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Enough Theory! Let's Put That Content Strategy into Action!

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There’s always talk about creating a content strategy, but it’s putting that strategy to action that’s the challenge. Using the overhauled Emmanuel College (Boston) website as backdrop, this presentation - given at the 2014 eduWeb Conference in Baltimore - demonstrates how topics, themes, and taxonomy can be identified and implemented across online and offline channels to unify the overall content experience for your key audiences. Learn how to present content to bridge the divide between organizational and functional silo's in your institution, and in a manner that differentiates you from others.

Enough Theory! Let's Put That Content Strategy into Action!

  1. 1. #eduWeb14© 2014 ENOUGH THEORY! 1 Let’s put that content strategy into action! @EmmanuelCollege | @honanm | @zigzagJeff | @thePrimacy | thePrimacy.com
  2. 2. #eduWeb14© 2014 Thank you for coming today! 2 Molly Honan DiLorenzo Emmanuel College – Boston AVP, Marketing Communications Jeff Johnson Primacy SVP, Education Practice Lead @EmmanuelCollege | @honanm | @zigzagJeff | @thePrimacy | thePrimacy.com
  3. 3. #eduWeb14© 2014 Tweeting today? 3 #eduweb14 @EmmanuelCollege @honanm @zigzagJeff @thePrimacy @EmmanuelCollege | @honanm | @zigzagJeff | @thePrimacy | thePrimacy.com
  4. 4. #eduWeb14© 2014 Good conference? How many here are… –With a school? –Marketing side? –Technology side? –Different business? –An agency or vendor? 4@EmmanuelCollege | @honanm | @zigzagJeff | @thePrimacy | thePrimacy.com
  5. 5. #eduWeb14© 2014 At the Conference: Listening. Talking. Sharing. Many challenges to address! 5@EmmanuelCollege | @honanm | @zigzagJeff | @thePrimacy | thePrimacy.com
  6. 6. #eduWeb14© 2014 MAXIMIZING THE CONTENT EXPERIENCE USING TOPICS, THEMES, AND TAXONOMY @EmmanuelCollege | @honanm | @zigzagJeff | @thePrimacy | thePrimacy.com 6
  7. 7. #eduWeb14© 2014 Importance of Content Strategy Create, organize, structure, govern and maintain audience-aligned content that is audience-aligned. At its root, helps address the following: What is most valuable to, or required by, our audience? How does content activate, personify and differentiate the Emmanuel College brand, mission, vision, values and traditions? How does content align with our business objectives? What format, structure, and organization does content take? Where is our content distributed and accessed? @EmmanuelCollege | @honanm | @zigzagJeff | @thePrimacy | thePrimacy.com 7
  8. 8. #eduWeb14© 2014 “Content Strategy” means many things Today’s context: Understand how we tell the [Emmanuel College] story in most compelling and relevant way possible Elevating the brand and connecting with key audiences Deliver an experience that proactively guides our audiences by anticipating their needs Help audiences make optimal decisions, provide the right resources, insight and expertise at moment of need @EmmanuelCollege | @honanm | @zigzagJeff | @thePrimacy | thePrimacy.com 8
  9. 9. #eduWeb14© 2014 Challenges we’ll address Using the overhauled Emmanuel College (Boston) website as backdrop Balance between organizational structure of your school… with target audience’s mental model(s) Differentiating in a sea of “me-too” schools all saying same thing Effective storytelling that helps “connect the dots” on the “why” 9@EmmanuelCollege | @honanm | @zigzagJeff | @thePrimacy | thePrimacy.com
  10. 10. #eduWeb14© 2014 @EmmanuelCollege | @honanm | @zigzagJeff | @thePrimacy | thePrimacy.com emmanuel.edu/ Educational Offerings Scholarly Achievements / Outcomes Nuts and Bolts What How Why Informational Transactional Experiential 10
  11. 11. #eduWeb14© 2014 Our Starting Point 11 Two insights… @EmmanuelCollege | @honanm | @zigzagJeff | @thePrimacy | thePrimacy.com
