Content Strategy at 30,000 Feet
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Content Strategy at 30,000 Feet

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My Confab Central 2014 talk examines content strategy from the standpoint of someone who has learned from experiences with two major airlines.

My Confab Central 2014 talk examines content strategy from the standpoint of someone who has learned from experiences with two major airlines.

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  • 1. CONTENT STRATEGY at 30,000 ft. for CONFAB CENTRAL 2014 by HAWK THOMPSON Icons: Stephen McKarney + Anthony Lui (The Noun Project)
  • 2. Hi. #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  • 3. Hawk Thompson #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  • 4. Sr. Content Strategist | Razorfish #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  • 5. Content Director | hawkthompson.com #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  • 6. Content Generalist | hawkt.com #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  • 7. Content Whisperer | @hawkt #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  • 8. I’m here to talk about content strategy for airlines. #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  • 9. (I’ve worked with a couple.) #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  • 10. It’s...different than your average CS challenge. #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  • 11. But also similar, in this way: #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  • 12. You have to put yourself in your client’s shoes. #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  • 13. Get inside their heads. #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  • 14. And fly to places you’ve never been before. #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  • 15. Sometimes dark places. #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  • 16. Ready? #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  • 17. Welcome to the terrordome. #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  • 18. Aerodrome. #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  • 19. We all dream of ideal flight experiences. #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  • 20. (In reality, they cost ~$120k a person.) #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  • 21. SPOILER ALERT: #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  • 22. Monument Valley screenshots courtesy of ustwo. Flying should feel like this... #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  • 23. Y’know, Monument Valley is a truly amazing game. #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  • 24. You could say it’s visual storytelling at its finest. #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  • 25. Clearly full of gorgeous surprises at every turn. #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  • 26. No pressure or anything, but it’s worth owning. #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  • 27. Seriously, buy Monument Valley from ustwo. Now. #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  • 28. It’ll make you want to spread your wings and fly. #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  • 29. ...not this. Photo: Diego Torres Silvestre (flickr / CC) #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  • 30. Photo: Diego Torres Silvestre (flickr / CC) #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt YOU ARE HERE
  • 31. Yet sometimes, it does. Photo: Diego Torres Silvestre (flickr / CC) #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  • 32. And you know what they say in the industry: Photo: Diego Torres Silvestre (flickr / CC) #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  • 33. “As goes the experience, so goes the content.” Photo: Diego Torres Silvestre (flickr / CC) #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  • 34. OK, so they don’t really say that. Photo: Diego Torres Silvestre (flickr / CC) #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  • 35. But if they did, why would they? Photo: Diego Torres Silvestre (flickr / CC) #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  • 36. Tarmac. #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  • 37. Certain issues keep airlines in a holding pattern: Photo: snoll (flickr / CC) #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  • 38. $$$ #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  • 39. The airline industry’s profits may be huge... $143.4B Source: Forbes, 2013. #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  • 40. ...but at ~1%, its profit margin isn’t. $0.15B $143.3B Source: Forbes, 2013. #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  • 41. No wonder airlines are cutting costs like limes. Photo: Harmony Huskinson / MCT #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  • 42. Icon: Paul te Kortschot (The Noun Project) OOO #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  • 43. People use technology to plan trips. Source: Forrester, 2013. #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  • 44. And airlines obvs rely heavily on technology too. #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  • 45. But let’s get back to that ~1% profit margin for a sec. #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt $0.15B $143.3B
  • 46. How large a slice do you think goes to technology? #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt $0.15B $143.3B
  • 47. And how much goes to digital content? #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt $0.15B $143.3B
  • 48. (Hint: Virgin made this viral hit in-house. For $5k.) #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  • 49. Lastly, how much goes to content strategy? Source: Forbes, 2013. #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt $0.15B $143.3B
  • 50. Yeah, that looks about right. Source: Forbes, 2013. #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  • 51. (The stem, not the tomato.) #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  • 52. So you learn to make do with what’s available. Source: Forbes, 2013. Ooo o #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  • 53. OOOo o o oo o oo o #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  • 54. OOO Most airlines have fairly small content teams... #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  • 55. ...supplied with relatively tiny budgets... #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt $$$//
  • 56. ...saddled with legacy technology... #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt OOO
  • 57. OOOOOOO OOOOOOO OOOOOOO OOOOOOO Content Content Content Marketing Loyalty Int’l Travel Corporate Affairs Customer Service Mobil Prefer Partne IFE Cargo Social Media ROP Alerts + Advisories Ad Sales Media Relations Domestic Flights Investor Relations Charter Services sorships ContracQ A UX Project Mgmt. DesignTech Business Travel Group Travel CareersTraining Merch Copy Ancillary Products Legal #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt ...and surrounded by product-oriented silos.
