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Let's put some strategy in our content strategies!

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It’s kind of ironic that there’s often very little strategy in what many people refer to as “content strategy”. The work being done is either tactical or applied best practice. Now, there’s nothing wrong with either of those things — they’re both quite necessary at times.

But a strategy needs provide a solution to a significant problem by identifying specific obstacles and opportunities, outlining a guiding vision, and planning for how an organisation will achieve that vision. A content strategy, simply does the same thing but uses content and content practices to achieve the goal.

In this webinar, Kathy breaks out the essential parts of good strategy and provides hands-on, practical advice for making sure your content strategy is strategic.

Published in: Marketing
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Let's put some strategy in our content strategies!

  1. 1. Let’s put some strategy in our content strategies! Twitter: #StrategyFirstCS | @Kathy_CS_Inc
  2. 2. How do you spend your days? Photo by Artem Kovalev on Unsplash#StrategyFirstCS | @Kathy_CS_Inc
  3. 3. • Audits • Recommendations • Personas • Future vision • Research • Writing • Journey maps • Content models • Training • Team building • Information architecture • Messaging
  4. 4. What is that accomplishing? And why? #StrategyFirstCS | @Kathy_CS_Inc Photo by Artem Kovalev on Unsplash
  5. 5. Does content strategy give you a sense of achievement or contribution? Photo by Maria Teneva on Unsplash#StrategyFirstCS | @Kathy_CS_Inc
  6. 6. Best practices Methods or techniques generally accepted as superior because they produce consistently superior results. #StrategyFirstCS | @Kathy_CS_Inc Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash
  7. 7. Tactics Means by which a strategy is carried out. Activities that deal with the demands of the moment, or move towards milestones. Photo by Form on Unsplash#StrategyFirstCS | @Kathy_CS_Inc
  8. 8. Strategy “A coherent set of analysis, concepts, policies, and arguments that respond to a high- stakes challenge.” ~ Richard Rumelt #StrategyFirstCS | @Kathy_CS_Inc
  9. 9. Know your high-stakes challenge Have it or find it Photo by Tj Kolesnik on Unspl#StrategyFirstCS | @Kathy_CS_Inc
  10. 10. Aligns with a functional or business goal. Improved content is beneficial to the goal, or content status quo is detrimental to the goal. Photo by Tj Kolesnik on Unspl#StrategyFirstCS | @Kathy_CS_Inc Know your high-stakes challenge
  11. 11.  Good high-stakes challenge  Not good high-stakes challenge Reduce customer support calls Revise content for plain language Streamline operational efficiency Review content approval process Align digital properties to one brand Revise page titles for consistency Reuse content efficiently across regions Develop a taxonomy Increase employee use of intranet Move HR policies from pdf to html #StrategyFirstCS | @Kathy_CS_Inc
  12. 12. When we know how our activities fit within a strategy We know our contributions are valued#StrategyFirstCS | @Kathy_CS_Inc Photo by Artem Kovalev on Unsplash
  13. 13. How much strategy is in your content strategy work? #StrategyFirstCS | @Kathy_CS_Inc
  14. 14. A strategy has three parts: 1. Findings & foundation 2. Guiding focus 3. Coherent action plan #StrategyFirstCS | @Kathy_CS_Inc
  15. 15. Download this here: www.contentstrategyinc.com/wp-content/uploads/Strategic-Content-Strategy-Canvas.pdf
  16. 16. Understand the current situation, future objectives, and any obstacles or opportunities involved. #StrategyFirstCS | @Kathy_CS_Inc Photo by Gabriel Jimenez on Unsplash Findings and foundation
  17. 17. Investigate business needs and environment • What challenge did you identify, or are you responding to? • How will the current business environment help or hinder your progress? • What resources do you have to work with, in terms of skill-sets, time, and budget? #StrategyFirstCS | @Kathy_CS_Inc
  18. 18. Investigate audience needs and situation • Who is your audience? • What are your audience’s goals, perceptions, and needs? • What obstacles and opportunities are there in meeting audience needs? #StrategyFirstCS | @Kathy_CS_Inc
  19. 19. Review your current content situation • What content do you have or need to work with, to effectively respond to the challenge? • What content teams and processes are impacted? • How much work is required to move the content (and content teams, processes, technology, etc) from current state to future vision? #StrategyFirstCS | @Kathy_CS_Inc
  20. 20. Guiding focus Provides: • a vision for the future. • high-level guidelines for getting there. • a rationale for why this vision is the strategic solution. Photo by Chris Barbalis on Unsplash#StrategyFirstCS | @Kathy_CS_Inc
