How to tackle multichannel content audits


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Talk from ConveyUX Feb 5, 2014 Seattle. Why we conduct content audits, considering content as part of an ecosystem, types of audits. Special considerations for multichannel auditing and considering connections between all your content channels.

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  • I work at Content Insight, we have an automated content inventory and audit tool called CAT I also teach at the iSchool, CS in IA – how to audit content.
  • It all started with an onion. Sustainable, holistic, strategy. What influenced me to think in terms of layers?
  • Raya Fidel, Information School, University of Washington. Onion Model Information Behavior how people work. Moving away from tree hierarchies, top down thinking to holistic models that take on complexity.
  • What I noticed when I would model org charts, communication paths to audiences, Not even Venn, but interconnected circle. Our communication is reaching out into the world, but connecting all of our layers is community that connects people with ideas and ultimately, with us. Direct Contact = Sales, Leads, Donors, Students, MembersAudience = People you have in front of you. They are aware of you. You may have a conversation. Public = Friends you haven’t met yet. Community can happen anywhere
  • My title is based on 3 premises. With this foundation I believe the holistic content audit is critical to building sustainable content strategies.
  • Understand the lifecycle in context. Account for organization’s goals, systems, resources, workflow, timelines, budgets and build the right tools to support the people and the content. This is Erin Scime’s lifecycle but we can look at many others.
  • RahelBailie’s Content Lifecycle. What I’ve encountered on projects
  • Our content does not live in a vacuum. IA is no longer a model of a house but of a living breathing organism. When we audit, we are always going beyond one channel because our goals and audiences exist in an ecosystem, in a world of content and relationships.
  • Holistic to me means understanding how our relationships to time, place and person affect the whole.
  • There are other words for holistic that mean similar things.Or as Joshua Porter put it. UX is Holistic: The experience is not just the product anymore. It is made up of all touch-points of a larger system, from the product to the support to the way your neighbor talks about it. Not all of these things are designable in the same way, but all can be designed for on some level. 
  • When we’re creating for the first time, even building from great foundations of user research and personas, initially and essentially, we’re guessing. They are educated guesses, but they’re suppositions. When we perform content audits, we’re testing. Goals, user needs, our own resources, desires and even political machinations. That is my biggest argument for why you should audit content.
  • But not everybody agrees with me. Have any of you performed a manual content audit? Groan.
  • Think of all the reasons you might not want to do a content inventory, audit or evaluation. Your scope, timeline, budget, personnel, design aesthetic. All the people who don’t think an audit is possible – client, stakeholders, bosses, team members. There’s a lot of reasons, some good and some not. But when you skip this TEST, you miss an opportunity to create a better user experience.
  • But, to truly know if your content is connecting with your audiences and you’ve got a sustainable strategy to govern the lifecycle of that content – you’re going to need to audit something. This is what I believe argues for auditing.
  • What can you look for?
  • But you don’t have to do ALL the things. There are many kinds of audits. Help us do different things. Find the fit for your resources and project.
  • Can interns audit? They have to CARE – or they walk outEvaluative criteria, training. Clear instructions and timelines and make them a part of outcomes.
  • Before you assign anyone you have to select your layers. Closest to home to the outer reaches. Website that I control and the channels I must use appropriately, conversation and space that I can observe.
  • What to look for when choosing your audit type,Scope and scale. Do what you have time and resources to do.
  • Quantitative is a must have. Catalog of actual content, website.How muchAnd where it is
  • We know people don’t like spreadsheets. Big picture statistics, because they think they have 300 pages but they have 3000.
  • Order is important. Just any random way isn’t going to do. As the User Experiences. What belongs to what “screen”. I’ve moved away from pages into thinking about scrolling experiences. Numbering systemLocationTitleTypeScreens
  • Technical going beyond the first 4 to things that either robots can provide but maybe only you can. Still not evaluative, not judging. Compiling, storing.MetadataRobotsSEO
  • Two screens are important.
  • What attached to your page, how does flow?
  • How we break this down into metadata NavigationContent types and patterns help us build templates and PDDs Metadata that helps us code, increase access and visibility.
  • Social. I haven’t come up with a template for this except the ones that I make based on what I’m doing. If you can download analytics, makes it much easier. I like to audit in samples – 1 month, 3 months.What are you doing socially? What are people saying, doing in response to you?Ideas for content on other channels
  • All the channels, which will you use? Which will you review?Appropriate use for each channelDead channels
  • You might have core social channels that have more impact. This should depend on your audience, but also your ability to use the channel.78% of adults on FB but at a nonprofit paying to post can be prohibitiive.22% on Twitter, but it’s free to use and limitation of characters.
  • Audit at your core than your outer channels. Create a hierarchy of power to your audience.
  • Competitive audits. What’s everybody else doing?Benchmarks. Differentiation. Gaps, got to make it meaningful.70% use video. So What?
  • Qualitative. Is what you have any good?Evaluate, sort, we judge.
  • There are 6 worksheets of options here. Decide first. Finish before you rethink, don’t spend too long on one thing. This isn’t discovery, it’s a test.
  • In a qualitative audit even of just a website, I can still consider the Multichannel Signal to NoiseAppropriate for ChannelClarityConsistencyCredibility If you want a journal of discredible content you can follow this link.
  • Not strictly an onion. What I look for. MirrorsCan your community see themselves in your content. Are you making it for them, their needs, their passions?
  • Windows How are you displaying what you have? Can users see what they want and needCan you feel the relevance?
  • Window is no good if there’s no way to get in. Content should aid decision making and enable action. All the good content in the world without an action. CTAs, links. Ways to cross paths.
  • 2 way mirror doors. Audience sees itself, what you have and can enter your domain.
  • How we put the audit into the lifecycle context. Erin Scime again. Use it to renew a strategy. Use the tweets to tell you what to write (game in tech comm). What influencers respond to? Everything that’s missing. Governance and workflow to make it happen. Regular audits. Inventory day. Governance day. Or hour.
  • That’s me. Where to find me.IA or CS meetups here in Seattle.
  • How to tackle multichannel content audits