  12. 12. #eduWeb14© 2014 Storytelling. What sets you apart. The unique stories only YOU can tell. Today: utilizing a “topic-driven” approach and leverage taxonomy and tagging techniques to share content across organizational boundaries. 12@EmmanuelCollege | @honanm | @zigzagJeff | @thePrimacy | thePrimacy.com
  13. 13. #eduWeb14© 2014 Context: Website visitors respond well to content presented in context. Personalizing content experiences allows visitors to “explore” on their terms, and “discover” with your guidance. 13@EmmanuelCollege | @honanm | @zigzagJeff | @thePrimacy | thePrimacy.com
  14. 14. #eduWeb14© 2014 EMMANUEL COLLEGE 14 Small, private, residential, Catholic, liberal arts and sciences college, in the heart of Boston @EmmanuelCollege | @honanm | @zigzagJeff | @thePrimacy | thePrimacy.com
  15. 15. #eduWeb14© 2014 Sounds great, huge problem 15@EmmanuelCollege | @honanm | @zigzagJeff | @thePrimacy | thePrimacy.com More than 100 colleges and universities in greater Boston area* 20 miles
  16. 16. #eduWeb14© 2014 Tired website Served admirably for 6 years @EmmanuelCollege | @honanm | @zigzagJeff | @thePrimacy | thePrimacy.com 16
  17. 17. #eduWeb14© 2014 Mirrored the organizational structure 17@EmmanuelCollege | @honanm | @zigzagJeff | @thePrimacy | thePrimacy.com
  18. 18. #eduWeb14© 2014 Website began to collapse with attempts to extend content experience 18@EmmanuelCollege | @honanm | @zigzagJeff | @thePrimacy | thePrimacy.com
  19. 19. #eduWeb14© 2014 And we needed to celebrate things unique to us… 19@EmmanuelCollege | @honanm | @zigzagJeff | @thePrimacy | thePrimacy.com
  20. 20. #eduWeb14© 2014 So we started bolting on microsites 20@EmmanuelCollege | @honanm | @zigzagJeff | @thePrimacy | thePrimacy.com • Maintain content in two places • Resource drain
  21. 21. #eduWeb14© 2014 We hit the wall… 21@EmmanuelCollege | @honanm | @zigzagJeff | @thePrimacy | thePrimacy.com
  22. 22. #eduWeb14© 2014 We hit the wall… 22@EmmanuelCollege | @honanm | @zigzagJeff | @thePrimacy | thePrimacy.com …and embarked on a website redesign
  23. 23. #eduWeb14© 2014 Let’s get our priorities straight 23 Website Redesign Priorities Attract (higher- credentialed) Students Tell the Emmanuel Story Engaging and Intuitive @EmmanuelCollege | @honanm | @zigzagJeff | @thePrimacy | thePrimacy.com
  24. 24. #eduWeb14© 2014 Brand AND content experience Imperatives: Flexible content strategy – Can expand with needs Create lasting IA structure – One that doesn’t need to be rethought @EmmanuelCollege | @honanm | @zigzagJeff | @thePrimacy | thePrimacy.com 24
  25. 25. #eduWeb14© 2014 Common theme: This stuff is hard! 25@EmmanuelCollege | @honanm | @zigzagJeff | @thePrimacy | thePrimacy.com
  26. 26. #eduWeb14© 2014 No other category of website has a greater range of relevant target audiences than a college or university. 26 Feel free to tweet this.  @EmmanuelCollege | @honanm | @zigzagJeff | @thePrimacy | thePrimacy.com
  27. 27. #eduWeb14© 2014 Media, Faculty, Staff (and Prospective) Current Students Alumni/Donors Family / Influencers Prospective Students Typical Education Website Audience Identification and Prioritization @EmmanuelCollege | @honanm | @zigzagJeff | @thePrimacy | thePrimacy.com 27
  28. 28. #eduWeb14© 2014 It’s easy to oversimplify 28 http://xkcd.com/773/ @EmmanuelCollege | @honanm | @zigzagJeff | @thePrimacy | thePrimacy.com
  29. 29. #eduWeb14© 2014 And… also easy to spoof! 29@EmmanuelCollege | @honanm | @zigzagJeff | @thePrimacy | thePrimacy.com
  30. 30. #eduWeb14© 2014 Result of many website redesign efforts 9-18 months of pure fun New design New CMS – more often than is often necessary Similar underlying structure Little or no change with content strategy @EmmanuelCollege | @honanm | @zigzagJeff | @thePrimacy | thePrimacy.com 30 Congrats! You put a new suit on the same challenges.
