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Message Matters - Developing a Voice in Your Content Strategy

Message Matters - Developing a Voice in Your Content Strategy

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http://bit.ly/1mKhHyx

Useful, approachable content is the lifeblood of customer engagement—but a significant challenge to create.

Your audience demands current information, search engines prize fresh content, and both humans and their tools award attention to the most valuable and unique voices.

But those challenges raise a variety of questions, both strategic and tactical:

*How do you develop and maintain content over time that stays true to your corporate personality?
*What’s the right order of priority for content themes?
*What unifies your themes and voice over time as your audiences experience the brand across multiple channels?
*How do you maintain a consistent voice across multiple content creators?

Margot Bloomstein answers these questions and helps you design a content strategy around guidelines for consistency and sustainability. Learn how to ground your voice in a message architecture to help both your audience and content creators strengthen their relationship with your brand.

Webinar recording link: http://bit.ly/1mKhHyx

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  • 1. @mbloomstein | #messagematters 1 © 2014© 2014 MESSAGE MATTERS: Developing a voice in your content strategy Margot Bloomstein with Acrolinx June 25, 2014 #messagematter @mbloomstein
  • 2. @mbloomstein | #messagematters 3 © 2014
  • 3. @mbloomstein | #messagematters 4 What is content strategy? Planning for the creation, aggregation, delivery, and governance of useful, usable, and appropriate content in an experience.
  • 4. @mbloomstein | #messagematters 5 © 2014 Content demands attention
  • 5. @mbloomstein | #messagematters 6 © 2014 Because we all want the same thing, but content keeps getting in the way. (CC) http://www.flickr.com/photos/slworking Content requires time
  • 6. @mbloomstein | #messagematters 7 © 2014 Content dredges up politics © Margot Bloomstein
  • 7. This is your job now.
  • 8. @mbloomstein | #messagematters 9 © 2014 ©Skillset.org
  • 9. @mbloomstein | #messagematters 10 © 2014 Titles < Roles < Skills ©Skillset.org
  • 10. @mbloomstein | #messagematters 11 This is everyone’s job now.
  • 11. © The Creative Group
  • 12. @mbloomstein | #messagematters 14 © 2014 Steps along the way… Message architecture Content audit/inventory Prescriptive content matrix Content model Editorial style guidelines Metadata guidelines Governance guidelines
  • 13. Deliverables are merely punctuation in the conversation. They can’t replace the conversation.
  • 14. @mbloomstein | #messagematters 16 Why content strategy?
  • 15. @mbloomstein | #messagematters 17 Why content strategy? Because we all want the same thing, but content keeps getting in the way.
  • 16. @mbloomstein | #messagematters 18 Why content strategy? Launch on time
  • 17. @mbloomstein | #messagematters 19 Why content strategy? Stay within budget
  • 18. @mbloomstein | #messagematters 20 Why content strategy? Maintain a consistent user experience visually and verbally, across channels
  • 19. @mbloomstein | #messagematters 21 Why content strategy? Without the team killing each other over differences in opinion and changing goals
  • 20. More like Apple.
  • 21. @mbloomstein | #messagematters 24 © 2014 More like Apple’s “message architecture” Confident but approachable; accessible Simple Minimal detail Streamlined and anticipatory Inviting, friendly Supportive but not fawning
  • 22. @mbloomstein | #messagematters 25 © 2014 What’s a message architecture? A hierarchy of communication goals that reflects a common vocabulary.
  • 23. @mbloomstein | #messagematters 26 © 2014 Message architecture Cheeky • Witty and fun • Young without being childish Customer oriented and responsive • Approachable, friendly • Championing and empowering Helpful • Accessible
  • 24. @mbloomstein | #messagematters 27 © 2014
  • 25. @mbloomstein | #messagematters 28 © 2014
  • 26. @mbloomstein | #messagematters 29 © 2014 From: Little MOO | Print Robot <noreply@moo.com> Subject: MOO | Order 0629312615 | Confirmed Hello I'm Little MOO - the bit of software that will be managing your order with moo.com. It will shortly be sent to Big MOO, our print machine who will print it for you in the next few days. I'll let you know when it's done and on its way to you. Remember, I'm just a bit of software. So, if you have any questions regarding your order please first read our Frequently Asked Questions or contact customer services (who are real people!) Thanks, Little MOO, Print Robot
  • 27. @mbloomstein | #messagematters 30 © 2014 Message architecture… Cheeky Customer oriented and responsive Helpful
  • 28. @mbloomstein | #messagematters 31 © 2014 Versus brand values? Design Innovation Community Excellence These inspire, but without priority.
  • 29. @mbloomstein | #messagematters 32 © 2014 Versus a mission or vision? “Great design for everyone” Vision and direction are different. This inspires, but isn’t tactical.
  • 30. @mbloomstein | #messagematters 33 Voice differentiates your brand among commodities. Documented voice guidelines help your brand differentiate itself efficiently.
  • 31. @mbloomstein | #messagematters 34 © 2014
  • 32. @mbloomstein | #messagematters 35 © 2014 Gracious • Welcoming, anticipatory service Elite and premium • Selective membership • “Curated” experiences Traditional • Enduring heritage • Preserving appreciation for quality Message architecture?
  • 33. @mbloomstein | #messagematters 36 © 2014
  • 34. @mbloomstein | #messagematters 37 © 2014 What’s a message architecture? A hierarchy of communication goals that reflects a common vocabulary.
