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Secrets of Brand-Driven Content Strategy workshop

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Facing feature creep and disagreements among stakeholders? Are you trying to incorporate a blog, Twitter feed, or curated content because the CMO likes it… or because it fits your communication goals? You need to get a grip on content, the people who make it—and the brand they want to establish. Enter brand-driven content strategy: complement your user-centered design techniques in the workshop that will empower you with the questions, tools, and exercises to implement it. Learn how to develop a message architecture, discover how a brand attributes cardsort can identify pitfalls and points of disagreement, and improve organizational alignment around the brand and content. Then we’ll use the message architecture to conduct a qualitative and quantitative content audit to reveal new content types. Leave with confidence, savvy, and experience to bring brand-driven content strategy techniques and thinking back to your own organization.

Presented at the IA Summit 2013, #IAS13, April 4, 2013 in Baltimore.

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Secrets of Brand-Driven Content Strategy workshop

  1. @mbloomstein | #IAS13 1 © 2013© 2011 The secrets of brand-driven CONTENT STRATEGY Margot Bloomstein IA Summit April 2013 @mbloomstein
  2. @mbloomstein | #IAS13 2 © 2013 Unless you understand what people are trying to do with your content you cannot know if it’s working or not.” Gerry McGovern “
  3. @mbloomstein | #IAS13 3 © 2013 Your serve. And who are you again? 
  4. @mbloomstein | #IAS13 4 © 2013 What is content strategy? Planning for the creation, aggregation, delivery, and governance of useful, usable, and appropriate content in an experience.
  5. @mbloomstein | #IAS13 5 © 2013 Steps along the way… Message architecture Content audit/inventory Prescriptive content matrix Content model Editorial style guidelines Metadata guidelines Governance guidelines
  6. @mbloomstein | #IAS13 6 © 2013 Steps along the way… Message architecture Content audit/inventory Prescriptive content matrix Content model Editorial style guidelines Metadata guidelines Governance guidelines
  7. Deliverables are merely punctuation in the conversation. Don’t let them replace the conversation.
  8. Why content strategy?
  9. Why content strategy? Because we all want the same thing, but content keeps getting in the way.
  10. @mbloomstein | #IAS13 10 © 2013 Content demands attention
  11. @mbloomstein | #IAS13 11 © 2013 Because we all want the same thing, but content keeps getting in the way. (CC) http://www.flickr.com/photos/slworking Content requires time
  12. @mbloomstein | #IAS13 12 © 2013 Sustainable content is content you can create—and maintain—without going broke, without lowering quality in ways that make the content suck, and without working employees into nervous breakdowns. Erin Kissane, The Elements of Content Strategy
  13. @mbloomstein | #IAS13 13 © 2013 Content dredges up politics ©Margot Bloomstein
  14. @mbloomstein | #IAS13 14 © 2013 to change, empower, support, advocate, teach, simplify, consolidate, remind, inform… You cannot act in passive voice
  15. @mbloomstein | #IAS13 15 © 2013 to change, empower, support, advocate, teach, simplify, consolidate, remind, inform… Content demands an owner & ownership. You cannot act in passive voice
  16. This is your job now.
  17. @mbloomstein | #IAS13 17 © 2013 ©Skillset.org
  18. @mbloomstein | #IAS13 18 © 2013 First things first. What do you need to communicate?
  19. @mbloomstein | #IAS13 19 © 2013 First things first. Why even…redesign the website, let the CEO start blogging, audit the content, start engaging on Twitter, consolidate the site architecture, add video testimonials, incorporate user reviews, develop new brand guidelines… if you don’t know what you need to communicate?
  20. If you don’t know what you need to communicate, how will you know if you succeed?
  21. @mbloomstein | #IAS13 21 © 2013 What’s a message architecture? A hierarchy of communication goals that reflects a common vocabulary.
  22. @mbloomstein | #IAS13 22 © 2013 A little thing with big impact.
  23. @mbloomstein | #IAS13 23 © 2013 A little thing with big impact. How could we prove this is a car not like anything else out there? It’s a small car, but it’s premium. You get a Porsche 911 ride for a fifth of the cost. It’s got history… but in Europe. You need to give people content to give them history.” “
  24. @mbloomstein | #IAS13 24 © 2013 A little thing with big impact.
  25. @mbloomstein | #IAS13 25 © 2013 Message architecture Premium technology • Assertive; ready to perform as a driver’s car • Proactive and supportive of spontaneity Classic design • Experienced and savvy Cheekiness • Smart,“punny,” hip • Fun, gleeful
  26. @mbloomstein | #IAS13 26 © 2013
