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How to Conquer Content Chaos


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Content for everyone! Content everywhere! Hold up: Is your content out of control? Come learn how to rein in the marketing madness, refocus your strategy, and pull your team back from the brink of burnout.

- Take a close look at the complex realities of content
- Get your arms around your current content ecosystem
- Assess your content principles and priorities
- Learn how to create a smart(er) go-forward content marketing plan
- Get tips on how to shift company content culture from "more" to "meaningful"

Published in: Internet

How to Conquer Content Chaos

  1. 1. 1 How To Conquer Content Chaos Kristina Halvorson CEO, Brain Traffic @halvorson @halvorson • #contentchaos
  4. 4. @halvorson • #contentchaos Document your content marketing mission Create target audience personas Plan your content mix Design the content creation process Create an editorial calendar Make a plan for distribution Measure ROI
  5. 5. Mah boss says we need to be makin’ more content but he cain’t say why. Ah got a whole ton o’ content but it’s a gosh- durned mess. Mah new content marketing platform got the devil in it. Ah cain’t get nobody to write no stinkin’ blog posts. We ain’t gettin’ no decent engagement from nobody.
  6. 6. @halvorson • #contentchaos what am I doing wrong with content marketing
  7. 7. @halvorson • #contentchaos You haven’t refined your strategy. You don’t spend enough. You aren’t promoting enough. Your content doesn’t provide value. You’re not competitive in your niche. Your competitor produces much more content. You’re impatient. You need to improve your SEO. Your expectations are too high. You’re not having enough fun.
  8. 8. TRY HARDER
  9. 9. @halvorson • #contentchaos how to improve content marketing
  10. 10. IT’S NOT THAT HARD
  11. 11. 2018 2017 2016 2015
  12. 12.
  13. 13. = $4
  14. 14. Content strategy to the rescue! neigh! yes also what do you mean by “content strategy”
  15. 15. © Brain Traffic 2019
  16. 16. © Brain Traffic 2019 • Who is our audience? • What informa3on do they want? • What do they need? • What’s our voice and tone? • How will our content be designed? • What are the touchpoints for our user journeys? • How will our content appear on different pla?orms? • What is our workflow? • What are the required roles? • What are our policies and guidelines? • What tools will we use? • How will our content be organized? • What taxonomies are being used? • How is our structure affec3ng voice, AI, search results?
  17. 17. CONTENT STRATEGY fellers, let’s back it up
  18. 18. GOAL = The reason we’ll do it PLAN = What we’ll do
  19. 19. GOAL = Where we’re going PLAN = How we’ll get there
  20. 20. GOAL = Where we’re going PLAN = How we’ll get there DESTINATION ROADMAP
  21. 21. You have to know where you are now before you can figure out how to get where you want to go.
  22. 22. hQps:// Richard Rumelt’s “Kernel of Strategy”
  23. 23. hQps:// “A good diagnosis simplifies the often overwhelming complexity of reality by identifying certain aspects of the situation as critical.”
  24. 24. What’s going on here? What’s going on here? What’s going on here?What’s going on here?
  25. 25. LET’S RIDE!
  26. 26. 1. Assess your principles and priorities 2. Map your content ecosystem 3. Prioritize critical issues 4. Engage the business
  27. 27. @halvorson • #contentchaos “A principle is a fundamental truth or proposi[on that serves as the founda[on for a system of belief or behavior or for a chain of reasoning. -
  28. 28. Content marketing is good and we are going to invest in it.
  29. 29. We deliver engaging, valuable content for our customers! We want to be the leading source of trustworthy informa[on in our industry! We’re fully invested in content marke[ng!
  30. 30. The more content we publish, the more successful we look. The more followers and clicks we get, the more successful we feel. Our content is mostly for us.
  31. 31. Get stuff out in the open.
  32. 32. @halvorson • #contentchaos Conversa-on #1: “What’s really going on here?” 1. Hand out the s[cky notes. 2. Ask: “Why do we have a content marke[ng func[on/program?” Post notes. Discuss. 3. Now ask: “What largely influences the decisions you make about content marke[ng?” Post notes. Discuss.
  33. 33. @halvorson • #contentchaos Conversa-on #2: “What principles do we want to act on?” 1. Hand out the s[cky notes. 2. Ask: “When we share content, how should the business benefit?” 3. Ask: “When we share content, how should our audiences benefit?” 4. Ask: “What should drive our day-to-day decision making process?” 5. Post all notes. Discuss. 6. Work in pairs to drad 3-5 principle statements. Then pair up pairs to combine/ edit. Finally, work together to drad your team’s charter.
  34. 34. Principles You Can Steal Our content will provide known value to our target audience. Our content will adhere to our organization’s values. Our content marketing activities will be measured in the context of functional business goals.
  35. 35. 1. Assess your principles and priorities 2. Map your content ecosystem 3. Prioritize critical issues 4. Engage the business
  36. 36. Do a content audit Do a content audit Do a content audit Do a content audit Do a content audit gosh durnit
