BarCamp Nashville 2010 - Content Strategy Takeaway


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Our notes from the content strategy panel at BarCamp Nashville 2010.

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BarCamp Nashville 2010 - Content Strategy Takeaway

  1. 1. #bcn10content
  2. 2. @kiddredd Content strategy is a plan for the creation, care and maintenance of all the information, media and assets of your web presence. @bretthenley Content strategy is a process of planning for and committing to relevancy so you can engage YOUR people from a position of value. Comes from a disdain for the generalist, business jargon and the machine-gun approach. @ravenarienne Content strategy is just content planning. (Said by Content Strategist Elizabeth McGuane fear-loathing-and-content-strategy/) for an audience, with followup (said by Arienne). In my 10 years in the newspaper business, we called this being an editor. It’s a full-time job. In the web business, it’s “content strategy” because “editor” was already taken. It’s still a full-time job. In the newspaper business, there may be 10 different kinds of editors -- so it’s not just cleaning up copy. It ranges from that all the way up to the edit in chief, who holds the vision for the whole publication. Content strategy encompasses all of that.
  3. 3. #bcn10content
  4. 4. @kiddredd There’s the taxonomy side -- the inventory and the lists -- and there’s the storytelling side. The wheels come off when you say to the client, “We need the content.” They call it “populating a site.” That is not a content strategy. That’s spreading grass seed. Content strategy includes a plan for your editorial voice and personality, as well as all the necessary inventories, categorization and standards you will use for all your online assets. @bretthenley Resources. Expertise. You know your brand, we know how to tell your story. Building a house starting with the roof makes no earthly sense. How many thousands of dollars are people willing to spend money on a direct mail piece or to pay an agency to babysit their FB/Twitter accounts that they’re not willing to spend on engaging content? @ravenarienne You’re not an expert. You don’t have time. You’re better at making money other ways. And what happens is you end up wth lorem ipsum until the end of the project [just greeking or fake copy, in place of the real thing]. To be the word person at the end of the process, that’s very frustrating.
  5. 5. #bcn10content
  6. 6. @kiddredd Content strategy is not hiring a technical writer to fill those copy wells. Your site at the end of the day, is not made of code, it’s not made of SEO babblejuice, it’s not made of UX, or videos. It’s made of content. You have to give the audience the information they seek or tell your story. How many times have you seen a web estimate with line items for creative, project management, design, SEO, and so on. But what about content and writing, and telling your story? Management of assets? Inventories of what you’ve already got? @bretthenley If you’re already working with an agency, and considering them to manage your content, ask the right questions. • What kind of content are they producing as an agency to engage their potential clients? • Are they managing content for other clients? Your competitors? How successfully? • Are they utilizing the same approaches/services they’re selling your business? Effectively? • Resources - Do they have Web copywriters or communications/marketing interns managing your content? • Do they have a comprehensive strategy for engagement, building relationships, establishing consistency and ongoing management of content? Or are they simply being paid to Pez dispense? • Are they challenging your perceptions/offering new and innovative ideas of how you should be engaging your people with content? Or are they simply over promising and under delivering?
  7. 7. #bcn10content
  8. 8. @kiddredd One one side, there’s content inventory, taxonomy, working with web designers, information architecture, UX people. On the other, it’s voice, storytelling, the character of HOW you say what you say. It’s not just the creation, it’s the care and feeding, ongoing maintenance. @bretthenley Discovery (core goals, knowing YOUR people); Analysis (listen through all available channels - offline and online, competitor and industry research, embrace valuable data); Define (prioritize on-site vs. off-site, resource allocation, setting expectations for completion and ongoing management to avoid pitfalls); Establish (value that exceeds investment vs. shameless self promotion, consistency (central theme and voice; become recognizable) and frequency (know what to expect; don’t go cold), authority and trust). @ravenarienne 1) Define audience. “Everyone” is not an acceptable answer. 2) Define content. Photos, videos, stories, audio clips, product descriptions are all acceptable answers. 3) Define budget. 4) Define content writers, photographers, videographers, editors. This could be the same person. This could be 10 people. Don’t expect 1 person to be as good as 10 people. 5) Editorial calendar. 6) Editorial calendar. 7) Editorial calendar. 8) Promote content. 9) Measure response. 10) Rinse and repeat.
  9. 9. beginners-guide-to-content-strategy @halvorson, @kissane, @leenjones, @mbloomstein,
  10. 10. More from us@bretthenley, @kiddredd, @lauracreekmore, @ravenarienne,
  11. 11. Stop scribbling all that down. Just write this. These links are online Our comments will be online tonight: