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Content Strategy for Marketers

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Presentation by Melissa Rach, formerly Brain Traffic, now Dialog Studios. Marketing teams are often tasked with managing an ever-increasing amount of content -- especially online. Content strategy can help. This presentation discusses what content strategy is, why it is suddenly so necessary, and a few simple tips for managing online content.

Content Strategy for Marketers

  1. 1. how to keep your online content inline <br />10 content strategy tips for marketers <br />8.21.2009 | 1<br />
  2. 2. Melissa Rach<br />Director of Content Strategy, Brain Traffic<br />Journalist, marketer, information architect, writer, etc. <br />INTRODUCTIONS<br />
  3. 3. Introductions<br />Vocabulary<br />History<br />Let’s be friends <br />10 tips for good online content <br />TODAY’S AGENDA<br />
  4. 4. VOCABULARY <br />(ACCORDING TO… ME)<br />Content<br />
  5. 5. Text<br />Data, metadata<br />Images, info graphics<br />Audio, video<br />Widgets, games <br />Etc.<br />WHAT IS CONTENT?<br />
  6. 6. Anything that:<br />Informs/Persuades<br />Instructs<br />Entertains<br />Anywhere<br />(+ Metadata)<br />WHAT IS CONTENT?<br />
  7. 7. SEXY<br />
  8. 8. VOCABULARY <br />(ACCORDING TO… ME)<br />Content<br />Strategy<br />
  9. 9. A plan for obtaining a specific goal or result.<br />WHAT IS A STRATEGY?<br />
  10. 10. Provide clarity <br />Make informed recommendations <br />Facilitate smart decision making <br />Document the action plan <br />Implement the plan <br />WHAT IS STRATEGY (v.)?<br />Align<br />Communicate<br />Align<br />Communicate<br />Align and Communicate<br />
  11. 11. VOCABULARY <br />(ACCORDING TO… ME)<br />Content<br />Strategy<br />Content Strategy<br />
  12. 12. The practice for thecreation, delivery, and governance of content. <br />WHAT IS CONTENT STRATEGY?<br />
  13. 13. Create content that is:<br />Useful<br />Usable<br />Purposeful<br />Profitable<br />WHAT IS CONTENT STRATEGY?<br />User benefits<br />Business benefits<br />
  14. 14. Four key components:<br />Messaging<br />Structure<br />Workflow<br />Governance<br />WHAT IS CONTENT STRATEGY?<br />Content<br />People <br />
  15. 15. HISTORY <br />(WHY CONTENT MAKES YOU CRAZY)<br />The rules have changed<br />
  16. 16. 1955<br />
  17. 17. Big idea: <br />Source + Message + Channel + Receiver<br />Therefore:<br />Awareness &gt; Knowledge &gt; Desire &gt; Action!!!! <br />COMMUNICATION THEORY (Pre-1950s)<br />
  18. 18. 1956: INFORMATION AGE<br />
  19. 19. Big idea: <br />Festinger’s Theory of Cognitive Dissonance <br />COMMUNICATION THEORY (1950s)<br />
  20. 20. Therefore: <br />Before you start… <br />Do research to define audience/channel <br />Tailor message to audience/channel <br />Then… <br />Awareness &gt; Knowledge &gt; Desire &gt; Action!!!!<br />COMMUNICATION THEORY (1950-1990s)<br />11.17.09 | 20<br />
  21. 21. 11.17.09 | 21<br />
  22. 22. 1990: INFORMATION SUPERHIGHWAY<br />
  23. 23. What we know: <br />Source: Everybody<br />Message: Influencers <br />Channel: Hundreds <br />Receiver: Everybody<br />COMMUNICATION THEORY: TODAY<br />
  24. 24. What we still expect to work: <br />Awareness &gt; Knowledge &gt; Desire &gt; Action!!!!<br />COMMUNICATION THEORY: TODAY<br />
  25. 25. What does work: <br />Offer good stuff<br />Be consistent across channels <br />Be trustworthy and accurate<br />Be proactive<br />Participate <br />COMMUNICATION THEORY: TODAY<br />
  26. 26. HISTORY <br />(WHY CONTENT MAKES YOU CRAZY)<br />The rules have changed<br />Everything is connected <br />
  27. 27.
  28. 28.
  29. 29. HISTORY <br />(WHY CONTENT MAKES YOU CRAZY)<br />The rules have changed<br />Everything is connected <br />It’s hard to estimate content value <br />
  30. 30. “<br />Because there isn’t a $1, $5, or<br />$10 denomination stamped on <br />the front of Web content, it’s <br />often difficult to know exactly <br />how valuable content is to <br />your company. <br /> Bryan Eisenberg<br /> Future Now<br />
  31. 31. 1776<br />Adam Smith <br />Says value is: <br /><ul><li> Excludability
  32. 32. Transparency
  33. 33. Rivalry</li></li></ul><li>MEASUREMENT MYTH<br />
  34. 34. HISTORY <br />(WHY CONTENT MAKES YOU CRAZY)<br />The rules have changed<br />Everything is connected <br />It’s hard to estimate content value <br />Content has no clear corporate home <br />
  35. 35. EVERYBODY IS INVOLVED<br />
  36. 36.