  27. @mbloomstein | #IAS13 27 © 2013
  28. @mbloomstein | #IAS13 28 © 2013
  29. @mbloomstein | #IAS13 29 © 2013
  30. @mbloomstein | #IAS13 30 © 2013 If these emails are boring you and you don’t mind missing out on all the lip-smackin’ stuff we’ll be sending in the future, simply send a message to owner- unsubscribe@insiders.miniusa.com and include “Unsubscribe” and your favorite fruit in the subject field.
  31. @mbloomstein | #IAS13 31 © 2013 Message architecture drives the user experience
  32. @mbloomstein | #IAS13 32 © 2013 Nomenclature Calls to action Instructional content Sentence structure Diction …in content
  33. @mbloomstein | #IAS13 33 © 2013 Photographic angles Dark backgrounds Bold headlines Thick stroke weights …and in design
  34. @mbloomstein | #IAS13 34 © 2013 …and in the choice of features and content types
  35. @mbloomstein | #IAS13 35 © 2013 What’s a message architecture? A hierarchy of communication goals that reflects a common vocabulary.
  36. @mbloomstein | #IAS13 36 © 2013 What’s a message architecture? Concrete, shared terminology, not abstract concepts.
  37. @mbloomstein | #IAS13 37 © 2013 Welcoming, but elite. Selective?
  38. @mbloomstein | #IAS13 38 © 2013 Accessible, open, and premiere.
  39. @mbloomstein | #IAS13 39 © 2013 Traditional, but edgy.
  40. @mbloomstein | #IAS13 40 © 2013 ©Warby Parker
  41. @mbloomstein | #IAS13 41 © 2013 Words are valuable, but meaningless without context and priority. (In a few minutes, we’ll give them context.)
  42. @mbloomstein | #IAS13 42 © 2013 Why do this? Words are cheaper than comps.
  43. @mbloomstein | #IAS13 43 © 2013 Why do this? Let creative colleagues refine the concept, rather than confirm the purpose.
  44. @mbloomstein | #IAS13 44 © 2013 How? • Engage in a tangible, hands-on way • Encourage debate and conversation • Identify points of disagreement • Prevent seagulling • Force prioritization • Encourage ownership & investment
  45. @mbloomstein | #IAS13 45 © 2013 Cardsorting • Groups of ~5 • Pick 2 people to represent the brand • Everyone else: put on your content strategy hats!
  46. @mbloomstein | #IAS13 46 © 2013 Group 1: You’re a nonprofit eldercare provider in Florida. To attract a broader range of volunteers and donors, you want to change how people view senior living in the 21st century. Group 2: You’re an excellent Midwestern university known and valued locally—but you want to grow in relevance and attract more applicants , faculty, and funding from around the country and world.
  47. @mbloomstein | #IAS13 47 © 2013
  48. @mbloomstein | #IAS13 48 © 2013 Cardsorting Step one: • Who we are • Who we’re not • Who we’d like to be Go with your gut for about 20 minutes.
  49. @mbloomstein | #IAS13 49 © 2013 Group 1: You’re a nonprofit eldercare provider in Florida. To attract a broader range of volunteers and donors, you want to change how people view senior living in the 21st century. Group 2: You’re an excellent Midwestern university known and valued locally—but you want to grow in relevance and attract more applicants , faculty, and funding from around the country and world.
  50. @mbloomstein | #IAS13 50 © 2013
  51. @mbloomstein | #IAS13 51 © 2013 Cardsorting Step two: • Who we are  Who we’d like to be Think aspirational. What needs to change? ~15 minutes
  52. @mbloomstein | #IAS13 52 © 2013 Group 1: You’re a nonprofit eldercare provider in Florida. To attract a broader range of volunteers and donors, you want to change how people view senior living in the 21st century. Group 2: You’re an excellent Midwestern university known and valued locally—but you want to grow in relevance and attract more applicants , faculty, and funding from around the country and world.
  53. @mbloomstein | #IAS13 53 © 2013 Cardsorting Step three: • Form groups: what goes together? • Prioritize the goals or groups • Tell the story of those aspirations ~15 minutes
  54. @mbloomstein | #IAS13 54 © 2013 Why do this? Gain standards by which to conduct a qualitative audit. (What is “good” anyway?)
  55. @mbloomstein | #IAS13 55 © 2013 Why do this? Promote new content types to manifest the message architecture—not just because they’re trendy or feasible.
  56. @mbloomstein | #IAS13 56 © 2013 So where to from here? Content audit: measure quality against the aspirational attributes in the message architecture.
  57. @mbloomstein | #IAS13 57 © 2013 So where to from here? New content types: prioritize features against the new communication goals. Experience? Portfolio. Trust and responsiveness? Testimonials.
  58. Audit time!
  59. @mbloomstein | #IAS13 59 © 2013 The organization Established and premiere • Founded in 1896 • International reputation for depth in several areas • Not really a “destination” for tourists—but definitely for academics and researchers Trusted • Known for research among competitors, but not local audience • Target audience is loyal, but places greater appreciation in its tradition and history than modern updates Kid-friendly • Seen as ideal for family visits, school field trips, but relatively unknown for adult applicability within the local target audience
