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Cart, Meet Horse: Content Strategy for Content Management

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Before you can consider a new CMS, you need to know your content—and your communication goals.
We’ll discuss the key steps of a core content strategy process to audit your content and determine what you really need in a CMS.
If you’re considering a new CMS, stop. Before you can determine the fields and tags and functionality you need in technology, think about the content you need to support. How should it surface and what’s the message it needs to send? Enter brand-driven content strategy. We’d discuss the value of a message architecture to align your organization around specific content types and guide a content audit—then dig into how a content audit can inform your content model. There’s so much to do before you choose or implement a CMS, so c’mon! Let’s get started!

Presented at CMS Expo 2013, #CMSExpo and #CMSX, on May 14, 2013, in Chicago.

Published in: Technology, Lifestyle

Cart, Meet Horse: Content Strategy for Content Management

  1. CART, MEET HORSE: CONTENT STRATEGY FOR CONTENT MANAGEMENT Margot Bloomstein May 14, 2013 CMS Expo @mbloomstein #CMSX
  2. @mbloomstein
  3. @mbloomstein | #CMSX 4 © 2013
  4. @mbloomstein | #CMSX 5 © 2013 CC Sam Korn, via Wikipedia Gnothi sauton
  5. @mbloomstein | #CMSX 6 © 2013 Know thyself. You invest in knowing your users,* but what about your brand? *right?
  6. Unless you understand what people are trying to do with your content you cannot know if it’s working or not. Gerry McGovern
  7. If you don’t know what you need to communicate, how will you know if you succeed?
  8. fails to meet needs
  9. fails to meet needs different labels
  10. fails to meet needs different labels unexpected steps
  11. fails to meet needs different labels unexpected steps too many fields
  12. fails to meet needs different labels unexpected steps too many fields wrong fields
  13. fails to meet needs different labels unexpected steps too many fields wrong fields not enough fields
  14. fails to meet needs different labels unexpected steps too many fields wrong fields not enough fields too few tags
  15. fails to meet needs different labels unexpected steps too many fields wrong fields not enough fields too few tags namespaces
  16. fails to meet needs different labels unexpected steps too many fields wrong fields not enough fields too few tags namespacesunexpexcted tags
  17. fails to meet needs different labels unexpected steps too many fields wrong fields not enough fields too few tags namespacesunexpexcted tags different fieldsunexpexcted tags not enough types
  18. fails to meet needs different labels unexpected steps too many fields wrong fields not enough fields too few tags namespacesunexpexcted tags different fieldsunexpexcted tags not enough typesContent model
  19. fails to meet needs different labels unexpected steps too many fields wrong fields not enough fields too few tags namespacesunexpexcted tags different fieldsunexpexcted tags not enough typesContent model Mapping of types
  20. fails to meet needs different labels unexpected steps too many fields wrong fields not enough fields too few tags namespacesunexpexcted tags different fieldsunexpexcted tags not enough typesContent model Mapping of types namespacesunexpexcted tags Mapping of typesnot enough types namespacesunexpexcted tagsnamespaces
  21. fails to meet needs different labels unexpected steps too many fields wrong fields not enough fields too few tags namespacesunexpexcted tags different fieldsunexpexcted tags not enough typesContent model Mapping of types namespacesunexpexcted tags Mapping of typesnot enough types namespacesunexpexcted tagsnamespaces unexpexcted tagsnamespacesunexpexcted tagsnamespaces unexpexcted tagsunexpexcted tagsnamespacesunexpexcted tags unexpexcted tagsunexpexcted tagsunexpexcted tags unexpexcted tags
  22. fails to meet needs different labels unexpected steps too many fields wrong fields not enough fields too few tags namespacesunexpexcted tags different fieldsunexpexcted tags not enough typesContent model Mapping of types namespacesunexpexcted tags Mapping of typesnot enough types namespacesunexpexcted tagsnamespaces unexpexcted tagsnamespacesunexpexcted tagsnamespaces unexpexcted tagsunexpexcted tagsnamespacesunexpexcted tags unexpexcted tagsunexpexcted tagsunexpexcted tags unexpexcted tagsFRUSTRATION
  23. @mbloomstein | #CMSX 24 © 2013 failure to adopt
  24. @mbloomstein | #CMSX 25 © 2013 “creative” workarounds
  25. @mbloomstein | #CMSX 26 © 2013 What is the cost of non-compliance?
  26. @mbloomstein | #CMSX 27 © 2013 First things first. Why start blogging, audit the content, consolidate site architecture, add video testimonials, incorporate user reviews, relaunch the site, develop new brand guidelines, switch to a new CMS, or go “mobile first”… if you don’t know what you need to communicate?
  27. @mbloomstein | #CMSX 28 © 2013 What is content strategy? Planning for the creation, aggregation, delivery, and governance of useful, usable, and appropriate content in an experience.
  28. Why content strategy? Because we all want the same things, but content keeps getting in the way.
  29. Sustainable content is content you can create—and maintain—without going broke, without lowering quality in ways that make the content suck, and without working employees into nervous breakdowns. Erin Kissane, The Elements of Content Strategy
  30. If you don’t know what you need to communicate, how will you know if you succeed?
