Selling Content Strategy to Management

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How content strategy can solve business challenges, communicating the value of content strategy, the culture changes needed in order to create content strategically, and some potential approaches for getting executive buy-in

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Selling Content Strategy to Management

  1. 1. Selling Content Strategy to Management Or, how content strategy challenges are keeping your CEO up at night#contentstrategy   Hilary  Marsh  #chiCSmeetup Chicago  Content  Strategy  Meetup   March  2013
  2. 2. What weʼ’ll discuss tonight §  Sample content strategy problems §  Communicating the value of content strategy §  Culture change §  Potential approaches for raising awarenessHow to Sell Content Strategy to Management Hilary Marsh – www.contentcompany.biz Chicago Content Strategy Meetup March 26, 2013
  3. 3. About me §  Content strategy since 1999 (yep!) §  Clients include •  American Bar •  CompTIA Association •  Trulia •  Walgreens •  Florida •  FINRA Association of •  HIMSS Realtors §  I have taught, hired, led, and done content strategy §  Strategic direction, tactics, oversightHow to Sell Content Strategy to Management Hilary Marsh – www.contentcompany.biz Chicago Content Strategy Meetup March 26, 2013
  4. 4. Sample contentstrategy problems How many ring true for your organization?
  5. 5. Sample content strategy challenges §  No one can find anything on our website, and they’re starting to complain to the CEO §  Practically everyone in our organization can – and does – publish content to the site, and on social media, and you’d almost never know it was from the same organization §  No one is in charge of the home page §  Everyone is in charge of the home pageHow to Sell Content Strategy to Management Hilary Marsh – www.contentcompany.biz Chicago Content Strategy Meetup March 26, 2013
  6. 6. Sample content strategy challenges §  We want to share our information on social media more fully, but we can’t do it easily because of our technical limitations §  We can’t add comment functionality to our content because we won’t know how to handle the comments §  Our best material is presented as PDFs, with titles like “4002.pdf” §  We can’t pull in related links on content automatically because our content isn’t tagged or labeledHow to Sell Content Strategy to Management Hilary Marsh – www.contentcompany.biz Chicago Content Strategy Meetup March 26, 2013
  7. 7. Sample content strategy challenges §  Our website is organized based on our org structure rather than on how our audience thinks about us or our content §  Our audience can’t get the information they want from their mobile devices §  Our content isn’t appearing on Google like we think it should §  “We should be on YouTube”How to Sell Content Strategy to Management Hilary Marsh – www.contentcompany.biz Chicago Content Strategy Meetup March 26, 2013
  8. 8. What do you notice about these challenges? §  They result in business challenges §  They’re about §  process §  ownership §  collaboration §  mutual understanding (or lack thereof)How to Sell Content Strategy to Management Hilary Marsh – www.contentcompany.biz Chicago Content Strategy Meetup March 26, 2013
  9. 9. Why isn’t thissolved already?
  10. 10. Common obstacles §  Communication silos §  No understanding of what content strategy is or the value it can bring §  No understanding of what content is or the value it can bringHow to Sell Content Strategy to Management Hilary Marsh – www.contentcompany.biz Chicago Content Strategy Meetup March 26, 2013
  11. 11. Communicating the value ofcontent strategy
  12. 12. Content strategy: what is it? §  It is NOT: §  a content audit §  an editorial calendar §  a message architecture §  a plan to churn out white papers §  voice and tone §  editorial guidelines §  All these are tools used to execute a content strategyHow to Sell Content Strategy to Management Hilary Marsh – www.contentcompany.biz Chicago Content Strategy Meetup March 26, 2013
  13. 13. Content strategy: what is it? §  From the Content Strategy Consortium: the practice of planning for the creation, delivery, and governance of useful, usable content §  From Kristina Halvorson: Content strategy isn’t a bunch of tactics. It’s a plan: §  a well-founded plan, fueled by your business objectives and user goals §  an achievable plan, created with your current business reality, content assets, and limited resources in mind §  a future plan, for what’s going to happen to your content once you send it off into the world. §  a profitable plan, where your measures of success ultimately have impact on your organization’s bottom line.How to Sell Content Strategy to Management Hilary Marsh – www.contentcompany.biz Chicago Content Strategy Meetup March 26, 2013
  14. 14. Content strategy: what is it? §  My definition: §  the who, what, when, where, why, and how of all the content a site or experience will offer §  a strategic statement tying communication (and content) to business § and the people, processes, and power to execute that statementHow to Sell Content Strategy to Management Hilary Marsh – www.contentcompany.biz Chicago Content Strategy Meetup March 26, 2013
  15. 15. Three faces of content strategyHow to Sell Content Strategy to Management Hilary Marsh – www.contentcompany.biz Chicago Content Strategy Meetup March 26, 2013
