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An introduction to multi channel content strategy

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Originally presented by Simon Nash for UKTI Export Week webinars. An hour long run through of the key principles of content strategy and content marketing.

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An introduction to multi channel content strategy

  1. 1. An introduction to Content Strategy 5 June 2015 Simon Nash, Planning Director, Reading Room
  2. 2. About Reading Room Reading Room is an international award-winning digital consultancy. We act as architects of digital change, helping our clients create new and effective systems suitable for the challenges of modern business. 5/6/2015 Architects of digital change 2
  3. 3. About me Simon Nash • Writer, blogger, consultant, and content strategist • Past experience in B2B and B2C marketing, 10 years agency-side • Wide range of sector experience advising small and large organisations 5/6/2015 Architects of digital change 3
  4. 4. An introduction to content strategy • Why is content so important? • What is content strategy? • The foundations • Key marketing concepts • Bringing it all together 5/6/2015 Architects of digital change 4
  5. 5. Why is content so important? 5/6/2015 Architects of digital change 5
  6. 6. Content is not a new thing 5/6/2015 Architects of digital change 6
  7. 7. But ‘digital’ has become an integral part of life 5/6/2015 Architects of digital change 7
  8. 8. And content fuels digital experiences 5/6/2015 Architects of digital change 8
  9. 9. Content is an increasing priority for marketers 5/6/2015 9
  10. 10. It helps you get found 5/6/2015 Architects of digital change 10 • Web content • Google Places for Business • Wikipedia • Social media content • Media articles
  11. 11. It helps people find you 5/6/2015 Architects of digital change 11 Content is often the first touch point a user has with a company, used correctly it establishes trust and credibility. http://www.clipular.com/c/53089322915594 24.png?k=XzXrXdkI8nqIhjLXNdZkoQuq1UI
  12. 12. It’s used to get attention 5/6/2015 Architects of digital change 12 Podio sell project management apps, so they created an info graphic for the New Year.
  13. 13. It powers a different type of advertising 5/6/2015 Architects of digital change 13 Q: When is an advert not an advert? A: When it is ‘promoted content’ Or A: When it is shared 3m times
  14. 14. It helps people get the information they need 5/6/2015 Architects of digital change 14 Gov.uk has transformed the way the public access information. Pages have been stripped back to address user needs. Content structured for quick reference and language simplified. Next steps clearly signposted.
  15. 15. And it can help close the deal 5/6/2015 Architects of digital change 15 Without bricks and mortar stores Loaf.com have to convince buyers online. Every single aspect of Loaf.com’s site consistently conveys their light hearted brand, whilst images and interactive tools help the user customise their ideal sofa. Key messages are emphasised, key user goals addressed, and reviews and user feedback
  16. 16. It can help maintain customer relationships 5/6/2015 Architects of digital change 16 Customers expect to be talked to, not at!
  17. 17. Its not always your content 5/6/2015 Architects of digital change 17
  18. 18. And it has become really competitive 5/6/2015 Architects of digital change 18 @markwscheafer
  19. 19. At The New York Times, far too often for writers and editors the story is done when you hit publish,’ said Paul Berry, who helped found The Huffington Post. ‘At Huffington Post, the article begins its life when you hit publish. So the focus has to be on getting it out there 5/6/2015 Architects of digital change 19
  20. 20. Distribution is vitally important 5/6/2015 Architects of digital change 20
  21. 21. So nowadays it’s all about distribution 5/6/2015 Architects of digital change 21
  22. 22. What is content strategy? 5/6/2015 Architects of digital change 22
  23. 23. So what is content strategy? The art of • Understanding your audience • Creating an interesting content offer that taps into their needs/goals • Publishing that content in the most appropriate and effective way • Using that content to attract, inform and engage your audience • Building and maintaining better relationships 5/6/2015 Architects of digital change 23
  24. 24. So what is content strategy? The science of • Making sure content delivers against your objectives • Devising a content plan that conveys your messages effectively • Targeting and personalising content to your different audiences • Optimising content for visibility / findability • Using content to convince, capture data and change behaviour • Increasing the lifetime value of each and every customer 5/6/2015 Architects of digital change 24
  25. 25. And it encompasses a range of channels Paid content Paid search adverts, display etc Promoted content Targeted social ads, advertorial, sponsored content, native advertising. Owned media Website, blog, social channel, email, apps Shared Word of mouth, shared content Earned Reviews, recommendations, referrals
  26. 26. What makes a content strategy? 5/6/2015 Architects of digital change 26 Objectives: what does the business need from content Research: who are the audience, what do they need / want Strategy: How do you marry business & audience needs People: Team, skills & culture needed to make it happen Ideas: Creative content that will cut through the noise & engage Journeys: Shaping experiences across channels Mechanics: How it all works, what platforms, and when Systems: publishing, automation, measurement, CRM
  27. 27. What makes a content strategy? 5/6/2015 Architects of digital change 27 Objectives: what does the business need from content Research: who are the audience, what do they need / want Strategy: How do you marry business & audience needs People: Team, skills & culture needed to make it happen Ideas: Creative content that will cut through the noise & engage Journeys: Shaping experiences across channels Mechanics: How it all works, what platforms, and when Systems: publishing, automation, measurement, CRM
