Content Strategy:
The Essential Precursor to CMS

Gilbane Conference on Content Management Technologies
April 2005, San Fr...
Does content management
keep your CEO up at night?

Actually, it does…
although the CEO may not realize it.

hilary@conten...
Why do we buy CMSs to
manage content?
5. Relieve IT of production responsibilities
4. Compliance
3. Enable consistent, acc...
Content is how business
strategy is executed
•
•
•

Customer retention
Raising awareness in the marketplace
Cross-selling ...
So what, about content
strategy?
•

Most organizations have never had one
–

wasn't seen as necessary pre-Internet

•

The...
Start with the
“what” and “why”
What content needs to be managed, and why?
Relate to business's strategic goals
Show risk ...
Anatomy of
an effective content strategy
Part 1: inputs
1.
2.
3.
4.

Content audit — what’s there now?
Gap analysis — what...
Anatomy of
an effective content strategy
Part 2: output
1.
2.
3.
4.

Content plan — how often will specific types of
conte...
Anatomy of
an effective content strategy
Part 2: output (continued)
5.
6.

Archiving strategy — where will content go, how...
Anatomy of
an effective content strategy
Part 3: implications
1.
2.
3.
4.

Content management requirements — how will a
CM...
More than just a Web solution
(although few organizations have really conquered
Web content strategy and management issues...
CMS is the “how”
A content management system is the technology that:
• enables the rules established by the content
strate...
Why don't we talk about
content strategy more often?
•
•
•
•
•

Difference between content strategy and CMS
requirements i...
Language issues
Semantics make it difficult to translate content
strategy into CMS requirements
•
•
•

IT folks say "workf...
Change management issues
•
•
•

Culture shift from "knowledge is power" to
"sharing knowledge is power" — why? how?
Conten...
Content strategy must
precede CMS selection
•

•

If not, CMS efforts may be wasted
– adoption
– understanding/correct usa...
Technology
enables the solution
These are business issues with business solutions.
Technology enables those — in fact, the...
My info
Hilary Marsh
Content Company, Inc.
http://www.contentcompany.biz
hilary@contentcompany.biz

hilary@contentcompany....
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Content Strategy: The Essential Precursor to CMS

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I gave this presentation at the Gilbane conference back in 2005. I've certainly gotten more visual since then, but the information in here is still largely true.

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Content Strategy: The Essential Precursor to CMS

  1. 1. Content Strategy: The Essential Precursor to CMS Gilbane Conference on Content Management Technologies April 2005, San Francisco Hilary Marsh www.contentcompany.biz
  2. 2. Does content management keep your CEO up at night? Actually, it does… although the CEO may not realize it. hilary@contentcompany.biz april 11.2005 2
  3. 3. Why do we buy CMSs to manage content? 5. Relieve IT of production responsibilities 4. Compliance 3. Enable consistent, accurate, up-to-date information 2. Make use of what the Web can enable But the top reason is 1. Content is the way our organizations meet their top business objectives hilary@contentcompany.biz april 11.2005 3
  4. 4. Content is how business strategy is executed • • • Customer retention Raising awareness in the marketplace Cross-selling multiple products Content management is more than just a good idea. hilary@contentcompany.biz april 11.2005 4
  5. 5. So what, about content strategy? • Most organizations have never had one – wasn't seen as necessary pre-Internet • They don't know they need one • Huge political roadblocks – – – – my content, my information, my vehicles, my pages what's in it for me to contribute? what's in it for me to use someone else's content? why are my communications suddenly being controlled? hilary@contentcompany.biz april 11.2005 5
  6. 6. Start with the “what” and “why” What content needs to be managed, and why? Relate to business's strategic goals Show risk of not managing content, and the value of doing so • business gains • risk reduction (SOX, legal) • cost and time savings hilary@contentcompany.biz april 11.2005 6
  7. 7. Anatomy of an effective content strategy Part 1: inputs 1. 2. 3. 4. Content audit — what’s there now? Gap analysis — what’s missing? Stakeholder interviews — how do things work now? Leadership buy-in — are the goals important to the organization, and is the Web an important channel to reach those goals? hilary@contentcompany.biz april 11.2005 7
  8. 8. Anatomy of an effective content strategy Part 2: output 1. 2. 3. 4. Content plan — how often will specific types of content be updated? Staffing plan — who will play what roles (author, editor, approver, etc.)? Governance structure — who will be in charge? Metadata strategy — how will content appear in the right places? what is common taxonomy/vocabulary across business lines? hilary@contentcompany.biz april 11.2005 8
  9. 9. Anatomy of an effective content strategy Part 2: output (continued) 5. 6. Archiving strategy — where will content go, how will it get there, and how long will it stay? Opportunities for content reuse hilary@contentcompany.biz april 11.2005 9
  10. 10. Anatomy of an effective content strategy Part 3: implications 1. 2. 3. 4. Content management requirements — how will a CMS enable all of this? Information architecture/content organization — how will information be findable by the people visiting the site? (involves user research) Usability by target audience, not just creators Search engine optimization — content must be visible to search engines, structured correctly, title tags, user-friendly URLs hilary@contentcompany.biz april 11.2005 10
  11. 11. More than just a Web solution (although few organizations have really conquered Web content strategy and management issues) • • • • Email marketing Print Call center applications Intranet Each has different team, culture, reporting structure hilary@contentcompany.biz april 11.2005 11
  12. 12. CMS is the “how” A content management system is the technology that: • enables the rules established by the content strategy • empowers organizations to use the Web flexibly and powerfully • enables IT to focus strategically instead of being expensive data processors hilary@contentcompany.biz april 11.2005 12
  13. 13. Why don't we talk about content strategy more often? • • • • • Difference between content strategy and CMS requirements is not clear Not sexy like technology Looks like spending money vs. investing Hard to quantify value Communications/content not valued enough hilary@contentcompany.biz april 11.2005 13
  14. 14. Language issues Semantics make it difficult to translate content strategy into CMS requirements • • • IT folks say "workflow," content people say "editorial process" — don't understand each other's worlds There isn't always an articulated process for publishing, and certainly few standards across the organization (no reason to, until now) Much content is created by a small group for a specific audience — under the radar hilary@contentcompany.biz april 11.2005 14
  15. 15. Change management issues • • • Culture shift from "knowledge is power" to "sharing knowledge is power" — why? how? Content reuse requires willingness to collaborate — people feel threatened. Need to establish trust....in some cases, for the first time Subject matter experts are not writers — can't just institute decentralized publishing overnight. hilary@contentcompany.biz april 11.2005 15
  16. 16. Content strategy must precede CMS selection • • If not, CMS efforts may be wasted – adoption – understanding/correct usage – time/cost savings realized or not – continued evolution, additional value It's very expensive to buy a CMS that only IT uses! hilary@contentcompany.biz april 11.2005 16
  17. 17. Technology enables the solution These are business issues with business solutions. Technology enables those — in fact, they could not be easily solved without it. But technology is not, itself, the solution hilary@contentcompany.biz april 11.2005 17
  18. 18. My info Hilary Marsh Content Company, Inc. http://www.contentcompany.biz hilary@contentcompany.biz hilary@contentcompany.biz april 11.2005 18

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