  37. 37.
  38. 38. LET’S BE FRIENDS<br />(Content Strategy + Marketing = Goodness) <br />
  39. 39. CONTENT STRATEGY VS. MARKETING<br />
  40. 40. WE OVERLAP WITH EVERYBODY<br />
  41. 41.
  42. 42. Reactive<br />Proactive<br />
  43. 43. WHAT YOU CAN DO<br />(FINALLY, THE RECOMMENDATIONS)<br />
  44. 44. 8.21.2009 | 43<br />
  45. 45. WHAT YOU CAN DO<br />Take content oversight seriously <br />
  46. 46. Manage content creation initiatives <br />Represent content throughout launch process<br />Serve as ongoing editor-in-chief after launch <br />DESIGNATE A CONTENT ADVOCATE<br />
  47. 47. Somebody who actually has time to focus on the complexities of content<br />Somebody department neutral <br />Yeah, somebody other than you<br />DESIGNATE A CONTENT ADVOCATE <br />
  48. 48. DESIGNATE A CONTENT ADVOCATE <br />
  49. 49. Requester<br />Subject matter expert<br />Provider<br />Creator(s) <br />Reviewer <br />Common roles, include: <br />ASSIGN A CONTENT TEAM EARLY <br /><ul><li>Legal reviewer
  50. 50. Approver
  51. 51. Publisher
  52. 52. Maintainer
  53. 53. SEO/Metadata expert</li></li></ul><li>Representative stakeholder group that: <br />Defines content priorities <br />Decides when content needs to “change” <br />Approves content guidelines<br />Communicates to the relevant teams <br />CREATE A GOVERNANCE COMMITTEE<br />
  54. 54. WHAT YOU CAN DO<br />Take content oversight seriously <br />Embrace your inner geek<br />
  55. 55. DO NOT FEAR <br />TECHNOLOGY.<br />YOU’RE BETTER AT IT <br />THAN YOU THINK.<br />
  56. 56. Information architecture <br />User interface design <br />Content management systems <br />Etc. <br />YOU ALREADY KNOW A LOT ABOUT: <br />10.06.2009 | 52<br />
  57. 57. Save time and money <br />Make content better quality<br />Avoid costly, embarrassing mistakes<br />BASELINE KNOWLEDGE IS MANDATORY<br />10.06.2009 | 53<br />
  58. 58.
  59. 59.
  60. 60. FRIEND A REAL GEEK<br />
  61. 61. Safe person to ask questions <br />Advocate in the geek departments<br />Trend watcher<br />Analytics watcher<br />Star Wars expert<br />YOUR GEEK MENTOR IS YOUR: <br />10.06.2009 | 57<br />
  62. 62. WHAT YOU CAN DO<br />Take content oversight seriously <br />Embrace your inner geek<br />Start small, stay focused<br />
  63. 63. YOU DON’T HAVE <br />TO DO IT ALL. <br />IN FACT, <br />YOU PROBABLY SHOULDN’T.<br />
  64. 64. Start with the core and work your way out. <br />IDENTIFY A UNIFYING THEME<br />
  65. 65. THEME/MESSAGING <br />
  66. 66. We need a Facebook page…<br />We want an online community… <br />The CEO wants a blog… <br />We want this product launch to be huge…<br />We need to get on that Tweeeter thing… <br />Let’s just run a test… <br />HOW ONLINE CONTENT GETS CREATED<br />
  67. 67. Does the proposed content: <br />Meet a business need? How? <br />Fit the channel? <br />Fit within the overall purpose of this site?<br />Which message does it help me accomplish? <br />PURPOSE CHECK<br />
  68. 68. Is the proposed content: <br />Maintainable with our current staff? <br />A priority in the budget?<br />Useful for our users? <br />REALITY CHECK<br />
  69. 69. THERE IS NO SHAME IN SMALL<br />“<br />Small websites are easier to<br />manage than big ones.<br />Since this is obvious, why don&apos;t<br />more sites choose to be smaller?<br /> David Hobbs <br />WelchmanPierpoint<br />
  70. 70.
  71. 71.
  72. 72. Bite off what you can chew<br />Identify a few key priorities<br />Master those first <br />Make everything you do valuable<br />QUALITY. NOT QUANTITY.<br />
  73. 73. WHAT YOU CAN DO<br />Take content oversight seriously <br />Embrace your inner geek<br />Start small, stay focused<br />Know what you have<br />
  74. 74.
