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Jumpstarting content strategy with a message architecture at Converge2015

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Trying to manage scope, stakeholders, and shifting priorities? Need to determine a consistent voice among multiple authors? Content strategy can help. Amid constrained resources, competing priorities, and a contributory culture, content strategy can help us focus and do less—but do what really matters. Margot will discuss how to empower communicators and rally everyone around a common vocabulary for use in print, traditional web communication, and social media.

Presented at Converge 2015, #Converge2015, October 22, 2015 in New Orleans.

Published in: Education

Jumpstarting content strategy with a message architecture at Converge2015

  1. Margot Bloomstein Converge 102215 #Converge2015 @mbloomstein
  2. @mbloomstein | #Converge2015 2 © 2015 Content demands attention
  3. @mbloomstein | #Converge2015 3 © 2015 Because we all want the same thing, but content keeps getting in the way. (CC) http://www.flickr.com/photos/slworking Content requires time
  4. @mbloomstein | #Converge2015 4 © 2015 Content dredges up politics © Margot Bloomstein
  5. This is your job now.
  6. @mbloomstein | #Converge2015 6 © 2015 ©Skillset.org
  7. @mbloomstein | #Converge2015 7 © 2015 Titles < Roles < Skills ©Skillset.org
  8. © The Creative Group
  9. @mbloomstein | #Converge2015 10 What is content strategy? Planning for the creation, aggregation, delivery, and governance of useful, usable, and appropriate content in an experience.
  10. @mbloomstein | #Converge2015 11 © 2015 Message architecture Content audit Content types Content model Editorial style guidelines and calendar
  11. @mbloomstein | #Converge2015 12 © 2015 Deliverables are merely punctuation in the conversation. They can’t replace the conversation— and too often, we’re afraid to talk.
  12. @mbloomstein | #Converge2015 13 © 2015 Conversation Research Process work Master plan
  13. @mbloomstein | #Converge2015 14 © 2015 Insert image of a campus master plan/architecture Why content strategy?
  14. @mbloomstein | #Converge2015 15 © 2015 Insert image of a campus master plan/architecture Why content strategy? Because we all want the same things, but content messes everything up
  15. @mbloomstein | #Converge2015 16 © 2015 Insert image of a campus master plan/architecture Why content strategy? To launch on time
  16. @mbloomstein | #Converge2015 17 © 2015 Insert image of a campus master plan/architecture Why content strategy? To stay within the budget
  17. @mbloomstein | #Converge2015 18 © 2015 Insert image of a campus master plan/architecture Why content strategy? To build a consistent user experience across channels, time, and contributors
  18. @mbloomstein | #Converge2015 19 © 2015 Insert image of a campus master plan/architecture Why content strategy? To maintain the workflow without the team fighting over differences in opinion and shifting goals
  19. @mbloomstein | #Converge2015 20 © 2015 Insert image of a campus master plan/architecture Why content strategy? To maintain the workflow without the team fighting over differences in opinion and shifting goals (content without content strategy)
  20. More like Apple.
  21. @mbloomstein | #Converge2015 23 © 2015 More like Apple’s message architecture Confident but approachable; accessible Simple • Minimal detail • Streamlined and anticipatory Inviting, friendly • Supportive but not fawning
  22. @mbloomstein | #Converge2015 24 © 2015 Message architecture Content audit Content types Content model Editorial style guidelines and calendar
  23. @mbloomstein | #Converge2015 25 © 2015
  24. @mbloomstein | #Converge2015 26 © 2015 Gracious and engaged • Welcoming, anticipatory service Elite and premium • Selective membership • “Curated” experiences Traditional • Enduring heritage • Preserving appreciation for quality Message architecture?
  25. @mbloomstein | #Converge2015 27 © 2015 Innovative Global Inclusive Engaged Translating Harvard’s principles
