Content Realisma practical strategy for content strategymStoner                                 page 1
Hello!Susan T. Evans,Senior Strategist mStoner
Shocked andwith disbelief!
You might as well know right now...      ‣ ...it’s not easy      ‣ ...it’s not simple      ‣ ...it’s not technology  ...it...
I. What is content strategy?II. What are some practical options?  III. What resources are out there?
What isContent Strategy?
“...a repeatable system that defines         the entire editorial content   development process for a website           dev...
What is the point I’m trying to            make?
What’s an organization if it is not           organized?
I’ve got some baggage that gets in            the way...
The higher edcontext:• huge sites with thousands of web pages• lots of audiences (and all primary)• teeny, tiny web teams•...
What problem are we  trying to solve?   Our content sucks.                        page 12
Oh, come on...It’s not that bad.
____.edu/about _____ is dedicated to teaching that meets thehighest standards of excellence; toconducting research that br...
Lafayette CollegeWhen the 19-year-old Marquis de Lafayetteasked the King of France to finance hisjourney to assist in Ameri...
George SchoolAt George School, we believe the world can bebetter and society can be different. We think thatthe rat race i...
What steps lead to  Better Content?“What’s your strategy for content strategy?”
Recognizing you have a problem is the first                  step.
You start with audience.Who are they? Why are they important to                you?
Next up, message.What do you want the audience to             know?
What text, photos, and video best convey themessages you want to deliver to the audiences you want to reach, in the media ...
Feeding the beast.                 -   Inform                 -   Understand                 -   Connect                 -...
Content covers:         Facts and figures         People and placesInform         Alumni offerings         Academic program...
Content delivers:             Sense of personalityUnderstand   Points of distinction             Overview of impact       ...
Content triggers:          “Wow, what a place!”          “I can see myself          there...”Connect          “I feel all ...
Real-world actions:      Inquire, visit, apply,      enroll      Reconnect, attend events      Mentor a studentAct      Hi...
What are the nitty-gritty       Tactics?
Define your real-world goals:1    Increase in admission    applications    Better-qualified applications    More engaged alu...
Describe your audiences:2    Who are you trying to    reach?    What are you trying to    say?    Why should they care?   ...
Get specific.
3   Straddle the line between:    What do my audiences come to the    website looking for? What do they    want to find and...
Content Strategy + Creative Brief  -   Goals  -   Audiences and tasks  -   Core messages  -   How you talk about yourself ...
Map it out.
Information Architecture                                          Trinity at a Glance   Admission Requirements            ...
Card Sorting
4   Audit your existing    content:    Is it clear?    Is it web-ready?    Is it usable?    Is it on message?    Is it act...
Keep score.
Content Audit                       Page                                                               Web-               ...
Comprehensive Content Audit ‣ page title ‣ URL ‣ owner ‣ content type (HTML, form, PDF) ‣ purpose ‣ character count ‣ last...
Developing contentOnce and again.
5   Watch what happens:    Measure: collect analytics on how the    content is used in support of web    goals.    Analyze...
Watch what happens in Advancement:Web Metrics                  Internal Metrics:‣ Unique visitors            ‣ Number of o...
6    Share plans and talk with other    communicators:    Editorial meetings: planning new    features and coordinating ef...
7   Use your CONTENT management    system:    A central CMS can make publishing easy    and put the focus on content not d...
7    A few final nuggets. Speaking of...    Photography    Less is more    Accountability    Curation of content    Respons...
Resources• EDUniverse• mStoner Blog• Content Strategy for the Web (Halvorson)• The Elements of Content Strategy (Kissane)•...