  • 58. Photo:Kicki Holmén (flickr / CC) These silos often constrain content teams... #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  • 59. OOOOOOO OOOOOOO OOOOOOO o o o oo o oo o o o o oo o o o o o o o o o o o o oo oo o o o o o o o o o o oo oo o o o o o o o o o o oo oo o OOOOOOOo o o o o o o o o oo oo o #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt ...which can make it tough to focus on the big picture.
  • 60. OOOOOOO OOOOOOO OOOOOOO oo o o o o oo o o o o o o o o o o o o oo oo o o o o o o o o o o oo oo o o o o o o o o o o oo oo o OOOOOOOo o o o o o o o o oo oo o o o o o #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt That’s why you’re here.
  • 61. ??? #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  • 62. OOOOOOO OOOOOOO OOOOOOO oo o o o o oo o o o o o o o o o o o o oo oo o o o o o o o o o o oo oo o o o o o o o o o o oo oo o OOOOOOOo o o o o o o o o oo oo o o o o o #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt How can you strategize in this environment?
  • 63. Photo:Kicki Holmén (flickr / CC) Think like a controller. #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  • 64. OOOOOOO OOOOOOO OOOOOOO oo o o o o oo o o o o o o o o o o o o oo oo o o o o o o o o o o oo oo o o o o o o o o o o oo oo o OOOOOOOo o o o o o o o o oo oo o o o o o John Sri Martha LeilaMo Curtis Ali Selena Carol DirkJR Soraya Jon Don Farnsworth Caleb MusangiAly Buck Pete Aloysius Kaisar Rishi AngelaBud Winston Gordo John Sri Martha LeilaMo Curtis Ali #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt Understand the lay of the land.
  • 65. OOOOOOO OOOOOOO OOOOOOO OOOOOOO Content Content Content Marketing Loyalty Int’l Travel Corporate Affairs Customer Service Mobil Prefer Partne IFE Cargo Social Media ROP Alerts + Advisories Ad Sales Media Relations Domestic Flights Investor Relations Charter Services sorships ContracQ A UX Project Mgmt. DesignTech Business Travel Group Travel CareersTraining Merch Copy Ancillary Products Legal John Sri Martha LeilaMo Curtis Ali SelenaJR Soraya Jon Don Farnsworth Caleb MusangiAly Buck Pete Aloysius Kaisar Rishi AngelaBud Winston Gordo John Sri Martha LeilaMo Curtis Ali #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt (in terms of people *and* their products)
  • 66. OOOOOOO OOOOOOO OOOOOOO OOOOOOO Content Content Content Marketing Loyalty Int’l Travel Corporate Affairs Customer Service Mobil Prefer Partne IFE Cargo Social Media ROP Alerts + Advisories Ad Sales Media Relations Domestic Flights Investor Relations Charter Services sorships ContracQ A UX Project Mgmt. DesignTech Business Travel Group Travel CareersTraining Merch Copy Ancillary Products Legal John Sri Martha LeilaMo Curtis Ali SelenaJR Soraya Jon Don Farnsworth Caleb MusangiAly Buck Pete Aloysius Kaisar Rishi AngelaBud Winston Gordo John Sri Martha LeilaMo Curtis Ali Map out the connections. #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  • 67. OOOOOOO OOOOOOO OOOOOOO OOOOOOO Marketing Loyalty Int’l Travel Customer Service Mobil Prefer Partne IFE Social Media ROP Alerts + Advisories Ad Sales Media Relations Domestic Flights sorships Business Travel Group Travel Merch Ancillary Products New Routes Other Content Other Content John Sri Martha LeilaMo Curtis Ali Selena Soraya Jon Farnsworth Caleb Musangi Buck Pete ContracQ A UX Project Mgmt. DesignTech Copy #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt Lock in on the routes.
  • 68. OOOOOOO OOOOOOO OOOOOOO OOOOOOO New Routes Other Content Other Content Marketing Loyalty Int’l Travel Corporate Affairs Customer Service Mobil Prefer Partne IFE Cargo Social Media ROP Alerts + Advisories Ad Sales Media Relations Domestic Flights Investor Relations Charter Services sorships Business Travel Group Travel CareersTraining Merch Ancillary Products Legal John Sri Martha LeilaMo Curtis Ali Selena Soraya Jon Farnsworth Caleb Musangi Buck Pete ContracQ A UX Project Mgmt. DesignTech Copy #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt Anticipate delays.
