Building Your Agency's Content Strategy Practice


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  • Jeff did an amazing job of walking everyone through how he approaches CS at Lullabot.

    You can watch the recording of his presentation here:

    Thanks again Jeff!
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  • Thanks Eaton, this is a great summary of the practice of content strategy. Better in 58 slides than some of the books i've read. Having the example deliverables in slides really helps.
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  • Hey Jeff - This is a great system! Many 'creatives' that I work with in the content marketing space balk at systems and flow charts. But after awhile, they come around and see systems as a source of creative inspiration.

    For what it's worth, my startup ripenn has translated some of these content inventory spreadsheets into a web app: Would love to have you on board the private beta!
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  • This is very good
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  • Thanks, Mike - but people like Jeff make it really easy. I'm a big fan of his work! :)
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Building Your Agency's Content Strategy Practice

  1. 1. I hope you like spreadsheets Implementing content strategy on your agency projects ! Brought to you by @eaton and @gathercontent 1
  2. 2. Hi. I’m @eaton! I’m with Lullabot. 2 strategy, design, and development
  3. 3. 3 Marketing Copywriter Webmaster Enterprise Web CMS Content Strategy
  4. 4. Content Strategy: 1. The planning, development, and management of content — written or in other media 2. What content you’re using, where it goes and when, who uses and manages it, and why it matters 4
  5. 5. If your projects succeed, your’e probably doing Content Strategy. 5
  6. 6. 1. Ignoring it 2. Doing it 3. Doing it deliberately 4. Getting paid to do it 6
  7. 7. ‣ 2006: Two web nerds with a dream ‣ Built Drupal sites, then planned them ‣ Training, workshops, consulting ‣ …Then building bigger sites. ‣ 2014: We’re ~50 strong ‣ Devs, designers, strategists,
 project managers… 7
  8. 8. Lots of content 8
  9. 9. We were stuck in the middle 9
  10. 10. Practice: 1. The application or use of an idea, or method, as opposed to theories 2. Repeated exercise of an activity or skill to acquire or maintain proficiency 10
  11. 11. How it works 11 …for us …at the moment
  12. 12. Five things our team needs to understand: ‣ The game plan ‣ The inventory ‣ The content model ‣ The presentation model ‣ The workflow 12
  13. 13. Gameplan The problem the project is trying to solve, the strategy we think will solve it, the tactics we plan to use, and the way we’ll measure the results. 13
  14. 14. Goal Increase the purchase rate on expensive products. ! Strategy Get shoppers to imagine how the products will fit into their lives. ! Tactics Take product action shots around the office, publish several each week. 14
  15. 15. Inventory A list of content resources the client currently has, whether they’re online, offline, tucked on a shared drive, or trapped old Word Docs. ! …And what they’ll need to execute the plan. 15
  16. 16. Oh, the spreadsheets you’ll meet… ‣ Content inventories and audits ‣ Current and future publishing channels ‣ Content gap analysis ‣ Many, many, many spreadsheets
 …And some spreadsheets 16
  17. 17. Content model The types of content they’ll need, what properties they have, how they relate to each other, and what they should accomplish. 17
  18. 18. ‣ Whiteboard sketches ‣ Database models ‣ Detailed spreadsheets ‣ Migration planning ‣ Taxonomy and grouping 18
  19. 19. Presentation Model How content will be assembled and disseminated to accomplish the project’s goals. 19
  20. 20. ‣ Navigation systems ‣ “Intent Maps” of the site ‣ Prioritized page elements ‣ Wireframes ‣ Working prototypes 20
  21. 21. Workflow Who’ll write new material, update existing content, and remove old stuff? What roles will work on the site, and what tasks will they be responsible for? 21
  22. 22. ‣ Interviews with content managers ‣ Tools for actual tasks ‣ Where does that actually come from? ‣ Where are the risky parts? 22
  23. 23. ‣ The game plan ‣ The inventory ‣ The content model ‣ The presentation model ‣ The workflow 23
  24. 24. How do they work? ‣ They emphasize understanding ‣ They require collaboration across disciplines ‣ They inform each other over many iterations ‣ They provide sanity checks 24
  25. 25. A tale of two clients 25
  26. 26. MSNBC A cable news network ready to ramp up an engaged online community and tackle multi- channel publishing! ! …running a Wordpress Archipelago. 26
  27. 27. ‣ Tons of existing content ‣ Multichannel (web, mobile,TV,XBox…) ‣ Not our strategy, not our design ‣ Parallel design and development ‣ Editors needed to love it ‣ …And a tight deadline 27
  28. 28. 28 Design ContentCode
  29. 29. 29 Content Code Design crazy but awesome
  30. 30. Lots and lots of communication 30
  31. 31. Lots and lots of translation 31
  32. 32. Loads of interviews 32
  33. 33. The quick model 33
  34. 34. The monster model 34
  35. 35. Results! 35
  36. 36. The NAMM Foundation An awesome nonprofit that promotes music education and recreational music-making. ! …And has a site designed a decade ago. 36
  37. 37. ‣ Big dreams, limited budget ‣ Lots of stakeholders ‣ Site had lots of content, no message ‣ Internally focused IA ‣ Limited staff for maintenance 37
  38. 38. Workshop! ‣ What makes you special? ‣ Who’s your audience? ‣ Why do they care? ‣ What’s your voice? ‣ What’s not working now? ‣ Old fashioned brand identity work 38 Attribution text and URL go here
  39. 39. The Inventory 39
  40. 40. Model and map 40 NAMM Foundation Site NAMM Fou Your Community Best Communities Data† Survey Promotion Music Teacher Finder† Music Merchandiser Finder† Why Music MResources for Educators Recruitment and Retention Tips for Success Downloadable Teaching Tools Blog posts for Educators What We Do Get Involved Webcasts Sign up Action Kits and Downloadables Advocacy Blog Posts Donation Partner Orgs and other Resources*
  41. 41. Displays and styles 41
  42. 42. HTML wireframes 42
  43. 43. Responsive Design 43
  44. 44. Results! 44
  45. 45. The lessons we’ve learned 45
  46. 46. Mixed teams rock 46
  47. 47. Language matters 47
  48. 48. Silos hurt 48
  49. 49. “Big reveals” suck 49
  50. 50. Iteration isn’t optional 50
  51. 51. Building your strategy practice 51
  52. 52. Just do it. Content Strategy’s tools make projects more successful.You don’t have to have a Grand Unification Theory to practice, iterate, and improve. 52
  53. 53. Eating the elephant Focus on the slice that best matches your existing work. Grow from there. 53
  54. 54. Build it into the plan Until clients are willing to hire you as specialists, treat it like Project Management: An ongoing, necessary part of every project. 54
  55. 55. But I don’t need the rustproofing. “We don’t need that service!” means a client has the answers. You still need to understand, though. ! …Or, show them they need the answers 55
  56. 56. No need for bombast Use Content Strategy tools first to understand your clients’ needs, then to advise on solutions. 56
  57. 57. Playbooks, not blueprints Hold your process with an open hand, and assume that different projects may need different tools. 57
  58. 58. Questions? 58
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