    1. 1. Misty Weaver Building Sustainable Content Strategy from the Holistic Content Audit #ConveyUX @meaningmeasure
    2. 2. Cognitive Work Analysis Onion Model Fidel, Pejtersen
    3. 3. Community HAPPENS Public Audience Direct Contact Organization Community
    4. 4. Premise 1 Content audits help us build a content strategy
    5. 5. Successful content strategy is sustainable
    6. 6. Content Lifecycle, Rahel Bailie
    7. 7. Premise 2 Content exists in an ecosystem; Holistic audits help us understand our relationships in that system
    8. 8. “parts of something as intimately interconnected and explicable only by reference to the whole”
    9. 9. “Holistic?” You might say • Multichannel • Cross-Channel • Omnichannel • Pervasive • Internal and External Communication
    10. 10. Premise 3 Knowledge is Power “when you take the time to understand the content that already exists, not only will you be able to ensure that it’s supported in the new design, but you’ll actually make the entire design stronger” – Sara Wachter-Boettcher
    11. 11. What makes you want to cry?
    13. 13. Audits support content strategy through • • • • • • Goals Users Standards Best practices Connections Conversations
    14. 14. Are you • • • • • • • Meeting your goals? Finding gaps? Fulfilling needs? Different enough? Doing too Little? Doing too Much? Where? Where are you?
    15. 15. There’s more than one way to peel an onion
    16. 16.
    17. 17. There’s the content close to your heart Then, there’s everybody else
    18. 18. Choosing your audit type, scope and scale.
    19. 19. Quantitative
    20. 20. spreadsheet
    21. 21. HOW much?
    22. 22. Inventory Example
    23. 23. Technical
    24. 24. You need double vision
    25. 25.
    26. 26. Social
    27. 27. Brian Solis
    28. 28.
    29. 29. Competitive
    30. 30. Reasons to love a competitive audit
    31. 31. Qualitative
    32. 32. This could take all our lives
    33. 33. Multichannel Credibility Consistency Clarity
    34. 34. Mirrors
    35. 35. Windows
    36. 36. Doors
    37. 37. All ends with beginnings
    38. 38. Thank you, I am Misty Weaver @content_insight @meaningmeasure Content Audit Articles Virtual Coffees arranged via Skype Google+ #ConveyUX @meaningmeasure