Predicate | Audit, Plan, Build, Grow: A Methodology for Content Strategy


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"Audit/Plan/Build/Grow: A Methodology for Content Strategy"
Web Content Conference | Chicago

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Predicate | Audit, Plan, Build, Grow: A Methodology for Content Strategy

  1. 1. Audit, Plan, A METHODOLOGY FOR CONTENT Build, STRATEGY Grow Jeffrey MacIntyre Web Content Conference 2010 Predicate, LLC Chicago
  2. 2. Introductions I’m an independent content strategist in NYC. My background: editorial and management consulting. ‣ Jeff MacIntyre, Principal @jeffmacintyre
  3. 3. (Publishing is Pivotal) ‣ Everything I know about content strategy I learned from being a web editor.
  4. 4. (We’re All Management Consultants Now) Will you still respect us? Credit: Kunstverein, ffffound!
  5. 5. Predicate ... ‣ Works independently and directs project teams with clients; ‣ Partners with agencies; and ‣ Advises organizations on growing CS capabilities internally.
  6. 6. My Year of Content Strategy, 2008
  7. 7. Content Strategy Today
  8. 8. Napkin Knol Notes on Content From body of knowledge to methodology.
  9. 9. “Kill the ‘content phase’ and help the web grow up.” --Margot Bloomstein, Appropriate Inc.
  10. 10. Why a Methodology?
  11. 11. Less “Why,” More “How.” It’s all about cementing credibility in our practice and consistency in our approach.
  12. 12. Cracking Open the Playbook ‣ What I’ve learned from where I’ve been. ‣ Doing the work we want to do well.
  13. 13. Methodologies in Content Strategy Courtesy Shelly Bowen, Pybop
  14. 14. Methodologies in Content Strategy Courtesy Karen McGrane, Bond Art + Science
  15. 15. Methodologies in Content Strategy Courtesy Erin Scime, HUGE
  16. 16. Re: Methodology Now for the caveats: ‣ this is a work in progress ‣ no one “definitive” methodology of CS * * And that is a good thing. Our stock in trade is our adaptability and our cross-disciplinary influences.
  17. 17. Scoping A CONTENT STRATEGY
  18. 18. Start Simply: Cover the Bases ‣ Product ‣ Platform ‣ People
  19. 19. A Simple Content Strategy Philosophy ‣ Product (content) ‣ Platform (publishing) ‣ People (organization)
  20. 20. Our Methodology 1. Audit 2. Plan 3. Build 4. Grow content content editorial content audit strategy specification calendar content migration plan copy deck style guide inventory metadata content gap analysis schema development
  21. 21. The Tool Kit of a Content Strategy
  22. 22. 10 TOP TIPS for Content Strategery Success !!! Credit: Family Guy, Fox Studios
  23. 23. Our Methodology 1. Audit content audit Discovery and diagnostics content to effectively scope inventory for a content strategy. gap analysis
  24. 24. Content Audit ‣ What: Qualitative analysis of existing offering. ‣ Why: Sets early direction. ‣ How: Like a creative brief, it begins to indicate your position on the offering--its constraints and potential. ‣ FYI: Your best scope tool. You can already be prioritizing your recommendations here.
  25. 25. Content Inventory ‣ What: Detailed quantitative analysis of existing offering, AKA the ultimate discovery and budgeting tool. ‣ How: Be as exhaustive as resources allow. ‣ Why: Comprehensive understanding of offering’s potential. Sift gems from trash. Let the data do the talking. Pivot tables are great insurance for later. ‣ FYI: Don’t do manually. Use SiteOrbiter or DIY crawlers to index.
  26. 26. Gap/Competitive Analysis ‣ What: Highly targeted competitive analysis of specific digital properties or products/services. ‣ Why: It enables close study of brand/market competitors. Good for scope. ‣ How: Like a spreadsheet version of an audit. Can be very difficult to gather competitor data. ‣ FYI: Start studying verticals of interest. These are rare today but will become commonplace as content strategy benchmarking grows.
  27. 27. Our Methodology 2. Plan content strategy Strategy development: migration plan the heart of a content strategy. metadata schema
  28. 28. Content Strategy ! ‣ What: The strategies and tactics to realize a new content offering at launch and beyond. ‣ How: Think “product strategy.” Develop lifecycles for every content type. From objectives to operations. ‣ Why: The indisputable centerpiece of any content strategy. Establishes terms of success.
  29. 29. Migration Plan ‣ What: A “plan for a plan.” A strategic framework and guidelines for migration. Rarely a workplan. ‣ Why: Scope! Schedule! Budget! Iceberg! ‣ How: Use your inventory and apply mix of bulk and manual workflows. ‣ FYI: David Hobbs’ Migration Handbook (
  30. 30. Metadata Schema ‣ What: A technical plan for supporting project objectives with metadata. ‣ Why: Because technical resources overlook nuances of the content requirements. And you’re the expert. ‣ How: Specify key content attributes + relationships. ‣ FYI: Critical to any dynamic content experience.
  31. 31. Our Methodology 3. Build content specification Detailed implementation, copy deck technical development and integration.
  32. 32. Content Specification ‣ What: An index of all content elements and their editorial and technical function. ‣ How: Cousin document to the Copy Deck. Map content reqs from wireframes and sitemap. ‣ FYI: Also a production plan to line-item associated at-launch inventory of content required by this doc.
  33. 33. Copy Deck ‣ What: Documents all user-facing content requirements. ‣ Why: Self explanatory (messaging strategy). ‣ How: Smartly sequenced. ‣ FYI: The standard issue web writing deliverable.
  34. 34. Our Methodology 4. Grow editorial calendar Editorial product development style guide and postlaunch content delivery. content development
  35. 35. Editorial Calendar ‣ What: All content activities (e.g., production and curation) documented and scheduled. ! ‣ Potential: The CMS of CS! A dashboard tool for planning, trafficking and measuring editorial flow. Great for generating metrics. ‣ How: Think web databases, forms, spreadsheets. ‣ FYI: A “Basecamp for editorial calendars” is inevitable. ( a social curation approach?)
  36. 36. Style Guide ‣ What: Editorial conventions documented. ‣ Potential: Detailed production guide for all content modules, intended for owners/authors. ‣ Why: Because your metadata strategy is nothing without execution. Governance is real here. ‣ FYI: Entirely unmerited bad rap. Not a “writers’ thing.” Think training!
  37. 37. Content Development Credit: Webbmedia Group ‣ What: Actual content production, limited time or ongoing. ‣ Why: If you do traditional editorial or branded content, you live here. ‣ FYI: Tread carefully. Content production is expensive, but it’s an easy mistake. (UGC might be cheap, but glut is glut.) ROI is tricky but key, requires an editorial strategy.
  38. 38. P.S. ... the big * about CONTENT STRATEGY
  39. 39. There is No End to Content Strategy ‣ Effective content practice is all about continuity. ‣ The Stockholm Syndrome of Content Strategy: How can we distinguish the blurry line between projects and operations? What’s needed: the “CS in Residence.”