10 things every business person should know about content strategy

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Presentation by Melissa Rach, Dialog Studios (formerly VP of content strategy at Brain Traffic) to Kane Camp attendees 7.30.09

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  • Find out what you have Define how and when people use each piece of content Draw a map of how all of your content works together
  • What needs to be updated and when Who does creates, reviews, approves, publishes… When does content die How long do updates take Budget
  • Web – analytics software User research Ask your customer service or call center staff Ask your salespeople
  • Document what you have Schedule regular reviews Track what changes Define criteria for quality Define trigger “events”
  • 10 things every business person should know about content strategy

    1. 10 THINGS every business person should know about content strategy
    2. INTRODUCTIONS <ul><li>Melissa Rach </li></ul><ul><li>Director of Content Strategy, Brain Traffic </li></ul><ul><li>Journalist, marketer, information architect, writer, etc. </li></ul>
    3. VOCABULARY
    4. CONTENT IS…. <ul><li>Available in a wide variety of formats: </li></ul><ul><li>Text </li></ul><ul><li>Graphics </li></ul><ul><li>Videos/demos/animations </li></ul><ul><li>Games/widgets </li></ul><ul><li>Audio </li></ul>
    5. CONTENT IS… <ul><li>Created by just about everyone: </li></ul><ul><li>The publishing industry/media </li></ul><ul><li>Businesses and organizations of all kinds </li></ul><ul><li>YOU! </li></ul>
    6. CONTENT IS… <ul><li>Just about everywhere. </li></ul><ul><li>In print </li></ul><ul><li>Online </li></ul><ul><li>On signs </li></ul><ul><li>On the radio </li></ul><ul><li>Etc. </li></ul>
    7. CONTENT IS… <ul><li>How we communicate knowledge, it is: </li></ul><ul><li>Informative </li></ul><ul><li>Instructional </li></ul><ul><li>Entertaining </li></ul>
    8. INFORMATIVE
    9. INSTRUCTIONAL
    10. ENTERTAINING
    11. OR ALL THREE
    12. STRATEGY IS… <ul><li>A plan for obtaining a specific goal or result. </li></ul><ul><li>This includes… </li></ul><ul><li>Tactical recommendations and ideas </li></ul><ul><li>Communication and enrollment overview </li></ul><ul><li>Guidelines for smart decision making </li></ul><ul><li>Change management and sustainment plan </li></ul>
    13. WHAT IS CONTENT STRATEGY?
    14. <ul><li>Content strategy plans for the </li></ul><ul><li>creation, publication, and </li></ul><ul><li>governance of content. </li></ul><ul><li>Kristina Halvorson </li></ul><ul><li> Brain Traffic </li></ul>“
    15. TWO BIG COMPONENTS <ul><li>Business value </li></ul><ul><li>Messaging/storytelling </li></ul><ul><li>Structure </li></ul><ul><li>Creation workflow </li></ul><ul><li>Publishing </li></ul><ul><li>Maintenance/governance </li></ul>Content Stuff People Stuff
    16. THE GOAL IS TO MAKE CONTENT… <ul><li>Useful </li></ul><ul><li>Usable </li></ul><ul><li>Purposeful </li></ul><ul><li>Profitable </li></ul>User Stuff Business Stuff
    17. 1. TREAT CONTENT LIKE A CRITICAL BUSINESS ASSET. (IT IS ONE.)
    18. <ul><li>Because there isn’t a $1, $5, or </li></ul><ul><li>$10 denomination stamped on </li></ul><ul><li>the front of Web content, it’s </li></ul><ul><li>often difficult to know exactly </li></ul><ul><li>how valuable content is to your </li></ul><ul><li>company. </li></ul><ul><li>Bryan Eisenberg </li></ul><ul><li> Future Now </li></ul>“
    19. <ul><li>Adam Smith </li></ul><ul><li>Says value is: </li></ul><ul><li>Exclusive </li></ul><ul><li>Transparent </li></ul>1776
    20. 1955
    21. 1956: INFORMATION AGE
    22.  