Thanks!Questions?Susan T. EvansSenior Strategist757.903.1120susan.evans@mstoner.com@susantevans mStoner
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Content Realism - mStoner Webinar

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This webinar addresses the basics of content strategy for .edu websites. I attempt to answer this question: What's your strategy for content strategy? The webinar offers practical advice for content strategy related to marketing and communications in higher education. View the webinar recording here: http://www.mstoner.com/blog/content-and-writing/content-strategy-webinar-recording-ready-viewing/

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  • DOUG: Company Intro\n\nSusan\nSome of you may know that this is week 2 for me at mStoner. Although I’m a newbie at mStoner, I’ve been an expert on the inside for years. I spent the last 22 years of my career at the College of William & Mary in Virginia. Just before coming to mStoner, I was the director of creative services and my team managed the university web presence including social media and the campus portal. Before that, I was the director of web services working for the CIO. \n\nI also led the W&M web redesign project four years ago. I first met the mStoner team about four years ago and it was in a setting just like this one.\n
  • Doug\n
  • Doug\n
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  • SUSAN\nDuring a campus visit like this one, we bring a set of slides but they are really just a launch point for conversation. Primarily, we’d like to use our time this morning to hear about your challenges and to respond to your questions. So let’s keep things informal and conversational because ultimately we want you to get to know us, hear a bit about other projects we’ve done, and give you the chance to see what it might be like to work with us on a web redesign for Whittier.\n\nSo to get the conversation going, we’d like to talk with you about four things. We want to demonstrate to you that the people at mStoner are experts in strategy, design, concept and technology. And because we are exclusively focused on educational institutions, we think we have a lot to offer to you as you begin your web project.\n\n
  • Doug\n
  • DOUG\n\nBethel: mid-size Christian University in the twin cities, MN.\nInv\n\ngoals: raise awareness, drive new traffic through organic SEO, increase apps (and yield), engage alumni\n
  • DOUG\n\nBethel: mid-size Christian University in the twin cities, MN.\nInv\n\ngoals: raise awareness, drive new traffic through organic SEO, increase apps (and yield), engage alumni\n
  • DOUG\n\nBethel: mid-size Christian University in the twin cities, MN.\nInv\n\ngoals: raise awareness, drive new traffic through organic SEO, increase apps (and yield), engage alumni\n
  • DOUG\n\nBethel: mid-size Christian University in the twin cities, MN.\nInv\n\ngoals: raise awareness, drive new traffic through organic SEO, increase apps (and yield), engage alumni\n
  • DOUG\n\nBethel: mid-size Christian University in the twin cities, MN.\nInv\n\ngoals: raise awareness, drive new traffic through organic SEO, increase apps (and yield), engage alumni\n
  • DOUG: Company Intro\n\nSusan\nSome of you may know that this is week 2 for me at mStoner. Although I’m a newbie at mStoner, I’ve been an expert on the inside for years. I spent the last 22 years of my career at the College of William & Mary in Virginia. Just before coming to mStoner, I was the director of creative services and my team managed the university web presence including social media and the campus portal. Before that, I was the director of web services working for the CIO. \n\nI also led the W&M web redesign project four years ago. I first met the mStoner team about four years ago and it was in a setting just like this one.\n
  • Doug\n
  • DOUG\n\nBethel: mid-size Christian University in the twin cities, MN.\nInv\n\ngoals: raise awareness, drive new traffic through organic SEO, increase apps (and yield), engage alumni\n
  • DOUG\n\nBethel: mid-size Christian University in the twin cities, MN.\nInv\n\ngoals: raise awareness, drive new traffic through organic SEO, increase apps (and yield), engage alumni\n
  • DOUG\n\nBethel: mid-size Christian University in the twin cities, MN.\nInv\n\ngoals: raise awareness, drive new traffic through organic SEO, increase apps (and yield), engage alumni\n
  • Doug\n
  • DOUG\n\nBethel: mid-size Christian University in the twin cities, MN.\nInv\n\ngoals: raise awareness, drive new traffic through organic SEO, increase apps (and yield), engage alumni\n
  • DOUG\n\nBethel: mid-size Christian University in the twin cities, MN.\nInv\n\ngoals: raise awareness, drive new traffic through organic SEO, increase apps (and yield), engage alumni\n
  • DOUG\n\nBethel: mid-size Christian University in the twin cities, MN.\nInv\n\ngoals: raise awareness, drive new traffic through organic SEO, increase apps (and yield), engage alumni\n
