How teaching yoga helped me understand content strategy better
Last month I completed an e-learning course on the fundamentals of an effective content strategy. As a user advocate, I get curious about all the content that we are surrounded with and many ways in which we consume it.
Content as we know it is not just a plain text. In fact, every piece of meaningful information conveyed to us is content. This course allowed me to understand the significance and placement of content in creating a seamless user experience. I delved into the key components that are necessary to ensure that content is strategic and connects well with the users.
As I absorbed this knowledge with more granularity, I realized that my yoga classes with my students is a clear case of strategic communication. The content is presented in an audio form, customized and a unique user experience.
Here is how I connected the dots:
USERS, MOTIVATIONS AND GOALS
The first step is to get an understanding of my users (students). Some vital questions that I ask are:
What is your current state of mind?
What are your goals?
How do you reach your goals currently?
What does success look like in your case?
It is interesting to note that the underlying motivations vary. For a woman approaching menopause, yoga helps her balance her hormonal havoc and deal better during her moments of anxiety. A dancer may include yoga in his practice to enhance flexibility and free flow in body movements. For someone dealing with depression, success in yoga practice may simply result in uplifting mood.
As a content strategist, I collect information on users’ motivations and goals to address their needs effectively. I also take the context into consideration. For instance, a chair yoga session for a person with limited mobility may vary a great deal from a chair yoga session in a corporate setup.
The audience that I serve is diverse and complex. I empathize with them, listen to what they think and feel to best provide my service to them.
ANALYSIS AND STRUCTURE
Once I have a clear understanding of users’ challenges, pain points and strengths, I do a SWOT analysis for them. There are certain poses which (s)he may practice with full confidence and may need a hand in others. There may still be some others which may not be helpful due to a medical condition and some that are desirable to learn.
Based on this analysis, I decide the level at which user currently is. Whether a beginner or an advanced yogi, I deliver content according to the user scenario.
To make all pieces of information easy to process, absorb and retain for long, I follow a logical sequence in my content delivery. It is designed in a way that the user tends to remember the flow and requires minimum navigation to accomplish the task.
The content is easy to access for students when they know the steps to follow and it does not alter without a reason. In due time, it becomes muscle memory, a habit, a preference with which they tend to associate.
STANDARDS AND FRAMEWORKS
While designing a session, there are some critical pointers that I keep in mind:
Voice & Tone: I ensure that the voice and tone of my delivery not only adds value to the ultimate user experience but also remains in sync with the values and principles of yogic philosophy
Attitude & Perception: I also make sure that the service delivered is authentic, consistent and communicates the desired message to its users
Language: I rely on simple sentence structures, no jargon and a frequent reminder of focus on breath to keep the users engaged in session
SUCCESS AND IMPACT
A content strategy is incomplete without measuring the impact on users. To accomplish the task, it is imperative to have clearly stated and measurable goals.
Some of the goals established by users are:
Enhance flexibility and endurance
Stay regular and committed
Reduce Weight and tone
Connect with body and spirit
The impact of these goals may not be quantifiable immediately but visible. It translates into:
Corrected postures and breathing
Reduction in ailments
A holistic disciplined lifestyle as desired by users
The business impact is measured by ongoing long-term engagement with retained users and on-boarding of new users due to a positive word of mouth.
In my next yoga project, I will be creating customized content for young parents in Toronto who are looking for an escape to self care within city limits!