  37. 37. What’s going on here? What’s going on here? What’s going on here?What’s going on here?
  38. 38.
  39. 39. @halvorson • #contentchaos “Having a picture of your content reality makes it easier to talk about with others. It’s also a way to stop feeling so overwhelmed. At many organiza[ons, the only complete picture of their content reality exists inside a single person’s head. That’s a lot of pressure! – Scott Kubie, An Introduction to Content Ecosystem Maps
  40. 40. @halvorson • #contentchaos How to Create a Content Ecosystem Map • Step 1: List out all the stuff in your content ecosystem that readily comes to mind. • Step 2: Place a few key concepts on a canvas and draw arrows between them. • Step 3: Define rela[onships by labeling the arrows. • Step 4: Refine and fill in details un[l it looks true and reasonably comprehensive.
  41. 41. @halvorson • #contentchaos What kind of stuff should you list? • Channels: social media accounts, email newsleQers, (temporary) microsites, blogs, in-product no[fica[ons • Content types: tweets, posts, PDFs, how-to videos, press releases • Technology: CMS, DAM, tools, media hos[ng plakorms • Workflows and processes: content produc[on, project intake, editorial, reviews, opera[onal mee[ngs • Standards and policies: style guides, content strategy statements, organiza[onal vision and mission statements, security and privacy policies • Products, brands, and services
  42. 42. @halvorson • #contentchaos Most importantly: PEOPLE • Roles: typically internal posi[ons and responsibili[es • Teams: groups of people with similar interests (e.g. formal teams by department, or groups like “execu[ve stakeholders” or “faculty members”) • Audiences: groups of people—internal or external—who are interested in a par[cular topic or channel
  43. 43. @halvorson • #contentchaos “How you think about and categorize your audiences can be extremely revealing. As a content strategist, I prefer the lens of audience as opposed to, say, customer or persona or market … Thinking about the audiences for your channels discretely from the customers for your products tends to be a more truthful map of your content reality. – Scott Kubie, What to Include in a Content Ecosystem Map
  44. 44.
  45. 45. Holy crap, now what are we supposed to do?
  46. 46. @halvorson • #contentchaos This map is an ongoing tool for reference, analysis, and planning. • Get alignment. Use your map as a tool to agree on what to call things, who owns what, and where there’s ambiguity. • Brainstorm what’s next. Use your map to inspire a collec[ve brain dump about where challenges and opportuni[es lie. • Reinforce reality. Use your map in mee[ngs to remind people of what truly exists (and how complicated things have become). • Model upcoming changes. Make a copy and start moving parts and pieces around to demonstrate where you want to be.
  47. 47. 1. Assess your principles and priorities 2. Map your content ecosystem 3. Prioritize critical issues 4. Engage the business
  48. 48. BAILEY → ← SAMMY
  49. 49. New look/feel/purpose New show art/music New show intro/outro Unique Twitter cards for each episode Get podcast on new podcast catchers (Spotify, Pandora, etc.) Add resources to older episodes Add tagging structure to episodes Collect podcast testimonials and add to site Sound-proof recording room (Scott) Turn existing community content on site into a BT blog post Look in to Overcast for promotion Research options to optimize show ranking New BT services/workshops Add KH/SK bios Add KH/MC/SK books Add tags/categories and/or IA structure to blog Beef up blog author tag pages with bios/links Update quotes on home page Update photos Incorporate mailing list CTA throughout site Incorporate Google conversion tracking in new workshop registration system Begin tracking/optimizing conversions Begin quarterly editorial review meetings Update marketing calendar with evergreen content (Twitter/LinkedIn) Segment mailing lists Workshop promos BT services Begin publishing older blogs as posts on LinkedIn Optimize LinkedIn posts (custom URLs, CTAs) Research CRM/marketing automation options Re-optimize top ranking blog posts (for snippets, questions, images, etc.) Repackage/repurpose existing content (ecosystem mapping, Confab talks, podcast transcripts, etc.) Quarterly webinars Annual eBook/report Develop reusable project plan with year-round milestones Create reusable content inventory for site copy Incorporate Google conversion tracking in new Confab registration system Begin tracking/optimizing conversions Update sponsorships page with testimonials Sponsor video – testimonials/logistics Attendee videos (what’s Confab like, convince your boss, etc.) Backfill old Confab events into new past events page format Review Newfangled lead gen resources Research CRM/marketing automation options Test LinkedIn advertising Accessibility/usability health checks on all sites (Scott) Documented BT/Confab style guides Clean up/organize Gather tickets Make a media mentions list for KH/SK Integrated marketing calendar Build email lists / rethink lead generation BT mailing list (Mailchimp) Confab mailing list (Mailchimp) Confab attendees (Swoogo) Workshop attendees (Swoogo) Client leads Workshop leads Research behavioral tracking for websites
  50. 50. It is time to conquer the content chaos.
