
Delete images that generate but instead download them
Save content in your document/folder
Go to your website and copy every page of it into a document so you have every bit of it. As images automatically generate, delete them from the Google doc and replace them with the link of the original image file that will now be in your Google media folder.
Directory Listings & Social Channels
Then, you are going to gather the directory listing’s handles, categories, descriptions and profile/header images.
Here’s what you do:
Visit your Google My Business, Bing My Places, Yelp for Business
Visit your social media channels
Visit any other directory listing you've obtained or have out there in the world
List handles, categories, descriptions in your document
Download profile/header images in your media folder
Ideally, all of these listings should have the exact same handle, categories, descriptions and profile/header image. You’re going to go to all of your social media pages as well as your Google My Business, Bing My Places, Yelp for Business and any other directory listing you've obtained or have out there in the world and list them out in your document. Ideally, all of these listings should have the exact same handle, categories, descriptions and profile/header image. We have another post about how social media handles, categories, descriptions and profile/header images should all be the same and you can check that out here.
Markings & Brand Brief
Markings are made up of your logo and logo variations, your company's color palette, the fonts you use and the image style you follow. A brand brief tells your employees and designers how to use your markings. It sets the mood for the look and feel of the tone and voice of your company!
If you don't have a brand brief, you might consider getting one. It will make your life so much easier. You might also want to consider creating an Instagram Mood Board.
If you're really not sure where to start, we suggest creating a private Pinterest board. Fill it with things that 'make you feel' like it represents your company's message. We aren't talking about logos and fonts and colors here... we're talking about images, statements and ideas that, when seen, remind you of your company's message. A Pinterest board will help you and your designer understand your Photographic Style. Then, after the board has been used for a few months and you've shared your markings with your designer, your designer and you will have a better understanding of how your brief or board should be laid out.
Policies and Statements
Gather your policies and statements.
Terms of Service
Returns and Exchanges Policy* eCommerce
Shipping Policy* eCommerce
Values: What do we stand for? What are our ethics, principals and beliefs?
Vision: Where are we going? What do we aspire to achieve? What is our hope and ambition?
Mission: What do we do? Who do we do it for? What motivates us and what is our purpose?
Fix Mistakes & Categorize
Now that you have all of your information, organize them, fix them, categorize them, etc. all in your Google doc! Put them all in that ONE document. All in ONE place… well that doc and your media folder that is. Pretend all you have in the entire world is that one document. Pretend you aren't allowed to share anything else at all but this one document and you have to explain in its entirety what your whole business is all about, all of it.
Here’s what you do:
Google Doc (for Copy)
Title, headers, sub-headers, bullet points, links and so on.
Don't put anything in the document that you do not want everyday people seeing - like finances, etc.
Google Folder (for Media)
Save media files only, no images of documents
And be sure to use structure! Title, headers, sub-headers, bullet points, links and so on. You can even put your images and videos in this document AFTER it’s organized, if you want, or just have the links reference them to their media folder (which is what we recommend), just as long as you have the original high quality versions saved that can be shared additionally.
That said, the ONLY images that should be saved are actual images... no images of brochures - don't cheat! Write out your content. No .pdfs, again, put it all in the document.
Just don't put anything in the document that you do not want everyday people seeing - like finances, etc.
Now when your designer asks you for content, you’ll be a powerhouse (and probably the BEST client they’ve ever worked with) when you send them your Google doc and Media folder.
If you have any questions, schedule a call-I love talking all things marketing!
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Chief Everything Officer