  31. @mbloomstein | #CMSX 32 © 2013 Steps along the way… Message architecture Content audit/inventory Content model Editorial style guidelines Metadata guidelines Governance guidelines
  32. @mbloomstein | #CMSX 33 © 2013 Steps along the way… Message architecture Content audit/inventory Content model Editorial style guidelines Metadata guidelines Governance guidelines
  33. @mbloomstein | #CMSX 34 © 2013 Deliverables punctuate and facilitate the conversation. Don’t let them replace the conversation.
  34. @mbloomstein | #CMSX 35 © 2013 What’s a message architecture? A hierarchy of communication goals that reflects a common vocabulary.
  35. @mbloomstein | #CMSX 36 © 2013 A little thing with big impact.
  36. @mbloomstein | #CMSX 37 © 2013 A little thing with big impact. How could we prove this is a car not like anything else out there? It’s a small car, but it’s premium. You get a Porsche 911 ride for a fifth of the cost. It’s got history… but in Europe. You need to give people content to give them history.” “
  37. @mbloomstein | #CMSX 38 © 2013 A little thing with big impact.
  38. @mbloomstein | #CMSX 39 © 2013 Message architecture Premium technology • Assertive; ready to perform as a driver’s car • Proactive and supportive of spontaneity Classic design • Experienced and savvy Cheekiness • Smart,“punny,” hip • Fun, gleeful
  39. @mbloomstein | #CMSX 40 © 2013 What did content need to do? • Offer fast, easy access • Encourage personalization • Convey local relevance • Facilitate sharing • Communicate quirkiness • Allow for easy infrequent updates • Support a few structured content types
  40. If the CMS can’t support it, the content can’t do it.
  41. @mbloomstein | #CMSX 42 © 2013
  42. @mbloomstein | #CMSX 43 © 2013
  43. @mbloomstein | #CMSX 44 © 2013
  44. @mbloomstein | #CMSX 45 © 2013
  45. @mbloomstein | #CMSX 46 © 2013
  46. @mbloomstein | #CMSX 47 © 2013 Message architecture drives the user experience
  47. @mbloomstein | #CMSX 48 © 2013 Photographic angles Dark backgrounds Bold headlines Thick stroke weights …and in design
  48. @mbloomstein | #CMSX 49 © 2013 Nomenclature Content types Content elements Calls to action and instructional copy Sentence structure, diction, and tone …in content
  49. @mbloomstein | #CMSX 50 © 2013 What’s a message architecture? A hierarchy of communication goals that reflects a common vocabulary. Concrete, shared terminology, not abstract concepts.
  50. @mbloomstein | #CMSX 51 © 2013 Welcoming, but elite. Selective?
  51. @mbloomstein | #CMSX 52 © 2013 Traditional, but edgy.
  52. @mbloomstein | #CMSX 53 © 2013 ©Warby Parker
  53. @mbloomstein | #CMSX 54 © 2013
  54. @mbloomstein | #CMSX 55 © 2013 Why do this? Gain standards by which to conduct a qualitative audit. (What is “good” anyway?)
  55. @mbloomstein | #CMSX 56 © 2013 Why do this? Prioritize new content types to manifest the message architecture—not just because they’re trendy or feasible.
  56. @mbloomstein | #CMSX 57 © 2013 Message architecture Passionate about strategic discovery • Creative, spirited, inspired • Visionary, innovative thought leader and industry leader • Flexible Tactical and hands-on • In the trenches, in touch • Detail-oriented and methodical Pioneering • Groundbreaking, trend-setting • Modern and savvy People-focused and market-driven • Trusted by medical professionals, researchers, and media • Industry news source
  57. @mbloomstein | #CMSX 58 © 2013
  58. @mbloomstein | #CMSX 59 © 2013 Passionate? Creative? Hands-on? Pioneering? Trusted?
  59. @mbloomstein | #CMSX 60 © 2013 Humanizing the institution is more important than establishing individual thought leadership.
  60. Audit to understand content you have, content you need, and content patterns you can standardize. What are you trying to learn?
  61. @mbloomstein | #CMSX 62 © 2013 Every tab tracks the same data Quantitative: • Head count: what do we have? • Is it consistent? What are the patterns? • Are similar content types consistent in size and structure? • Is there parity of length, level of detail, and tone?
  62. @mbloomstein | #CMSX 63 © 2013 Every tab tracks the same data Qualitative: is it any good? • ROT analysis: redundant, outdated, trivial • Current, relevant, and appropriate to the message architecture • Does it serve the communication goals? • Does it speak to the target audience?
  63. @mbloomstein | #CMSX 64 © 2013
  64. @mbloomstein | #CMSX 65 © 2013
  65. @mbloomstein | #CMSX 66 © 2013 Each piece of content gets a row Set up dropdowns to constrain data • Data  Data validation  List  Sources
  66. @mbloomstein | #CMSX 67 © 2013 What will you learn? • What do we have and is it any good? • What are the patterns, elements, and types? • Is it worth keeping and maintaining? • What do we need to update? • What do we need to translate? • What do we need to associate? • Where do we need more?
  67. @mbloomstein | #CMSX 68 © 2013 © Karen McGrane
  68. @mbloomstein | #CMSX 69 © 2013 Where can you go? • Identify new content types and channels • Prioritize specific content types and elements • Prioritize specific CMS modifications • Reallocate budget across channels • Prepare for future-friendly cross–channel and cross–platform delivery
  69. @mbloomstein | #CMSX 70 © 2013 But first things first: What are you trying to communicate? What content do you have and what do you need to do that?
  70. @mbloomstein | #CMSX 71 © 2013 Thank you! Margot Bloomstein @mbloomstein margot@appropriateinc.com slideshare.net/mbloomstein amzn.to/CSatWork All photography © Margot Bloomstein unless otherwise noted. Screen grabs property of their respective owners at time of capture.

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