  51. 51. @halvorson • #contentchaos Meaningful change requires boring analysis. STEP 1: Categorize challenges and opportuni[es. STEP 2: Document dependencies. STEP 3: Priori[ze ac[vi[es. STEP 4: Set milestones and build your plan.
  52. 52. Importance Very high High Important to some Moderate to low Time Needed A lot Some Not much Unknown Cost Expensive Mid-range Cheap Unknown Feasibility Probably will work 50/50 chance Probably won’t work Uncertain Desirability Highly desirable Worth a try Undesirable Unknown Urgency High Medium Low Unknown Viability High growth poten[al Can sustain Likely temporary Unknown SensiEvity Explosive Can work with Neutral Unkown Step #1: Categorize challenges and opportuni[es A Facilitator’s Guide to Participatory Decision-Making, Sam Kaner et al
  53. 53. THING TO FIX WHAT WE HAVE WHAT WE’D NEED NOTES Blog post metadata • Content inventory with metadata • New templates • Keyword plan • 80 writing hours • Keyword plan not due until Q2 • Move around $ for writer Analy[cs reports • ALL THE DATA • 3rd party input on meaningful metrics • This is going to upset some folks, need to socialize first Rogue social media channels • Content ecosystem map • Identify channel owners • Need point-of-contact to manage missing passwords etc. Podcast • A terrible boring host • A new host • What happens if we just shut this down for now? Step #2: Document Dependencies A Facilitator’s Guide to Participatory Decision-Making, Sam Kaner et al
  54. 54. IDEA TO TRY WHAT WE HAVE WHAT WE’D NEED NOTES Webinars • Past conference talks • Workshop material • Technology platform • Producer • Registration system • Several customer requests in Q2 • Proposed budget due x/ xx Repurpose old posts • Analytics on popular posts • Editorial services to refresh • Full audit of old posts by topic, author, timeliness • New artwork • Need outside resource to complete audit LinkedIn publishing • Four motivated authors • Editorial calendar and alignment • Need to clarify ownership and accountability of process Podcast • A lot of really interesting friends and contacts • Sponsorship packages • Podcast setup • Need documented POV prior to moving forward with discussion Step #2: Document Dependencies A Facilitator’s Guide to Participatory Decision-Making, Sam Kaner et al
  55. 55. 75 Non-negotiable Nice to have Someday maybe Step #3: Priori[ze
  56. 56. EVALUATION RESEARCH ALIGNMENT DELIVERABLES MILESTONES • Is it working? • What needs to improve? • What questions do we need to answer to succeed? • Who do we need to talk to? • What methods will we use to answer our questions? • How will we present our findings? • How will we share out our findings? • Who needs to be on board? • Who will be our ongoing champion? • How will we keep people informed? • What artifacts do we need to help make and document decisions? • What tools will we use to create or manage these artifacts? • Who will own and keep these artifacts updated? • What dates are we targeting for launch, change, or completion? • What happens if we miss this milestone? • What happens after we reach it? • Who is authorized to move or change this milestone?
  57. 57. @halvorson • #contentchaos What goes on your roadmap? • Key iniEaEves: What do you want to launch, change, or complete? • Milestones: What events will mark your progress? • AcEviEes and arEfacts: What do people need to do, make, and decide to move things along? • Dependencies: What needs to happen in what order—or what needs to be acquired—in order for you to succeed? • Ownership: Who is responsible for required ac[vi[es and outcomes in your ini[a[ve?
  58. 58. 1. Assess your principles and priorities 2. Map your content ecosystem 3. Prioritize critical issues 4. Engage the business
  59. 59. Data Inspiration Explanation Trying harder
  60. 60. Fear Greed Ego
  61. 61. Leads Conversions Retention
  62. 62. Don't just build the case for content marketing. Build the case to do it RIGHT.
  63. 63. 1. Assess your principles and priorities 2. Map your content ecosystem 3. Prioritize critical issues 4. Engage the business
  64. 64. Before we part… I couldn’t find another place for this amazing photo so here it is.
  65. 65. @halvorson • #contentchaos “ As a discipline, content strategy is new; it’s only become a focal point inside most enterprise orgs over the last few years. It’s also been made to seem incredibly complicated. Go to most analyst conferences, and you’re inundated with content strategy frameworks that feature 30 different boxes and arrows, and it all threatens to induce a mild panic attack. Most teams just give up and say, “Screw it. Let’s just post some stuff to our blog and social channels and see what happens.” It’s the biggest problem most content marketing teams face. And it’s killing the industry.
  66. 66. You are not stupid.
  67. 67. Content marketing isn’t dying.
  68. 68. It is complicated.
  69. 69. Let's discuss principles. I'll schedule a series of working sessions for ecosystem mapping. Do a content audit I’ll let key stakeholders know we’re starting this process. I’ll compile a list of everything we’ve talked about doing for months. AH’M READY!
  70. 70. Thanks, y’all! Twitter: @havorson Newsletter: Workshops: • Seattle - November 12 • Atlanta - February 4 • Philadelphia - March 3 Conference: - May 2020