  28. 28. What makes a content strategy? 5/6/2015 Architects of digital change 28 Objectives: what does the business need from content Research: who are the audience, what do they need / want Strategy: How do you marry business & audience needs People: Team, skills & culture needed to make it happen Ideas: Creative content that will cut through the noise & engage Journeys: Shaping experiences across channels Mechanics: How it all works, what platforms, and when Systems: publishing, automation, measurement, CRM
  29. 29. What makes a content strategy? 5/6/2015 Architects of digital change 29 Objectives: what does the business need from content Research: who are the audience, what do they need / want Strategy: How do you marry business & audience needs People: Team, skills & culture needed to make it happen Ideas: Creative content that will cut through the noise & engage Journeys: Shaping experiences across channels Mechanics: How it all works, what platforms, and when Systems: publishing, automation, measurement, CRM
  30. 30. What makes a content strategy? 5/6/2015 Architects of digital change 30 Objectives: what does the business need from content Research: who are the audience, what do they need / want Strategy: How do you marry business & audience needs People: Team, skills & culture needed to make it happen Ideas: Creative that will cut through the noise & engage Journeys: Shaping experiences across channels Mechanics: How it all works, what platforms, and when Systems: publishing, automation, measurement, CRM
  31. 31. What makes a content strategy? 5/6/2015 Architects of digital change 31 Objectives: what does the business need from content Research: who are the audience, what do they need / want Strategy: How do you marry business & audience needs People: Team, skills & culture needed to make it happen Ideas: Creative that will cut through the noise & engage Journeys: Shaping experiences across channels Mechanics: How it all works, what platforms, and when Systems: publishing, automation, measurement, CRM
  32. 32. What makes a content strategy? 5/6/2015 Architects of digital change 32 Objectives: what does the business need from content Research: who are the audience, what do they need / want Strategy: How do you marry business & audience needs People: Team, skills & culture needed to make it happen Ideas: Creative that will cut through the noise & engage Journeys: Shaping experiences across channels Mechanics: How it all works, what platforms, and when Systems: Publishing, automation, measurement, CRM
  33. 33. What makes a content strategy? 5/6/2015 Architects of digital change 33 Objectives: what does the business need from content Research: who are the audience, what do they need / want Strategy: How do you marry business & audience needs People: Team, skills & culture needed to make it happen Ideas: Creative that will cut through the noise & engage Journeys: Shaping experiences across channels Mechanics: How it all works, what platforms, and when Systems: Publishing, automation, measurement, CRM
  34. 34. The foundations 5/6/2015 Architects of digital change 34
  35. 35. Audience Craft Focus Alignment Planning Team Process The foundations • Understand your audience • Craft great content • Retain a clear focus • Align with wider activities • Plan ahead, plan for the future • Get the right team in place • Agree and follow a process
  36. 36. Understanding your audience Researching and understanding your audiences is critical. Creating personas to share with the development team and map typical user journeys to identify pain points and opportunities. 5/6/2015 Architects of digital change 36
  37. 37. Craft great content Great content is a craft, and in recent years we have seen the rise of the content designer. A specialist writer with digital skills who is able to combine writing skills, digital marketing, search optimisation and UX. Content for the web should be either written specifically with digital channels in mind or edited by someone with an understanding of key principles. 5/6/2015 Architects of digital change 37
  38. 38. Retain a clear focus Never lose sight of business goals, yes the user is a priority but the site must serve the needs of the business too. The Core model for content strategy is helpful tool. 5/6/2015 Architects of digital change 38 http://alistapart.com/article/the-core-model-designing-inside-out-for-better-results
  39. 39. Align with wider activities Your website does not exist in isolation and your customer will undoubtedly move between different channels, often within the same decision making journey. Website content must align with other online and offline activities both in terms of style, tone and consistency but also in terms of customer services and operational processes. 5/6/2015 Architects of digital change 39
  40. 40. Plan ahead, and plan for the future Content strategy thinking should start from the moment you begin a website project. 5/6/2015 Architects of digital change 40
  41. 41. Plan ahead, and plan for the future Content strategy should influence decisions in terms of functionality, design, content management and technology selection. Starting early means you break down the tasks of sourcing, producing and editing content for the web into manageable chunks. And planning for the future means thinking about how you will maintain and govern your contact after go live. From day one you should be beginning a process of continuous improvement and periodically refreshing and quality checking content. You’ll need a plan otherwise this is the first task that gets dropped. 5/6/2015 Architects of digital change 41
  42. 42. Get the right team in place People should be a key consideration any content strategy, it is important to understand your digital roadmap. If you are planning to scale up your ambition then be prepared to scale up your team. And remember content design is a specialist task.