  31. 31. #eduWeb14© 2014 31@EmmanuelCollege | @honanm | @zigzagJeff | @thePrimacy | thePrimacy.com Foundation for Website Redesign Where teams should spend MORE of their time Where organizations should spend MORE of their time Where teams spend MOST of their time Where organizations spend MOST of their time Communication & Content Strategy Information Architecture Technology Visual Design
  32. 32. #eduWeb14© 2014 Meanwhile, back at Emmanuel College… 32@EmmanuelCollege | @honanm | @zigzagJeff | @thePrimacy | thePrimacy.com
  33. 33. #eduWeb14© 2014 In effort to help make connections we provide so many ways to navigate. We’ve forgotten the reason “they” are here. 33 To consume, experience and interact with… content! @EmmanuelCollege | @honanm | @zigzagJeff | @thePrimacy | thePrimacy.com
  34. 34. #eduWeb14© 2014 Often, the structural “bones” are there… 34 There’s only so many ways to name and organize these sections @EmmanuelCollege | @honanm | @zigzagJeff | @thePrimacy | thePrimacy.com
  35. 35. #eduWeb14© 2014 …but every page works too hard 35 Navigation Contextual Links Factoids and thematic content AKA: “I read somewhere about a 3-click rule, so lets put navigation everywhere” AKA: “We have added too many things and now the IA isn’t intuitive” AKA: “I know you came looking for something specific but maybe click on me instead” @EmmanuelCollege | @honanm | @zigzagJeff | @thePrimacy | thePrimacy.com
  36. 36. #eduWeb14© 2014 WHICH BRINGS US TO… 36 Cue up the foreboding music please @EmmanuelCollege | @honanm | @zigzagJeff | @thePrimacy | thePrimacy.com
  37. 37. #eduWeb14© 2014 The Information Architecture (IA) Dilemma 37 Information architecture had performed admirably, considering… Often the real need transcends ANY information architecture structure. @EmmanuelCollege | @honanm | @zigzagJeff | @thePrimacy | thePrimacy.com
  38. 38. #eduWeb14© 2014 The “IA Dilemma” 38 Easy, Intuitive, Task-driven Contextual Content Relationships Storytelling The Dilemma @EmmanuelCollege | @honanm | @zigzagJeff | @thePrimacy | thePrimacy.com
  39. 39. #eduWeb14© 2014 LongstandingApproach: Aligning Website with User’s Mental Model Organizational Structure versus User’s Mental Model Question: What if we stop fighting the endless, winless battle? 39@EmmanuelCollege | @honanm | @zigzagJeff | @thePrimacy | thePrimacy.com
  40. 40. #eduWeb14© 2014 Revisiting the “IA Dilemma” 40 Answer: And…Choose both! @EmmanuelCollege | @honanm | @zigzagJeff | @thePrimacy | thePrimacy.com
  41. 41. #eduWeb14© 2014 1st: IA Organizational Approach Everything gets “home” within core IA structure Navigation/nomenclature streamlined to accelerate “findability” Somewhat common to most colleges, i.e., low learning curve Mostly managed by respective organizational owner 41 Home Tier One Tier 2 Tier 2 Tier 3 Tier 4 Tier 4 Tier 5 Tier One Tier 2 Tier 3 Tier 3 Tier 4 Tier 3 Tier 2 Tier 2 Tier 3 Tier 4 Tier 4 Tier 5 Tier 5 Tier One Tier 2 Tier 2 Tier 2 Tier 3 Tier 4 Tier 5 Tier One Tier 2 Tier 3 Tier 4 Tier 5 Tier 5 @EmmanuelCollege | @honanm | @zigzagJeff | @thePrimacy | thePrimacy.com
  42. 42. #eduWeb14© 2014 Home Tier One Tier 2 Tier 2 Tier 3 Tier 4 Tier 4 Tier 5 Tier One Tier 2 Tier 3 Tier 3 Tier 4 Tier 3 Tier 2 Tier 2 Tier 3 Tier 4 Tier 4 Tier 5 Tier 5 Tier One Tier 2 Tier 2 Tier 2 Tier 3 Tier 4 Tier 5 Tier One Tier 2 Tier 3 Tier 4 Tier 5 Tier 5 1st: IA Organizational Approach Good for finding a piece of information Not as good for contextually related information 42 Test drive: “what’s your passion?” Science? Programs Internships ResearchAlumniFaculty Big News @EmmanuelCollege | @honanm | @zigzagJeff | @thePrimacy | thePrimacy.com
  43. 43. #eduWeb14© 2014 Education stakeholders are consumed by reflecting their organizational model. 43 What’s missing? The “connective tissue” to tie it all together. @EmmanuelCollege | @honanm | @zigzagJeff | @thePrimacy | thePrimacy.com
