Content Strategy: Up to the Test!

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You've heard of content strategy, but is it up to the test? And if you submit your content to usability testing, are you testing the right things? This is bigger than learning about labels and …

You've heard of content strategy, but is it up to the test? And if you submit your content to usability testing, are you testing the right things? This is bigger than learning about labels and confirming calls to action--so strap in for an exciting evening. We've got a lot to discuss!

Gain insight to content strategy processes and learn how to evaluate quality in the eyes of your target audience. Learn how--and why--to establish a hierarchy of communication goals in a message architecture with a hands-on exercise. Test out a basic content audit to evaluate content quantitatively and qualitatively. Draw on user feedback to determine content needs and next steps for content creation. Learn how to inform your work with an air-tight approach to better user experiences--and why no organization can afford to avoid content strategy. You'll leave with the confidence and savvy to bring content strategy thinking into your own process.

Presented at UPA 2012, Las Vegas; #UPA2012, June 4, 2012.

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  • 1. @mbloomstein #UPA2012 Margot Bloomstein UPA June 4, 2012 #UPA2012 @mbloomsteinCONTENT STRATEGY UP TO THE TEST © 2012
  • 2. @mbloomstein #UPA2012OK = Yes?Don’t mess my mental model, man! © 2012
  • 3. @mbloomstein #UPA2012 CC LICENSED BY SYBREN A. STUVELINCONSISTENCY &INACCURACYbeyond just a label © 2012
  • 4. @mbloomstein #UPA2012What happened here?Could content strategy help? © 2012
  • 5. @mbloomstein #UPA2012What happened here?Could content strategy help?• Kicking off content strategy within constraints © 2012
  • 6. @mbloomstein #UPA2012What happened here?Could content strategy help?• Kicking off content strategy within constraints• Testing content with an audit © 2012
  • 7. @mbloomstein #UPA2012What happened here?Could content strategy help?• Kicking off content strategy within constraints• Testing content with an audit• Communicating value © 2012
  • 8. @mbloomstein #UPA2012What is content strategy?Planning for the creation, aggregation,delivery, and governance of useful,usable, and appropriate content in anexperience. © 2012
  • 9. @mbloomstein #UPA2012Steps along the way…Message architectureContent audit/inventoryPrescriptive content matrixContent modelEditorial style guidelinesMetadata guidelinesGovernance guidelines © 2012
  • 10. @mbloomstein #UPA2012Steps along the way…Message architectureContent audit/inventoryPrescriptive content matrixContent modelEditorial style guidelinesMetadata guidelinesGovernance guidelines © 2012
  • 11. @mbloomstein #UPA2012Deliverables aremerely punctuation inthe conversation.They cannot replacethe conversation. © 2012
  • 12. @mbloomstein #UPA2012Why content strategy?Because we all want the same thing,but content keeps getting in the way.If you cannot accessiblycommunicate the value of your work,you will fail to get the work. © 2012
  • 13. @mbloomstein #UPA2012 ©Skillset.org © 2012
  • 14. @mbloomstein #UPA2012Deliver on time, on budget © 2012
  • 15. @mbloomstein #UPA2012Maintain a consistent vision © 2012
  • 16. @mbloomstein #UPA2012Support a holistic user experience © 2012
  • 17. @mbloomstein #UPA2012Keep the voice in microcopy © 2012
  • 18. @mbloomstein #UPA2012Ensure cross-channel consistency © 2012
  • 19. @mbloomstein #UPA2012Ensure cross-platform consistency (and contextual relevance) © 2012
  • 20. @mbloomstein #UPA2012First things first.What do you need to communicate? © 2012
  • 21. @mbloomstein #UPA2012First things first.Why even do this… © 2012
  • 22. @mbloomstein #UPA2012First things first.Why even do this…redesign the website, © 2012
  • 23. @mbloomstein #UPA2012First things first.Why even do this…redesign the website,start a new blog, © 2012
  • 24. @mbloomstein #UPA2012First things first.Why even do this…redesign the website,start a new blog, audit the content, © 2012
  • 25. @mbloomstein #UPA2012First things first.Why even do this…redesign the website,start a new blog, audit the content, startengaging on Twitter, © 2012
  • 26. @mbloomstein #UPA2012First things first.Why even do this…redesign the website,start a new blog, audit the content, startengaging on Twitter, consolidate thecurrent site architecture, © 2012
