Content Strategy: A Road Map For Delivering Better Websites


Published on

Published in: Technology, Travel
  • Be the first to comment

Content Strategy: A Road Map For Delivering Better Websites

  1. 1. North Bay Web ConferenceSunday, May 20th, 2012 Content Strategy A Road Map for Delivering Better Websites
  2. 2. “A good plan is like a road map:it shows the final destination andusually the best way to get there. —H. Stanley Judd ”
  3. 3. No! I did notsteal KristinaHalvorson’spresentation.
  4. 4. What I’ll cover in 15 (OKmaybe 20) minutes!
  5. 5. What I’ll cover in 15 (OKmaybe 20) minutes!1. Content. What it is.2. What’s quality content?3. What distinguishes quality content from the hoi polloi?4. What’s a content strategy?5. How can a content strategy help you reach your destination?
  6. 6. Content. What it is.
  7. 7. 1. An ambassador.2. Good communications.3. Increasingly important business asset.
  8. 8. What is quality content?
  9. 9. What is quality content? What does Google mean by quality content? “We have modified aclassifier we use to promote fresh content to exclude fresh content identified as particularly low-quality.” –Matt Cutts
  10. 10. What is quality content? What do I mean by quality content?1. Content that earns it’s keep.2. Content that helps both the business and the audience reach their destination. 0
  11. 11. What distinguishesquality content from the rest of the hoi polloi?
  12. 12. 1. Findable Easy to find2. Actionable Capable of being acted upon3. Measurable Capable of being measured4. Shareable Designed to be shared
  13. 13. 1. Findable Easy to find2. Actionable Capable of being acted upon3. Measurable Capable of being measured4. Shareable Designed to be shared
  14. 14. What’s acontent strategy?
  15. 15. A content strategy is a plan for gathering, creating,publishing and managing content that is findable,actionable, measurable and shareable; content thatbridges business goals and audience
  16. 16. What acontent strategy isn’t.
  17. 17. The web has become an “organization’s primary communications, sales,marketing, and transactional vehicle.” — Lisa Welchman, Welchman Pierpoint1. It isn’t a production project. It’s a cyclical and ongoing business process.2. It isn’t a task or step that fits nicely into a “do it here” slot. It informs every step of our web design processes.3. It isn’t a fad.
  18. 18. And it’s not a shortcut!
  19. 19. And it’s not a shortcut!“Thinking about it is easy - doing it is hard.” –Karen McGrane
  20. 20. How can a contentstrategy help you reach your destination?
  21. 21. Road Trip! A content strategy is a plan, and if a web project was a road trip, you might order a AAA TripTik® for your client.
  22. 22. Planning a road trip.1. What’s their destination, and why are they taking this trip?2. What resources are available?3. Who’s traveling with them?4. How are they going to get there?5. What do they need to take with them?6. How will they pack so everything can be found?7. What will they do when they reach their destination?
  23. 23. Planning a road trip.What’s their destination, and why are theytaking this trip?1. Invite all of the stakeholders to the table.2. Revisit their mission and vision.3. Explore what they want to accomplish.4. Define tangible and measurable objectives.
  24. 24. Planning a road trip.What resources areavailable?Maybe the trip to Europe will have to wait, butLas Vegas is doable.1. How much time and money do they have?2. Who will collaborate with you?3. Do they have anyone on staff qualified and available to create content?
  25. 25. Planning a road trip.Who’s traveling with them?1. Who is their audience?2. What are their stories?3. What do they care about?4. What are they looking for?5. Are business goals aligned with audience Dairy Queen, outdoor adventure, luxury? goals?
  26. 26. Planning a road trip.How will they get where they’re going?1. What is their core content strategy?2. What are their key messages?3. What is their editorial strategy, UX strategy?4. What about “intelligent content and CMS requirements?What’s the best way to reach their destination? The direct route, the scenic route,over the river and through the woods?
  27. 27. Planning a road trip.What do they need to take with them?What content do they need? Do they have a swimsuit. Does it fit? Do they need anew one? If so, who’s doing the shopping? If a new swimsuit isn’t in the budget,can they get by with the old swimsuit.1. What do they have?2. Is it any good?3. What do they need?4. Where will it come from?