  26. @mbloomstein | #Converge2015 28 © 2015
  27. @mbloomstein | #Converge2015 29 © 2015 Message architecture Cheeky • Witty and fun • Young without being childish Customer oriented and responsive • Approachable, friendly, and empowering Helpful • Accessible
  28. @mbloomstein | #Converge2015 30 © 2015
  29. @mbloomstein | #Converge2015 31 © 2015
  30. @mbloomstein | #Converge2015 32 © 2015 From: Little MOO | Print Robot <noreply@moo.com> Subject: MOO | Order 0629312615 | Confirmed Hello I'm Little MOO - the bit of software that will be managing your order with moo.com. It will shortly be sent to Big MOO, our print machine who will print it for you in the next few days. I'll let you know when it's done and on its way to you. Remember, I'm just a bit of software. So, if you have any questions regarding your order please first read our Frequently Asked Questions or contact customer services (who are real people!) Thanks, Little MOO, Print Robot
  31. @mbloomstein | #Converge2015 33 © 2015 Message architecture vs. brand values? 1. Cheeky 2. Customer oriented 3. Helpful Design Innovation Community Excellence (Inspiring, but lack priority)
  32. @mbloomstein | #Converge2015 34 © 2015 What’s a message architecture? A hierarchy of communication goals that reflects a common vocabulary.
  33. @mbloomstein | #Converge2015 35 © 2015 First things first. Why conduct an audit, consolidate site architecture, add video testimonials, develop brand guidelines, launch a new campaign, go “mobile first,” launch a department blog, or create an alumni portal… if you don’t know what’s most important to communicate?
  34. @mbloomstein | #Converge2015 36 © 2015 If you don’t know what to communicate, how will you know if you succeed?
  35. @mbloomstein | #Converge2015 37 © 2015 If you don’t know what to communicate, how will you know if you succeed… or measure and report the results?
  36. @mbloomstein | #Converge2015 38 © 2015 What’s a message architecture? A hierarchy of communication goals that reflects a common vocabulary.
  37. @mbloomstein | #Converge2015 39 © 2015 A little thing with big impact.
  38. How could we prove this is a car not like anything else out there? It’s small 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.
  39. @mbloomstein | #Converge2015 41 © 2015 A little thing with big impact.
  40. @mbloomstein | #Converge2015 42 © 2015 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
  41. @mbloomstein | #Converge2015 43 © 2015
  42. @mbloomstein | #Converge2015 44 © 2015
  43. @mbloomstein | #Converge2015 45 © 2015
  44. @mbloomstein | #Converge2015 46 © 2015 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.
  45. @mbloomstein | #Converge2015 47 © 2015 Message architecture drives the user experience
  46. @mbloomstein | #Converge2015 48 © 2015 Nomenclature Calls to action Instructional content Sentence structure Diction …in content
  47. @mbloomstein | #Converge2015 49 © 2015 Photographic angles Dark backgrounds Bold headlines Thick stroke weights …in design
  48. @mbloomstein | #Converge2015 50 © 2015 …and in the prioritization and coordination of features and content types.
  49. Content strategy creates harmony, not cacophony, across channels.
  50. @mbloomstein | #Converge2015 52 © 2015 Not all channels fit all brands. Serious, technical, and rigorous? • Annual reports • Articles on your site • Articles on other sites • Blogs • Books • Branded tools • Case studies • Digital magazines • eBooks • Email newsletters • Facebook posts • Games • In-person events • Infographics • Licensed/syndicated content • LinkedIn posts • Microsites • Mobile apps • Online presentations • Podcasts • Print magazines • Print newsletters • Research reports • Twitter • Videos • Virtual conferences • Webinars/webcasts • Whitepapers Per Content Marketing Institute & MarketingProfs 2013 Content Marketing Survey
