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Content Strategy for Everything

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It's been six years since I wrote Content Strategy for the Web. Now, in 2015, the content strategy landscape is a much bigger, more complex place. How are companies keeping up with the crazy changes in content trends, technologies, and audience expectations? Here's what I'm seeing and how my own process has evolved.

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Content Strategy for Everything

  1. CONTENT STRATEGY FOR THE WEB Everything Kristina @Halvorson Coauthor, Content Strategy for the Web CEO, Brain Traffic and Founder, Confab Events
  2. I wrote the first version of Content Strategy for the Web in 2009.
  3. In it, I defined content strategy as “the practice of planning for the creation, delivery, and governance of useful, usable content.”
  4. Not just... • What
  5. But … • What • Why • How • When • For whom • By whom • With what • Where • How often • What next
  6. In 2012, I coauthored the 2nd edition with Melissa Rach.
  7. This time, defining “content strategy” was a bit trickier. (Read: there were several caveats.)
  8. At exactly this time, there was another trend on the rise.
  9. Content marketing is the approach of creating and distributing valuable and consistent content to a targeted audience, with the objective of driving some profitable action… – “The Evolution of Content Marketing Will Include Intelligent Content” Joe Pulizzi, 1/12/2015 “
  10. The marketing industry happily complied.
  11. This is big trouble for companies who still can’t manage the content they had in the first place. Content strategy is more important than ever.
  12. What is content strategy?
  13. 2015
  14. © Brain Traffic 2015 Here’s how we talk about it at Brain Traffic.
  15. Core strategy: This defines where you will focus your efforts to improve content substance, structure, workflow, and/or governance. It must provide clear boundaries for what you will do … and what you won’t. © Brain Traffic 2015
  16. Substance: Story, topic, brand elements, voice and tone Structure: Organization, categorization, component elements CONTENT
  17. Substance… …fulfills business objectives by meeting audience needs. Structure… …makes content findable and usable for users, and manageable for technology. CONTENT
  18. PEOPLE Workflow: Roles, processes, tools Governance: Policies, standards, guidelines
  19. Workflow... ...creates efficiencies across content properties. Governance… ...empowers, facilitates, and aligns. PEOPLE
  20. 20 Lots More To Learn About 10 Definitions of Content Strategy by Monica Bussolati Point of View: Content Strategy by Kevin Nichols What Is Content Strategy? by Aha Media Group
  21. What kinds of content strategy are there?
  22. Content Strategy for User Experience Infographic published by IBM Customer-Facing Solutions.
  23. http://blog.braintraffic.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/structured-content.png Adaptive Content Strategy
  24. Enterprise Content Strategy Adapted from http://www.gollner.ca/2015/03/defining-intelligent-content.html Workflow and Governance
  25. What does a content strategist do?
  26. Point of View: Content Strategy by Kevin Nichols
  27. What is the content strategy process?
  28. 28 What is “a content strategy”? • A content strategy—any strategy—is the path you’ll take towards meeting your goals and fulfilling your vision. It may be one of a few parallel paths towards the same goals. • A content strategy helps define what you WILL do and what you WON’T do. • All tactical content initiatives must map back to your strategy. • Your content strategy should force you to prioritize and to say “no.”
  29. 29 How To Get There 1 : Assessment, Analysis, and Strategy 2 : Architecture and Editorial 3 : Implementation 4 : Maintenance
  30. 1 : Assessment, Analysis, and Strategy 2 : Architecture and Editorial 3 : Implementation 4 : Maintenance
  31. 31 Business objectives Current technology Project objectives Functional requirements User research Cross-platform initiatives Stakeholder interviews Industry trends Usability testing Competitors Design research Content inventory Typical Discovery Checklist
  32. 32 Content ROT Stakeholder agenda Current style guide Content owners Content readability Workflow and timelines Search analytics Metadata integrity Legal requirements Translation requirements Channel requirements Accessibility requirements Content Strategy Checklist
  33. 33 After the Assessment: Your Analysis Report EXAMPLE ONLY
  35. 35 Example: Content Strategy Framework CORE STRATEGY Evolve our print production model to deliver single-source, omnichannel content. We communicate effortlessly with priority audiences everywhere.
  36. 36 Example: CS document intro
  37. 37 Example: CS Guiding Principles

  38. 1 : Assessment, Analysis, and Strategy 2 : Architecture and Editorial 3 : Implementation 4 : Maintenance
  39. 39 “Define and Design” Project plan High level architecture Success metrics Content requirements Dependencies Features definition Branding elements Development plan Design mock-ups User testing/QA SEO guidelines Launch plan
  40. 40 Messaging Content models Topic maps Content types Style guide Taxonomy Page tables Editorial calendar Architecture and Editorial
  41. You can find all sorts of tools and templates here.
  42. 1 : Assessment, Analysis, and Strategy 2 : Architecture and Editorial 3 : Implementation 4 : Maintenance
  43. Example: Content Strategy Roadmap 43
  44. Example: Editorial Workflow 44
  45. Example: Enterprise Workflow 45
  46. Example: Team Structure 46
  47. How do you make the case for content strategy?
  48. 48 Pain Points • “We’re struggling with too much content across our digital properties, with more being produced every day.” • “We don’t know who owns the content.” • “Our content is inconsistent, off-brand, outdated, even incorrect in places.” • “We’re partway through a website redesign and suddenly have major content problems.” • “We’re duplicating work efforts in digital and print content.” • “People in our company all talk about content and content strategy in totally different ways.” • “There are lots of politics and opinions that make progress very difficult.”
  49. Unanswered Questions
  50. 50 Opportunities DIGITAL SERVICES IMPROVEMENT • Reduced content operations cost • Reduced content approval cycle time • Decreased content redundancy • Increased flexibility of content production and distribution CUSTOMER VALUE IMPROVEMENT • Higher content quality, lower error rates • Increased customer satisfaction • New customer interactions • Increased direct bookings
  51. How can you make content strategy a part of your world?
  52. 52 Smart Next Steps* Read: Attend: Work with: * I am biased. Content Strategy for the Web The Content Strategy Toolkit Any Confab content strategy conference Brain Traffic
  53. CONTENT STRATEGY FOR THE WEB You! Kristina @Halvorson Coauthor, Content Strategy for the Web CEO, Brain Traffic Founder, Confab Events
  54. More Ideas: Books and Articles - How To Create a Clear Project Plan - Auditing Big Sites Doesn’t Have To Be Taxing - Audit Sampling: It’s a Numbers Game - Good Kickoff Meetings, by Kevin Hoffman - Moments of Impact: How To Design Strategic Conversations that Accelerate Change - “Interviewing Humans” - Just Enough Research - Good Strategy, Bad Strategy - What Is Strategy and Does It Matter?