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  • The activities in the last phase are important for sustainability. This is the phase where long-term planning, discussions of best practices and hands-on training prepare the Whittier team to maintain and refresh the incredible new website into the future.\n
  • During the strategy phase, we’ll be doing a lot to get to know Whittier. We’ll meet and talk to the community here - your students, your faculty, your administrators. We’ll consume any written materials you have as well as do a comprehensive review of your website. We’ll also do an external assessment that will include comparisons with your benchmark and peer schools.\n
  • The next phase is the creative phase. Here we’ll create new web designs for Whittier; we’ll audience test those designs and begin building out a full set of templates. We’ll also be writing copy for the top-level sections of your new site. Finally, we’ll identify what technologies you’ll need to launch your new web presence.\n
  • So what you’ll get during the technology phase are specifications, code, a new website where you can migrate content, and confirmation that you’ve built the site in a way that works for your primary audience.\n
  • Doug\n
  • During the strategy phase, we’ll be doing a lot to get to know Whittier. We’ll meet and talk to the community here - your students, your faculty, your administrators. We’ll consume any written materials you have as well as do a comprehensive review of your website. We’ll also do an external assessment that will include comparisons with your benchmark and peer schools.\n
  • During the strategy phase, we’ll be doing a lot to get to know Whittier. We’ll meet and talk to the community here - your students, your faculty, your administrators. We’ll consume any written materials you have as well as do a comprehensive review of your website. We’ll also do an external assessment that will include comparisons with your benchmark and peer schools.\n
  • \n
  • During the strategy phase, we’ll be doing a lot to get to know Whittier. We’ll meet and talk to the community here - your students, your faculty, your administrators. We’ll consume any written materials you have as well as do a comprehensive review of your website. We’ll also do an external assessment that will include comparisons with your benchmark and peer schools.\n
  • \n
  • \n
  • \n
  • \n
  • During the strategy phase, we’ll be doing a lot to get to know Whittier. We’ll meet and talk to the community here - your students, your faculty, your administrators. We’ll consume any written materials you have as well as do a comprehensive review of your website. We’ll also do an external assessment that will include comparisons with your benchmark and peer schools.\n
  • \n
  • \n
  • \n
  • Doug\n
  • During the strategy phase, we’ll be doing a lot to get to know Whittier. We’ll meet and talk to the community here - your students, your faculty, your administrators. We’ll consume any written materials you have as well as do a comprehensive review of your website. We’ll also do an external assessment that will include comparisons with your benchmark and peer schools.\n
  • During the strategy phase, we’ll be doing a lot to get to know Whittier. We’ll meet and talk to the community here - your students, your faculty, your administrators. We’ll consume any written materials you have as well as do a comprehensive review of your website. We’ll also do an external assessment that will include comparisons with your benchmark and peer schools.\n
  • During the strategy phase, we’ll be doing a lot to get to know Whittier. We’ll meet and talk to the community here - your students, your faculty, your administrators. We’ll consume any written materials you have as well as do a comprehensive review of your website. We’ll also do an external assessment that will include comparisons with your benchmark and peer schools.\n
  • During the strategy phase, we’ll be doing a lot to get to know Whittier. We’ll meet and talk to the community here - your students, your faculty, your administrators. We’ll consume any written materials you have as well as do a comprehensive review of your website. We’ll also do an external assessment that will include comparisons with your benchmark and peer schools.\n
  • During the strategy phase, we’ll be doing a lot to get to know Whittier. We’ll meet and talk to the community here - your students, your faculty, your administrators. We’ll consume any written materials you have as well as do a comprehensive review of your website. We’ll also do an external assessment that will include comparisons with your benchmark and peer schools.\n
  • DOUG\n\nBethel: mid-size Christian University in the twin cities, MN.\nInv\n\ngoals: raise awareness, drive new traffic through organic SEO, increase apps (and yield), engage alumni\n
  • \n
  • Content Realism - mStoner Webinar

    1. 1. Content Realisma practical strategy for content strategymStoner page 1
    2. 2. Hello!Susan T. Evans,Senior Strategist mStoner
    3. 3. Shocked andwith disbelief!
