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Towards A Content Strategy That Sells Persuasion Labs


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Content is king... but content strategies tend to do a little work - and stop just before they get to the good stuff: increasing conversion. This PPT asks us to move to the next level in content strategy - a level that solves for shareholders.

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Towards A Content Strategy That Sells Persuasion Labs

  1. 1. From Content Strategy to Persuasive Content Strategy<br />Because Taxonomies & Content Audits Aren’t Enough for e-Commerce Today<br />
  2. 2. What’s This?<br />
  3. 3. It’s This… Without Content<br />
  4. 4. (K, Then This One Should Be Easy.) What’s This?<br />
  5. 5. What Is Content?<br />“the text, graphics, video, and audio that make up an interactive experience”<br />Kristina Halvorson<br />Death to LoremIpsum and Other Adventures in Content<br />
  6. 6. But What’s Content Really All About?<br />Content is not just text. It is not just video. It’s not a choice between stock photos or UGC. It’s not this PPT saved to my desktop, presented to a group, viewed on SlideShare or embedded in my LinkedIn profile. <br />Any employed content strategist (or copywriter!) will tell you that content is the key to increasing conversion on your site. And she’ll be right. And her boss will be happy because she’ll be selling more product. <br />
  7. 7. And Is There Anything More Important Than Selling More Product? (Not sure? Ask your shareholders.)<br />
  8. 8. The goal of a Web site is to change a set of beliefs and behaviors, driving target actions. <br />The goal of Web content is, then, to change a set of beliefs and behaviors, driving target actions.<br />
  9. 9. Now, For a While, We’ve Been Approaching Content Strategy in a Clinical, Academic Way…<br />
  10. 10. The Clinical Side of a Standard Content Strategy<br /><ul><li>Content inventories help us know what content we have on our sites & where… and expose gaps in content that we need to fill
  11. 11. Competitor content audits help us compare our content to the other guys… and expose gaps in content that we need to fill
  12. 12. Content scorecards help us measure our existing (& new!) content using heuristics so we can quantify improvements in content down the road
  13. 13. Content assessments allow us to determine if we’re meeting or missing the mark with our content
  14. 14. Taxonomies/Folksonomieshelp us to organize & find content</li></li></ul><li>The Clinical Side of a Standard Content Strategy<br /><ul><li>Editorial calendars allow us to schedule updates to our content, in keeping with our Web release schedule and/or CMS pushes
  15. 15. UGC mapping sees the content strategist working closely with the IA, ID, developers & site experience manager to plot out where users can create content
  16. 16. Standard Web writing principles, rules or philosophies shape the ‘how’ of content that is created
  17. 17. Editorial guidelines, like capitalization rules, ensure consistent copy display
  18. 18. CSS recommendations help to ensure readability with intentional typography</li></li></ul><li>Good Stuff… But, Well, So What?<br />
  19. 19. We Need a Broader Approach to Content Strategy That Includes Influencing Users & Persuading Them to Buy.<br />
  20. 20. Example: Let’s Sell Flowers<br />The biz wants to sell lots o’ flowers<br />The customer wants<br />And shareholders want to make $$$<br />
  21. 21. Now What? What Does the Content Strategist Do With That?<br />
  22. 22. The [Traditional] Content Strategist Then…<br />Refers to the content inventory to assess what’s available to sell & where it’s being sold on-site<br />Refers to the competitor content audits to seek out opportunities<br />Reviews the content assessment to see what’s good… and not<br />Works with the ID (wireframe) to start slotting in content<br />
  23. 23. Whoa, Nelly!<br />
  24. 24. We Need to Sell to People. So We Need to Learn About Them, First.<br />
  25. 25. Learn About Users 1st<br />What are their motivations? What makes them want to buy?<br />What keywords are they using to get to your site/page?—and which are converting most?<br />What are their barriers to buying from you on your site?<br />What do they need to make decisions more confidently?<br />Are they in a rush to buy on your site… or are they browsing?<br />Do they return to your site several times before buying?<br />Are they familiar with your brand?—your products?—your services?<br />Are they web savvy or NTTW?<br />Are they social media users with higher UGC & rich media expectations?<br />What are their behaviors on the page?—where do they click, what do they miss?<br />
