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What Is Content Strategy? (ACS July Meetup)



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Philips Design, AutoTrader, and UPS share insights about content strategy. The introduction offers definitions of content and content strategy.

What Is Content Strategy? (ACS July Meetup)

  1. 1. ATLANTA CONTENT STRATEGY July Meetup WHAT IS CONTENT STRATEGY Sponsored by July 9, 2009 July 9, 2009 Dom Darda Photo
  2. 2. I’m Colleen Jones, Chair of CHI*Atlanta.
  3. 3. Thanks for caring about content!
  5. 5. Content is… “the text, graphics, video, and audio that make up an interactive experience.” Kristina Halvorson “Death to Lorem Ipsum and Other Adventures in Content” Adaptive Path Essays Darwin Bell Photo
  6. 6. Content is… “king!” Karen McGrane Content is King! From Business to Buttons
  7. 7. CONTENT DESERVES STRATEGY But we don’t always treat it that way.
  11. 11. So, what is content strategy?
  12. 12. Content strategy is… “the practice of planning for content creation, delivery, and governance.” Kristina Halvorson, Content Strategy for the Web (forthcoming)
  13. 13. Content strategy is… “an emerging field of practice hatched out of user experience design.” Jeffrey MacIntyre “Content-tious Strategy” A List Apart
  14. 14. Content strategy helps you make content choices.
  15. 15. Sound useful? Now what?
  16. 16. 1. Don’t Miss This Event AUGUST 6 WEB CONTENT STRATEGY: Where UX, Marketing, & IT Meet Register at Kristina Halvorson Author, Content Strategy for the Web President, Brain Traffic Brian Ikeda, Philips Design Karen McGrane, Bond Art+Science John Muehlbauer, IHG Ryan Esparza, CMS Consultant Sponsors
  17. 17. 2. Read, Connect, & Read More CONTENT STRATEGY KNOL (Google unit of knowledge) THE WEB CONTENT STRATEGIST’S BIBLE CONTENT STRATEGY FOR THE WEB International Email List Twitter (Google Group) #contentstrategy
  18. 18. 3. Hang With Us TONIGHT’S AGENDA • Discovering the Need for Content Strategy at Philips Design Katie Riddle • The Importance of Content to Product Strategy at AutoTrader Greg Vilines • Web Content Strategy at Richard Sheffield MANY THANKS TO OUR HOST
  19. 19. Discovering the Need for Content Strategy at Philips Design
  20. 20. It all starts with brand… Macro Philips Philips Healthcare Business Business Business Business Line Line Line Line Product Product Product Product Product Micro
  21. 21. Where does content fit in? As referenced by Kristina Halvorson in Content Strategy: The Myth, The Mania, The Mayhem
  22. 22. Where does content fit in? As referenced by Kristina Halvorson in Content Strategy: The Myth, The Mania, The Mayhem
  23. 23. Where does content fit at Philips? (ideal)
  24. 24. The world of Philips web presence Possible user paths
  25. 25. Mapping content strategy to Philips design process  Activities ◦ Gather business requirements ◦ Determine content requirements ◦ Participate in initial planning meetings ◦ Set criteria for success  Deliverables ◦ Content brief INITIATION
  26. 26. Mapping content strategy to Philips design process (cont’d)  Activities ◦ User research  Identify key user tasks/goals ◦ Content audit and evaluation ◦ Content matrix ◦ Identify and interview content providers  Get list/location of source materials ◦ Competitive analysis ◦ Establish key themes and topics ◦ Map user goals and biz req. to themes ◦ Present findings to client  Deliverables ◦ User, competitive and content provider research findings ◦ Key themes and mapping ANALYSIS ◦ User personas ◦ Gap analysis
  27. 27. Mapping content strategy to Philips design process (cont’d)  Activities ◦ Work with IAs to create site map ◦ Create user scenarios, using user tasks/goals  Deliverables ◦ Key messaging and themes ◦ Editorial guide (incl. style/tone) ◦ Standards document ◦ Sample content for comps CONCEPT
  28. 28. Mapping content strategy to Philips design process (cont’d)  Activities ◦ Create style guide ◦ Create or edit site copy ◦ Map workflow for ongoing content maintenance  Deliverables ◦ Copy deck ◦ Content governance plan (workflow and maintenance) FINALIZATION
  29. 29. Mapping content strategy to Philips design process (cont’d)  Activities ◦ User research  Deliverables ◦ User research findings EVALUATION
  30. 30. About the author Katie Riddle 678-471-1730
  31. 31. Why Content is Important to AutoTrader Classics Greg Vilines - Product Manager
  32. 32. AutoTrader Classics Overview • Autotrader Classics (ATX) is a multi-channel business unit in the AutoTrader family, with 6 print titles alongside • Focuses on vintage and late- model enthusiast and collectible vehicles • Primary online revenue streams are classified advertising from dealerships and private sellers, supported by online advertising We sell content!
  33. 33. ATX Rebranding and Relaunch • Kicked off in late 2007 • In July 2008, the existing print and online properties were rebranded as AutoTrader Classics • The website relaunch, which went live in April 2009, was a parallel strategic effort to: – Further enhance the online brand – Expand advertising capability beyond vehicles and dealerships – Foster an online community for collector car enthusiasts – Add rich content experiences to drive site stickiness Adding quality content leads to measureable business impact!
  34. 34. Market Research Drives the Content Strategy • Top activities for users: – Education about specific classic car topics – General learning Since content is – Entertainment critical to users, it’s critical to the • Most used features: product – Shop for classic cars – Find events – Find services Data applies to visitors to classic car community websites
  35. 35. Defining the Content Groups User-Generated Content In-House or Aggregated Vehicle Listings Existing Part Listings Dealership Listings Service Provider Listings Events New Articles & Resources Vehicle Information The complexity of migrating and reimagining existing content, as well as the diverse needs of the new content types, meant… Each type of content demanded a distinct strategy