  44. 44. #eduWeb14© 2014 Conceptual Approach: Connect the Dots @EmmanuelCollege | @honanm | @zigzagJeff | @thePrimacy | thePrimacy.com 44
  45. 45. #eduWeb14© 2014 Every school has signature features that truly differentiate it from other schools. Celebrate them. 2nd: Add a Topical / Thematic Overlay 45 Sciences at Emmanuel @EmmanuelCollege | @honanm | @zigzagJeff | @thePrimacy | thePrimacy.com
  46. 46. #eduWeb14© 2014 Topical / Thematic Overlay 46 Sciences at Emmanuel @EmmanuelCollege | @honanm | @zigzagJeff | @thePrimacy | thePrimacy.com
  47. 47. #eduWeb14© 2014 Eschew organizational boundaries 47 All schools have topics and themes that make them distinctive. Topics/themes transcend any one part of the organization. Consider ways in which to “celebrate” your school, topically/thematically. @EmmanuelCollege | @honanm | @zigzagJeff | @thePrimacy | thePrimacy.com
  48. 48. #eduWeb14© 2014 48 Arts at Emmanuel Topic of ____ at Emmanuel Boston Residence Life at Emmanuel Mission and Spirituality at Emmanuel The Catholic Intellectual TraditionAcademics at Emmanuel Visiting Emmanuel Beyond the Classroom Global Studies Research at Emmanuel Sciences at Emmanuel @EmmanuelCollege | @honanm | @zigzagJeff | @thePrimacy | thePrimacy.com
  49. 49. #eduWeb14© 2014 49 Arts at Emmanuel Topic of ____ at Emmanuel Boston Residence Life at Emmanuel Mission and Spirituality at Emmanuel The Catholic Intellectual TraditionAcademics at Emmanuel Visiting Emmanuel Beyond the Classroom Global Studies Research at Emmanuel Sciences at Emmanuel Home Tier One Tier 2 Tier 2 Tier 3 Tier 4 Tier 4 Tier 5 Tier One Tier 2 Tier 3 Tier 3 Tier 4 Tier 3 Tier 2 Tier 2 Tier 3 Tier 4 Tier 4 Tier 5 Tier 5 Tier One Tier 2 Tier 2 Tier 2 Tier 3 Tier 4 Tier 5 Tier One Tier 2 Tier 3 Tier 4 Tier 5 Tier 5 Organizational AND Topical @EmmanuelCollege | @honanm | @zigzagJeff | @thePrimacy | thePrimacy.com
  50. 50. #eduWeb14© 2014 Identifying Topics 50 Signature themes and brand attributes Centers of gravity around research, centers and institutes Aspects of the customer journey that matter Unique, intersecting characteristics that tell the Emmanuel story @EmmanuelCollege | @honanm | @zigzagJeff | @thePrimacy | thePrimacy.com
  51. 51. #eduWeb14© 2014 Bringing it to life 51@EmmanuelCollege | @honanm | @zigzagJeff | @thePrimacy | thePrimacy.com
  52. 52. #eduWeb14© 2014 Home Page  Bringing it all together on the homepage  Primary navigation  Gateway access  Footer with utility and high-value links 52@EmmanuelCollege | @honanm | @zigzagJeff | @thePrimacy | thePrimacy.com
  53. 53. #eduWeb14© 2014  Streamlined  Focused on the prospective student  It’s the front door, not the catch-all  Access for all  Themes/topics as centerpiece feature 53@EmmanuelCollege | @honanm | @zigzagJeff | @thePrimacy | thePrimacy.com
  54. 54. #eduWeb14© 2014  Streamlined  Focused on the prospective student  It’s the front door, not the catch-all  Access for all  Themes/topics as centerpiece feature 54@EmmanuelCollege | @honanm | @zigzagJeff | @thePrimacy | thePrimacy.com
  55. 55. #eduWeb14© 2014 Celebrate Topics  Signature Emmanuel themes and topics 55 Boston The Catholic Intellectual Tradition Sciences at Emmanuel @EmmanuelCollege | @honanm | @zigzagJeff | @thePrimacy | thePrimacy.com
  56. 56. #eduWeb14© 2014 Topic Page 56@EmmanuelCollege | @honanm | @zigzagJeff | @thePrimacy | thePrimacy.com
  57. 57. #eduWeb14© 2014 Topics, Taxonomy, and Tagging Aggregate and syndicate within site Create a taxonomy of key words to “tag” all content within the site Use tags to aggregate and filter Leverage CMS to write once, share many 57@EmmanuelCollege | @honanm | @zigzagJeff | @thePrimacy | thePrimacy.com
