Presented to the American Chamber of Commerce in Prague, October 2013
This is not a content marketing workshop.
About me. Elizabeth McGuane @emcguane on Twitter Director of Content Strategy FleishmanHillard London
My old life.
My new life.
What is this thing called content strategy?
ASSESSING current content for quality, volume, format and appropriateness ! COMPARING content against competitors and comparators in the market ANALYSING current content situation vs. business objectives & audience/user needs ! VISION for content in the immediate and longer term ANALYSING the structure and purpose of current content types for devices & channels ! PLANNING for what content needs to get created or reworked CREATING templates, rules and glossaries for authors to follow, in line with usability and accessibility best practice CREATING and SUPPORTING content production with briefs, the content itself, and editorial functions DESIGNING customised editorial workflow and role/ responsibility definitions for clients to ensure content quality over time Audits Strategy Planning & IA Guidelines Brieng, creating & editing Workow & governance
...anything that conveys meaningful information to humans is called content.
but ...[organisations] with hundreds or thousands of pieces of online content need someone who can stand back and gure out what all that content should communicate. ! - Erin Kissane
This is your organisation Image: Tang Yau Hoong
Communications and marketing, traditionally = what we see above the line
Content involves the entire organisation
Content exists in how you perform customer service Photo: Greg Peverill-Conti
It comes out of your internal publishing processes
It comes from your audience
Contents how you tell the story of your brand.
I t s h o w w e s e e y o u r b r a n d - a n d i t s t h e m e c h a n i s m s t h a t e x p r e s s y o u r b r a n d .
Co n t e n t s t ra t e g y c o v e r s t h e whole big mess
A n d i t s a l l g e t t i n g m e s s i e r a l l t h e t i m e
But new channels and formats are only one side of the mess
Why is this a problem now?
P e o p l e a r e m e s s y
Business problems are people problems. Photo: Greg Peverill-Conti
Content problems are people problems. Photo: Greg Peverill-Conti
As brands,we fear losing control
But really, t h e t y p e o f c o n t r o l we need to exert is just changing
What you can do.
As a company, choosing & planning effective content requires you to know your users context.
But its not just about device And devices will continue to diversify mobile is just the beginning
We all make assumptions Assumptions about reader context - however well researched - will never be perfect. Quit thinking you can just guess what subset of content a mobile user wants. Youre going to guess wrong. ! - Karen McGrane
So how do you start to get insight?
Re m e m b e r t h e s e g u y s ?
W h at s a n a u d i e n c e w i t h o u t a s t o r y ?
G o o d s t o r i e s a re h o w y o u g e t t h e m t o l i s t e n - a n d ke e p l i s t e n i n g . ( A n d t h at s h a rd ) . If your idea ends with and then we drive traffic to it, youve failed. Whatconsumesme.com
Th at m ea n s y o u n e e d t o l i s t e n t o t h e m , t o o
I t s h a rd t o l i s t e n w h e n t h e re s s o m u c h n o i s e .
I n s i g h t = d e c i d i n g w h at t o l i s t e n t o.
Set goals Learn from your content competitors - not just those in your market Adapt your content to the user, dont expect them to come to you Illustrate your integrity with service that matches your content promise Be supportive - get to the point when you need to Rules to guide that insight:
A n d re m e m b e r, y o u re n e v e r c o m p l e t e l y i n c o n t ro l .
All content is inert until it is useful to someone.
Online, the content that works inspires engagement and imagination. That makes it useful.
Understanding all of that also requires you to know your authors context.
W h i c h m ea n s u n d e r s t a n d i n g w h at g o e s o n b e h i n d t h e s c e n e s .
W e o f t e n p r o d u c e c o n t e n t w i t h o u t t h i n k i n g a b o u t t h e s e t h r e e t h i n g s : c o n t e x t r e u s e & s c a l e
This is why content strategy is an end-to-end process
Were all publishers now - which means our business model has to change.
If thats true - who defines the content strategy?
Every business is different. Brand Digital Marketing
But its a key decision, because content doesnt stop.
Audit Plan Create Measure Adapt
First, audit thy content The key rst step - dont try to skirt it It will debunk the deepest beliefs you have about your web content (or any content you produce) Watch out for things like inconsistent tone of voice, and poor content structure
There are tools out there to help
Then create a plan People will not just come and tell you what their plans are Everyone thinks their content is top priority If you dont have a company-wide editorial calendar or plan, you cant show them where they t in the hierarchy of needs
Plan inclusively Get stakeholders to provide real goals and KPIs for their requests ! Give marketing and business teams clear deadlines ! Set time aside for scoping and prioritising requests ! Establish clear review and upgrade milestones ! Factor in activities like asset gathering and regulatory review ! Look at upcoming events and schedule in new content and distribution mechanisms to align
Before you create, think beyond web Your story is not just happening on the web, or on mobile or tablet - where could your assets be going? How much could you be saving? This goes two ways as well - get data to inform content planning from in store publications, from call centres, from online forums
And especially: think beyond campaigns
Measure and analyse Get to know Google Analytics - or whatever tool you use But remember, its not really about the numbers Its the insights they reveal And above all, the changes you make as a result
Test and adapt Do this as lightly as you have to (A/B tests) or as thoroughly as you can (constant MVTs) Use testing during design to dene your users - and develop personas, if you like Try to set personas for each organisational area so you have something external to measure content against
And listen Still using social media just for PR? (Your audience can tell) Use it to talk directly people, to nd out where & how theyre talking to each other Monitor the conversations you want to lead
What this boils down to Figure out what you have Plan ahead Listen to the public Talk to your users Analyse their responses Write for them, not at them
Lets get planning.
Three groups. Three tasks. Publishing a piece of web content Creating a company-wide editorial calendar Sourcing or commissioning new images