Content Strategy Battle School - iStrategyLabs


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As part of our eternal quest for knowledge and glory at ISL, we hold a regular internal series of staff-lead professional development classes known as Battle School. It's serious business.

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Content Strategy Battle School - iStrategyLabs

  1. 1. Content Strategy Content Strategy Battle School // ISL Eric Shutt Apr. 10, 2013Thursday, April 11, 13
  2. 2. Content Strategy What is content? Content is interconnected media. Yes, it’s text, images, videos, and audio. But it’s also the combination, context and connections between those elements that create meaningful exploration and experience for the viewer.Thursday, April 11, 13
  3. 3. Content Strategy What’s a content strategy? A content strategy plans for the creation, distribution, promotion, and maintenance of media, across all relevant channels and platforms. Content strategy involves all of us - designers, developers, and strategists. We already know and factor into our work lots of aspects of content strategy. What’s different is that a content strategy is systemic.Thursday, April 11, 13
  4. 4. Content StrategyThursday, April 11, 13
  5. 5. Content Strategy Warning (!!): NO SHORTCUTS Content aggregation, user generated content, free content, paid content, or any create-content-quick scheme is no substitute for a content strategy. image:, April 11, 13
  6. 6. Content Strategy Goals In general, useful web content must do both: 1) Meet user expectations and task objectives. 2) Fulfill core business objectives., April 11, 13
  7. 7. Content Strategy So what’s good? Good content is: - User-centered: Fills user needs first. - Short & sweet: Concise. - Clear: Easy to understand. - Consistent: Facts, style, and tone. - Actionable: Leads to behavior that supports goals. - Supported: Will be maintained properly.Thursday, April 11, 13
  8. 8. Content Strategy Less, not More! Why less is better: - Easier to manage - More user-friendly - Less time to create and manage - Less expensive Simplify content to solve capacity challenges around content creation, promotion, and maintenance., April 11, 13
  9. 9. Content Strategy Less, not More! “Our website is a content management system (CMS). Its designed to organize tons of content that is inserted in little chunks. Right now the website is a big blank slate. It is hard to create an organizational structure for a CMS with no content. I would really like everyone to write a few paragraphs (300 words) about some aspect of [our organization]. Include an image or two. And add a caption, section headers or any kind of stand-out text. You can email me your content or call me and I will give you an account and teach you how to create a page.” - Terrible advice.Thursday, April 11, 13
  10. 10. Content StrategyThursday, April 11, 13
  11. 11. Content Strategy #Process 1) DISCOVER 2) CREATE 3) DELIVER 4) MAINTAINThursday, April 11, 13
  12. 12. Content Strategy DISCOVER Research: Content Audit & Inventory, Content Sources, User Research, Audience, Stakeholder Interviews, website analytics, keyword and sentiment analysis, content gaps, Current and expected technology and platforms, competitors.Thursday, April 11, 13
  13. 13. Content Strategy CREATE Define: Business goals, project objectives, content requirements, functional requirements, content migration, core messaging, style guidelines, content schedule, legal requirements, format requirements, content owners, workflows, approval. Design: - Structure: Site maps, page types, wireframes,, mood boards. - Content: Message & visual hierarchy, workflow, page tables, copywriting, photo, video, roles. Develop: Stack selection, CMS templates, devices, system integrations, Metadata, content inventory, Usability Testing, Q/A, SEO guidelines.Thursday, April 11, 13
  14. 14. Content Strategy CREATE Workflow & Management: - Why?: Ask yourself, why are we creating this, and what will it accomplish? - Creation: “It’s not copy. It’s content.” - Draft to Approval: Who’s responsible? - Timeline: Publishing schedule & calendar. - Promotion: How, where, why? - Maintenance: How will the content age? - Technology Platforms: What supports and deliver the content?Thursday, April 11, 13
  15. 15. Content Strategy CREATE Boxes: Every piece of content is a box with an arrow in and an arrow out. The arrow in is user navigation to the page through promotion, search, in-bound links, or another source. The arrow out is the action the user takes on that page, and the landing page for that action.Thursday, April 11, 13
  16. 16. Content Strategy CREATE Page Types: Think of pages more for their function and less for their topic or content style. Content can be many types of media - text, photo, video. - Routers: Get people to other, specific content. - Attention getters: Shared on Social Media - Convincer / supporting page: Additional info to close the deal. - Action page: Where the magic happens.Thursday, April 11, 13
  17. 17. Content Strategy CREATE Page Guide Sections Page Message - Page title - Audience - Business Goal - Key messages - Page Goal - Priority 1 - Priority 2 Priority - Source material Action Visibility - Promotion - Navigation - Action Effort Level Results - Measurement Navigation - MaintenanceThursday, April 11, 13
  18. 18. Content Strategy DELIVER Deploy: Active promotion, calendar, schedule, link and search strategy., April 11, 13
  19. 19. Content Strategy DELIVER Promotion: - Channels - Navigation - Responsibility (who) - Timeline / schedule, April 11, 13
  20. 20. Content Strategy DELIVER Schedule: - Editorial calendar. - Creation (drafting through approval). - Publishing.Thursday, April 11, 13
  21. 21. Content Strategy DELIVER Channels: - Website - Email - Social media / networks - PR - Search engines - Inbound links - Advertising - Print - TVThursday, April 11, 13
  22. 22. Content Strategy MAINTAIN Maintain: Editorial maintenance, technology maintenance, analyze, refine and update content., April 11, 13
  23. 23. Content Strategy MAINTAIN Editorial & Formatting: - Information quality - Layout updates. - Image / frame sizing. - Responsive & mobileThursday, April 11, 13
  24. 24. Content Strategy american-institute-of-architects-aia-nonresidential-construction-industry- consensus-construction-forecast-economic-improvement-kermit-baker- commercial-construction-report-6496.php MAINTAIN Platforms: - Technology maintenance - Platform upgradesThursday, April 11, 13
  25. 25. Content Strategy MAINTAIN Measure + Refine - Measure and analyze data. - Use key findings to modify and improve content strategy.Thursday, April 11, 13
  26. 26. Content Strategy ADDL RESOURCES Content Strategy for the Web, by Kristina Halvorson The Elements of Content Strategy, by Erin Kissane Kira Marchenese, Online Communications for Nonprofits, April 11, 13
  27. 27. Content Strategy That’s it! ENDThursday, April 11, 13