  • 27. @mbloomstein #UPA2012First things first.Why even do this…redesign the website,start a new blog, audit the content, startengaging on Twitter, consolidate thecurrent site architecture, add videotestimonials, © 2012
  • 28. @mbloomstein #UPA2012First things first.Why even do this…redesign the website,start a new blog, audit the content, startengaging on Twitter, consolidate thecurrent site architecture, add videotestimonials, incorporate class reviews, © 2012
  • 29. @mbloomstein #UPA2012First things first.Why even do this…redesign the website,start a new blog, audit the content, startengaging on Twitter, consolidate thecurrent site architecture, add videotestimonials, incorporate class reviews,develop new brand guidelines… © 2012
  • 30. @mbloomstein #UPA2012First things first.Why even do this…redesign the website,start a new blog, audit the content, startengaging on Twitter, consolidate thecurrent site architecture, add videotestimonials, incorporate class reviews,develop new brand guidelines…if you don’t know what you need tocommunicate? © 2012
  • 31. @mbloomstein #UPA2012If you don’t know WHATyou need to communicate,how will you know HOW,or if you succeed? You cannot measure quality—in content or otherwise—without standards. © 2012
  • 32. @mbloomstein #UPA2012What’s a message architecture?A hierarchy of communication goalsthat reflects a common vocabulary. © 2012
  • 33. @mbloomstein #UPA2012A little thing with big impact. © 2012
  • 34. @mbloomstein #UPA2012 A little thing with big impact.“ How could we prove this is a car not like anything else out there? It’s a small car, but it’s premium. You get a Porsche 911 ride for a fifth of the cost. It’s got history… but in Europe. You need to give people content to give them history.” © 2012
  • 35. @mbloomstein #UPA2012A little thing with big impact. © 2012
  • 36. @mbloomstein #UPA2012Message architecturePremium technology• Assertive; ready to perform as a driver’s car• Proactive and supportive of spontaneityClassic design• Experienced and savvyCheekiness• Smart, “punny,” hip• Fun, gleeful © 2012
  • 37. @mbloomstein #UPA2012 © 2012
  • 38. @mbloomstein #UPA2012 © 2012
  • 39. @mbloomstein #UPA2012 © 2012
  • 40. @mbloomstein #UPA2012 © 2012
  • 41. @mbloomstein #UPA2012If these emails are boring youand you don’t mind missing outon all the lip-smackin’ stuffwe’ll be sending in the future,simply send a message to owner-unsubscribe@insiders.miniusa.comand include “Unsubscribe” andyour favorite fruit in thesubject field. © 2012
  • 42. @mbloomstein #UPA2012Message architecture drivesthe user experience © 2012
  • 43. @mbloomstein #UPA2012…in contentNomenclatureCalls to actionInstructional contentSentence structureDiction © 2012
  • 44. @mbloomstein #UPA2012…and in designPhotographic anglesDark backgroundsBold headlinesThick stroke weights © 2012
  • 45. @mbloomstein #UPA2012…and in the choice of featuresand content types © 2012
  • 46. @mbloomstein #UPA2012…so you can assess all of that. © 2012
  • 47. @mbloomstein #UPA2012Message architecturePremium• Quality in taste, feeling, ingredients, interactions• Approachable: indulgences made accessibleEmpowering, responsive, and consistent• Always gracious and appropriate, polished• Championing individuals• Building from European heritage in the USCommunity-minding• Customer-oriented and socially conscious © 2012
  • 48. @mbloomstein #UPA2012Opportunities and problems• Do consumers feel like we hear them?• Do we create a sense that products fit a range of settings and lifestyles?• Do we communicate the quality of products in a competitive way? © 2012
  • 49. @mbloomstein #UPA2012 © 2012
  • 50. Premium? Approachable? Responsive? Community-minded?
  • 51. @mbloomstein #UPA2012 © 2012
  • 52. @mbloomstein #UPA2012What’s a message architecture?A hierarchy of communication goalsthat reflects a common vocabulary. © 2012
  • 53. @mbloomstein #UPA2012What’s a message architecture?Concrete, shared terminology,not abstract concepts. © 2012
  • 54. @mbloomstein #UPA2012Make us lookinnovative,but not risky. © 2012
  • 55. @mbloomstein #UPA2012We want tobe hip, buttraditional. © 2012
  • 56. @mbloomstein #UPA2012©Warby Parker © 2012
  • 57. @mbloomstein #UPA2012Words are valuable,but meaningless withoutcontext and priority.(In a few minutes, we’llgive them context.) © 2012
  • 58. @mbloomstein #UPA2012What?Who?Why? © 2012
  • 59. @mbloomstein #UPA2012Why do this?• Words are cheaper than comps. © 2012
  • 60. @mbloomstein #UPA2012Why do this?• Words are cheaper than comps.• Let creative colleagues refine the concept, rather than confirm the purpose. © 2012
