I’m Katie Del Angel and I’m going to share with you my first 100 days as a content strategist, and my campaign for change.
So in the next 8 minutes I’ll be sharing with you a little bit about who I am, why I’m here, and also an initiative I started called “Team Content” and how it’s been working to build a culture of content in my organization. I’ll also be sharing what I’m planning to do in the next 100 days, and beyond.
So just a little bit about who I am: I’m Katie Del Angel, and I’m the Marketing Specialist at ISITE Design, an agency out in Boston. I’ve been at ISITE now for almost 2 years, focusing on our social media and content marketing efforts. Much of our marketing has been focused on our 5 blogs – yes, 5. We’ve got the CMS Myth, which focuses on debunking myths around content management systems, and sharing tips and strategies for CMS implementations. We have the Built with Sitecore blog, which is specifically Sitecore CMS focused. Dare to Delight highlights exceptional user experiences. Our Day2 blog focuses on optimization and analytics. And last but not least, we’ve got our Insight blog, which shares digital strategy insights.
Insight also happens to be the name of our longest running marketing initiative, ISITE Insight newsletter, which comes out every month on the full moon to provide a bit of delight to our clients, prospects, agency friends, and thought leaders in the industry. Typically we share anything from agency work to industry insights, and cover a range of subjects in our different areas of practice.
In addition to our 5 blogs and newsletter, our other content marketing efforts have included deliverables like this – CMS Wisdom Report, which came out last year to share stories from the trenches of CMS implementations – as well as other reports, whitepapers, webinars, interviews, guest posting on things like Fast Company, CMS Wire, Ektron’s thought leadership blog, and others – and that’s not even getting into the half dozen social channels we’ve got.So the problem I noticed was, we had all this great content, but it wasn’t consistent and it wasn’t strategic. And I wanted to change that.
So I came up with an idea to spur a culture of content at ISITE, so we could not only make our content more consistent, but also get more people involved in creating it. In the past, it had been primarily just the biz-dev or management, and myself, worrying about producing the content for all these channels. Lucky for me, my boss happens to be a former journalism major, and marketing-minded like me, and he saw the potential for opening up the channels to the great minds within the company, so he was on-board with Team Content from the start. From there, it was a matter of sharing the idea with other management to ensure stakeholder buy-in, so we were able to approve resources. Because the thing is, we also had all these great clients which we weren’t able to talk about due to NDAs, and no way of sharing the good work and brilliant thinking in our organization. So naturally everyone saw the potential in sharing our ideas, and we were able to get the resources we needed. From there, I needed to gain constituents.
So I bought them pizza. I was lucky enough to get the whole company together to describe the idea behind Team Content, and invite everyone to take part in it. I invited everyone to contribute, even those who typically hadn’t ever thought about writing for the blogs or website before.
What it really came down to was enabling the grassroots movement behind content. I created a space in our intranet where everyone could drop ideas as they had them, so others could jump in and collaborate and work through the ideas they had. This not only created visibility of ideas, but also providing a place for teams to work together. We had meetings once a month, newsroom style, to hash out ideas and assign the writers to stories. An editorial calendar was confirmed each month and the editor of each blog ensured the articles were coming together. I retained the role of “editor-in-chief” to review all the articles and publish them, as well as helping anyone work through ideas as needed.
What happened was incredible. We went from having a mere 7 authors in Q1 of last year, to 15 authors in the first 100 days of this year. What was cool is it was no longer the “marketing” types writing – we had authors from the analytics group, PMs who typically didn’t have time for writing, and people from all over the organization contributing ideas and writing. We went from 13 blog posts in Q1 of last year, to 41 posts in Q1 of this year alone.
And what it really proved was building this team, then producing and maintaining the content, was working. Now it was a matter of focusing on strategy.
Now I know this is totally backwards from the “typical” content strategy methodology. I know a lot of you are thinking “Well, shouldn’t you create the message architecture, and the style guidelines, and the frameworks to ensure we’ve got the same voice, and tone, and writing parameters…”But that’s not what I was trying to do. What Team Content was really about was facilitating that culture of content, and enabling anyone to share their ideas and expertise. I wanted to lower the bar for entry, so people weren’t put off by the requirements and guidelines of writing – especially with so many who had never written anything.
So what’s next?Now that I’ve finished the initial content audit and shared it with the team – showing them that what we’re doing is working, and we are actually increasing traffic to the sites as a result – I’m digging deeper into our analytics and data to refine the strategy. I’m working on focusing the content further so that we continue to produce great content, and are creating things that our audience finds helpful and relevant. I’m tracking the polls to make sure we move in the right direction together.I’m also maintaining the campaign, and continuing to recruit new writers for Team Content. And hopefully, we’ll continue to grow the team in the next 100 days, and beyond.
Confab Lightning Talk - The First 100 Days
A Newbie’s Campaign for ChangeKatie Del Angel@katiedel#CSFirstHundred
Please refrain from running to Happy Hour early… Who am I, Why am I here? Team Content: Why, Who & How The Next 100 (& Beyond) @katiedel #CSFirstHundred