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Content Strategy: What, Why, Why Should You Care?

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Are you ready to add content strategy to your resume? We'll gain some practical, hands-on experience together. Let's put a few sample organizations through the paces of "typical" process in a website redesign engagement. First, we’ll discuss how to prioritize communication goals and develop a message architecture with a hands-on exercise—ideal whether you’re designing for the web, a mobile app, social media, or an offline experience. Then we’ll discuss how you can use this foundation to conduct a content audit, and work together to do it. Finally, we’ll ask “so what?” We’ll uncover the implications of a content audit through a gap analysis that points to content needs and next steps for our sample organizations. You’ll leave with the confidence and savvy to bring content strategy techniques and thinking back to your own organization.

Presented at IA Konferenz 2012, Essen Germany; #IAK12, May 10, 2012.

Published in: Design, Technology

Content Strategy: What, Why, Why Should You Care?

  1. @mbloomstein #IAK12 1 © 2012© 2012 CONTENT STRATEGY: WHAT, WHY, WHY SHOULD YOU CARE? Margot Bloomstein IA Konferenz #IAK12 May 9, 2012 @mbloomstein
  2. @mbloomstein #IAK12 2 © 2012 What?
  3. @mbloomstein #IAK12 3 © 2012 What is content strategy? Planning for the creation, aggregation, delivery, and governance of useful, usable, and appropriate content in an experience.
  4. @mbloomstein #IAK12 4 © 2012 Steps along the way… Message architecture Content audit/inventory Prescriptive content matrix Content model Editorial style guidelines Metadata guidelines Governance guidelines
  5. @mbloomstein #IAK12 5 © 2012 Steps along the way… Message architecture Content audit/inventory Prescriptive content matrix Content model Editorial style guidelines Metadata guidelines Governance guidelines
  6. @mbloomstein #IAK12 6 © 2012 Deliverables are merely punctuation in the conversation. Don’t let them replace the conversation.
  7. @mbloomstein #IAK12 7 © 2012 What? Who?
  8. @mbloomstein #IAK12 8 © 2012 ©Skillset.org
  9. @mbloomstein #IAK12 9 © 2012 Why content strategy? Because we all want the same thing, but content keeps getting in the way.
  10. @mbloomstein #IAK12 10 © 2012 Deliver on time, on budget
  11. @mbloomstein #IAK12 11 © 2012 Maintain a consistent vision
  12. @mbloomstein #IAK12 12 © 2012 Support a holistic user experience
  13. @mbloomstein #IAK12 13 © 2012 Keep the voice in microcopy
  14. @mbloomstein #IAK12 14 © 2012 Ensure cross-channel consistency
  15. @mbloomstein #IAK12 15 © 2012 Ensure cross-channel consistency …among multiple bloggers
  16. @mbloomstein #IAK12 16 © 2012 Ensure cross-channel consistency …among print and web and phone
  17. @mbloomstein #IAK12 17 © 2012 Ensure cross-channel consistency …between Twitter and Facebook
  18. @mbloomstein #IAK12 18 © 2012 Ensure cross-platform consistency (and contextual relevance)
  19. @mbloomstein #IAK12 19 © 2012 First things first. What do you need to communicate?
  20. @mbloomstein #IAK12 20 © 2012 First things first. Why even do this…
  21. @mbloomstein #IAK12 21 © 2012 First things first. Why even do this…redesign the website,
  22. @mbloomstein #IAK12 22 © 2012 First things first. Why even do this…redesign the website, start a new blog,
  23. @mbloomstein #IAK12 23 © 2012 First things first. Why even do this…redesign the website, start a new blog, audit the content,
  24. @mbloomstein #IAK12 24 © 2012 First things first. Why even do this…redesign the website, start a new blog, audit the content, start engaging on Twitter,
  25. @mbloomstein #IAK12 25 © 2012 First things first. Why even do this…redesign the website, start a new blog, audit the content, start engaging on Twitter, consolidate the current site architecture,
  26. @mbloomstein #IAK12 26 © 2012 First things first. Why even do this…redesign the website, start a new blog, audit the content, start engaging on Twitter, consolidate the current site architecture, add video testimonials,
