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Ellen DeVries at WP-Brighton 2011 - Content Strategy
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Ellen DeVries at WP-Brighton 2011 - Content Strategy


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  • Thank you A little bit about me. I do copywriting, branding, content strategy, training and I sometimes run content teams Some of the most well known companies I’ve done content strategy with include: The Ethical Tea Partnership
  • Just so you know who I am. These are some of the companies I’ve worked with. I’m often called in to do rebrands, I work with agencies too. I’m a Copywriter, Content Strategist, Copy Trainer editor. Some of the most well known companies I’ve done content strategy with include: The Ethical Tea Partnership and Fitness First, Branding with YMCA Training. Web agencies in Brighton.
  • The whole point of this talk is that content comes first. You need a strategy for how you ’ re going to cope with the living beast of your website. If you get a new dog you have to get it a kennel and work out who ’ s going to walk it feed it etc. Same thing with a website. Ask the audience? What could go wrong with a website? It needs looking after. Now is the time to think about that. I deal with websites that are malnourished and sick all the time What kinds of things can go wrong when you’re building a website? Content needs to be the start and the end of your process. We’re going to take a look at that process. No use designing the book jacket and then filling it with book. No use having a mobile phone without anyone to call or reasons to own it. Who here has a company with between 1 and 10 employees Who here has a company with 20 employees or more Who has a company with a marketing department. Ok here we’re talking about Content Strategy on the Smallest scale – the basics. But if you have a big company with lots of content, membership, levels of entry to your content. Then I guess the metaphor would be a pack of dogs.
  • A website is a living breathing thing that needs looking after. So I’m here to tell you that you need to start with content. Content is king. It rules the household so you need to be firm with it.
  • I ’ m here to save you from creating an unhealthy beast. I’ve seen a lot of malnourished websites that never come to fruition.
  • What is good content? Relevant Information Architecture: Titles and structure Copy that supports your brand and tone of voice Relevant dynamic content: News, updates, blogs Videos that are well produced and support your brand Guides that are relevant to your customers User generated content that ’ s well curated Campaigns that support your brand/ marketing strategy Pictures, photos and diagrams that support your copy I could go on for hours about what good content is: But the big thing is RELEVANCE. SUPPORT YOUR BRAND. We’ll talk more about how to keep things relevant later. If you’re a train site – you need to give your audiences timetables and booking possibilities, not just information about trains. You don’t start with your history. You’ve got to think about real estate of the page.
  • A single person who has sign off A single person for editing A single person to keep momentum A single person who asks why
  • Some example objectives: You want to spend less time on the phone explaining things to customers – so give them an FAQ You want the site to drive business You want to be an information service You want to connect volunteers You want to spend more time on the phone to customers – so give them a phone number on every page Suggest a graph with postit notes.
  • Some of the most well known companies I’ve done content strategy with include: The Ethical Tea Partnership
  • KIT BAG 1 This prevents the disastrous effect of: The website takes too much time Too many cooks Keeping everything relevant
  • One way to do this is with the time capsule activity: If you were to put a description of your company in a time capsule to be discovered years hence how would it read ‘ Ladies computer bags limited gave women a new sense identity in the workplace, finally laptop bags were made more feminine without being 90’s pink or blingy’ Look at your research and work out where your competitors are missing a trick. What would your Company disintegrate without? It can be tempting to go with trustworthy, accountable – but are your clients really going to care? Think about more interesting vocabulary: Nimble fingered Light hearted Pixel perfectionists
  • Messaging Read my blog post.
  • Check back with your branding, messaging, objectives
  • Content needs to be the start and the end of your process. You need to make sure your copy has a workflow: you need some established ways to keep track. If you’ve got a massive website you need to be sure that you’re covering all the bases. You can keep track of content with a spreadsheet.
  • Transcript

    • 1.  
    • 2. Hello. I ’ m Ellen de Vries. @eldevri on Twitter.
    • 3.  
    • 4. A website is not just for Christmas.
    • 5.   Prevention is less expensive than cure
    • 6.
      • Dog / website ailments:
      • It eats £1000s and demands lots of your time
      • It’s untrained and badly groomed
      • It sits lifelessly and ignored in the back garden
      • No-one wants to take responsibility for it
    • 7.
      • What is good content?
      • Relevant to audience and context
      • It supports your brand and tone of voice
      • Well curated
    • 8.
      • Who is responsible?
      • Anchor (wo)man
      • Curator
      • Editor
    • 9.
      • 2. Establish objectives
      • What do you want to the site to achieve?
      • Importance versus feasibility
      • Keep the ‘ wouldn ’ t it be cool if… ’ stuff for later
    • 10. Feasibility. Importance.
    • 11.
      • 3. Audit and research
      • Research competitors
      • Work out what ’ s changing and what stays
      • If you ’ re into Search Engine Optimisation do research now
    • 12.
      • 4. Branding
      • Who are you? In a nutshell.
      • What makes you different?
      • What do you believe in? Don ’ t be boring.
      • Establish a tone of voice.
    • 13.
      • 5 . Messaging
      • Who are your audiences?
      • What problems do they need solving?
      • How do you make things all better?
      • What do you want your reader to do next?
    • 14.
      • 6. Create
      • Create an information architecture (and site map)
      • Create a schedule for content makers and writers
      • Don ’ t forget tagging and metadata
    • 15.
      • 7. Ongoing workflow
      • Edit edit edit edit edit
      • Keep track of expiring content
      • A schedule for keeping content fresh
      • Think about your distribution channels
      • Keep a spreadsheet for your QA
    • 16. As time goes by… you need to feed and groom it.
    • 17. Thanks for listening. Ellen de Vries [email_address] Twitter: @eldevri