  58. 58. #eduWeb14© 2014 The new home page @EmmanuelCollege | @honanm | @zigzagJeff | @thePrimacy | thePrimacy.com 58
  59. 59. #eduWeb14© 2014 Topics, in action 59@EmmanuelCollege | @honanm | @zigzagJeff | @thePrimacy | thePrimacy.com
  60. 60. #eduWeb14© 2014 Topics main page @EmmanuelCollege | @honanm | @zigzagJeff | @thePrimacy | thePrimacy.com 60
  61. 61. #eduWeb14© 2014 Content can live anywhere 61 In the topic area In News Any other place in the site @EmmanuelCollege | @honanm | @zigzagJeff | @thePrimacy | thePrimacy.com
  62. 62. #eduWeb14© 2014 Contextually relevant throughout experience @EmmanuelCollege | @honanm | @zigzagJeff | @thePrimacy | thePrimacy.com 62 Conveniently, all wired and ready to go for DMS
  63. 63. #eduWeb14© 2014 Beyond the website Viewbook – Sections align with topics and are tethered to the website Email – Topics are focus of campaigns during Admissions cycle Social – Feature topics during downtimes or when contextually relevant @EmmanuelCollege | @honanm | @zigzagJeff | @thePrimacy | thePrimacy.com 63
  64. 64. #eduWeb14© 2014 Viewbook @EmmanuelCollege | @honanm | @zigzagJeff | @thePrimacy | thePrimacy.com 64
  65. 65. #eduWeb14© 2014 Email @EmmanuelCollege | @honanm | @zigzagJeff | @thePrimacy | thePrimacy.com 65
  66. 66. #eduWeb14© 2014 Social @EmmanuelCollege | @honanm | @zigzagJeff | @thePrimacy | thePrimacy.com 66
  67. 67. #eduWeb14© 2014 Impact to date? @EmmanuelCollege | @honanm | @zigzagJeff | @thePrimacy | thePrimacy.com 67
  68. 68. #eduWeb14© 2014 Impact Page Views +12%/visit Length of Visit Time +13.8% /visit New Visits +6.4% Bounce Rate -17% Mobile Traffic +93.7% Tablet Traffic +46.7% Content authorship + storytelling Internal satisfaction + satisfaction Topic Pages + site engagement 68@EmmanuelCollege | @honanm | @zigzagJeff | @thePrimacy | thePrimacy.com
  69. 69. #eduWeb14© 2014 Impact Campus Visits Increased Deposits Increased 69@EmmanuelCollege | @honanm | @zigzagJeff | @thePrimacy | thePrimacy.com Activity-based AND performance-based
  70. 70. #eduWeb14© 2014 How is this all managed? @EmmanuelCollege | @honanm | @zigzagJeff | @thePrimacy | thePrimacy.com 70 Staff: 400+
  71. 71. #eduWeb14© 2014 Project Management Process Model @EmmanuelCollege | @honanm | @zigzagJeff | @thePrimacy | thePrimacy.com 71 Vision and Leadership ContentWeb Print Social Writers conversant in CMS Budgets tight – Had to figure how to be robust with limited resources Efficiency – Centralize content repositories – Build system without holes, pull in default stories
  72. 72. #eduWeb14© 2014 Takeaways 72 Tear down the organizational barriers Create pages that address key “signature” and “ownable” topics Use to aggregate access to content found throughout the website (connect the dots) Test with target audiences @EmmanuelCollege | @honanm | @zigzagJeff | @thePrimacy | thePrimacy.com
  73. 73. #eduWeb14© 2014 Test early, and as often as possible 73@EmmanuelCollege | @honanm | @zigzagJeff | @thePrimacy | thePrimacy.com
  74. 74. #eduWeb14© 2014 74@EmmanuelCollege | @honanm | @zigzagJeff | @thePrimacy | thePrimacy.com
  75. 75. #eduWeb14© 2014 Next wave 75 Customized content delivery based on user behavior Integration with external marketing efforts (online and offline) Take advantage of CMS search and digital market tools @EmmanuelCollege | @honanm | @zigzagJeff | @thePrimacy | thePrimacy.com
  76. 76. #eduWeb14© 2014 THANK YOU WWW.EDUWEBSPEAKERSURVEY.COM 76 @EmmanuelCollege @honanm honanm@Emmanuel.edu @EmmanuelCollege | @honanm | @zigzagJeff | @thePrimacy | thePrimacy.com @thePrimacy @zigzagJeff Jeff.Johnson@theprimacy.com
  77. 77. #eduWeb14© 2014 Emmanuel + Boston Video Feature 77@EmmanuelCollege | @honanm | @zigzagJeff | @thePrimacy | thePrimacy.com

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