CONTENT DESIGN & THINKING
Sigma gets publishing efficiency and beautiful content
Originally published on Setka.io between 2017-2021 and migrated during 2021/22. Some details may have changed since the original version was published.
Integrating Setka for blog publishing has helped this team crank out design-driven content that stands above the rest.
Sigma loves helping everyone find their inner data nerd. Using the power of the cloud, its analytics and business intelligence tool can be used by anyone on a team – not just the most technically advanced – to explore and analyze data. “It’s a visual way to explore your data warehouse in a familiar spreadsheet-inspired UI without the need to write SQL, ” explains Devon Tackels, Content Marketing Manager at Sigma. “We make it easy for teams to collaborate with analytics and generate insights together.”
So, when considering their content marketing, they knew they needed to do things very differently than most of the companies in their space, escaping the confines of the historically dry analytics and business intelligence industry. They sought to represent themselves more like a consumer brand than a B2B one.
“We aspire to be more consumer-focused – aspirational even. B2B software that is more approachable and far less traditional than what people have come to expect from an analytics product, ” explains Sigma’s Art Director, Anne Marie Jasinowski.
For Sigma’s Art Director, Anne Marie Jasinowski, being more consumer-focused meant they were going to have to be more design-driven through and through – including creating more beautiful content. “What people expect from brands from a design standpoint is so much greater than it was even 10 years ago because of how much visual content is being shared. Every brand now, especially if you want to be really relevant with your storytelling, has to have really great visuals, ” she explains.
The Sigma team knew this would involve seriously overhauling their content marketing. “We wanted to create this purpose-driven, well-oiled content machine to help educate the market about the power of collaborative analytics, ” says Devon. And they wanted it to look good – without it taking way longer to publish weekly blog posts. “Our old blog lacked interactivity and didn’t allow us to customize blog posts, ” shares Devon. “We were limited in how we could present the information, and there was always a constant struggle between getting the content out or waiting to make it look better.”
They decided to use Setka to help them launch their new blog – and were thrilled with the results. “With Setka we get both efficiency and beautiful content, ” says Devon.
Being able to – for the most part on my own and in one hour’s time – create something that looks as good as our blog does, in Setka, is revolutionary. I feel like a wizard when I use Setka.
Content Marketing Manager at Sigma
Allowing anyone on the team to be a designer
To Anne Marie and Devon, the biggest power in Setka’s support was creating more of a partnership between them – allowing both to have a hand in creating beautiful content – while actually saving them a lot of time.
From Anne Marie’s standpoint, she was able to make sure every post aligned with their brand and was up to her design standards, without having her hands in every step. “Design is such a precious thing, and having the ability to set constraints and rules around how we treat blog posts in terms of things like color and type attributions is so helpful for all of us because it allows non-design individuals – people who aren’t necessarily going to catch those details because it’s not their job to focus on them – to actually drive a little.”
Not only does she feel this participation across the team is important for the company’s design-driven ethos, but it saves the design team at least 4-5 hours a week since they’re not having to lay out every post. “I totally trust Devon and other people who know how to use Setka to build it themselves. It’s really very powerful to have anybody come in and build or edit a post – I just love the ease of it.”
It’s really very powerful to have anybody come in and build or edit a post – I just love the ease of it.
Content Marketing Manager at Sigma
From Devon’s standpoint, he loves that Setka gives him a bigger role in content creation, outside of just writing it. “As someone who’s historically been left out of the design process, this allows me to play a major role in bringing my content to life, and for me that’s energizing. I’ve been in content marketing for six years, so to be able to breathe new life into my workflow is really exciting.”
Making great content at scale
All of this efficiency and cross-team collaboration has helped the Sigma brand hold its own as a new entrant in a crowded market full of competitors – scaling and amplifying their content fast, without having to add a ton of new design resources.
“We’re a company working in a very crowded space,” explains Devon. “For us to stand out in our field, we needed a solution that would allow us to compete with content, to agilely deploy new content in an engaging way that impresses people when they land on our site. Setka is like having an entire design team in my back pocket.”
Sigma’s favorite features
1. The Photo Editor
“How great is it that none of us have to open Photoshop?! Because that can take like 30 minutes, even if it’s one change. With Setka, we can crop and do some color changes all in the program. It’s such a time saver and makes it so you’re not having to use all the tools.”
2. SEO Integration
“A big part of what Setka excels at is that we’re able to make beautiful content without having to sacrifice some of the technical elements that will help us show up in search engines and elevate our solution.”
3. The Grid
“The grid gives great structure but it’s also really flexible. We love that we can go in and change things up as needed to suit the needs of the story.”
Not only has the Setka platform helped them put out two beautiful blog posts a week, they’ve also started publishing ebooks that stand out above the PDF pack. “The common route of producing an ebook as a downloadable PDF doesn’t provide an engaging experience, ” says Devon. “You need the capabilities that Setka provides – the immersive images, the animations, the ability to break up content – to make it more consumable and friendly. Instead of drudging through 3000+ words you get immersed in content that pulls you down the page.”
Finally, the deep industry knowledge that the Setka team was able to share with Sigma through their support team and bank of resources gave them a leg up in content best practices and helped spark some new creativity in the team. “They are leaders in being design-driven, so it’s not just about the software or the tool – it’s about a philosophy. I think that is contagious to the companies they partner with, ” shares Anne Marie.
Together, this allows the Sigma team to create content that helps them come out on top. “I really think with content marketing we’re consistently hitting that goal of feeling design-driven and fresh, ” says Anne Marie. “We’re definitely holding our own against competitors that are doing it well, so that’s pretty cool.”
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