    4. 4. You might as well know right now... ‣ ...it’s not easy ‣ ...it’s not simple ‣ ...it’s not technology ...it is possible (go team!)
    5. 5. I. What is content strategy?II. What are some practical options? III. What resources are out there?
    6. 6. What isContent Strategy?
    7. 7. “...a repeatable system that defines the entire editorial content development process for a website development project.”“...plans for the creation, publication, and governance of useful, usable content.” — Kristina Halvorson Content Strategy for the Web
    8. 8. What is the point I’m trying to make?
    9. 9. What’s an organization if it is not organized?
    10. 10. I’ve got some baggage that gets in the way...
    11. 11. The higher edcontext:• huge sites with thousands of web pages• lots of audiences (and all primary)• teeny, tiny web teams• admin assistants moonlight as copywriters
    12. 12. What problem are we trying to solve? Our content sucks. page 12
    13. 13. Oh, come on...It’s not that bad.
    14. 14. ____.edu/about _____ is dedicated to teaching that meets thehighest standards of excellence; toconducting research that breaks new ground;and to turning knowledge into solutions forlocal, national, and global communities.The heart of our mission is preparingstudents to become productive members ofsociety and good citizens of the world.
    15. 15. Lafayette CollegeWhen the 19-year-old Marquis de Lafayetteasked the King of France to finance hisjourney to assist in America’s fight forfreedom, the king refused. Lafayette secretlypurchased his own ship, adding the wordsCur Non? (“Why Not?”) to his family crest toserve as his motto. The Latin phrase Cur Nonguides Lafayette College today in challengingstudents to move beyond the comfort of theirfamiliar environment and experiences. http://www.lafayette.edu/about/history/ cur-non/
    16. 16. George SchoolAt George School, we believe the world can bebetter and society can be different. We think thatthe rat race isnt the only means and majority rule(with minority suffering) isnt the only method.  Itmeans that when you come here, youll ponder life,truth, and knowledge itself. Youll read WutheringHeights and reflect how a mid-nineteenth-centurynovel can make a contemporary statement. Youllcompete in sports like lacrosse or softball. Youllwrite your own Canterbury tale. Youll usepantomime to learn ceramics, MovieMaker to learnphysics, and The New York Times to learneconomics. (You may also blast music, buildbonfires, and even learn to juggle.)http://www.georgeschool.org/About%20GS.aspx
    17. 17. What steps lead to Better Content?“What’s your strategy for content strategy?”
    18. 18. Recognizing you have a problem is the first step.
    19. 19. You start with audience.Who are they? Why are they important to you?
    20. 20. Next up, message.What do you want the audience to know?
    21. 21. What text, photos, and video best convey themessages you want to deliver to the audiences you want to reach, in the media they prefer?If that content already exists, where does it live? Who owns it? What shape is it in? If it doesn’t exist, what can you live without, and what do you need to create?
    22. 22. Feeding the beast. - Inform - Understand - Connect - Act
    23. 23. Content covers: Facts and figures People and placesInform Alumni offerings Academic programs News and events
    24. 24. Content delivers: Sense of personalityUnderstand Points of distinction Overview of impact Appropriate context
    25. 25. Content triggers: “Wow, what a place!” “I can see myself there...”Connect “I feel all warm and fuzzy...” “I’d like to be part of that...” “Where do I sign-up?”
    26. 26. Real-world actions: Inquire, visit, apply, enroll Reconnect, attend events Mentor a studentAct Hire an alum Give Heck, endow a scholarship
    27. 27. What are the nitty-gritty Tactics?
    28. 28. Define your real-world goals:1 Increase in admission applications Better-qualified applications More engaged alumni Influx of cash-money Stronger public perception
    29. 29. Describe your audiences:2 Who are you trying to reach? What are you trying to say? Why should they care? What should they do? How will you know if they do?
