CS Applied 2012-03-01
The below notes are the raw transcript of what I took down at Content Strategy Forum 2012, on 1 March 2012. These notes are not a verbatim transcript of what was said; they will often include my own inferences, extending the initial idea.
Scott Abel – @scottabel – The Content Wrangler
- Content strategists manage the cost of value.
- Everything has to track back to things you can measure – it’s the mathematics of cost.
- Saving money is good. Making money is even better.
- Book: Managing Enterprise Content: A unified content strategy by Ann Rockley
- If you built it (and put it on the web) they won’t necessarily come.
- If your publishing technology separates content from presentation, you can deliver to new platforms easily.
- If your customers contribute to your content, they will give you the keywords they use to look for that content.
- Authoring – content contribution – needs the user to NOT need to understand the underlying complexity/technology.
- Link your content to the contributor, to usage, and to the revenue flow from it.
- Machine translation is #GIGO – garbage in, garbage out. It’s the content that’s the problem, not the technology.
- Think differently. You may be surprised by what you come up with.
- Only about 10% of any audience that self-selects actively contributes; this makes interaction difficult to measure.
Content as a strategic tool
Case study – Content Strategy 101 stream
Maureen McDonagh – nectar.com
- Inspiration for fashion comes not from celebrities, but friends and family.
- “Popularity” may matter for new users, but it needs to be user-customisable, evolve into personal preferences.
- Done well, a buy-in loop is powerful. Benefits enhance the value of repeat transactions.
- Users are happier to share their personal data if they are aware they are getting something real in response.
- Reward points can make people less price-sensitive.
- Reward points are valued more – by the customers – than the money they are really worth.
Content in a social world
Case study – Social media and mobile stream
Bian Salins – @b1an – BT
- Social is one of those thing that counts, but is very difficult to count.
- Communication is not broadcast; it’s dialogue. Two-way.
- Social – it’s not a separate channel. Integrate or die.
- Social – remember the old adage: two ears, one mouth. Listen more then you talk.
- Strategy should not be defined in-house. Strategy should be driven by the target audience.
- Social is not one realm; every network is different. Each has a different theme to its messaging.
- The story: what do you want to tell? Where do you want to tell it? Most importantly, WHY do you want to tell it?
- Who owns social? Who cares. Who are the people responsible for maintaining the social connections?
- Content, conversations, rewards have far more weight than direct marketing messages.
- Social content is resource-hungry. Don’t bite off more than you can chew.
- You can’t know who your social audience is by assumption.
- You want social media success? Two key ingredients: transparency and honest.
The cornerstone of a content strategy
Workshop – Technical content stream
Rahel Bailie – @rahelab – Intentional Design
- People have jobs to populate web sites, but few have the duty to manage the content.
- Businesses work in silos, but people – even those in the environment – do not think by department.
- It’s not technology. It’s not about content. It’s about business transformation.
- A content inventory has value relative to the amount of data it includes about each element.
- Weight your content on its real value in the context of your particular site.
- You’ve never had any complaints? Do you make it easy for them to complain?
- What do your images do? Decorate or explain?
- Analyse content with an editor’s eye, if you want to know what it is really like; how it all holds together.
- What is your Users’ Mental Model? Communicate that way.
- Empower people to self-service. Don’t make them suffer because your manual processes aren’t up to scratch.
- Your content does not fit in a silo based on your department. Your content belongs where it is relevant to the user’s mental model.
- Governance? We don’t do governance. But we do web operations procedures. (Same thing, better-accepted name.)
- A web migration project is not lift-and-shift. You need to know processes: to keep; unused; new ones needed.
- Goals – objectives – activity – supporting content.
- When triaging old content, which activity/objective/goal does it support?
- “We want to educate” is a bad objective. We want to educate, but the end only wants to do, not be educated.
- Does your timeline have a meta-timeline?
- Design your content to be broken up so it can be delivered into your pages/channels.
- An agenda is not a content type – it is a genre. The issues are the items on the agenda. Issues become decisions after time.
Content strategy in a multi-device world
Panel discussion: Diana Railton (DR) – @dianarailton, Elizabeth McGuane (EM) – @emcguane, Cleve Gibbon (CG) – @cleveg, Lindy Roux (LR) – @lindroux
- (DR) Many users do not distinguish between desktop and mobile as far as what they can do on your site.
- (LR) Responsive design is how we should always have been designing digital: adaptive to the delivery channel.
- (CG) Responsive design is not technology. It is platform agnostic content, platform agnostic UX.
- (LR) Responsive design depends on content-centric design.
- (DR) Maybe we should be looking at multimedia publishing more for mobile than chunks of text.