  43. 43. Get the right team in place Larger organisations tend to find that a central team are unable to cope with centralised content management over the longer term. They often have to consider how to distribute responsibility throughout the organisation
  44. 44. Agree and follow a process As stated previously, it is important to break the content production process into manageable chunks so that you can focus on crafting great quality content. Discovery Design & Architecture HTML + Specifications High-Fidelity Prototype Build Content Audit Capability Review Insights & Recommendations Strategy Development Content Strategy Planning and Consultation Content Plan Editorial Calendar* Guidance, Training and Support Content Development* Editing & search optimisation Publishing & Migration*
  45. 45. Key concepts Common techniques that lie behind successful content strategies. 5/6/2015 Architects of digital change 45
  46. 46. Thinking like a publisher 5/6/2015 Architects of digital change 46 We live in an attention economy, our audiences are bombarded with content and messaging. To rise above the noise we have to think like a publisher.
  47. 47. Thinking like a publisher Traditional ‘push’ advertising tended to focus on short term goals but in the attention economy our first priority has to be to capture and maintain attention. So instead of focusing on what we want them to believe, we have to focus on creating content that they find, interesting, helpful or entertaining. Our message must be woven into the content but in such a way as not to impinge on the value of that content to the user. 5/6/2015 Architects of digital change 47
  48. 48. The art of storytelling Humans have always used stories to make sense of the world and to convey complex ideas. This makes us very receptive to messages and information conveyed in story form. A story can centre on the key stages of a single experience like a website visit. But most often it used as a narrative that emerges through a series of seemingly disconnected interactions. If you have ever owned an iPhone you may recall the theatre of the box opening experiences, this has carefully designed to maximise impact. It is just one of the ways that Apple use storytelling at every stage, from retail experiences through to product and packaging
  49. 49. Always On This shift in thinking, combined with the rise of CRM & social networks, has led digital marketers to move towards what is known as ‘always on’ marketing. Ongoing scheduled moderation and publishing according to strategy 2015 Campaign 2016 Campaign Time Size of Social Following 2014 Campaign
  50. 50. Always On The aim is simple, to move away from the boom and bust of campaigns toward a more sustainable model of audience engagement which keeps your brand, product or service and USPs front of mind. Put simply, campaigns are used to grow the contactable audience (primarily email & social) and new contacts are then exposed to ongoing content led communications designed to engage their interest and attention and to move them from casual interest to active engagement . 5/6/2015 Architects of digital change 50
  51. 51. Content Marketing 5/6/2015 Architects of digital change 51
  52. 52. Content Marketing Creation of valuable content assets such as white papers and reports Promoted and shared via social media using snippets of quality sharable content More valuable assets offered in exchange for contact and interest data Aim is to capture and qualify inbound leads which are then fed into the marketing DB and or passed to sales 5/6/2015 Architects of digital change 52
  53. 53. Content Marketing 5/6/2015 Architects of digital change 53 For example:
  54. 54. Staircasing: from engagement to lead • Use periodic campaigns to grow your contactable audience then maintain consistent always on publishing to maintain and develop engagement • Following a thematic content calendar that warms followers and subscribers to your key brand messages • Periodically run campaigns targeted solely at engaged followers and subscribers e.g. register for an event • Those who respond to the campaign can be classified as the warmest prospects on the list and targeted with specific response based promotions • Respondents are then qualified and the hottest leads fed into the sales team • Over time (in theory) this should provide a steady flow of warm prospects from your engagement activity that will justify ongoing investment in engagement 5/6/2015 Architects of digital change 54
  55. 55. Structured content Different channels require different formats and approaches, so now we are thinking about content in a more granular way. • Taxonomy • Schemas • Social Meta
  56. 56. And lastly a note on Viral Spreadable content To encourage sharing and advocacy we need to understand and leverage the reasons that people might share our content. If our content serves our audience’s personal objectives then they have an incentive to share it. “If I like your content it’s not because I like your brand it’s because I like my friends.” Henry Jenkins, ‘ Spreadable Media ‘
  57. 57. Fitting it all together 5/6/2015 Architects of digital change 57
  58. 58. Inspiring visits to England
  59. 59. With a dynamic content strategy April May June July Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar Article Article Article Article Article Article Article Article Article Article Article Article Best Best Best Best Best Best Best Best Best Best Best Best Research Research Research Research Research Research Research Research Research Research Research April May June July Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar Editorial Web Social Trend Trend Trend Trend Trend Trend Trend Trend Trend Trend Trend TrendSearch
  60. 60. Thanks, that’s all we have time for Please feel free to get in touch @simonnash, simon.nash@readingroom.com www.readingroom.com Recommended further reading: Elements of Content Strategy http://www.abookapart.com/products/the-elements-of-content-strategy Content Strategy for the Web http://contentstrategy.com/

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