    30. 30. Get specific.
    31. 31. 3 Straddle the line between: What do my audiences come to the website looking for? What do they want to find and learn and do? and... What do I want them to know that they might not know to look for? What story do I want to tell them?
    32. 32. Content Strategy + Creative Brief - Goals - Audiences and tasks - Core messages - How you talk about yourself - Adjectives - Proof points - Creative criteria - Web analytics to measure
    33. 33. Map it out.
    34. 34. Information Architecture Trinity at a Glance Admission Requirements How to Apply Regular Admission About Trinity Admission Admissions Tuition & Fees Early Decision Academics Financial Aid Dates & Deadlines Topic Navigation Urban + Global FAQs Transfer Students Student Life Athletics Visit Trinity International Students News + Events Request Information Homeschooled StudentsTrinity College Contact Us Graduate Students Current Students Parents Audience Faculty + Staff Individual Majors, Minors Individual Majors, Minors Gateways Majors & Minors & Program Pages & Program Pages Alumni International Programs Schedule of Classes Local Community Academic Special Curricular Internships Programs Apply Raether Library Adult Learning Programs Visit Academics First Year Program Login Task Navigation A-Z Graduate Studies Contact Academic Resources Search Academic Calendar
    35. 35. Card Sorting
    36. 36. 4 Audit your existing content: Is it clear? Is it web-ready? Is it usable? Is it on message? Is it actionable?
    37. 37. Keep score.
    38. 38. Content Audit Page Web- On Page Title URL Clear (notes) (notes) Usable (notes) Number Ready MessageAcademics http://URL Headlines/links on page are clear, but there’s not much linking in text. 1 5 4 5 3Academics > Schools http://URL It’s certainly not cluttered. Links are clear, but there’s It’s certainly usable if you no copy, and nothing in the already know what you’re way of explanation or looking for. Not so much for 1.1 4 1 expansion, particularly for 3 people who don’t. 1 people who don’t know anything about the schools within the university.Academics > http://URL N/A, really. It’s essentially a way to get from point A to point B, soDepartments yes. Could use some brief explanatory text, though. 1.2 5 5 4 1
    39. 39. Comprehensive Content Audit ‣ page title ‣ URL ‣ owner ‣ content type (HTML, form, PDF) ‣ purpose ‣ character count ‣ last updated ‣ alt tags on images? ‣ broken links? ...and more
    40. 40. Developing contentOnce and again.
    41. 41. 5 Watch what happens: Measure: collect analytics on how the content is used in support of web goals. Analyze: report on and evaluate the collected data against goals. Respond: make ongoing changes to the website based on the analytics.
    42. 42. Watch what happens in Advancement:Web Metrics Internal Metrics:‣ Unique visitors ‣ Number of online donations‣ Pages viewed ‣ Number of online donors‣ Average time on site ‣ Number of first time gifts‣ Pages per visit ‣ Dollars given online‣ Bounce rate ‣ Event registrations‣ Clicks to online giving ‣ Participation rates in social‣ Clicks to updates, class sitesnotes‣ Clicks to social sites‣ Clicks to eventregistrations
    43. 43. 6 Share plans and talk with other communicators: Editorial meetings: planning new features and coordinating efforts. Editorial calendar: planning specific messaging and themes for web, print, social, video...
    44. 44. 7 Use your CONTENT management system: A central CMS can make publishing easy and put the focus on content not design. Sharing content across web pages is possible too. Required fields for page title and meta data help with SEO.
    45. 45. 7 A few final nuggets. Speaking of... Photography Less is more Accountability Curation of content Responsive web design
    46. 46. Resources• EDUniverse• mStoner Blog• Content Strategy for the Web (Halvorson)• The Elements of Content Strategy (Kissane)• Meet Content Blog
    47. 47. Thanks!Questions?Susan T. EvansSenior Strategist757.903.1120susan.evans@mstoner.com@susantevans mStoner
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