Your organisation’s assets are a key ingredient in your digital engagement strategy. In our Digital Engagement Framework we define digital engagement as making meaningful connections between your assets and your audiences. Before real world assets can be used in digital activities, however, they need to be transformed in digital content. ‘Content’ refers to photos, images, scans, metadata, blog posts, videos, tags, audio files and all other online representations of your assets. This transformation process is often called digitisation.
In my workshops people often take a narrow view of which assets are useful as digital content. They limit themselves to assets that are already digital (press releases, photos, audio files) or that have very clear digital counterparts (paper archives, analog photos, CDs). With a bit of creativity, however, much more of your assets can be turned into digital content. Some examples:
- The asset good coffee can be turned into positive reviews on sites such as Tripadvisor, in addition to the occasional latte art photography for your social networks,
- Clean toilets mostly avoid content creation (complaints). They can also be a place to disseminate content, e.g. with a screen for waiting visitors.
- Search engine traffic to a specific keyword helps you distinguish popular content and can help you improve all your other content.
- Friendly front desk staff are content generators. Their anecdotes, experiences and the feedback they receive can be turned into blogposts, videos and updates.
- Shelter from the rain gives you a reason to be listed on websites describing indoor activities. I’ve also used this specific asset in Google advertising campaigns.
- A night out as an event is content for your social networks and helps you get on listing websites.
- The sense of community is something tricky to translate into content, but think of photo galleries of events, videos and interviews with visitors.
- Tours are one of my favourite starting places to find digital content. Tour guides usually know the best anecdotes and stories, which can be digitised. A good tour itself tells a story, which can be made available for download as PDF for people visiting on their own or on Google Streetview.
- Magazines themselves are a collection of content. When available digitally (and what magazine content isn’t nowadays?) this content can be shared elsewhere as well, maybe as a blog, a series of newsletters or by linking to it from social media.
- Productions in the sense of plays, exhibitions, lectures, concerts, etc. are one of your main sources of content. Take pictures, make videos, interview visitors and turn the press release into lively social media updates.
I believe that the best way to find all the possible digital content your organisation’s assets can create is to make this a collaborative effort. Invite your colleagues to a session where you walk through your physical and digital spaces and write down all the things that are special on a post-it. Then, in a room, together you try to transform each post-it (asset) into digital content. Use different colour post-its for assets and content and put them on a wall. What you get is a cloud of post-its full of creative ideas for your digital content!
If you want to learn more about using the Digital Engagement Framework as a tool to develop your digital engagement strategy, download the free e-book Digital engagement for culture, heritage and the arts.