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An Agile Approach to Content Planning

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In recent years, you can’t read a trade pub without hearing about the explosion and effectiveness of content marketing. More than 90% of marketers cite it as a key strategy in their mix. As marketers, …

In recent years, you can’t read a trade pub without hearing about the explosion and effectiveness of content marketing. More than 90% of marketers cite it as a key strategy in their mix. As marketers, we know we need content. We know audiences want it. But the question becomes, how to do it, do it well and get it done on time?

According to Jeff Julian, Managing Partner of AJi, the power is in planning. Jeff shares how marketing teams he has led have employed sophisticated and agile techniques to deploy content that works.

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  • Title – An Agile Approach to Content Planning

    Brief Introduction
    Jeff Julian
    Managing Partner of AJi
    Developer by Trade
    Business Owner by Chance
    Marketer by Choice
  • The Changing World of Marketing

    We are moving out of the RELATIONSHIP ERA of marketing (think be my friend) to what some are calling the EXPERIENCE ERA of marketing

    In the past ten years we have seen a dramatic shift if the way we market to

    Over the past 3 years the shift continued as we embraced social and new forms of content.

    What we once called “New Media” is now just Media!

    Just having keyword saturation and blog (that no one ever updated) was no longer enough
  • Content Marketing - EXPERIENCES

    The importance of providing more than just sales information and product sheets is greater now than ever.

    You have to provide VALUE and EXPERIENCE

    New Channels of reaching our customers should be examined

    You visitors are more educated and more informed than they have ever been before.

    Good bye campaign mentality, sustainable impact is the aim
  • Difficulty Planning – GROUP PARTICIPATION NOW!!!!!

    How many pieces of content do you work on a week now? Who is involved? What types of Content do you produce?

    Our answer has been silos in the marketing team and each person mans a station. We have created an assembly line for content

    Who can keep this stuff straight with just emails, meetings, notes, and txt messages?
  • As Marketers We Need Better Planning Strategies – DOES YOUR WORKLOAD HAVE THIS MUCH FLUXUATION

    Is a editorial calendar the answer?

    Why Reinvent the wheel?

    I believe the workload has grown beyond what we can typically fit without better planning
  • My story with Content

    High school done at 17

    College done at 20

    Created Geekswithblogs.net at 22

    Microsoft MVP at 23
    Schedule of Content Required!

    Author at 27
  • Geekswithblogs.net

    Founded in 2003

    3,000+ developer focused bloggers

    Driver was being a thought leader for most bloggers

    We started coaching on content planning and strategy to help build personal and corporate brands

  • Content is King

    We quickly grew to 50+ new blog posts a day

    Total before the sale was over 80,000 blog posts

    We had to find unique ways to categories content and curate our own content to provides the best value for the fire hose readers as well as Google.
  • Lets Learn The Basics

    Lean as Thought –
    Eliminate Waste,
    Amplify Learning,
    Deliver Fast as Possible,
    and Empower Teams

    Agile as Actions –
    Highest Priority is Customer Satisfaction,
    Change Happens,
    Frequent Deliveries,
    Sustainable Pace,
    Simplicity,
    and Regular Reflections and Adaptation
  • Lean Movement

    Autos in the 80s
    Software in the 90s and 00s
    Business and Startups next
    Everyone else (UX, Marketing, Sales, etc)

    Maybe this thing has legs
  • Personas – THE BRIDGE

    We know something about them! Who are we providing value for?

    We most likely will see what are providing the wrong people with value

    This is Our Bridge
    Developers can create features by these
    Experience Designers can design and tests with these
    CxOs can ensure business direction with these
    Marketers can reach these
  • Content Mission Statement

    Providing an Outline for Our Content

    Inline with Corporate Mission, but not a copy

    Target Group

    What value we are trying to deliver

    How we will deliver the value

    How we will be different
  • Roles of Team (Different for each Implementation)

    Content Developers?
    Writers
    Graphics Teams
    Videographers

    Content Owner – Who ever can make decisions about what is in the queue and what priority these items have

    ScrumMaster – The person responsible for ensuring planning occurs, roles are being played, teams are providing feedback, and impediments are being removed!
  • The Backlog

    List of Prioritized Content Stories controlled by the Content Owner

    PUT all your content thoughts in a big pile (or spreadsheet)
  • The Piece of Content

    The backlog is made up of planned pieces of content (LEGOS)

    LEGOS are individual pieces, but come in all shapes, colors and sizes. Each one has characteristics that are the same, but are very different as well

    Each one is designed to fit together and be part of a bigger story

    This content can take whatever shape need it to. Having a good understanding of what types of content you produce will be very important.

