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.

Published in: Marketing, Technology, Business

Content Strategy at 30,000 Feet

  1. 1. CONTENT STRATEGY at 30,000 ft. for CONFAB CENTRAL 2014 by HAWK THOMPSON Icons: Stephen McKarney + Anthony Lui (The Noun Project)
  2. 2. Hi. #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  3. 3. Hawk Thompson #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  4. 4. Sr. Content Strategist | Razorfish #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  5. 5. Content Director | hawkthompson.com #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  6. 6. Content Generalist | hawkt.com #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  7. 7. Content Whisperer | @hawkt #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  8. 8. I’m here to talk about content strategy for airlines. #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  9. 9. (I’ve worked with a couple.) #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  10. 10. It’s...different than your average CS challenge. #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  11. 11. But also similar, in this way: #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  12. 12. You have to put yourself in your client’s shoes. #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  13. 13. Get inside their heads. #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  14. 14. And fly to places you’ve never been before. #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  15. 15. Sometimes dark places. #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  16. 16. Ready? #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  17. 17. Welcome to the terrordome. #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  18. 18. Aerodrome. #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  19. 19. We all dream of ideal flight experiences. #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  20. 20. (In reality, they cost ~$120k a person.) #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  21. 21. SPOILER ALERT: #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  22. 22. Monument Valley screenshots courtesy of ustwo. Flying should feel like this... #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  23. 23. Y’know, Monument Valley is a truly amazing game. #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  24. 24. You could say it’s visual storytelling at its finest. #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  25. 25. Clearly full of gorgeous surprises at every turn. #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  26. 26. No pressure or anything, but it’s worth owning. #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  27. 27. Seriously, buy Monument Valley from ustwo. Now. #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  28. 28. It’ll make you want to spread your wings and fly. #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  29. 29. ...not this. Photo: Diego Torres Silvestre (flickr / CC) #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  30. 30. Photo: Diego Torres Silvestre (flickr / CC) #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt YOU ARE HERE
  31. 31. Yet sometimes, it does. Photo: Diego Torres Silvestre (flickr / CC) #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  32. 32. And you know what they say in the industry: Photo: Diego Torres Silvestre (flickr / CC) #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  33. 33. “As goes the experience, so goes the content.” Photo: Diego Torres Silvestre (flickr / CC) #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  34. 34. OK, so they don’t really say that. Photo: Diego Torres Silvestre (flickr / CC) #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  35. 35. But if they did, why would they? Photo: Diego Torres Silvestre (flickr / CC) #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  36. 36. Tarmac. #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  37. 37. Certain issues keep airlines in a holding pattern: Photo: snoll (flickr / CC) #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  38. 38. $$$ #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  39. 39. The airline industry’s profits may be huge... $143.4B Source: Forbes, 2013. #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  40. 40. ...but at ~1%, its profit margin isn’t. $0.15B $143.3B Source: Forbes, 2013. #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  41. 41. No wonder airlines are cutting costs like limes. Photo: Harmony Huskinson / MCT #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  42. 42. Icon: Paul te Kortschot (The Noun Project) OOO #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  43. 43. People use technology to plan trips. Source: Forrester, 2013. #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  44. 44. And airlines obvs rely heavily on technology too. #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  45. 45. But let’s get back to that ~1% profit margin for a sec. #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt $0.15B $143.3B
  46. 46. How large a slice do you think goes to technology? #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt $0.15B $143.3B
  47. 47. And how much goes to digital content? #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt $0.15B $143.3B
  48. 48. (Hint: Virgin made this viral hit in-house. For $5k.) #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  49. 49. Lastly, how much goes to content strategy? Source: Forbes, 2013. #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt $0.15B $143.3B
  50. 50. Yeah, that looks about right. Source: Forbes, 2013. #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  51. 51. (The stem, not the tomato.) #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  52. 52. So you learn to make do with what’s available. Source: Forbes, 2013. Ooo o #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  53. 53. OOOo o o oo o oo o #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  54. 54. OOO Most airlines have fairly small content teams... #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  55. 55. ...supplied with relatively tiny budgets... #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt $$$//
  56. 56. ...saddled with legacy technology... #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt OOO