  27. @mbloomstein #IAK12 27 © 2012 First things first. Why even do this…redesign the website, start a new blog, audit the content, start engaging on Twitter, consolidate the current site architecture, add video testimonials, incorporate class reviews,
  28. @mbloomstein #IAK12 28 © 2012 First things first. Why even do this…redesign the website, start a new blog, audit the content, start engaging on Twitter, consolidate the current site architecture, add video testimonials, incorporate class reviews, develop new brand guidelines…
  29. @mbloomstein #IAK12 29 © 2012 First things first. Why even do this…redesign the website, start a new blog, audit the content, start engaging on Twitter, consolidate the current site architecture, add video testimonials, incorporate class reviews, develop new brand guidelines… if you don’t know what you need to communicate?
  30. @mbloomstein #IAK12 30 © 2012 If you don’t know WHAT you need to communicate, how will you know HOW, or if you succeed?
  31. @mbloomstein #IAK12 31 © 2012 What’s a message architecture? A hierarchy of communication goals that reflects a common vocabulary.
  32. @mbloomstein #IAK12 32 © 2012 A little thing with big impact.
  33. @mbloomstein #IAK12 33 © 2012 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.” “
  34. @mbloomstein #IAK12 34 © 2012 A little thing with big impact.
  35. @mbloomstein #IAK12 35 © 2012 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
  36. @mbloomstein #IAK12 36 © 2012
  37. @mbloomstein #IAK12 37 © 2012
  38. @mbloomstein #IAK12 38 © 2012
  39. @mbloomstein #IAK12 39 © 2012
  40. @mbloomstein #IAK12 40 © 2012 If these emails are boring you and you don’t mind missing out on all the lip-smackin’ stuff we’ll be sending in the future, simply send a message to owner- unsubscribe@insiders.miniusa.com and include “Unsubscribe” and your favorite fruit in the subject field.
  41. @mbloomstein #IAK12 41 © 2012 Message architecture drives the user experience
  42. @mbloomstein #IAK12 42 © 2012 Nomenclature Calls to action Instructional content Sentence structure Diction …in content
  43. @mbloomstein #IAK12 43 © 2012 Photographic angles Dark backgrounds Bold headlines Thick stroke weights …and in design
  44. @mbloomstein #IAK12 44 © 2012 …and in the choice of features and content types
  45. @mbloomstein #IAK12 45 © 2012 Message architecture Premium • Quality in taste, feeling, ingredients, interactions • Approachable: indulgences made accessible Empowering, responsive, and consistent • Always gracious and appropriate, polished • Championing individuals • Building from European heritage in the US Community-minding • Customer-oriented and socially conscious
  46. @mbloomstein #IAK12 46 © 2012 Opportunities and problems • Do consumers feel like we hear them? • Do we create a sense that products fit a range of settings and lifestyles? • Do we communicate the quality of products in a competitive way?
  47. @mbloomstein #IAK12 48 © 2012
  48. Premium? Approachable? Responsive? Community-minded?
  49. @mbloomstein #IAK12 50 © 2012
  50. @mbloomstein #IAK12 51 © 2012 What’s a message architecture? A hierarchy of communication goals that reflects a common vocabulary.
  51. @mbloomstein #IAK12 52 © 2012 What’s a message architecture? Concrete, shared terminology, not abstract concepts.
  52. @mbloomstein #IAK12 53 © 2012 Make us look innovative, but not risky.
  53. @mbloomstein #IAK12 54 © 2012 We want to be hip, but traditional.
  54. @mbloomstein #IAK12 55 © 2012 ©Warby Parker
  55. @mbloomstein #IAK12 56 © 2012 Words are valuable, but meaningless without context and priority. (In a few minutes, we’ll give them context.)
  56. @mbloomstein #IAK12 57 © 2012 What? Who? Why?
  57. @mbloomstein #IAK12 58 © 2012 Why do this? Words are cheaper than comps.
  58. @mbloomstein #IAK12 59 © 2012 Why do this? Let creative colleagues refine the concept, rather than confirm the purpose.
  59. @mbloomstein #IAK12 60 © 2012 Why do this? You cannot know what you need until you know what you have.