    Blogs
    Press Releases
    Videos
    Magazines
    Advertisements
    Infographics

  • Content Item

     Borrowing the term from User Stories, a Content Story contains the following information:

    Story - As a Persona, a need a(n) Content Type about Content Topic so that I can Content Value Statement. This statement should be the Mission Statement of the Content.

    Proposed Title - The official title of the content

    Estimate Effort of Copy Production, Content Management Prep, and Deployment

    How to Demonstrate Value - Statement showing how after this article is consumed to the target persona, what will they be able to demonstrate to show that they received value from using this content

    Call to Action - How will the persona be moved to next steps with the organization

    Priority - How important is this article to the organization

    State of Content - Is this a new piece of content, rewrite, or update to existing
  • Task

    Tasks are the work that goes into the creation of a Content Item

    We will talk about tasks later when we getting into more planning tools
  • Priority is Key – TELL STORIES

    Understanding what the importance is of a piece of content is something only the Content Owner can change.

    No items have the same importance so give each item a unique value

    Reassess the priority on a regular basis, it will change based on measured value, changes in business, and many different factors

    Tell the story of the backlog for the book and the workshop brain writing session
  • The Art of Estimating

    Walk through the estimation process.

    What is a story point?
    Estimate based on a perceived magic place where you get to work on a task all day with no interuptions

    These Numbers or Your Own
    Nothing is 0
    Bigger than 20, think about breaking it up
    ? = Not enough detail
    Infinite means too big to estimate
  • The Timebox

    Create a window of time (1, 2, 3, 4 weeks) that you can produce a few items in based on current load

    No one is 100% available, this fact can be measured for the whole team or by individual



  • The Timebox

    Discuss Items With Dedicated Resources (only one member can do it)

    Efficiency Factor Review – Start with 70% if team is new to estimating



  • Daily Stand Up, Coffee & Friends

    The purpose of the standup is to give your daily feedback.

    It brings the whole team together and each active members states the following:

    What they did the day before

    What they plan to do today

    Name any issues (impediments) they have
  • Daily Stand Up, Coffee & Friends

    Tasks and Content Cards move as they are considered done

    All Items must meet the criteria of done defined by the team
  • Retrospective

    What was good

    What was bad

    What can we remove

    What can we add
  • Planning & Review of Backlog

    Every Single Sprint (or Iteration) You must review the backlog!

    New Priority?

    Still Necessary?

    New Estimates? (Are we better or worse than we thought?)

    New Members Need to be aquatinted to the process
  • Important Points of Failure

  • Measuring Workload – TELL STORIES IF TIME

    Do not over commit at first

    ** Story of Two Week Willy **

    Start having your team measure the work they do on a daily basis in hours. Try not to guess here

    Remember, no one is 100%
  • 2) We need a leader to remove disruptions – TELL STORIES IF TIME

    External
    Are outside departments or customers pulling you from your responsibilities?
    Isolate yourselves

    ** Story of the Hidden Cubical **

    Internal
    Are you easily distracted? (squirrel)
    Are you not as efficient as you want to be?
    Do you interact with your phone too much during the day?
  • 3) Move in Small Steps – TALK ABOUT PERSONAL AND BASIC TEAM TASKS

    Start by making yourself more Agile

    Look at your Tasks Daily

    Plan a content item before starting on your next piece of work

    Brainstorm with the Team, Brain Writing, Mind Mapping
  • 3) Definition of Done – TELL STORIES IF TIME

    Is a video done when it comes back from the editor?

    Is a article complete when it is published?

    Do we have a person control each social voice?

    Come up with a checklist of everything that has to be met for a Content Item to be considered done!
  • Questions and Contact