  75. 75. What you have <br />What medium it’s in <br />How it links together <br />Target audience(s)<br />Current vs. planned<br />Frequency (where relevant) <br />TAKE INVENTORY <br />10.06.2009 | 71<br />
  76. 76. CORPORATE CONTENT MAP <br />10.06.2009 | 72<br />
  77. 77. List of pages<br />ID/Hierarchy <br />URL<br />Notes<br />Details per interest <br />Site Inventory/Quantitative Site Audit<br />SITE AUDIT<br />10.06.2009 | 73<br />
  78. 78. WHAT YOU CAN DO<br />Take content oversight seriously <br />Embrace your inner geek<br />Start small, stay focused<br />Know what you have<br />Prepare for impact<br />
  79. 79. 10.06.2009 | 75<br />
  80. 80. User needs/wants<br />Competitors<br />Government regulations <br />Environmental issues <br />Economic climate<br />EXTERNAL FACTORS<br />10.06.2009 | 76<br />
  81. 81. Existing communications ecosystem/branding <br />Technology/infrastructure <br />Analytics/Metrics <br />Resources<br />Political considerations <br />Contracts/requirements <br />INTERNAL FACTORS<br />10.06.2009 | 77<br />
  82. 82. Document and discuss impacts<br />Document and discuss project goals, success factors, and risks <br />Communicate to the team, get alignment<br />ALIGNMENT <br />10.06.2009 | 78<br />
  83. 83. WHAT YOU CAN DO<br />Use the right writing<br />
  84. 84. The<br />Inverted <br />Pyramid<br />IT’S NOT THIS EASY ANYMORE… <br />
  85. 85. Channel<br />White paper: Pyramid<br />Twitter: One brick<br />Type<br />Inform/Persuade: Pyramid <br />Instruct/Error: In order of action <br />Entertain: Break the rules<br />BEFORE YOU WRITE, IDENTIFY:<br />
  86. 86. Structure<br />Main body content <br />Sidebar <br />Popup window<br />Flash movie <br />BEFORE YOU WRITE, IDENTIFY:<br /><ul><li>User’s Role
  87. 87. Read only
  88. 88. Respond
  89. 89. Reuse?</li></li></ul><li>WHAT YOU CAN DO<br />Use the right writing<br />Triple your content timeline<br />
  90. 90.
  91. 91. IMPACT OF 11th-HOUR CONTENT<br />Rework <br />Delayed timelines<br />Budget drains<br />Bad content<br />Bad usability <br />Frustrated stakeholders<br />Stressed employees <br />Unhappy users<br />Unsuccessful project <br />
  92. 92. CONTENT IS COMPLICATED<br />Strategize<br />Analyze Source <br />Categorize <br />Structure<br />Create<br />Stakeholder Review<br />Edit <br />Legal Review<br />Edit <br />Approve<br />Publish<br />Test <br />
  93. 93.
  94. 94. 5 hours <br />
  95. 95. WHAT YOU CAN DO<br />Use the right writing<br />Triple your content timeline<br />Don’t forget about maintenance<br />
  96. 96. I need constant attention!<br />
  97. 97.
  98. 98. Blogs<br />News feeds and newsletters<br />“Product of the month” <br />Communities <br />Twitter<br />TIME SUCK TECHNOLOGIES<br />
  99. 99. I’ve been ignored since 1999!<br />
  100. 100.
  101. 101.
  102. 102. Editorial calendar<br />Rolling audit <br />Governance committee meetings<br />Style guide<br />Measurement plan <br />MAINTENANCE TOOLS<br />
  103. 103. WHAT YOU CAN DO<br />Use the right writing<br />Triple your content timeline<br />Don’t forget about maintenance<br />Be aware, be prepared<br />
  104. 104. 10.06.2009 | 98<br />
  105. 105. Plan for content emergencies <br />Decide what constitutes an emergency <br />Design expedited workflow/approval plans<br />Know your experts <br />Monitor surroundings and social media <br />Act fast<br />GOVERNANCE: CONTIGENCY PLAN <br />10.06.2009 | 99<br />
  106. 106. 10.06.2009 | 100<br />
  107. 107. WHAT YOU CAN DO<br />Use the right writing<br />Triple your content timeline<br />Don’t forget about maintenance<br />Be aware, be prepared <br />Measure, measure, measure<br />
  108. 108. YES, AND…<br />
  109. 109. Content should increase sales…<br />Content should improve satisfaction…<br />Content should create awareness… <br />Content should connect us to our users…<br />Content does none of these things… alone. <br />TYPICAL SUCCESS METRICS <br />
  110. 110. Identify what you will measure<br />Isolate content <br />Put numbers to it <br />Identify how you will measure<br />Measure first<br />Keep measuring… it’s ongoing <br />MEASURE FIRST… AND ALWAYS<br />10.06.2009 | 104<br />
  111. 111. SUMMARY<br />
  112. 112. WHAT YOU CAN DO<br />Take content oversight seriously <br />Embrace your inner geek<br />Start small, stay focused<br />Know what you have<br />Prepare for impact<br />
  113. 113. WHAT YOU CAN DO<br />Use the right writing<br />Triple your content timeline<br />Don’t forget about maintenance<br />Measure, measure, measure<br />Be aware, be prepared<br />
  114. 114. Questions? <br />melissa.rach@braintraffic.com <br />@melissarach <br />THANKS!<br />10.06.2009 | 108<br />

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