  60. @mbloomstein #IAK12 61 © 2012 How? • Engage in a tangible, hands-on way • Encourage debate and conversation • Identify points of disagreement • Prevent seagulling • Force prioritization • Encourage ownership & investment
  61. @mbloomstein #IAK12 62 © 2012 Cardsorting • Pick 1 or 2 people to represent the brand • Everyone else: put on your content strategy hats!
  62. @mbloomstein #IAK12 63 © 2012
  63. @mbloomstein #IAK12 64 © 2012 Cardsorting Step one: • Who we are • Who we’re not • Who we’d like to be Go with your gut for about 20 minutes.
  64. @mbloomstein #IAK12 65 © 2012
  65. @mbloomstein #IAK12 66 © 2012 Cardsorting Step two: • Who we are  Who we’d like to be Think aspirational. What needs to change? ~10 minutes
  66. @mbloomstein #IAK12 67 © 2012 Cardsorting Step three: • Form groups: what goes together? • Prioritize the goals or groups • Tell the story of those aspirations ~10 minutes
  67. @mbloomstein #IAK12 68 © 2012 Why do this? Gain standards by which to conduct a qualitative audit. (What is “good” anyway?)
  68. @mbloomstein #IAK12 69 © 2012 So where to from here? Content audit: measure quality against the aspirational attributes in the message architecture.
  69. @mbloomstein #IAK12 70 © 2012 Why do this? Choose new content types to manifest the message architecture—not just because they’re trendy.
  70. @mbloomstein #IAK12 71 © 2012 So where to from here? New content types: prioritize features against the new communication goals. Trust and transparency? Testimonials. Thought leadership? “In the news” features.
  71. @mbloomstein #IAK12 72 © 2012 Audit time!
  72. @mbloomstein #IAK12 73 © 2012 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
  73. @mbloomstein #IAK12 74 © 2012
  74. @mbloomstein #IAK12 75 © 2012Passionate? Creative? Hands-on? Pioneering and modern? Trusted?
  75. @mbloomstein #IAK12 76 © 2012
  76. @mbloomstein #IAK12 77 © 2012
  77. @mbloomstein #IAK12 78 © 2012 Audit to understand what you have and what you need. Don’t just do it for fun. Before you can start, you need to know why. What are you trying to learn?
  78. @mbloomstein #IAK12 79 © 2012
  79. @mbloomstein #IAK12 80 © 2012 Each section gets its own tab…
  80. @mbloomstein #IAK12 81 © 2012 Every tab tracks the same data Quantitative: • Head count: what do we have? • Is it consistent? • Are similar content types consistent in size and structure? • Is there parity of length, level of detail, and tone?
  81. @mbloomstein #IAK12 82 © 2012 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?
  82. @mbloomstein #IAK12 83 © 2012
  83. @mbloomstein #IAK12 84 © 2012 Each piece of content gets a row Set up dropdowns to constrain data • Data  Data validation  List  Sources
  84. @mbloomstein #IAK12 85 © 2012 What will you learn? • What do we have? • Is it any good? • Do people even like it? (Check analytics!) • What do we need to update? • What do we need to translate? • Where do we need more?
  85. @mbloomstein #IAK12 86 © 2012 Steps along the way… Message architecture Content audit/inventory Prescriptive content matrix Content model Editorial style guidelines Metadata guidelines Governance guidelines
  86. @mbloomstein #IAK12 87 © 2012 Steps along the way… Message architecture Content audit/inventory Prescriptive content matrix Content model Editorial style guidelines Metadata guidelines Governance guidelines Gap analysis
  87. @mbloomstein #IAK12 88 © 2012 Steps along the way… Message architecture Content audit/inventory Prescriptive content matrix Content model Editorial style guidelines Metadata guidelines Governance guidelines Gap analysis How
  88. @mbloomstein #IAK12 89 © 2012 Steps along the way… Message architecture Content audit/inventory Prescriptive content matrix Content model Editorial style guidelines Metadata guidelines Governance guidelines Gap analysis How By whom & when
  89. @mbloomstein #IAK12 90 © 2012 But first things first: What are you trying to communicate? What content do you have and what do you need to do that?
  90. @mbloomstein #IAK12 91 © 2012 Danke! Margot Bloomstein @mbloomstein margot@appropriateinc.com slideshare.net/mbloomstein http://amzn.to/CSatWork

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