  57. 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. 58. Photo:Kicki Holmén (flickr / CC) These silos often constrain content teams... #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  59. 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. 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. 61. ??? #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  62. 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. 63. Photo:Kicki Holmén (flickr / CC) Think like a controller. #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  64. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 70. Photo:Kicki Holmén (flickr / CC) It helps keep the planes running on time. #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  71. 71. Runway. #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  72. 72. Photo: Wikipedia No offense, but you’re just one content strategist. #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt Ooo o
  73. 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. 74. Photo: Wikipedia And we’re talking *big* chunks here. #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  75. 75. Photo: Wikipedia How best to manage them? #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  76. 76. Photo: Wikipedia Think like a marshaller. #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  77. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 82. Do your best to clear the runway of challenges. #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt Your Client
  83. 83. Photo: Wikipedia Take each new challenge in stride. #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  84. 84. Photo: Wikipedia Even if you’ve never seen it on the runway before. #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  85. 85. Airborne. #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  86. 86. © 2012 Paramount Pictures. Sure, the airline industry can be challenging... #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  87. 87. © 2012 Paramount Pictures. ...but ya gotta straighten up and fly right. #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  88. 88. Photo:National Archives Think like a pilot. #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  89. 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. 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. 91. Photo:National Archives Make recommendations based on this knowledge. #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt Web Tier Static Content Dynamic Content
  92. 92. Photo:National Archives And this. #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt Web Tier HTML JSP
  93. 93. Photo:National Archives And this. #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt Web Tier Marketing Tech
  94. 94. Photo:National Archives And THIS. #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt Web Tier 2-3 days to publish 2-3 months to publish
  95. 95. Photo:National Archives Institute consistent standards for all content types. #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt Web Tier Static Content Dynamic Content Your Content Stardards
  96. 96. Photo:National Archives You’ll get further that way. #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  97. 97. Turbulence. #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  98. 98. Courtesy of The Asylum. Trust me, things are going to get a little bumpy. #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  99. 99. Discrepancies create disconnects. #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt Courtesy of The Asylum.
  100. 100. Separate publishing processes lead to bottlenecks. #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt Courtesy of The Asylum.
  101. 101. Inefficient workflows produce inconsistencies. #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt Courtesy of The Asylum.
  102. 102. Custom implementations add layers of complexity. #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt Courtesy of The Asylum.
  103. 103. What’s a good way to deal with these issues? #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt Courtesy of The Asylum.
  104. 104. Photo: Peter Burge (flickr / CC) Think like an attendant. #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  105. 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. 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. 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. 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. 109. Stabilizing. #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  110. 110. Photo: Associated Press. The pilot usually gets the glory. #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  111. 111. Photo:Chris Walter (Wire Images) But most can’t make it happen alone. #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  112. 112. Photo:Kecko (flickr / CC) Think like a copilot. #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  113. 113. Photo:Kecko (flickr / CC) Monitor progress closely. #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  114. 114. Photo:Kecko (flickr / CC) Communicate (but don’t overcommunicate). #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  115. 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. 116. Landing.
  117. 117. Ever tried to land a plane on the head of a pin? #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt $0.15B $143.3B
  118. 118. That’s kinda the situation airlines are in today. #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt $0.15B $143.3B
  119. 119. Given the circumstances, they’re doing pretty well. Source: Forrester, 2014. #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  120. 120. And they’re investing in good content, which helps. Source: Forrester, 2014. #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  121. 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. 122. Also by thinking about things from the airline’s POV. #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  123. 123. Because you know what they say: Photo: ZeroOne (flickr / CC) #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  124. 124. “As goes the content, so goes the experience.” Photo: ZeroOne (flickr / CC) #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt
  125. 125. Thanks. #confabmn | #csat30kft| @hawkt

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