  28. 28. Planning a road trip.How will they pack everything so it can be found?It’s a sure bet someone will want to find a book, camera, snack or iPod you packed.And they don’t all want the same thing at the same time.1. How will the information architecture be structured?2. What are their taxonomy and metadata strategies?3. What’s their SEO strategy?
  29. 29. Planning a road trip.What will they do when they reach their destination? What’s the plan? Who will be in charge of activities and schedules? Who will make sure that folks scuba diving know how to swim and get proper training.1. How are key content decisions made, initiated and communicated?2. How will their content be maintained throughout its lifecycle?3. What are the rules, policies, guidelines, standards that govern their content workflow and processes?4. Are content production and CMS workshops and training scheduled5. Who’s qualified to produce content?6. How often will they measure success, and who will do it?7. What is their ongoing content marketing plan and who will do it?
  30. 30. Let’s get this show on the road. “A content strategy must achieve a harmonic balance between business goals, editorial mission, user expectations, design vision, the content production process, and technological capabilities. All of these elements must work together to bring a content strategy to life. …Content is the common thread that runs through all of these elements.” – Rachel Lovinger
  31. 31. This is what your processes canlook like when you have a plan; a content strategy.
  32. 32. Discovery1. The discovery worksheet becomes a thoughtful and intentional road map.2. Plans are made based on available resources.3. Personas identify what audiences care about.4. Core web strategies, messaging and editorial strategies inform content and design decisions, and features and functionality needs.5. Content audits document the quantity and quality of your content.6. Purposeful content is planned for, collected and generated.7. Content modeling and content templates direct content production.8. Fantasy architecture is replaced with useful, usable structure.9. Success metrics and a plan for ongoing maintenance are pre-determined.10. Design and development costs now become predictable.
  33. 33. And all this before you open Photoshop!
  34. 34. UX & Visual Design “Content strategy frames a project for the designer.” – Brad Shorr1. Branding and visual design decisions support business and user goals.2. Multiple comps and endless rounds of revision are a thing of the past.3. The layout supports UX and user goals.4. Micro-copy, button text, navigation, and error messages are planned for.
  35. 35. Develop1. Web page “templates” are built based on real content reducing the amount of HTML/CSS/JS rework.2. Features and functionality are based on business requirements, user goals and available resources.3. CMS requirements drive the build, and content is migrated seamlessly.4. CMS interfaces accommodate the content, workflow, taxonomy, metadata and CMS users, etc..5. CMS Authors are happy!
  36. 36. Deploy1. Governance and maintenance rules, policies, workflows, and standards are pre-determined2. CMS documentation has been created and training has been scheduled.3. Editorial calendars and style guides ensure consistency in future content4. Metrics tools are installed and reviews are scheduled.5. SEO plans are in place
  37. 37. And finally… (Substance before sizzle!)You’re ready to execute yourmarketing plans. Whether you’replanning for social mediainbound campaigns, blogging orwhite papers, your internetmarketing plans will lookremarkably like your plans forcontent.
  38. 38. Final words of wisdom.
  39. 39. “As content marketing becomes an integral part of the mix, marketersneed to start thinking about content first” – Stacey King Gordon, Suite Seven“Our job is not to convince and evangelize people who don’t get theimportance of ours job, but rather to find the people who get it, and makethem great.” – Karen McGrane, Art Bond & Science
  40. 40. A content strategy can fix a lot of ourcontent problems, but…“You can’t fix everything.” – Lisa Welchman, Welchman Pierpoint
  41. 41. Thank you! Know your goals Know your audience Know what you have Know what you need Know who’s responsible for it Know when you need helpjeri@lofwebdesign | @jerihastava |