  16. 16. What would happen if you skipped content strategy? Tremendous risks after the site is (re)launched: §  No one will come §  Frustrated users will flood the call center §  Visits will drop off dramatically after the first few weeks §  Nothing will change about your business How to Sell Content Strategy to Management Hilary Marsh – www.contentcompany.biz Chicago Content Strategy Meetup March 26, 2013
  17. 17. How to create thatstrategic statement
  18. 18. Know and understand the business goals What is your company trying to accomplish? §  Understand the business strategy – this affects the content you’ll want to create (or keep), as well as the channels you’ll use. §  Understand the brand strategy – this affects your tone and style. §  Choose success metrics that you can actually measure. §  Interview the stakeholders. Know whatʼ’s important. §  Know the pitfalls. Watch the internal politics. How to Sell Content Strategy to Management Hilary Marsh – www.contentcompany.biz Chicago Content Strategy Meetup March 26, 2013
  19. 19. Understand your audience §  Understand your users: what are their goals? their needs? their pain points? what do they not need? §  Read existing knowledge, and do your own– go stand in their shoes §  Create personas and stories about your users §  Segment your users (by activity, role, age, interest – think beyond demographics) How to Sell Content Strategy to Management Hilary Marsh – www.contentcompany.biz Chicago Content Strategy Meetup March 26, 2013
  20. 20. Get to know the content (and the creators) §  What information is required to support the business, the users, and the tasks? §  Itʼ’s not just textual: it can come in many different forms §  Need to know whatʼ’s there already… §  Online §  Offline §  In peopleʼ’s heads §  … and what needs to be created or deleted. How to Sell Content Strategy to Management Hilary Marsh – www.contentcompany.biz Chicago Content Strategy Meetup March 26, 2013
  21. 21. Sample statements §  Curate an authoritative website that offers [list specific audiences here] to take actions supporting [list organizations causes here]. §  [our site] is the key online vehicle to support and make members and others aware of the organization’s strategic objectives and the programs and services that support them. §  ____.com is the easiest way to buy ____ on the internet How to Sell Content Strategy to Management Hilary Marsh – www.contentcompany.biz Chicago Content Strategy Meetup March 26, 2013
  22. 22. If you don’t know what you need to communicate, how will you know if you succeed? —Margot BloomsteinHow to Sell Content Strategy to Management Hilary Marsh – www.contentcompany.biz Chicago Content Strategy Meetup March 26, 2013
  23. 23. Content strategy requires culture change
  24. 24. Culture change §  From “knowledge is power” to “sharing knowledge is power” §  New need for collaboration – and trust §  Moving together toward common goals §  Subject matter experts are not writers §  “Poof – you’re a publisher” §  “HOP e-news” §  How many universes are there? How to Sell Content Strategy to Management Hilary Marsh – www.contentcompany.biz Chicago Content Strategy Meetup March 26, 2013
  25. 25. Understand change management 1.  Establish a sense of urgency 2.  Create the guiding coalition 3.  Develop a change vision 4.  Communicate the vision for buy-in 5.  Empower broad-based action 6.  Generate short-term wins 7.  Never let upCourtesy of Kotter International 8.  Incorporate changes into the culture How to Sell Content Strategy to Management Hilary Marsh – www.contentcompany.biz Chicago Content Strategy Meetup March 26, 2013
  26. 26. Potential approaches to sell/introduce content strategy
  27. 27. Just because it’s the right thing §  Educate your management §  When they agree, work with them to educate the company §  Show successes along the wayHow to Sell Content Strategy to Management Hilary Marsh – www.contentcompany.biz Chicago Content Strategy Meetup March 26, 2013
  28. 28. Stealth approach §  Work with a single group that already gets it §  Tackle a specific initiative in a new way §  Measure success §  Take the success story to executives, with ideas about how it could scale §  Give them the messages to share with the staffHow to Sell Content Strategy to Management Hilary Marsh – www.contentcompany.biz Chicago Content Strategy Meetup March 26, 2013
  29. 29. Pain relief §  Paint the picture ofthe end state, an organization where communication is valued, where people share information, and where everything works effectively §  Show how different things are now, and the business risks posed by the current state §  Come armed with a plan about how to get from the current to the future stateHow to Sell Content Strategy to Management Hilary Marsh – www.contentcompany.biz Chicago Content Strategy Meetup March 26, 2013
  30. 30. Common to all approaches §  Talk their language, especially ROI §  revenue §  speed §  engagement §  Give the executives the messages to share with the staff §  You’ll be the person executing what management wants §  Keep them updated about progress and obstaclesHow to Sell Content Strategy to Management Hilary Marsh – www.contentcompany.biz Chicago Content Strategy Meetup March 26, 2013
  31. 31. Thank you! §  Hilary  Marsh   §  www.contentcompany.biz   §  hilary@contentcompany.biz   §  (312)  806-­‐7854   §  For  useful  arFcles,  visit  my  site  and  subscribe  to   my  newsleJer!    How to Sell Content Strategy to Management Hilary Marsh – www.contentcompany.biz Chicago Content Strategy Meetup March 26, 2013

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