Welcome – Good afternoon and thank you for attending (listening is optional) Today we’re going to talk about content strategy moving past our typical preconceptions as it relates to websites and marketing.
My name is Matthew Grocki, I am the principal of Grass Fed Content a content strategy consultancy based out of new England –*caption under house reads (this is where the magic happens.) This is our little house where I make the content strategy magic happen.
Today we’re going to talk about some common trappings of conceptions of content strategy, discuss how we got there and how we move forward as a discipline.
As the need for content governance and sound content practices grew, the overwhelming place to implore content strategy initiatives were websites. After all, the majority of website content was pretty dated. Please note, I search HI and Low for a cucumber sandwich, waited for it to turn moldy and took a picture. Do you how hard a cucumber sandwich is to find the States?
Secondly, web copy was the most visible content for an organization or educational institution. Due to websites’ increased visibility, organizations elevated the way technology was perceived in marketing
Thus begat, the infamous WEBMASTER moniker. However about 10 years ago, as marketing budgets were slashed, many organizations failed to prove how marketing efforts drove sales. Thankfully, some amazing minds recognize content’s role in driving and maintain customer satisfaction.
Thus content marketing was born. Content marketing, more specifically the practice of using content strategy principles to drive “profitable consumer action” began making inroads.
Unfortunately, marketing being very good at…well, marketing, vocalized a lot of content strategy initiatives, leading to many blending the two distinct disciplines. This invariably led to confusion as the two areas became intertwined. In the interest of full disclosure these quotes are from the voices in my head.
Meanwhile back at the lab as marketing initiatives matured, the need to gainfully attract and maintain user interaction and retention became more prevalent. Thus, we see Information Architects become a vital part of web content.
IAs started working on revising, constructing and designing better websites. User personas were created and website design, usability and content were constructed on those personas. Invariably, cross pollination between content strategy and IAs occurred. Suddenly we got into a very familiar conversation
Suddenly, content strategy is in the familiar role of being intertwined with information architecture. Show of hands, how HASN”T heard at least a variation of these quotes?
This feeds the perception of Content Strategy as an extension of previously established disciplines. However, this notion couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, I’ll let you in on a dirty little secret…
(pause for uproarious laughter) Content strategy likes to play the field. Content strategy initiatives are not a byproduct of marketing, nor an extension of IA. Content strategy loves marketing, development, support, sales and finance, but they don’t like to be tied down to one area of the business.
However, organizations love structure and placing disciplines in buckets. Thus content strategy is often placed in the marketing bucket. Companies, schools and non profits love org charts. They love to create them say once a fiscal year. They store them somewhere and show them off at employee meetings.
Unfortunately, the next day they also love to tweak them. Therefore, the role of CS is an organization can be challenging. The future of CS is to navigate organizational changes without getting tied down to one area of business.
I’ve Identified 4 goals for content strategy moving forward. We need to think of content, not in one line of business, but as an entire organizational agenda.
Secondly, content strategists need to break down CMS silos. The bigger the company, the more each business unit likes to create their CMS castle. If you bill hourly, it’s kinda fun to watch. we don’t have to be a CMS expert, but we know where to find them inside or outside the organization.
We also need to recognize that companies have goals that are beyond the marketing plan. It’s true! A common Content Strategy trapping is to get mired in Marketing’s agenda. The challenge is seeing other corporate initiatives such as customer service programs, call scripts, user education and user assistances practices.
Finally, we need to act as a pipeline between areas of the business. Rifts between marketing and development was so 2009. Use content as the ice breaker between areas and lines of business. Businesses don’t have time for departmental egos.
Use content as a way to draw departments together and we can move past the perception of Content Strategy merely being an extension of marketing and websites.
Content strategy beyond the web
Content Strategy Beyond the Web Matthew Grocki www.grassfedcontent.com @mgrocki #csforum11
Goals for Content Strategy <ul><li>Content as an organizational agenda </li></ul>@mgrocki #csforum11
Goals for Content Strategy <ul><li>Content as an organizational agenda </li></ul><ul><li>Break down CMS silos </li></ul>@mgrocki #csforum11
Goals for Content Strategy <ul><li>Content as an organizational agenda </li></ul><ul><li>Break down CMS silos </li></ul><ul><li>Move beyond the website </li></ul>@mgrocki #csforum11
Goals for Content Strategy <ul><li>Content as an organizational agenda </li></ul><ul><li>Break down CMS silos </li></ul><ul><li>Move beyond the website </li></ul><ul><li>Pipeline between areas of business </li></ul>@mgrocki #csforum11