    23. 1990: INFORMATION SUPERHIGHWAY
    24. CONTENT SAVES MONEY <ul><li>Content optimizes conversations with your: </li></ul><ul><li>Your customers </li></ul><ul><li>Vendors </li></ul><ul><li>Employees </li></ul>
    25. CONTENT MAKES MONEY <ul><li>Influences customers decisions </li></ul><ul><li>Builds trust </li></ul><ul><li>Provides purchase-path instructions </li></ul><ul><li>Upsells </li></ul><ul><li>Solicits feedback </li></ul>
    26. MEASUREMENT MYTH
    27. TO DO: DEFINE REAL GOALS AND SUCCESS METRICS.
    28. 2. CONTENT NEEDS DEDICATED OVERSIGHT.
    29. Brand/ Marketing UX/Web Strategy IT/ CMS Product/ The Business Content
    30.  
    31. 1955
    32. Brand/ Marketing UX/Web Strategy IT/ CMS The Business Content Strategist
    33.  
    34. No.
    35. TO DO: ASSIGN A CONTENT ADVOCATE.
    36. 3. IT’S NEVER TOO EARLY TO THINK ABOUT CONTENT.
    37. SEXY
    38.  
    39. IMPACT OF 11 TH HOUR CONTENT <ul><li>Rework (IA, design, database, etc.) </li></ul><ul><li>Delayed timelines </li></ul><ul><li>Over budget </li></ul><ul><li>Frustrated stakeholders </li></ul><ul><li>Stressed employees </li></ul><ul><li>Bad content </li></ul><ul><li>Bad usability </li></ul><ul><li>Unhappy users </li></ul><ul><li>Unsuccessful project </li></ul>
    40. TO DO: INVITE YOUR CONTENT ADVOCATE TO YOUR PROJECT KICKOFF MEETING
    41. 4. UNDERSTAND YOUR CONTENT’S ENVIRONMENT.
    42. ON THE INSIDE <ul><li>Existing communications ecosystem </li></ul><ul><li>Branding </li></ul><ul><li>Technology/infrastructure </li></ul><ul><li>Resources </li></ul><ul><li>Political considerations </li></ul><ul><li>Contracts/requirements </li></ul>
    43. ON THE OUTSIDE <ul><li>User needs/wants </li></ul><ul><li>Competitors </li></ul><ul><li>Government regulations </li></ul><ul><li>Environmental issues </li></ul><ul><li>Economic climate </li></ul>
    44. ALIGN STAKEHOLDERS <ul><li>Present risks and opportuntities </li></ul><ul><li>Negotiate solutions </li></ul><ul><li>Revisit goals and success factors </li></ul>
    45. TO DO: CONTENT FACTORS ANALYSIS
    46. 5. DOCUMENT YOUR CONTENT ECOSYSTEM.
    47. Twitter Print brochures Call center script Advertisements Web Site Annual report Blog In-person conversations YouTube channel Manuals Direct Mail Newsletter Events Packaging Signage Press release
    48.  
    49.  
    50. TO DO: CREATE CONTENT MAPS AND AUDITS
    51. 6. DON’T UNDERESTIMATE THE CONTENT CREATION EFFORT.
    52. CONTENT IS COMPLICATED <ul><li>Strategize </li></ul><ul><li>Analyze Source </li></ul><ul><li>Categorize </li></ul><ul><li>Structure </li></ul><ul><li>Create </li></ul><ul><li>Stakeholder Review </li></ul><ul><li>Edit </li></ul><ul><li>Legal Review </li></ul><ul><li>Edit </li></ul><ul><li>Approve </li></ul><ul><li>Publish </li></ul><ul><li>Test </li></ul>
    53.  
    54. JUST TO GET STARTED… <ul><li>Strategize </li></ul><ul><li>Analyze Source </li></ul><ul><li>Categorize </li></ul><ul><li>Structure </li></ul><ul><li>Create </li></ul><ul><li>Stakeholder Review </li></ul><ul><li>Edit </li></ul><ul><li>Legal Review </li></ul><ul><li>Edit </li></ul><ul><li>Approve </li></ul><ul><li>----------------------- </li></ul><ul><li>Publish </li></ul><ul><li>Test </li></ul>
    55. 5 hours
    56.  
    57. TO DO: CREATE A DETAILED TIME AND BUDGET ESTIMATE
    58. 7. ASK WHY. START SMALL.