  • 69. OOOOOOO OOOOOOO OOOOOOO OOOOOOO New Routes Other Content Other Content Marketing Loyalty Int’l Travel Corporate Affairs Customer Service Mobil Prefer Partne IFE Cargo Social Media ROP Alerts + Advisories Ad Sales Media Relations Domestic Flights Investor Relations Charter Services sorships Business Travel Group Travel CareersTraining Merch Ancillary Products Legal John Sri Martha LeilaMo Curtis Ali Selena Soraya Jon Farnsworth Caleb Musangi Buck Pete ContracQ A UX Project Mgmt. DesignTech Copy #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt Redirect when necessary.
  • 70. Photo:Kicki Holmén (flickr / CC) It helps keep the planes running on time. #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  • 71. Runway. #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  • 72. Photo: Wikipedia No offense, but you’re just one content strategist. #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt Ooo o
  • 73. OOOOOOO OOOOOOO OOOOOOO OOOOOOO Content Content Content Marketing Loyalty Int’l Travel Corporate Affairs Customer Service Mobil Prefer Partne IFE Cargo Social Media ROP Alerts + Advisories Ad Sales Media Relations Domestic Flights Investor Relations Charter Services sorships ContracQ A UX Project Mgmt. DesignTech Business Travel Group Travel CareersTraining Merch Copy Ancillary Products Legal John Sri Martha LeilaMo Curtis Ali SelenaJR Soraya Jon Don Farnsworth Caleb MusangiAly Buck Pete Aloysius Kaisar Rishi AngelaBud Winston Gordo John Sri Martha LeilaMo Curtis Ali #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt You’re up against a lot of content.
  • 74. Photo: Wikipedia And we’re talking *big* chunks here. #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  • 75. Photo: Wikipedia How best to manage them? #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  • 76. Photo: Wikipedia Think like a marshaller. #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  • 77. Orchestrated Content Research User research Consumer insights Search analysis Strategy Messaging Channel presence Content governance Creation Copywriting Video production Graphic design Distribution Strategic partners SEO + SEM Community building Management WCM Editorial process Workflow Measurement Metrics Optimization KPIs Courtesy of Rachel Lovinger Orchestrate the proceedings. #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  • 78. Keep your shared goals top of mind. #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt 1 2 3 Existing site New sitemap Existing site New wireframes UX reviews Design style guide Comps / prototype New site pages
  • 79. Align your content strategy tools with these goals. #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt 1 2 3 Existing site New sitemap Existing site New wireframes UX reviews Design style guide Comps / prototype New site pages A B C Content inventory Content audit Content model Content matrix Gap analysis Editorial style guide Editorial calendar Copy decks
  • 80. Direct traffic through checkpoints as necessary. #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt 1 2 3 Existing site New sitemap Existing site New wireframes UX reviews Design style guide Comps / prototype New site pages A B C Content inventory Content audit Content model Content matrix Gap analysis Editorial style guide Editorial calendar Copy decks Your Client
  • 81. Leverage tools that can remove obstacles. #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt A B C Content inventory Content audit Content model Content matrix Gap analysis Editorial style guide Editorial calendar Copy decks
  • 82. Do your best to clear the runway of challenges. #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt Your Client
  • 83. Photo: Wikipedia Take each new challenge in stride. #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  • 84. Photo: Wikipedia Even if you’ve never seen it on the runway before. #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  • 85. Airborne. #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  • 86. © 2012 Paramount Pictures. Sure, the airline industry can be challenging... #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  • 87. © 2012 Paramount Pictures. ...but ya gotta straighten up and fly right. #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  • 88. Photo:National Archives Think like a pilot. #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  • 89. Get to know how everything works together. #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt External Referrals Browser Tier Web Tier Middle Tier Services Tier Enterprise Tier Reservation System
  • 90. Photo:National Archives Make decisions based on this knowledge. #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt External Referrals Browser Tier Web Tier Middle Tier Services Tier Enterprise Tier Reservation System YOU ARE HERE
  • 91. Photo:National Archives Make recommendations based on this knowledge. #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt Web Tier Static Content Dynamic Content
  • 92. Photo:National Archives And this. #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt Web Tier HTML JSP
  • 93. Photo:National Archives And this. #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt Web Tier Marketing Tech
  • 94. Photo:National Archives And THIS. #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt Web Tier 2-3 days to publish 2-3 months to publish
  • 95. Photo:National Archives Institute consistent standards for all content types. #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt Web Tier Static Content Dynamic Content Your Content Stardards
  • 96. Photo:National Archives You’ll get further that way. #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  • 97. Turbulence. #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  • 98. Courtesy of The Asylum. Trust me, things are going to get a little bumpy. #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  • 99. Discrepancies create disconnects. #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt Courtesy of The Asylum.