  60. @mbloomstein | #IAS13 60 © 2013 Message architecture Engaged and curious • Creating knowledge by supporting rigorous scientific research and disseminating information • Driving the public discussion to promote stewardship • Comprehensive in questions, open-minded in answers Welcoming • Accessible“for ages 5 – 95” • Relevant, tailored Applicable and relevant • Practical; engaged & empathizing with the community • Immediate, cutting-edge, and “in touch” Innovative • Ends > means in research, development, and engagement
  61. @mbloomstein | #IAS13 61 © 2013
  62. @mbloomstein | #IAS13 62 © 2013Engaged & curious? Welcoming? Applicable & relevant? Innovative?
  63. @mbloomstein | #IAS13 63 © 2013Engaged & curious? Welcoming? Applicable & relevant? Innovative?
  64. @mbloomstein | #IAS13 64 © 2013
  65. @mbloomstein | #IAS13 65 © 2013
  66. @mbloomstein | #IAS13 66 © 2013Engaged & curious? Welcoming? Applicable & relevant? Innovative?
  67. @mbloomstein | #IAS13 67 © 2013 Audit to understand what you have and what you need. Don’t just do it for fun. Before you can start, you need to know why. What are you trying to learn?
  68. @mbloomstein | #IAS13 68 © 2013
  69. @mbloomstein | #IAS13 69 © 2013 Each section* gets its own tab.
  70. @mbloomstein | #IAS13 70 © 2013 Every tab tracks the same data Quantitative: • Head count: what do we have? • Is it consistent? • Are similar content types consistent in size and structure? • Is there parity of length, level of detail, and tone?
  71. @mbloomstein | #IAS13 71 © 2013
  72. @mbloomstein | #IAS13 72 © 2013 Every tab tracks the same data Qualitative: is it any good? • ROT analysis: redundant, outdated, trivial • Current, relevant, and appropriate to the message architecture • Does it serve the communication goals? • Does it speak to the target audience?
  73. @mbloomstein | #IAS13 73 © 2013
  74. @mbloomstein | #IAS13 74 © 2013 Each piece of content gets a row Set up dropdowns to constrain data • Data  Data validation  List  Sources
  75. @mbloomstein | #IAS13 75 © 2013
  76. @mbloomstein | #IAS13 76 © 2013 Message architecture Passionate about strategic discovery • Creative, spirited, inspired • Visionary, innovative thought leader and industry leader • Flexible Tactical and hands-on • In the trenches, in touch • Detail-oriented and methodical Pioneering • Groundbreaking, trend-setting • Modern and savvy People-focused and market-driven • Trusted by medical professionals, researchers, and media • Industry news source
  77. @mbloomstein | #IAS13 77 © 2013
  78. @mbloomstein | #IAS13 78 © 2013Passionate? Creative? Hands-on? Pioneering and modern? Trusted?
  79. @mbloomstein | #IAS13 79 © 2013
  80. @mbloomstein | #IAS13 80 © 2013
  81. @mbloomstein | #IAS13 81 © 2013
  82. @mbloomstein | #IAS13 82 © 2013
  83. @mbloomstein | #IAS13 83 © 2013 What will you learn? • What do we have? • What are the patterns, elements, & types? • Is it any good? • Do people even like it? (Check analytics!) • What do we need to update? • What do we need to translate? • Where do we need more?
  84. @mbloomstein | #IAS13 84 © 2013 Where can you go? • Prescribe new content types • Advocate for more frequent content updates • Promote a new editorial calendar • Reallocate budget across social media channels
  85. @mbloomstein | #IAS13 85 © 2013 Steps along the way… Message architecture Content audit/inventory Prescriptive content matrix Content model Editorial style guidelines Metadata guidelines Governance guidelines
  86. @mbloomstein | #IAS13 86 © 2013 Steps along the way… Message architecture Content audit/inventory Prescriptive content matrix Content model Editorial style guidelines Metadata guidelines Governance guidelines Gap analysis
  87. @mbloomstein | #IAS13 87 © 2013 Steps along the way… Message architecture Content audit/inventory Prescriptive content matrix Content model Editorial style guidelines Metadata guidelines Governance guidelines Gap analysis How
  88. @mbloomstein | #IAS13 88 © 2013 Steps along the way… Message architecture Content audit/inventory Prescriptive content matrix Content model Editorial style guidelines Metadata guidelines Governance guidelines Gap analysis How By whom & when
  89. @mbloomstein | #IAS13 89 © 2013 But first things first: What are you trying to communicate? What content do you have and what do you need to do that?
  90. @mbloomstein | #IAS13 90 © 2013 Thank you! Margot Bloomstein @mbloomstein margot@appropriateinc.com slideshare.net/mbloomstein amzn.to/CSatWork Title image: http://flickr.com/KandyJaxx All other images property of their respective owners, used under a Creative Commons license, or copyright as noted.

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