Creating a Digital Content Strategy can be a typical case of “chicken or egg?”. Should we first think about the channels – YouTube, Facebook, website, ... – and develop messages for each of them, or does the content come first, an idea relevant to the Brand, and then adapt it to the digital touchpoints? The answer, as promised by the title of this article, can be found in the Taoist philosophy that Bruce Lee so well enunciated, in an interview given in 1971:

"Empty your mind.

Be formless, shapeless, like water.

You put water into a cup; it becomes the cup.

You put water into a bottle; it becomes the bottle.

You put it into a teapot; it becomes the teapot.

Now water can flow, or it can crash.

Be water, my friend."

- Bruce Lee

"Be water my friend". In other words, content should be media neutral, that is, it must be thought of upstream and then flow through the digital ecosystem, adapting to channels and taking advantage of their characteristics. The same creative idea will have a short version, in video, on an Instagram reel and can be the subject of a blog article, with more developed copy, if any of these channels makes sense for the Brand's objectives. But it's the same idea. Why? Because this idea must have a purpose aligned with the strategy – changing perceptions, establishing product superiority, provoking interaction, ... - and the consistency in how it is implemented must be maintained across each channel.

Effective content is content that seeks to satisfy, in a differentiated way,the needs of the main target audiences, helping them to advance in the Customer Journey until they Buy. Channels are the way to get this content to those who matter, flowing without obstacles, like water. Unfortunately, sometimes this is not what happens. There are companies that, due to their structure, continue to close themselves in silos and work on content separately – there are those who manage social networks, there are those who manage the website and there are those who manage above-the-line, all with different communication agencies and, sometimes, there is a lack of coordination, or just a direct adaptation of “television films” for social. Being like water does not mean blindly editing a film for social media. It means thinking as a whole about the best way to convince and inspire target consumers, with the right content on the right channel, which implies total strategic integration. If Instagram is an important channel, it must have its own content production, derived from the “big idea” which might also has a presence on television.

With the rise of Artificial Intelligence, which accelerates content production capacity, it is natural that Brands have a tendency to flood the market with stimuli. But only content that demonstrates delivering real value will win. Having said that, is it worth developing a post a day, touching on various themes, or focusing your efforts on creating a differentiating big idea, aligned with the strategy, that flows in an impactful way through the ecosystem? Is anyone even controlling and evaluating the results of what is produced, with KPIs that actually help to optimize the approach? Some certainly do, others probably don't have the time or team for it.

The good news is that it's easy to change. Many years ago, the CEO of a large multinational told me: “People follow strategy”. In fact, if companies want profitability and to optimize the effectiveness of their communication plans, they must be organized to serve the strategy, in a collaborative way, and not to work with their backs turned. Even that must be like water... that's why the plural works: “Be water my friends”.

Do you know the program
Doing Digital?
Published in 
 in the area of 
Marketing & Sales

More articles from

Marketing & Sales


Join Our Newsletter and Get the Latest
Posts to Your Inbox

No spam ever. Read our Privacy Policy
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.