  • 100. Separate publishing processes lead to bottlenecks. #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt Courtesy of The Asylum.
  • 101. Inefficient workflows produce inconsistencies. #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt Courtesy of The Asylum.
  • 102. Custom implementations add layers of complexity. #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt Courtesy of The Asylum.
  • 103. What’s a good way to deal with these issues? #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt Courtesy of The Asylum.
  • 104. Photo: Peter Burge (flickr / CC) Think like an attendant. #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  • 105. OOOOOOO OOOOOOO OOOOOOO OOOOOOO Content Content Content Marketing Loyalty Int’l Travel Corporate Affairs Customer Service Mobil Prefer Partne IFE Cargo Social Media ROP Alerts + Advisories Ad Sales Media Relations Domestic Flights Investor Relations Charter Services sorships ContracQ A UX Project Mgmt. DesignTech Business Travel Group Travel CareersTraining Merch Copy Ancillary Products Legal John Sri Martha LeilaMo Curtis Ali SelenaJR Soraya Jon Don Farnsworth Caleb MusangiAly Buck Pete Aloysius Kaisar Rishi AngelaBud Winston Gordo John Sri Martha LeilaMo Curtis Ali Empower your client’s content team. #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  • 106. Photo: Peter Burge (flickr / CC) Create tools that suit their needs, not yours. #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt A B C Content inventory Content audit Content model Content matrix Gap analysis Editorial style guide Editorial calendar Copy decks
  • 107. Photo:Kecko (flickr / CC) Help establish processes that make their lives easier. #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt 1 2 3 Existing site New sitemap Existing site New wireframes UX reviews Design style guide Comps / prototype New site pages A B C Content inventory Content audit Content model Content matrix Gap analysis Editorial style guide Editorial calendar Copy decks Your Client
  • 108. Shoutout: Akbar Bhaidani Measure their success (it’s yours too). #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt Customer-facing metrics Internal metrics • Page views • Time on site • Bounce rate • Exit rate • Search rankings • Back links created • Efficiency metrics - ongoing and one-time content - Time/cost to create content - Time/cost to deploy content - Time/cost to test content • Satisfaction metrics - Ratio of WCM users to non-users - Ratio of static to dynamic content - WCM system NPS • Performance metrics - Content accuracy - number of edits - Content reuse – number of pages used - Avg. number of channels per content asset
  • 109. Stabilizing. #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  • 110. Photo: Associated Press. The pilot usually gets the glory. #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  • 111. Photo:Chris Walter (Wire Images) But most can’t make it happen alone. #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  • 112. Photo:Kecko (flickr / CC) Think like a copilot. #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  • 113. Photo:Kecko (flickr / CC) Monitor progress closely. #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  • 114. Photo:Kecko (flickr / CC) Communicate (but don’t overcommunicate). #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  • 115. OOOOOOO OOOOOOO OOOOOOO oo o o o o oo o o o o o o o o o o o o oo oo o o o o o o o o o o oo oo o o o o o o o o o o oo oo o OOOOOOOo o o o o o o o o oo oo o o o o o Photo:Kecko (flickr / CC) Always be ready to assume responsibility. #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  • 116. Landing.
  • 117. Ever tried to land a plane on the head of a pin? #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt $0.15B $143.3B
  • 118. That’s kinda the situation airlines are in today. #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt $0.15B $143.3B
  • 119. Given the circumstances, they’re doing pretty well. Source: Forrester, 2014. #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  • 120. And they’re investing in good content, which helps. Source: Forrester, 2014. #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  • 121. You can help by doing what you do best. Source: Forrester, 2014. #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt A B C Content inventory Content audit Content model Content matrix Gap analysis Editorial style guide Editorial calendar Copy decks
  • 122. Also by thinking about things from the airline’s POV. #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  • 123. Because you know what they say: Photo: ZeroOne (flickr / CC) #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  • 124. “As goes the content, so goes the experience.” Photo: ZeroOne (flickr / CC) #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  • 125. Thanks. #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt