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Chicken or egg? Solving the strategy vs. structure dilemma

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Strategy or structure, which comes first? In theory, strategy dictates a structure for execution, but quite often, in practice, it is structure that supports strategy. So where should you start when defining a content strategy? This presentation describes how to take a strategic approach to content structure and a structured approach to content strategy.

Published in: Leadership & Management
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Chicken or egg? Solving the strategy vs. structure dilemma

  1. 1. MARIE GIRARD CHICKEN OR EGG? Solving the strategy vs. structure dilemma 1
  2. 2. In mythology, the egg represents potential 2 Jacob Bryant's Orphic Egg (1774) / Public Domain
  3. 3. For most people, strategy is the starting point 3
  4. 4. So strategy is like the egg 4 Egg image by qimono / Public Domain
  5. 5. But the reality is that our content is more like scrambled eggs 5 Scrambled eggs image: © Jules / CC BY 2.0
  6. 6. We often start from an existing structure 6
  7. 7. This structure is visible everywhere 7
  8. 8. It is built into our systems 8
  9. 9. Inventory 9 Image: Chicken egg © Hohum / CC BY-SA 3.0 Image: Chicken @GourmetSleuth / CC BY-SA 3.0
  10. 10. Make an inventory of the existing structure Name Description Workflow Demo What it is? Who creates it? How does it get published? Overview Features Redbooks Roadmap Video […] 10
  11. 11. Inventory Purpose 11 Image: Chicken egg © Hohum / CC BY-SA 3.0 Image: Chicken @GourmetSleuth / CC BY-SA 3.0
  12. 12. Question the business value of the existing content structure Value proposition: what is your business goal? Why is this content here in the first place? 12
  13. 13. Question the purpose of the existing content structure Value proposition: what is your business goal? Purpose: what emotions do you want users to feel? Engage Inspire Persuade Educate Support Engaged Inspired EmpoweredConfident Thankful 13
  14. 14. Inventory + Purpose = Content model Purpose Content type name Value proposition Delivery formats Structure Purpose Content type name Value proposition Delivery formats Structure Purpose Content type name Value proposition Delivery formats Structure Purpose Content type name Value proposition Delivery formats Structure Purpose Content type name Value proposition Delivery formats Structure 14
  15. 15. A content model structures how you retrieve and design content 15 Taxonomy (in systems metadata) Voice and tone guidelines Templates (in authoring tools)
  16. 16. Inventory Purpose Content model Journey Taxonomy Voice & tone Templates 16 Image: Chicken egg © Hohum / CC BY-SA 3.0 Image: Chicken @GourmetSleuth / CC BY-SA 3.0
  17. 17. Start with research to define personas Made with Xtensio 17 Photo © Jaypatel143 / CC BY-SA 4.0
  18. 18. DOING Search for energy efficiency services. Look at case studies on the website. Contact the service provider by mail. Follow guidelines to plan implementation. Ask for help when there are problems. THINKING There are so many providers out there, and none seems to stand out. Wow, they have done exactly what I need with previous clients. I can only see the headquarters’ address here. With these resources I have just what I need. They’re always so helpful. FEELING Describe their experience as a journey Discover Compare Acquire Use Advocate 18 Photo © Jaypatel143 / CC BY-SA 4.0
  19. 19. DOING Search for energy efficiency services. Look at case studies on the website. Contact the service provider by mail. Follow guidelines to plan implementation. Ask for help when there are problems. THINKING There are so many providers out there, and none seems to stand out. Wow, they have done exactly what I need with their clients. I can only see the headquarters’ address here. With these resources I have just what I need. They’re always so helpful. FEELING CHANNELS Search Website Email Community Hotline CONTENT Factor channels and content types into the user journey Discover Compare Acquire Use Advocate Engage Intro Inspire Engage Success story Client reference Persuade Contact form Educate Guideline Support Support Forum entry FAQ 19 Photo © Jaypatel143 / CC BY-SA 4.0
  20. 20. Identify content metrics based on purpose and channel Engage • Shares • Likes • Traffic Inspire • Comments • Exit rates Persuade • Traffic • Chat Educate • Traffic • Ratings Support • Contribution to resolution • Ratings 20
  21. 21. Discover Compare Acquire Use Advocate Engage • Shares • Likes • Traffic Inspire • Comments • Exit rates Persuade • Traffic • Chat Educate • Traffic • Ratings Support • Contribution to resolution • Ratings Inquiries Sentiment Sales System Usability Scale Net Promoter Score Content model + Journey metrics = Performance model 21
  22. 22. A performance model structures how you measure success 22 Image: Dashboard 1 © Infostep / CC BY-SA 4.0
  23. 23. Inventory Purpose Content model Journey Performance model KPI dashboardsTaxonomy Voice & tone Templates Requirements 23 Image: Chicken egg © Hohum / CC BY-SA 3.0 Image: Chicken @GourmetSleuth / CC BY-SA 3.0
  24. 24. KEEP CALM AND RUN AROUND LIKE HEADLESS CHICKENS 24 Image: Crown / Public Domain
  25. 25. Performance model + Requirements = Delivery model Content type Channel Contact Workflow Resources Success story Social media Joe from Marketing Editor’s review + approval Voice and tone + KPIs Client reference Website Harry from Sales Editor’s review + approval KPIs Forum entry Community Sally from Product No review KPIs FAQ Website Niki from Support SME review Voice and tone + KPIs […] 25
  26. 26. A delivery model structures how you manage projects  Fix this FAQ  Remove this client reference  Create this forum entry  Update this guideline  … 26
  27. 27. Models link strategy and structure Inventory Purpose Content model Journey Performance model KPI dashboardsTaxonomy Voice & tone Templates New content Removals Updates Delivery model Requirements 27 Image: Chicken egg © Hohum / CC BY-SA 3.0 Image: Chicken @GourmetSleuth / CC BY-SA 3.0
  28. 28. 28 Image © Phichet9707 / CC BY-SA 3.0

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