  36. 36. Strategy: Vehicle Listings • User-generated: purchased and created by consumers and dealer customers • Vehicle listings provide the site’s revenue baseline • The quality of the listing directly drives the user experience • Key Strategic Questions: – How do we migrate existing listings from the previous site to the new site? – What information should be collected for each listing to satisfy both shopper and seller needs? – What content needs to be provided to educate sellers how to create effective listings? – How does the entry and display of the listings need to differ to reflect the needs of each seller group?
  37. 37. Results: Vehicle Listings • Successes: – Successfully migrated ~10K listings from old site to new – Listings have the most robust, enthusiast-focused content of any classified site today – Guided entry of listings give private sellers useful information as they build their ads – Robust B2B site lets dealers speed through vehicle creation • Opportunities: – There’s a gap between what shoppers want to see versus what sellers are willing to enter – Though listing entry was simplified for dealer power users, even greater simplification and speed is needed
  38. 38. Strategy: Articles & Resources • New feature of ATX • In-House and Aggregated: sourced both internally and externally • Key Strategic Questions: – What types of content should we provide? – What should the format be for each type? – How do we mesh delivery systems (CMS, video management, vendor content feeds) to create an ideal solution? – How do we govern the workflow of editing and publishing content? – How do we measure what content is most effective to drive stickiness? – How do we shift site operations to handle the demands of an online content publisher?
  39. 39. Results: Articles & Resources • Successes: – Identified 6 topic areas of focus – Developed multiple content templates to flexibly handle multiple content formats – Developed an integrated CMS solution that can easily handle manual creation or bulk loading from a variety of sources – Created a simple, reproducible workflow for content management – The new content has helped improve time on site 16% since launch! • Opportunities: – We still don’t have a good understanding of what specific content is driving stickiness – Creating an editorial calendar to plan and communicate when content will be published is TBD
  40. 40. Summary • For product strategy, Content is King – Quality content has measureable business impact – Users crave it, so how do we deliver it? • Each type of content is VERY different – Each needs its own unique strategy – User and market research is invaluable • It won’t be right the first time – Be prepared for phase 2 - and 3, and 4… • Content can’t be considered fire-and-forget – It is a living and breathing thing and must be maintained and improved
  41. 41. A Quick Explanation of Content Strategy By Richard Sheffield
  42. 42. T Y P IC A L W E B P R O J E C T S C H E D U LE As referenced by Kristina Halvorson inContent Strategy: The Myth, The Mania, The Mayhem
  43. 43. It’s Week 10 - The technical lead politely asks the project manager for the content.
  44. 44. The project manager calmly asks the new copywriter to “go find” the content.
  45. 45. WTF?
  46. 46. T Y P IC A L W E B P R O J E C T S C H E D U LE Co nt en tS tra te gy
  47. 47. Another Definition of Content Strategy: Content Strategy is all the things that you should have done so that your content would have been useful and on time.
  48. 48. Content Strategy at October 22, 2008
  49. 49. Agenda A Little About Content Strategy for a Mature Website How Culture Affected Content Strategy Interactive Communications Content Strategy
  50. 50. - Some Context 1.5 million visits per day 140,000 pages of content 40 online applications 110 country versions of 33 languages supported Single source for content Localized as needed for factual differences CMS generated - InterWoven TeamSite It’s Complex Interactive Communications Content Strategy
  51. 51. Content Strategy for a Mature Website Current version is six years old Content strategy decisions have been made Content strategy = content development strategy Projects are broadly defined Content strategist’s job to identify content impact Adjust the project plan and set expectations It’s a well-defined process Interactive Communications Content Strategy
  52. 52. Corporate Culture and Content Strategy Where we arrived is not where we were heading Efficient vs. Redundant Complex vs. Simple Centralized control vs. Distributed Development Complexity drives centralization Interactive Communications Content Strategy
  53. 53. Typical Page Interactive Communications Content Strategy
  54. 54. Page Structure - 13 Modules Plus 32 more language versions. Modules move in and out based on metadata. Interactive Communications Content Strategy
  55. 55. This is a Very Powerful Page Structure Allows maximum content reuse Allows max flexibility of single source content Relies on accurate and complex metadata Keeps translation costs low Too complex for an occasional CMS user Interactive Communications Content Strategy
  56. 56. Impacts of a Complex CMS A well-trained CS can create a lot of content quickly Content maintenance cannot be assigned to “the business” Unexpected surges in work cannot be covered by bringing in short-term contractors Long ramp-up time for new hires Interactive Communications Content Strategy
  57. 57. Thanks! Richard Sheffield Interactive Communications Content Strategy
  58. 58. Don’t Forget AUGUST 6! WEB CONTENT STRATEGY: Where UX, Marketing, & IT Meet Register at Kristina Halvorson Author, Content Strategy for the Web President, Brain Traffic Brian Ikeda, Philips Design Karen McGrane, Bond Art+Science Invite colleagues, stakeholders, bosses, & John Muehlbauer, IHG more to start a Ryan Esparza, CMS Consultant conversation about content. Sponsors