  • 61. @mbloomstein #UPA2012Why do this?• Words are cheaper than comps.• Let creative colleagues refine the concept, rather than confirm the purpose.• You cannot know what you need until you know what you have. © 2012
  • 62. @mbloomstein #UPA2012Why do this?• Words are cheaper than comps.• Let creative colleagues refine the concept, rather than confirm the purpose.• You cannot know what you need until you know what you have.• Gain standards against which to test content. © 2012
  • 63. @mbloomstein #UPA2012How?• Engage in a tangible, hands-on way• Encourage debate and conversation• Identify points of disagreement• Prevent seagulling• Force prioritization• Encourage ownership & investment © 2012
  • 64. @mbloomstein #UPA2012Cardsorting! © 2012
  • 65. @mbloomstein #UPA2012Step one:• Who we are• Who we’re not• Who we’d like to be~20 minutes + assessment © 2012
  • 66. @mbloomstein #UPA2012 © 2012
  • 67. @mbloomstein #UPA2012Step two:• Who we are  Who we’d like to beThink aspirational.What needs to change?~10 minutes + assessment © 2012
  • 68. @mbloomstein #UPA2012Step three:• Form groups: what goes together?• Prioritize the goals or groups• Tell the story of those aspirations~10 minutes © 2012
  • 69. @mbloomstein #UPA2012So where to from here?Content audit: measure quality againstthe concrete aspirational attributes in themessage architecture.(What is “good” anyway?) © 2012
  • 70. @mbloomstein #UPA2012Audit time! © 2012
  • 71. @mbloomstein #UPA2012Message architecturePassionate about strategic discovery• Creative, spirited, inspired• Visionary, innovative thought leader and industry leader• FlexibleTactical and hands-on• In the trenches, in touch• Detail-oriented and methodicalPioneering• Groundbreaking, trend-setting• Modern and savvyPeople-focused and market-driven• Trusted by medical professionals, researchers, and media• Industry news source © 2012
  • 72. @mbloomstein #UPA2012 © 2012
  • 73. @mbloomstein #UPA2012Passionate? Creative? Hands-on? Pioneering and modern? Trusted? © 2012
  • 74. @mbloomstein #UPA2012 © 2012
  • 75. @mbloomstein #UPA2012 © 2012
  • 76. Audit to understand what youhave vs. what you need.Before you start, know why:What are you trying to learn?
  • 77. Test functionality and brandcommunication.Forget one, and you omit halfthe user experience.
  • 78. @mbloomstein #UPA2012 © 2012
  • 79. @mbloomstein #UPA2012Every tab tracks the same dataQuantitative:• Head count: what do we have?• Is it consistent? • Are similar content types consistent in size and structure? • Is there parity of length, level of detail, and tone? © 2012
  • 80. @mbloomstein #UPA2012Every tab tracks the same dataQualitative: is it any good?• ROT analysis: redundant, outdated, trivial• Current, relevant, and appropriate to the message architecture• Does it serve the communication goals?• Does it speak to the target audience? © 2012
  • 81. @mbloomstein #UPA2012 © 2012
  • 82. @mbloomstein #UPA2012Each piece of content gets a rowSet up dropdowns to constrain data• Data  Data validation  List  Sources © 2012
  • 83. @mbloomstein #UPA2012What can you learn?• What do we have?• Is it good? Does it meet communication goals?• Do people even like it? (Check analytics!)• What do we need to update / translate / augment? © 2012
  • 84. @mbloomstein #UPA2012Steps along the way…Message architectureContent audit/inventoryPrescriptive content matrixContent modelEditorial style guidelinesMetadata guidelinesGovernance guidelines © 2012
  • 85. @mbloomstein #UPA2012Steps along the way…Message architectureContent audit/inventoryPrescriptive content matrixContent model Gap analysisEditorial style guidelinesMetadata guidelinesGovernance guidelines © 2012
  • 86. @mbloomstein #UPA2012Steps along the way…Message architectureContent audit/inventoryPrescriptive content matrixContent model Gap analysisEditorial style guidelines HowMetadata guidelinesGovernance guidelines © 2012
  • 87. @mbloomstein #UPA2012Steps along the way…Message architectureContent audit/inventoryPrescriptive content matrixContent model Gap analysisEditorial style guidelines HowMetadata guidelinesGovernance guidelinesBy whom & when © 2012
  • 88. @mbloomstein #UPA2012But first things first:What are you trying tocommunicate?Does your content measure upto those goals? © 2012
  • 89. @mbloomstein #UPA2012Thank you!Margot Bloomstein@mbloomsteinmargot@appropriateinc.comslideshare.net/mbloomsteinhttp://amzn.to/CSatWork © 2012