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The content strategy paradox


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The rise of the term "content strategy" has given legitimacy to a field of practice that continues to be defined and refined . It is still a bit of cowboy country where typical deliverables are yet to be articulated, and best practices are yet to be agreed upon. On the other hand, content strategy seems to be everywhere, and underpins discussions of internet strategy, publishing strategy, social media strategy, and digital strategy, to name a few. The separation of content strategy from its hosts seems contrived and artificial. Can a practitioner deliver an effective content strategy without considering the user experience and digital strategy, or the marketing and business strategy? This presentation explores the connections and intersections between the various functional areas and provides a framework for aspiring and practicing strategists.

Published in: Technology

The content strategy paradox

  1. 1. TheContent Strategy Paradox<br />© Intentional Design Inc.<br /><br />Presented at Congility 2011<br />May 2011<br />
  2. 2. Content Strategy<br />Who am I?<br />
  3. 3. STRATEGY<br />
  4. 4. Types of strategies<br />Publishing strategy<br />Communicationstrategy<br />Digital strategy<br />Engagementstrategy<br />Internet strategy<br />
  5. 5. CONTENT<br />
  6. 6. Types of strategies<br />Marketing<br />Sales<br />User Assistance (docs, help, training, knowledge base)<br />User-generated<br />Corporate<br />
  7. 7. Common theme<br />CONTENT<br />STRATEGY<br />
  8. 8. A sampling of recent workshops<br />
  9. 9. A sampling of recent workshops<br />
  10. 10. You’d think content strategy is …<br />Lots of web, social, mobile<br />Mostly marketing content<br />Big part is editorial<br />Focused on position and message<br />
  11. 11. A sampling of recent workshops<br />
  12. 12. You’d think content strategy is …<br />Multi-channel publishing<br />Mostly user assistance<br />Big part is technical<br />Focus on asset amplification<br />
  13. 13. Will the real content strategy please stand up?<br /> Paradox: apparently contradictory statement<br />Web<br />Social<br />Mobile/Apps<br />Technical<br />Engagement<br />Localization<br />Transactional<br />
  14. 14. Will the real content strategy please stand up?<br /> One Discipline, Many Specialties<br />Pediatrician<br />Podiatrist<br />Gynecologist<br />Plastic surgeon<br />Psychiatrist<br />Web<br />Social<br />Mobile/Apps<br />It’s all content strategy<br />Technical<br />Engagement<br />Localization<br />Transactional<br />
  15. 15. What is content strategy?<br />Repeatablesystemthat governs the management of content throughout the entirelifecycle<br />
  16. 16. Defining Strategy<br />An adaptation or complex of adaptations (as of behavior, metabolism, or structure) that serves or appears to serve an important function in achieving evolutionary success<br /><br />Strategic planning is an organization's process of defining its strategy, or direction, and making decisions on allocating its resources to pursue this strategy, including its capital and people. <br /><br />Alternative chosen to make happen a desired future, such as achievement of a goal or solution to a problem. <br /><br />
  17. 17. What it’s not<br />Copywriting<br />Editing<br />Web design<br />Social media<br />Information architecture<br />Structured content<br />Content management<br />Project management<br />
  18. 18. Tweetable<br /> Content strategy = <br />Management consulting, specializing in content<br />
  19. 19. Satellite view: Content supply chain<br />That assumes:<br />Content is a commodity<br />It’s a single-use product<br />Focus should be on optimization<br />Content has clear start and end production points<br />Production is linear, not iterative<br />All content gets a single treatment<br />