    59. HOW CONTENT GROWS <ul><li>“ Our competitors have XYZ, so we should, too.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Every department needs equal representation.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ The CEO wants a community.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ This new widget is so cool.” </li></ul>
    60. <ul><li>Small websites are easier to </li></ul><ul><li>manage than big ones. </li></ul><ul><li>Since this is obvious, why don't </li></ul><ul><li>more sites choose to be smaller? </li></ul><ul><li>David Hobbs </li></ul><ul><li> WelchmanPierpoint </li></ul>“
    61. LESS CONTENT IS OFTEN… <ul><li>More user friendly </li></ul>
    62.  
    63.  
    64. LESS CONTENT IS OFTEN… <ul><li>More user friendly </li></ul><ul><li>Better quality </li></ul><ul><li>Cheaper to create </li></ul><ul><li>Easier to manage </li></ul>
    65. TO DO: MEASURE ALL CONTENT REQUESTS AGAINST BUSINESS GOALS.
    66. 8. ASSEMBLE THE CONTENT TEAM BEFORE THE WORK BEGINS.
    67. THE DREAM TEAM <ul><li>IA </li></ul><ul><li>SEO/Metadata </li></ul><ul><li>Brand </li></ul><ul><li>Writing/Multimedia </li></ul><ul><li>Design Rep </li></ul><ul><li>Technology Rep </li></ul><ul><li>Usability Rep </li></ul><ul><li>Legal Rep </li></ul>
    68. CREATION PROCESS ROLES <ul><li>Creator/Originator </li></ul><ul><li>Editor </li></ul><ul><li>Reviewer </li></ul><ul><li>Approver </li></ul><ul><li>Publisher </li></ul>
    69. TO DO: CREATE A RESOURCE/WORKFLOW PLAN
    70. 9. CONTENT NEEDS CARE AND FEEDING.
    71. I need constant attention!
    72.  
    73. TIME-SUCK TECHNOLOGIES <ul><li>Blogs </li></ul><ul><li>News feeds and newsletters </li></ul><ul><li>“ Product of the month” </li></ul><ul><li>Communities </li></ul>
    74. I’ve been ignored since 1999!
    75.  
    76.  
    77. TO DO: EDITORIAL CALENDAR
    78. Nobody likes me!
    79.  
    80. TO DO: CONTENT QUALITY ASSURANCE PLAN
    81. I’m incorrect or embarrassing!
    82.  
    83.  
    84. TO DO: SCHEDULE REGULAR AUDITS OF ALL CONTENT
    85. 10. BE PREPARED FOR CHANGE.
    86.  
    87. LIFE HAPPENS <ul><li>Brand and business goals change </li></ul><ul><li>Competitors up the ante </li></ul><ul><li>Measurement and audit results come in </li></ul><ul><li>Budgets or resources get cut </li></ul>
    88. TO DO: CREATE A GOVERNANCE PLAN AND COMMITTEE
    89. IN SUMMARY
    90. <ul><li>1. Treat content like a critical business asset. </li></ul><ul><li>Define real goals and success metrics. </li></ul><ul><li>2. Content needs dedicated oversight. </li></ul><ul><li>Assign a content advocate. </li></ul><ul><li>3. It’s never too early to think about content. </li></ul><ul><li>Invite your content advocate to your project kickoff meeting. </li></ul><ul><li>4. Understand your content’s environment. </li></ul><ul><li>Content factors analysis. </li></ul>
    91. <ul><li>5. Document your content ecosystem. </li></ul><ul><li>Create content maps and audits. </li></ul><ul><li>6. Don’t underestimate the content creation effort. </li></ul><ul><li>Create a detailed time and budget estimate. </li></ul><ul><li>7. Ask why. Start small. </li></ul><ul><li>Measure all content requests against business goals. </li></ul><ul><li>8. Assemble the content team before the work begins. </li></ul><ul><li>Create a resource/workflow plan. </li></ul>
    92. <ul><li>9. Content needs care and feeding. </li></ul><ul><li>Content quality assurance plan. </li></ul><ul><li>Schedule regular audits of all content. </li></ul><ul><li>10. Be prepared for change. </li></ul><ul><li>Create a governance plan and committee. </li></ul>
    93. THANKS. QUESTIONS? <ul><li>Melissa Rach </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>@melissarach </li></ul>

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