  51. @mbloomstein | #Converge2015 53 © 2015 Not all channels fit all brands. Relevant, fun, and engaged? • Annual reports • Articles on your site • Articles on other sites • Blogs • Books • Branded tools • Case studies • Digital magazines • eBooks • Email newsletters • Facebook posts • Games • In-person events • Infographics • Licensed/syndicated content • LinkedIn posts • Microsites • Mobile apps • Online presentations • Podcasts • Print magazines • Print newsletters • Research reports • Twitter • Videos • Virtual conferences • Webinars/webcasts • Whitepapers Per Content Marketing Institute & MarketingProfs 2013 Content Marketing Survey
  52. @mbloomstein | #Converge2015 54 © 2015
  53. @mbloomstein | #Converge2015 55 © 2015 Premium • Lindt embodies quality, in product, marketing, & company interactions • Approachable: Quality indulgences are more accessible • Trusted in brand and quality Empowering • Entrepreneurial: Innovating, championing individuals and successes • Market driving: strategic and proactive • Professional and consistent through experience and being responsive Community-minded • Engaged with the Lindt family • Customer-oriented • Socially conscious Message architecture
  54. @mbloomstein | #Converge2015 56 © 2015 Message architecture drives a consistent user experience, visually and verbally.
  55. @mbloomstein | #Converge2015 57 © 2015 Elegant layout and typography • Spread-to-spread sightlines and flow • Wider borders • Layered background images • Italic titles with initial drop caps
  56. @mbloomstein | #Converge2015 58 © 2015 Imagery of individual impact • People engaged with product and service— not just product or just results of service • Diversity of role, gender, ethnicity, and age
  57. @mbloomstein | #Converge2015 59 © 2015 Accessible, informative copy • First-person plural • Frequent rhetorical asides • Shorter sentences • Clear, concrete explanations
  58. @mbloomstein | #Converge2015 60 © 2015 Message architecture Content audit Content types Content model & matrix Editorial style guidelines and calendar
  59. @mbloomstein | #Converge2015 61 © 2015 Editorial calendar: Schedule topics to manifest the message architecture
  60. @mbloomstein | #Converge2015 62 © 2015 Content matrix: Modular for COPE reuse across platforms
  61. @mbloomstein | #Converge2015 63 © 2015 What’s a message architecture? A hierarchy of communication goals that reflects a common vocabulary.
  62. @mbloomstein | #Converge2015 64 © 2015 What’s a message architecture? Concrete, shared terminology, not abstract concepts.
  63. Welcoming, but elite. Selective?
  64. Welcoming, but elite. Inclusive?
  65. Welcoming, but elite. Exclusive?
  66. Traditional, but edgy.
  67. @mbloomstein | #Converge2015 69 © 2015
  68. We like communication, but we love jargon.
  69. @mbloomstein | #Converge2015 71 © 2015 Words are valuable, but meaningless without context and priority.
  70. @mbloomstein | #Converge2015 72 © 2015 How? • Engage in a tangible, hands-on way • Encourage debate and conversation • Identify points of disagreement • Prevent seagulling • Force prioritization and tradeoffs • Encourage ownership and investment
  71. @mbloomstein | #Converge2015 73 © 2015 Categorize, transition, and prioritize
  72. @mbloomstein | #Converge2015 74 © 2015 Why do this? Words are cheaper than comps.
  73. @mbloomstein | #Converge2015 75 © 2015 Why do this? Content creation, organization, and governance all need a strong foundation.
  74. @mbloomstein | #Converge2015 76 © 2015 Why do this? Choose content types to manifest the message architecture— not just because they’re trendy.
  75. @mbloomstein | #Converge2015 77 © 2015 And beyond… • Organize CMS fields to support the content model • Define standards for a qualitative audit • Gain style guidelines to reflect communication goals • Determine keywords for SEO • Reallocate budget and resources across channels
  76. @mbloomstein | #Converge2015 78 © 2015 But first things first: Understand what you need to communicate—and why.
  77. Margot Bloomstein @mbloomstein margot@appropriateinc.com slideshare.net/mbloomstein All photography © Margot Bloomstein unless noted. Screen grabs property of their respective owners.

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