“nothing is more engaging than the words content strategy”
Agenda - Short introduction - Current state of content strategy and engagement - Problems with the current state - Solutions I’m proposing - Outcomes of those solutions
- Introduce who I am - Introduce Donna and our work relationship - The reason I’m here today is talk about… you guessed it
Websters defines engagement as “the act of engaging” They then define engaging as something that is “very attractive or pleasing in a way that holds your attention”.
And that’s our theme tonight isn’t it? We ask questions like:
- How do we engage users to use technology products & services? - What does design thinking need to incorporate to keep people engaged?
For a lot of us, a big part of the answer is content; and, more specifically
creating a strategy around that content.
i.e. the planning, development and managing of content for your product or service
That is one of the keys to engaging, and we have a ton of methods we use to get there.
But… let me ask you this
what if all of our tools and methods that create awesome content strategies could be better?
Maybe there’s this “something else” that makes content strategies great besides them having a plan, and being laid out well…
In fact I’m telling you our content strategies, although awesome right now… could be better. We can do more than create great content audits, user interviews, to increase user engagement
what, then, is that something else?
- Donna and I got hired by Urban Arts
Tell story of EASE had all this content for the program, wanted to make it digital We came into solve a different problem, but realized they had other problems now. People were dropping out of the program after about 7 years
Program interest was high, but because it was in person “sign ups” they could only go so far, but they were looking to increase it…
they had a great content strategy for the program, but it wasn’t enough to keep people going, and it wasn’t enough to get a digital audience interested
But, in the end, even with that content strategy, the EASE program, wasn’t keeping people engaged.
In order to solve that problem, I want to introduce the idea that our content strategies, in an of themselves, should be constructed as great stories that make our users want to listen.
How did J.K. Rowling make us want to listen?
Stephen King said Rowling was a master at moving a story forward. She did this through character focus, if a character isn’t moving forward than there is no purpose for that part of the story. While it is the characters that are growing we are obviously engaged and enthralled by what is happening. We can’t take our attention away because there is development of the story, there is movement.
So we can say that the way we get our users to listen, to engage, to be so pleased that they can’t look away, is to think of them as the main character, and move them through the story, with our content, to solve their problems or help them reach their goals.
So how could things be different? Let me show you how we updated the EASE story a bit, with a technique we use called Experience Storymapping.
Here you are looking at the output of our efforts. An Experience Story map for content.
First thing is first, you need to have a clear idea or at least educated guesses of business/product goals and user problems & goals. Without these items, there is no story.
Second we’d look at the user’s (our character) journey as a story this is the arc and the points on that arc. This story arc or narrative arc is what great stories all have. It’s what keeps the character moving.
Third we figure out the content we need that moves them through their story. Point out the layers of post it’s as ideal and actual content
Using this method, we first, quickly saw character development gaps
As I mentioned earlier, there were two problems that we saw with the EASE program. 1. people were leaving and 2. people weren’t coming
Making them want to listen by using means adding depth to a story not just structure, planning and maintenance. That is what structuring strategies with a story in mind adds!
So by adding that depth to our story, by looking at what content needs to go where based off of the high and low points, and moving users through the story, what do we get?
**2 minutes **
Engages them! Makes them want to listen!
And this doesn’t take you creating new deliverables or selling people on stories… all it takes is us thinking differently about what engagement really is. Implementing a structure that makes our users want to listen..
Our UX Matters Articles Storymapping: A MacGyver Approach to Content Strategy (Confab for Nonprofits; edUI) Donna’s site greatnorthelectric.com
UP NEXT: Chelsey Delaney is a Senior User Experience Consultant at Catalyst Group, as well as an outspoken humor studies researcher and designer. She’s spoken about and given workshops on the topic of humor design at Ignite!, SXSW Interactive, LeanUX NYC, and humor research conferences. Chelsey is an advocate for getting at the essence and truth of an experience, and believes strategic use of humor in design is a magnificent way to achieve that feat.
Engaging Users With Humor Design
Engagement Through Content Strategy: A Story