Content creation: Yarno-written vs customer-written

Jack Turner, 4 min read
3 people wearing t-shirts saying 'What', 'why', and 'how' standing having a drink

Here at Yarno we create — and facilitate the creation of — two types of learning content: campaigns where the content has been written by ourselves and campaigns where the content has been written by the customer. This means that there are two content offerings we can provide, depending on the requirements of your business. We can provide either custom Yarno-written content, or content written by the customer who will be coached through the process by Yarno.

However, one question we often hear is: what exactly is the difference between customer-written content and Yarno-written content?

It’s a fair question. So, I thought I'd write this helpful blog post to finally elaborate on what separates the two.

Content written by customers

Some customers prefer to write their own content, and those who choose this option will receive coaching from Yarno to help guide them through the process. This option is perfect for customers who want to write the learning campaign content themselves as it means they can be more hands-on during the process, and feel satisfied when they see their work rolled out once the campaign is finally launched.

These customers are equipped with the Yarno Content Creation Principles guide to help them craft their content, as well as the support of Yarno's team of Content Writers at any point.

Here are the benefits of writing your own content:

The customer is the expert 

Customers who write their own content have the added benefit of possessing first-hand knowledge of the campaign’s subject matter — this is a crucial resource. Not only that, but possessing knowledge of relevant technical language that the learner will be familiar with is another way to engage them. This will help to convey the point and aid the embedding of the knowledge.

Customers also benefit from an understanding of their organisation’s inner workings. This places them in a great position to create a campaign that is in line with their organisation’s business expectations for internal learning, and one that taps into the current understanding of the subject matter. Is there a common misunderstanding from staff around a certain procedure or piece of information? Use it as an incorrect answer choice. Does a certain scenario keep cropping up you would like to address? Design a scenario-based question around it to challenge people’s views.

Well informed

Any customers looking to write their own content will benefit from an initial introduction to Yarno’s content creation principles: a quick, easy guide on how to write perfect Yarno content. Once customers have been introduced to Yarno’s content creation principles, they are perfectly set up to start writing their campaign. This means that when they roll their sleeves up and get stuck into content writing, they’re not just enthusiastic, they’re now informed

Once these parameters have been set, customers have complete creative freedom within them to create their campaign as they like. Are you interested in using more scenario-based questions than usual? Go for it! Keen to experiment with a more informal, light-hearted tone? Sounds great! These customers are always encouraged to have fun writing, providing that what they create is in line with our guidelines. After all, Yarno’s Content Writers are always on hand to guide you should you require an extra hand or two along the way.

In line with their brand

An added benefit from granting customers this creative freedom is that it enables them to project the tone and style that is consistent with their brand. Learners will get the added benefit of receiving questions and explanations in a tone they are familiar with. The customer can design questions and explanations that are in keeping with the culture of their organisation by using language and imagery that the learner is already accustomed to.

Seeing this broad range of styles being applied to Yarno campaigns is also useful in keeping tabs on what works with a learner and what doesn’t. If a certain feature in the content created by customers leads to a higher rate of engagement, this is something that Yarno can look to actively include in the content we produce moving forward. And on the flip side, if there are certain styles that consistently fail to hit the mark, we can also make a note to avoid making this mistake again in the future.

One example of a campaign style that customers often create when given the freedom to do so is campaigns with a broader focus — sometimes up to three or four seperate areas of focus in a thirty question campaign. Yarno usually discourages this as it can dilute the potency of the campaign’s effectiveness when you do not spend enough questions on subjects that require more clarity. Similarly, some customers choose to use a more serious tone than we would use in a traditional Yarno campaign. Some of these principles contradict our ethos on how a learner should be challenged, but we are always intrigued to see how effective a campaign has been, regardless of how it was developed.

Yarno-written content

The other option available to customers is for Yarno to write the content. In this instance, our Content Writers will work closely with an SME (subject matter expert) from the customer's organisation and together they will carefully design a campaign based around an area of the business. Using the customer's expertise as a guide, Yarno's Content Writer will break the topic down into seperate subtopics and develop a campaign that challenges the current understanding around each of them.

This option allows the customer to still be involved (usually through weekly catch-ups) but without having to carry as much of the load.

Now that we have highlighted some of the benefits of customer-written content, let’s look at the benefits of content written by Yarno.

Written by experts

One of the most important parts of any Yarno campaign question is its explanation. The explanation is where you really have the chance to explain the concept in more detail and in a way that doesn’t make the learner feel like a fool if they got the question wrong. Yarno-written explanations usually delve into the subject in more detail than customer-written explanations, and therefore are in a better position to influence behaviour change in a learner on a deeper level than the explanations written by customers. While we still believe in the mantra quality over quantity, we also don’t see why you can’t have both.

More playful in tone

Here at Yarno we’re all for making our content as engaging as possible. Yes, we’re looking to influence behaviour change and impart knowledge on our learners, but we also understand that the learner should be able to enjoy what they are learning. At Yarno, we believe in the power of humour to engage learners. That means taking the time to make the content playful, funny and generally lighter in tone so that it first engages the learner. It can’t be a chore for the learner to read.

How do we do that? We picture it as if we’re trying to explain a concept to a mate. If someone was teaching you new information, what would make you receptive to it? The chances are you would benefit from a more casual tone. So, that’s exactly what we do. We’ll even use GIFs and memes along the way — just to get the point across and to shake up the visual presentation. If it’s not fun, it’s not effective.

Wider variety of questions

If you find a formula that works, the natural thing to do is repeat it and rinse the idea for what it’s worth. Trust us, that can also happen when you’re writing a Yarno campaign. If you write a question, along with answers and an explanation that all work very well, you can be tempted by the prospect of applying that same formula to your next question, and the one after that. But this would be a mistake.

Variety is the spice of life, and it’s fundamental when you’re designing a Yarno campaign. Learners are perceptive when it comes to noticing patterns and recurring features, and recognising these can make it easier to guess the correct answer without using critical thinking. We don’t want learners to be able to guess the correct answer, so using this is an extra way of ensuring they can’t so the data we collect at the end of the campaign is accurate.

So there you have it. Just some of the differences between customer-written content and Yarno-written content. We are here for all your needs, so please don't hesitate to reach out!

Jack Turner

Jack Turner

Jack T is our razor-sharp technical content extraordinaire. Don't let his charm fool you – his keen wit is on point, hilarious, and can cut through you like a live wire if you're not on your guard!

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