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Melissa Ruppel
November 20, 2020

Highlights

  • What is Conscious Content?
  • Conscious Content & Political Correctness
  • Creative & Design
  • Social Media Strategy

Why You Should Care About Conscious Content

Conscious content is using words, images and design effectively in a specific context to achieve a desired response from the audience. Conscious content clarifies our intention, then skillfully evokes and provokes the audience.

To use content consciously, you must be aware of your target audience’s needs and expectations. A good way to start is by researching your audience:

  • Who is your audience?
  • What tone and level of formality do you want?
  • What are you trying to achieve?

These factors dictate your word choice, color choice, font shape and size, content in an image, overall design, and more. You have to avoid making assumptions. Pretend you only know the most superficial information about your audience. You cannot assume the rest and effectively produce content. You have to know, and you have to remove your biases. You have to look for biases in your content, which is a learned skill. Having biases is normal for every person, but they can ruin the result of your content if they get in the way of you truly seeing your audience for who they are.

Political Correctness

There can be a tendency to think of content as “good” or “bad.” Using conscious content does not have anything to do with being politically correct, though that may be an assumption. Again, remove all assumptions. Think critically when you write and use style guidelines when in doubt on phrasing. Good content creators consciously use disagreeable language to strike a dissonant tone. You may wish to elicit a certain response that isn’t politically correct. This depends on your goal. What does your brand convey? What do you want it to convey?
Intention is the goal. Being inoffensive or politically correct is NOT the goal. Even language intended to be inclusive and considerate can be received and perceived the wrong way.

Creative & Design Guidelines

Content goes beyond the words you publish across your marketing channels. The same rules apply to the images, designs, videos and all other creative pieces you publish. The imagery and creatives you choose have to resonate with your target audience and not push them away. If you are uncertain how an image will be perceived due to its content because it is not part of your own life experience, ask other people who may have insight. Again, intent is the goal. Is inclusion your intent? If so, is your image inclusory? What about diversity? Or reality? Does the image project the reality of the life of your audience?

Updating Your Social Media Strategy

You can never do too much research, especially when it comes to social media. What differentiates website content from social media content is that within the social media world, you are constantly competing for what’s trending. Understanding context of what’s going on in the world of your audience is what will make your social content stand out.