Message Before Content, Content Before Platform

20 Jan
January 20, 2015

I had a conversation with someone earlier this week and they asked my view on a social platform (not one of the majors) they wanted to implement in their business.

They spent a few minutes explaining some of the features, the big one seemingly the ability to add video. I asked what kind of video content they’ll be producing.

“We don’t know yet”.

I asked if they planned on using video at all.


With so much written about the importance of video to a strategy, this kind of cart before the horse approach is understandable. We know we need to be using this, so we must find a platform that uses it.

But two things come before the platform – the message and the content. What is it that you want to tell people? Without understanding your message, your content doesn’t serve a purpose. Which makes the platform irrelevant.

The content itself is shaped by this message. How can you best communicate it to your audience? Is it in a video? It might be. It might not be.

cycleOnce these two things are clearly articulated that you should think about the platform to distribute it. If that’s video, great. Most platforms support it. If it’s not video, that’s OK too. Do what works for you and your business.

But don’t pick a platform for a killer feature that you may not use.

To be clear, I’m not saying the process of creating content should be completed before determining the platform – just understanding the types of content you plan to use.

There is an important fourth step – learn and adapt. How did the content perform? Was your message clear? Did it have the desired outcome?

Take those learnings, and revisit the message if need be. And start the process again.

PHOTO: Ian Harris

Tags: , ,