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Agile Content: Lessons from Lean Startups
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Agile Content: Lessons from Lean Startups

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This presentation compares Lean Startup principles to content life cycles and shows how Chicago web company Mightybytes used these concepts to build a content-driven web application called Ecograder …

This presentation compares Lean Startup principles to content life cycles and shows how Chicago web company Mightybytes used these concepts to build a content-driven web application called Ecograder that crawls websites and grades them on sustainability criteria.

Published in: Marketing, Technology, Design
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  • 1. Agile Content Lessons from Lean Startups Content Jam October 17, 2013 a presentation by Tim Frick @timfrick Monday, October 21, 13
  • 2. Mightybytes is a Certified B Corporation B Corps use the power of business to solve social & environmental problems. Monday, October 21, 13
  • 3. Think Like a Startup Earlier this year, Mightybytes tried an experiment: we attempted to become a lean startup, or at least act like one as we developed a content-heavy digital product called Ecograder. Monday, October 21, 13
  • 4. Ecograder Who it’s for: • • • • Web designers & developers Marketing managers & website owners Environmental nonprofits Any environmentally conscious person who works on websites Monday, October 21, 13
  • 5. Ecograder Ecograder (www.ecograder.com) is a free tool that measures website sustainability and provides a roadmap for making improvements and decreasing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Monday, October 21, 13
  • 6. Ecograder How it works: 1. Input your URL 2. Crawls your website 3. Assesses its sustainability level based on several key factors 4. Produces a score and report for site improvements Monday, October 21, 13
  • 7. Ecograder What it grades: Monday, October 21, 13
  • 8. Ecograder Handy dandy reports Monday, October 21, 13
  • 9. Ecograder Content and Curation-Heavy Monday, October 21, 13
  • 10. Content Science! “Content marketing must be approached like a scientist. There are no mistakes, just feedback.” Srinivas Rao, Search Engine Journal Applying Principles of Growth Hacking to Content Marketing Monday, October 21, 13
  • 11. Lean Startup vs. Content Marketing Monday, October 21, 13
  • 12. Validated Learning 1. Specify a goal 2. Specify a metric that represents the goal 3. Act to achieve the goal 4.Analyze the metric—did you get closer to the goal? 5. Improve and try again Monday, October 21, 13
  • 13. Minimum Viable Product Product version which allows a team to collect the maximum amount of validated learning about customers with the least effort. Source: Paul Kortman, paulkortman.com Monday, October 21, 13
  • 14. How We Learned • Hypothesis to prove: will building a website sustainability grader help create awareness about the internet’s carbon footprint? Monday, October 21, 13
  • 15. Lean Green Lessons • Eliminates the need to ‘know it all’. • Testing hypotheses allows for rapid iteration of ideas. • Involving users throughout the process speeds up feedback. Monday, October 21, 13
  • 16. Mighty Learning Lessons • Waterfall habits are not easy to break. • Team of 12 not so lean. • Hard to create a ‘comprehensive resource’ without a lot of content. • Iteration: products don’t end (unless you pivot). Monday, October 21, 13
  • 17. 7 Ideas for Growth Hacking Content Strategy Monday, October 21, 13
  • 18. 1. Embrace Limitations • Start small: use social networks to bounce ideas first before executing them. • Set realistic goals: keep word count low, one idea per post, etc. etc. • Create something worth spreading for a small group of people. Monday, October 21, 13
  • 19. 2. Always Be Testing • Build/Measure/Learn: create a fast feedback loop. • Involve customers during process (not after). • A/B Testing: produce actionable data. • Custom dashboards: Google Analytics, Moz, etc. Monday, October 21, 13
  • 20. 3. Measure What Matters • Find the One Metric That Matters (Lean Analytics) • Don’t get overwhelmed by metrics; choose wisely. • Once defined, benchmark often and iterate. Monday, October 21, 13
  • 21. 4. Consider Curation • Rapid feedback: share content created by others first to see how it performs. • Curated post: create a list of other people’s posts about a specific strategic topic; test performance. Monday, October 21, 13
  • 22. 5. Repurpose Content When Possible Monday, October 21, 13
  • 23. 6. Guest Blog Monday, October 21, 13
  • 24. 7. Build Contacts Old A/B Test Winner Labeling counts! 10% increase in conversions Monday, October 21, 13
  • 25. Results! a presentation by Monday, October 21, 13
  • 26. Ecograder Results • 2571 unique URLs crawled since May. • #4 page on our site in terms of page views. • #3 landing page for audiences coming from social networks. • Media placements in: • • • • Monday, October 21, 13 Fast Company Chicago Sun-Times Sustainable Brands Fucking Homepage and more.
  • 27. Ecograder Results “I think you are not in a position to give Quebec citizen any lesson about green electricity.” —Angry person at Domtar Monday, October 21, 13
  • 28. Ecograder Results Monday, October 21, 13
  • 29. Resources Monday, October 21, 13
  • 30. Resources Monday, October 21, 13
  • 31. Resources Monday, October 21, 13
  • 32. Thank You a presentation by Tim Frick @timfrick Monday, October 21, 13

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