Content Strategy for Everything

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CONTENT STRATEGY FOR THE WEB Everything Kristina @Halvorson CEO, Brain Traffic and Founder, Confab Events Coauthor, Content Strategy for the Web

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I wrote the first version of Content Strategy for the Web in 2009.

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In it, I defined content strategy as “the practice of planning for the creation, delivery, and governance of useful, usable content.”

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Not just... • What

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But … • What • By whom • Why • With what • How • Where • When • How often • For whom • What next

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In 2012, I coauthored the 2nd edition with Melissa Rach.

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This time, defining “content strategy” was a bit trickier. (Read: there were several caveats.)

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At exactly this time, there was another trend on the rise.

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“ 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

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The marketing industry happily complied.

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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.

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What is content strategy?

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Here’s how we talk about it at Brain Traffic. © Brain Traffic 2015

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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

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Substance: Story, topic, brand elements, voice and tone CONTENT Structure: Organization, categorization, component elements

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Substance… …fulfills business objectives by meeting audience needs. CONTENT Structure… …makes content findable and usable for users, and manageable for technology.

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Workflow: Roles, processes, tools PEOPLE Governance: Policies, standards, guidelines

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Workflow... ...creates efficiencies across content properties. PEOPLE Governance… ...empowers, facilitates, and aligns.

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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 20

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What kinds of content strategy are there?

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Content Strategy for User Experience Infographic published by IBM Customer-Facing Solutions.

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Adaptive Content Strategy http://blog.braintraffic.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/structured-content.png

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Enterprise Content Strategy Workflow and Governance Adapted from http://www.gollner.ca/2015/03/defining-intelligent-content.html

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What does a content strategist do?

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Point of View: Content Strategy by Kevin Nichols

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What is the content strategy process?

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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.” 28

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How To Get There 1 : Assessment, Analysis, and Strategy 2 : Architecture and Editorial 3 : Implementation 4 : Maintenance 29

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1 : Assessment, Analysis, and Strategy 2 : Architecture and Editorial 3 : Implementation 4 : Maintenance

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Typical Discovery Checklist Business objectives Project objectives Functional requirements User research Cross-platform initiatives Stakeholder interviews Industry trends Usability testing Competitors Design research 31 Current technology Content inventory

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Content Strategy Checklist Content ROT Current style guide Content owners Content readability Workflow and timelines Search analytics Metadata integrity Legal requirements Translation requirements Channel requirements 32 Stakeholder agenda Accessibility requirements

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After the Assessment: Your Analysis Report L P AM EX 33 LY N EO

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Example: Content Strategy Framework We communicate effortlessly with priority audiences everywhere. CORE STRATEGY 35 Evolve our print production model to deliver single-source, omnichannel content.

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Example: CS document intro 36

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Example: CS Guiding Principles

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1 : Assessment, Analysis, and Strategy 2 : Architecture and Editorial 3 : Implementation 4 : Maintenance

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“Define and Design” Project plan Success metrics Content requirements Dependencies Features definition Branding elements Development plan Design mock-ups User testing/QA SEO guidelines 39 High level architecture Launch plan

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Architecture and Editorial Messaging Topic maps Content types Style guide Taxonomy Page tables 40 Content models Editorial calendar

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You can find all sorts of tools and templates here.

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1 : Assessment, Analysis, and Strategy 2 : Architecture and Editorial 3 : Implementation 4 : Maintenance

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Example: Content Strategy Roadmap 43

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Example: Editorial Workflow 44

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Example: Enterprise Workflow 45

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Example: Team Structure 46

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How do you make the case for content strategy?

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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.” 48

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Unanswered Questions

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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 • • • • 50 Higher content quality, lower error rates Increased customer satisfaction New customer interactions Increased direct bookings

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How can you make content strategy a part of your world?

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Smart Next Steps* Read: Content Strategy for the Web The Content Strategy Toolkit Attend: Any Confab content strategy conference Work with: Brain Traffic * I am biased. 52

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CONTENT STRATEGY FOR THE WEB You! Kristina @Halvorson CEO, Brain Traffic Founder, Confab Events Coauthor, Content Strategy for the Web

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More Ideas: Books and Articles - Good Kickoff Meetings, by Kevin Hoffman - How To Create a Clear Project Plan - Auditing Big Sites Doesn’t Have To Be Taxing - Good Strategy, Bad Strategy - Audit Sampling: It’s a Numbers Game - What Is Strategy and Does It Matter? - Moments of Impact: How To Design Strategic Conversations that Accelerate Change - “Interviewing Humans” - Just Enough Research

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