  • Transcript

    • 1. EIIIIN VIIIENI "illli! "IIINI! ‘| III'II. "I'll: illlll ‘IIIEI ‘| IIIII' EIII! CONTENT PLANNING Presented By: Jeff Julian “‘“‘‘: I
    • 2. The World of Marketing has
    • 3. And now we have seen the rise of CONTENT MARKETING
    • 4. With more CONTENT comes greater
    • 5. As Marketing teams, we need better PLANNING Strategies
    • 6. So, why am I here?
    • 7. CONTENT is“king and we had a big CASTLE flan
    • 8. TH E BASICS of Lean (Agile)
    • 9. ____§Q§; §Q§____ ® TOYOTA 90s-00s Software Developers 10s-Today
    • 10. PERSONAS G51 I MAJ N‘
    • 11. ROLES b. "§'3a
    • 12. - r . < . . . / , .., .,. .. .. / ., «_. 4/ . ..«.3.. ...2;, ... q.aflea? , , . . . / . , . ... .. A Z7 a F HJi
    • 13. CONTENT Item >
    • 14. My Piece of Content E content As a "6“”““, I need a We about TOW Value 50 | can 6+a+emen+ , How to Demonstrate Value: The CMO will be able to create a content strategy at the end of the TYP6 . Call To Action: Newsletter Sign—up for Industry Specific content cu rations. Priority: 100 State: Incomplete
    • 15. My Piece of Content E content As a '’6“”“‘*, I need a We about ‘tone Value so I can em How to Demonstrate Valu : The CMQ Wm be a . This is a descriptive statenaent end of the : y£e__ about the task to give it enough detail to start a conversation Call To Action: Newsletter Sign—u - Priority: 100 4
    • 16. CONTENT Item >
    • 17. Title of Content 2 Com m j ”°‘” Title of Content Call Comp‘ How Prion Call] Titl; o/f_C, ontent( 13 l COD! T VT 1 l pm, ”°‘" Title of Content 20 I i Call conkov l _ M How ""°t'i Call 1' ll L Prior *4 Title of Content Content Story How to Demonstrate Value Call To Action 5 Priority: 1000 State: Active
    • 18. ‘ The Art of Estimating flfiflmflfifififl
    • 19. The Timebox
    • 20. 15 Day Planning - Sprint All Content for HDC 14 Goal: Hunter 10 Days Sally 8 Days Tammy 12 Days George 6 Days Total Days: 36 Days Efficiency: 80% Total Story Points: 28 Points
    • 21. The Timebox
    • 22. The Stand Up 9-3-‘3
    • 23. Open Item Tltle of Content 2 Content Story Mo»: to Ilemonsuatewlue Call To Amen Dnornr ioau Sute. A<uv2 Ti 0 of Content 2 Content Story How lo Demonsvvte Vilue nu Toktlon Drionty two state Am. “([0 of Content 2 ". '_'€; T'. "T comm Story -'_. '. ' How to Demnnstrlhe Vnlue cnii To Anion Priority moo scare mm . ... ... .. In Process Title of Content 2 Content story «on to | )emovs1rateVn| ue Call To Action priority Iona Starr naive T I Title of Content 1 Content SIMY Hem lo Dunonsllle Vllue (III To Aztmn Priority IWO Sfite Active I "'. -.-. :.-: .-. -.- . ... .. . Cpm_p| ete TRIO of Content 1 comm Slbry um lo Demonstrate Value can Tommi Friorny mo Sun mm Title of Content 2 Content Soot’! How (0 DemousrlteVnIue Cnll Yo Anion Priority moo Shir Active Title of Content 2 "‘-'. ;‘. :: 2 Content swry . New to Demonstrate Value Call To know Prlomip IWV State Active Tltlo of Content 2 comm Story How to llemovisli-ate Value Call To Amen Pnorny: ma SI: KQ. A(uvl Title dl Content 2 Covilem Shoty mm It) Demonstrate Value Call romion Frinmy mo smstam
    • 24. The Stand Up 9-3-‘3
    • 25. The _ Retrospective sh 8532
    • 26. int, ’ ‘I ii&I . I . ~’ru. . iI . _. ... wii. ,_i. ,. m , . _. .a A. . J. _ , _ , .s , , . Fr“. : 2 E , , _. ... , _., .. , ,_ / . is vita». . . . . A . ,.. x., M. w . v I _, . arf. : _ .31. d. I l_ : :_ l_ Xe. . ,l . I . . C. _ tea _ . l. , .. . w.. w _ I. ,. l. , l_ . .. .9 t , _ in/ , : ,., :_ VVVVVVVVCCCCCCC
    • 27. IMPORTANT Points of Failure
    • 28. Measuring WORKLOAD ‘ I ’Is F FIJi
    • 29. IRemove DIS Ve‘>§ 1 trig RUPTIONS I I '’’c‘ ~o F FlJi
    • 30. IN SMALL STEPS6 Move Y )9 F| Ji
    • 31. % Define % WHAT DONE I514 )9 FIJi
    • 32. :24 H ‘H , (‘! f" 1.1’ ‘+ ; w‘(§f’ 2; L19» «; rf Err mm J’; , «; :«; rm cg? fjfr ! _Ii1,'-. ‘I‘. i‘_%u , ifI_i‘_I, t'§?1EirI_'r_L .51: Ifnj‘J. ,.r“'f| _r, w/T? !. _?lilf.4I, i*; a T