“Digital design is a tool you can use to tell a story in the media and advertising,” says Marcel Rossouw, group director of design and innovation agency, Fjord Johannesburg

Rossouw came to Tshimologong and gave the jamlab accelerator teams some insights into service design, transmedia, monetising digital content and the importance of digital design in your content strategy.

He shared some ideas on how to master digital media with the help of digital design. “In terms of digital media, content is really where it’s at, where things are gonna be, in terms of talking to your market, relating to them and engaging them, advertising and the kind of media campaigns that you would get involved in,” he explains.

Media whether its journalism, advertising, marketing, content creation etc is an industry adjusting to digital technology and most of the media use to content to connect with their audience and customers. Rossouw shares his thoughts on the important aspects of having successful digital content. “Create digital content which resonates with audience/customers, the content they can interact and engage with and make content which makes them get closer to the paying for your content or product.”

He believes if you that if you create valuable content people will notice the value and pay for it. “The monetisation of content is becoming interesting, its an interesting model because if you are good at creating content you can monetise it. But data prices are still limiting uptake and content distribution in South Africa, especially local content and I don’t know if there are viable content monetisation models yet.”

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“Advertising content perspective, I was frustrated from doing what we call a microsite or a promotional campaign site with fancy animations and someone stands a chance to win a car or whatever, it was getting boring, I wanted to do more with digital design and digital media, I wanted to start telling stories,” Rossouw explains how he got involved in digital design in media content production.

Rossouw expands on how digital design can solve problems in any media types. For example, when Fjord develops a media website or app one of the things they focus on is information architecture and he says on a very basic level content falls in line with that. “Information architecture tells you how to organise the information, content strategy aspects such as editorial things, content models, content formats- is it video or written, length of content, the structure of the story etc.”

“All these aspects are matters of the story that need to be designed and a lot of the times its also about the conversations about how to design for conversations.”

He suggests that some media people do not consider design a valuable aspect of their content generation but the design of your website, content, of the story etc also affect the way your content performs. “Its always about people and design is always good at understanding people and getting to the cracks of what drives people’s behaviour, understanding the community you are serving.”

“Digital design will help your audience understand how to navigate and understand what they’re viewing’, your content.”

He explains that beyond generating and creating content, you also need to understand how that content needs to be augmented for various offset points, for example, you cannot use a two minutes long video if the attention span of someone you are trying to reach on Instagram is 30 seconds. So format, context and choreography of delivering this content are also important factors to consider.

Design digital helps you create personalized content which also builds credibility, augments the brand voice, develops relationships with target audiences, and helps them make an informed decision. Digital design will get your content higher response and engagement, timely and relevant interactions. And with digital design, you can create bigger themes and see how it can play out in various spaces and platforms.

When it comes to the media, content has always been a way to reach your audience but the type of content is changing with the digital times. “Digital transformation, yes, involves technology but it also involves how the people do things, things like agile and lean methodologies, design-thinking and doing things in a new way. And digital design is a tool to explore new futures new revenue streams, new value propositions and business models in the media,” concludes Rossouw.

Fjord has recently published its trends report which looks at the trends of where digital media is going in terms of consultancy and advertising, the environment how cities are changing, social impact and much more.

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