  21. 21. Show the content strategy vision #StrategyFirstCS | @Kathy_CS_Inc • A sneak peek into the future state of content. • Not a blue-sky vision. An achievable, strategic vision.
  22. 22. Define the guiding principles #StrategyFirstCS | @Kathy_CS_Inc • Are rules that help people stay focused. • Provides enough of a high-level “how” to get senior-level support. • Becomes a decision-making framework moving forward.
  23. 23. Provide the rationale • Why this vision, and these guiding principles, rather than another? • What does the research show? • Reiterate risks of status quo. #StrategyFirstCS | @Kathy_CS_Inc
  24. 24. Guiding focus Findings & foundation #StrategyFirstCS | @Kathy_CS_Inc
  25. 25. Action plan A detailed outline of what’s involved and how the work will get done. Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash#StrategyFirstCS | @Kathy_CS_Inc
  26. 26. Action plan • What needs to happen, by who, and when? • How will it get done (in terms of resourcing, budgets, etc)? • What are the dependencies and implications (for example, technology and training)? • Creating a detailed roadmap works well for this. #StrategyFirstCS | @Kathy_CS_Inc
  27. 27. Guiding focus Action plan Findings & foundation #StrategyFirstCS | @Kathy_CS_Inc
  28. 28. The canvas does not convey strategy details Simply a tool to help make sure your content strategy is strategic. You can use it as… Download this here: www.contentstrategyinc.com/wp-content/uploads/Strategic-Content-Strategy-Canvas.pdf
  29. 29. A facilitation tool. Photo by Daria Nepriakhina on Unsplash
  30. 30. A working framework. #StrategyFirstCS | @Kathy_CS_Inc
  31. 31. A summary snapshot. Photo by Malcolm Lightbody on Unsplash#StrategyFirstCS | @Kathy_CS_Inc
  32. 32. How to open the door for strategic work? • Start small • Support other teams • Build trust • Measure progress • Share successes Photo by Joaquin Paz y Miño on Unsplash#StrategyFirstCS | @Kathy_CS_Inc
  33. 33.  Good high-stakes challenge  Good small high-stakes challenge Reduce customer support calls …from people who visit support site Streamline operational efficiency …of approval process within a team Align digital properties to new brand … starting with one priority area Reuse content efficiently across regions …starting with one use case Increase employee use of intranet …starting with high-priority section #StrategyFirstCS | @Kathy_CS_Inc
  34. 34. Aligns with a functional or business goal. Improved content is beneficial to the goal, or content status quo is detrimental to the goal. Photo by Tj Kolesnik on Unspl#StrategyFirstCS | @Kathy_CS_Inc Even a small high-stakes challenge
  35. 35. Strategy review
  36. 36. A strategy Is a response to a high-stakes challenge. #StrategyFirstCS | @Kathy_CS_Inc
  37. 37. A strategy has three parts: 1. Findings & foundation 2. Guiding focus 3. Coherent action plan #StrategyFirstCS | @Kathy_CS_Inc
  38. 38. Findings & foundation includes: 1. Business needs 2. Audience needs 3. Content needs #StrategyFirstCS | @Kathy_CS_Inc
  39. 39. Guiding focus includes: 1. Vision 2. Guiding principles 3. Rationale #StrategyFirstCS | @Kathy_CS_Inc
  40. 40. Coherant action plan includes: 1. Who 2. What 3. When #StrategyFirstCS | @Kathy_CS_Inc
  41. 41. To make sure you cover all areas that contribute to good content strategy Use the canvas framework #StrategyFirstCS | @Kathy_CS_Inc
  42. 42. Use the canvas framework • To facilitate discussion • To guide your approach • To show snapshot #StrategyFirstCS | @Kathy_CS_Inc
  43. 43. Which gives us a sense of achievement and contribution. Photo by Maria Teneva on Unsplash Aligning activities to a strategy helps others to see the value in what we do. #StrategyFirstCS | @Kathy_CS_Inc
  44. 44. How do you spend your days? #StrategyFirstCS | @Kathy_CS_Inc Photo by Artem Kovalev on Unsplash
  45. 45. • Audits • Recommendations • Personas • Future vision • Research • Writing • Journey maps • Content models • Training • Team building • Information architecture • Messaging
  46. 46. But you’ll know what you’re contributing to. And can prioritize your efforts. #StrategyFirstCS | @Kathy_CS_Inc Photo by Artem Kovalev on Unsplash
  47. 47. If you want more on strategy
  48. 48. Visit ContentStrategyInc.com for related articles: • Put more strategy into your content strategy • How to complete the content strategy canvas • Three ways to use the content strategy canvas And to download the canvas: • Strategic Content Strategy Canvas (pdf)
  49. 49. Questions? And thank you Kathy Wagner Content Strategy Inc kathy@contentstrategyinc.com @Kathy_CS_Inc | @Team_CS_Inc Monthly newsletter: http://eepurl.com/bTo4PH

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