  26. 26. To Find Out, Use Tools Like…<br />Where they’re clicking<br />What they think<br />Where they go<br />What keywords are working<br />
  27. 27. And Activities Like…<br />Deeper drives & barriers<br />If they can use it<br />
  28. 28. Learning Is an Ongoing Process. But We Can at Least Get Started Now.<br />
  29. 29. Example: Let’s Sell Flowers<br />The biz wants to sell lots o’ flowers<br />The customer wants<br />And shareholders want to make $$$<br />
  30. 30. Great, But Where Does All That Content Go?<br />Your information architect and/or interaction designer has intended flows… and it’s up to the CS to work with them to ensure the content:<br /><ul><li>Is placed where users will find it easily
  31. 31. Is placed at a “seducible moment”
  32. 32. Helps to erode barriers at each moment in the conversion experience (and all the way down the funnel)</li></li></ul><li>And Now Comes the Persuasion “Magic”<br />
  33. 33. Organize Content Persuasively<br />Keep your drivers (barrier-destructors) in the same place on all your pages, like in the header.<br />
  34. 34. Organize Content Persuasively: Home<br />Lead with top-sellers to help users narrow their decisions faster, especially with 1000s of SKUs.<br />
  35. 35. Organize Content Persuasively: Home<br />Let them buy from the home page if they’re telling you that they’re busy and just want to order fast.<br />
  36. 36. Organize Content Persuasively: Home<br />Callout your top nav links in chunky buttons/boxes straight from the home page.<br />
  37. 37. Organize Content Persuasively: Product Detail<br />Give very specific details if users are skeptical about what they’ll get and there’s room for confusion.<br />
  38. 38. Organize Content Persuasively: Product Detail<br />Use social proof (e.g., user ratings) and tap into herd behavior to get users to decide faster & with more confidence.<br />
  39. 39. Organize Content Persuasively: Product Detail<br />Show exactly when the product will be able to be shipped/delivered on the product detail – before the cart where the info may cause users to abandon cart.<br />
  40. 40. Organize Content Persuasively: Product Detail<br />Show add-ons on the same page to apply slight pressure – so purchasing one isn’t an upsell but a given.<br />
  41. 41. The More You Know About Your Users & Decision-Making Behaviors, The Better You Can Persuade with Content.<br />
  42. 42. … But What About All the Other Content Types???<br />NOT EVERY CONTENT STRATEGY NEEDS MULTIMEDIA<br />Only use content types that your users would want in order to make their purchasing decision faster & confidently. <br />
  43. 43. Measure It, Too<br />If you’re going to ask the business to invest in you, you need to show your value – beyond organizing info in fancy charts & spreadsheets. So… test your content!<br /><ul><li> Use Omniture Test & Target or good ol’ Google Website Optimizer to A/B or MVT test your buttons, videos, layout, headlines…
  44. 44. Share the results with the biz
  45. 45. Shape your “fiscal year content strategy” around great test results – and add potential content tests to it</li></li></ul><li>Yes, This Is More Than “Just” Content<br />Here’s a tip: If you’re not ready to be a salesperson-cum-information-designer, you’re not ready to write for the Web. And if you’re not ready to write for the Web, you’re not ready to be a content strategist. We need to know all there is to know about the product, the customer/user & decision-making behaviors before we can do any work.<br />At least, that’s the case if you want to add real value to the biz. (And not only keep your job but get bonuses!) <br />
  46. 46. Long Story Short: Content Strategists Need to Get More Strategic About Content.<br />
  47. 47. So… A Persuasive Content Strategy<br /><ul><li> Covers the [admittedly extensive] basics of a standard content strategy
  48. 48. Is informed by voice of customer, user behaviors, etc.
  49. 49. Makes persuasive content priority-one
  50. 50. Is tested & tested again</li></ul>The goal of Web contentis to change a set of beliefs and behaviors, driving target actions.<br />
  51. 51. Joanna Wiebe | 19 OCT 09<br />
  52. 52. Persuasion Scorecard<br />