  20. 20. Street view: Content lifecycle<br />
  21. 21. Content strategy<br />Personas, scenarios<br />Business require-ments summary<br />Process models<br />User research<br />Wire-frames<br />Gap analysis<br />Flow diagrams<br />Content matrix<br />Govern-ance model<br />Writing Templates<br />Message architec-ture<br />Content model<br />Editorial calendar<br />Content migration<br />Content inventory<br />Delivery design<br />Custom, personal views<br />Content plan<br />Content audit<br />Standards guidelines<br />Localiz-ation strategy<br />Training aids<br />Metadata strategy<br /> Link strategy<br />Sunset/ iterate<br />Versioning<br />
  22. 22. Responds to customer lifecycle<br />
  23. 23. Tweetable<br /> Consumers use all types of content to make buying decisions.<br />
  24. 24. Controlling access to content is an illusion<br />Users don’t respect arbitrary silos<br />All content can be used to make buying decisions<br />Marketing, social, user-generated, documentation, training, and user assistance content are multiple sides of the same dice<br />
  25. 25. We all want the same thing<br />TRUST<br />PROFIT<br />
  26. 26. Tweet this<br /> Content is a valuable business asset.<br />
  27. 27. EXAMPLE<br /> MARKETING CONTENT<br />
  28. 28. To quote David Farbey<br /> Deliver the effective minimum dose of information<br />
  29. 29. It’s all about me, me, me<br />May 25, 2011<br />2 days aftervolcanic eruption<br />
  31. 31. To quote Noz Urbina<br /> Less work,more flow<br />
  32. 32. Stealth strategy for competitive advantage<br />
  33. 33. EXAMPLE<br /> PRODUCT CONTENT 1<br />
  34. 34. Let Me … Confuse You<br />
  35. 35. ( = SIM card)<br />( = international roaming)<br />Let Me … Confuse You<br />
  36. 36. EXAMPLE<br /> PRODUCT CONTENT 2<br />
  37. 37. Former home page<br />© Intentional Design Inc.<br />
  38. 38. Strategic question<br /> But how do people buy an inverter?<br />
  39. 39. Answer: Search the specs<br />May 2005<br />© Intentional Design Inc.<br />
  40. 40. The product specs<br />© Intentional Design Inc.<br />
  41. 41. New home page<br />Novice<br />Intermediate<br />Experienced<br />
  42. 42. Compare<br />
  44. 44. Roomba<br />Text option<br />Graphic option<br />User feedback<br />Related content<br />Print option<br /><br />
  45. 45. EXAMPLE<br /> INTEGRATED CONTENT<br />
  46. 46. To quote Scott Abel<br /> Getting users to click does not constitute strategy<br />
  47. 47. Trikke<br />
  48. 48. Maintenance content<br />
  49. 49. User-generated content<br />
  50. 50. Tweetable<br /> Under-the-hood aspects of content raise its value as an asset.<br />
  51. 51. The Cynefin framework (<br /><ul><li>Analytical/ reductionst
  52. 52. Systems-based thinking
  53. 53. Pattern management
  54. 54. Complex adaptive systems
  55. 55. Crisis management
  56. 56. Stability-focused intervention
  57. 57. Legitimate best practice
  58. 58. Standard operating procedures</li></ul>Cynefin framework from Kurtz, C.F. and Snowden, D.J. “The new dynamics of strategy”, IBM Systems Journal, September 2003.<br />
  59. 59. Tweetable<br /> Content strategy is a emergent practice (complex adaptive system)<br />
  60. 60. Common aspects of content strategy<br />Move the content “stuff” upstream in the process<br />Produce good quality content<br />Plan for all aspects of delivery<br />Structure the content semantically<br />Add meaningful attributes and metadata<br />
  61. 61. Recognizing multiple channels<br />
  62. 62. Under the hood<br />
  63. 63. Takeaways<br /><ul><li>Content strategy is a many faceted discipline. Recognize it.
  64. 64. Good quality content is only the beginning. Leverage it to its fullest potential.
  65. 65. Delivering content is complex. Understand it well.
  66. 66. All content is marketing content. Treat it well.
  67. 67. Content strategy is evolving. Evolve with it.</li></li></ul><li>Connecting @rahelab<br /><br />T H A N K Y O U<br />