  • 35. @mbloomstein | #messagematters 38 © 2014 A little thing with big impact.
  • 36. @mbloomstein | #messagematters 39 © 2014 A little thing with big impact. How could we prove this is a car not like anything else out there? It’s a small car, but it’s premium. You get a Porsche 911 ride for a fifth of the cost. It’s got history… but in Europe. You need to give people content to give them history.” “
  • 37. @mbloomstein | #messagematters 40 © 2014 A little thing with big impact.
  • 38. @mbloomstein | #messagematters 41 © 2014 Message architecture Premium technology • Assertive; ready to perform as a driver’s car • Proactive and supportive of spontaneity Classic design • Experienced and savvy Cheekiness • Smart, “punny,” hip • Fun, gleeful
  • 39. @mbloomstein | #messagematters 42 © 2014
  • 40. @mbloomstein | #messagematters 43 © 2014
  • 41. @mbloomstein | #messagematters 44 © 2014
  • 42. @mbloomstein | #messagematters 45 © 2014
  • 43. @mbloomstein | #messagematters 46 © 2014 If these emails are boring you and you don’t mind missing out on all the lip-smackin’ stuff we’ll be sending in the future, simply send a message to owner- unsubscribe@insiders.miniusa.com and include “Unsubscribe” and your favorite fruit in the subject field.
  • 44. @mbloomstein | #messagematters 47 © 2014 Message architecture drives the user experience
  • 45. @mbloomstein | #messagematters 48 © 2014 Nomenclature Calls to action Instructional content Sentence structure Diction …in content
  • 46. @mbloomstein | #messagematters 49 © 2014 Photographic angles Dark backgrounds Bold headlines Thick stroke weights …and in design
  • 47. @mbloomstein | #messagematters 50 © 2014 Premium technology Classic design Cheekiness • Smart, “punny,” hip • Fun, gleeful …in the choice of features and content types
  • 48. @mbloomstein | #messagematters 51 © 2014 Not all channels are appropriate for every brand or audience. • Annual reports • Articles on your site • Articles on other sites • Blogs • Books • Branded tools • Case studies • Digital magazines • eBooks • Email newsletters • Facebook posts • Games • In-person events • Infographics • Licensed/syndicated content • LinkedIn posts • Microsites • Mobile apps • Online presentations • Podcasts • Print magazines • Print newsletters • Research reports • Twitter • Videos • Virtual conferences • Webinars/webcasts • Whitepapers Per Content Marketing Institute & MarketingProfs 2013 Content Marketing Survey
  • 49. @mbloomstein | #messagematters 52 © 2014 Not all channels are appropriate for every brand or audience. • Annual reports • Articles on your site • Articles on other sites • Blogs • Books • Branded tools • Case studies • Digital magazines • eBooks • Email newsletters • Facebook posts • Games • In-person events • Infographics • Licensed/syndicated content • LinkedIn posts • Microsites • Mobile apps • Online presentations • Podcasts • Print magazines • Print newsletters • Research reports • Twitter • Videos • Virtual conferences • Webinars/webcasts • Whitepapers Per Content Marketing Institute & MarketingProfs 2013 Content Marketing Survey
  • 50. @mbloomstein | #messagematters 53 © 2014
  • 51. @mbloomstein | #messagematters 54 © 2014
  • 52. @mbloomstein | #messagematters 55 © 2014
  • 53. @mbloomstein | #messagematters 56 © 2014 Premium • Lindt embodies quality, in product, marketing, & company interactions • Approachable: Quality indulgences are more accessible • Trusted in brand and quality Empowering • Entrepreneurial: Innovating, championing individuals and successes • Market driving: strategic and proactive • Professional and consistent through experience and being responsive Community-minded • Engaged with the Lindt family • Customer-oriented • Socially conscious Message architecture
  • 54. @mbloomstein | #messagematters 57 © 2014 Message architecture drives a consistent user experience, visually and verbally.
  • 55. @mbloomstein | #messagematters 58 © 2014
  • 56. @mbloomstein | #messagematters 59 © 2014 Elegant layout and typography • Spread-to-spread sightlines and flow • Wider borders • Layered background images • Italic titles with initial drop caps • Serif body copy
  • 57. @mbloomstein | #messagematters 60 © 2014
  • 58. @mbloomstein | #messagematters 61 © 2014 Imagery of individual impact • People engaged with product and offsite community service—not just product or just results of service • Team breadth and diversity of role, gender, ethnicity, and age
  • 59. @mbloomstein | #messagematters 62 © 2014
  • 60. @mbloomstein | #messagematters 63 © 2014 Accessible, informative copy • First-person plural • Frequent rhetorical asides • Shorter sentences • Clear, concrete explanations
  • 61. @mbloomstein | #messagematters 64 © 2014
  • 62. @mbloomstein | #messagematters 65 © 2014 Message architecture Content audit Content types Content model & matrix Editorial style guidelines and calendar
  • 63. @mbloomstein | #messagematters 66 © 2014 Establish voice through editorial style & tone • Acronyms • Bulleted lists • Capitalization and case • Contractions • Punctuation • Usage • Active/passive voice • Diction • Directional terms • Perspective • Sentence length and cohesion • Tense
  • 64. @mbloomstein | #messagematters 67 © 2014 Where can you go? • “Translate” content for style and tone • Prescribe new content types • Promote a new editorial calendar • Reallocate budget across channels to reflect communication priorities
  • 65. @mbloomstein | #messagematters 68 But first things first: Understand what you need to communicate—and why.
  • 66. @mbloomstein | #messagematters 69 © 2014 Thank you! Margot Bloomstein @mbloomstein margot@appropriateinc.com slideshare.net/mbloomstein amzn.to/CSatWork All photography © Margot Bloomstein unless otherwise noted. Screen grabs property of their respective owners at time of capture.