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Content strategy for associations

Content is the way your organization's work manifests itself in the world. Therefore, it is how you show the value you provide to members. Learn what content strategy entails and how it will help your organization thrive.

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Content strategy for associations

  1. 1. Content Strategy 101 Using content to show member value
  2. 2. What is content? • Magazine articles • Conference session descriptions • Course listings • Executive biographies • Press releases • Newsletters • Program information • Membership details • Advocacy issue updates • Topic research and surveys • Etc., etc., etc.
  3. 3. Content takes different forms • Web pages • Blog posts • Infographics • Images • PDFs • Video • Audio
  4. 4. What is content strategy? The right content To the right person At the right time For the right action
  5. 5. Put another way…. Content strategy is the practice of planning for the creation, delivery, and governance of useful, usable content.
  6. 6. Three faces
  7. 7. Multiple parts • A strategic statement tying content to business goals • Guidelines and policies: Who, what, when, where, why, and how of publishing content • Defining people, roles, and processes
  8. 8. Audience-centric Business-sensitive Content The ultimate vision
  9. 9. Foundational tenets 1. Content creators & SMEs have a common understanding of what key audiences want, and how their content helps deliver that. 2. Content creators & SMEs have a common understanding of the org’s goals are and how their content contributes to them. 3. Content creators & SMEs share their content in a consistent, effective way
  10. 10. Principles • The organization creates content that its audiences want • The organization creates content that helps it meet its goals • Content has success metrics and is measured against those • Content that is no longer relevant is no longer available • Content is promoted, surfaced, and cross-linked based on its topic, not its source • Content is created in the organization’s voice
  11. 11. Department Message Audience Department Message Audience Department Message Audience Department Message Audience Old thinking
  12. 12. 11 Silos
  13. 13. Different views of the audience http://www.fastcompany.com/3019930/leadership-now/the-5-blind-men-and-other-myths-of-innovation
  14. 14. 13 http://www.amazon.com/Have-Always-Done-That-Way/dp/184728857X/
  15. 15. Difficulty prioritizing
  16. 16. Consequences
  17. 17. Diluted impact 16
  18. 18. Lack of understanding of your value
  19. 19. Opportunities 1. Be the primary source of information 2. Use your content to draw the right people 3. Get people to take the action you want them to take • Must be a win-win • Without a strategy, it’s just content
  20. 20. Organization: Programs, offerings Audience Messages Audience Audience Audience New thinking
  21. 21. Typical project flow 1. Gather data to know what we know (discovery) 2. Audit and assess website content 3. Audit and assess e-newsletters 4. Analyze competitive organizations and for-profit companies 5. Audience personas and customer journeys
  22. 22. Typical project flow 6. Facilitate the development of content creation and publishing guidelines 7. Identify roles, content lifecycles, workflow, governance models 8. Create a framework for content promotions 9. Plan for sustainability
  23. 23. Data gathering 1. Review existing studies, surveys, assessments, reports 2. Interview stakeholders to learn about current goals, opportunities, and challenges 3. Survey members to learn what they like and don’t like about your communications today, and what topics and channels they are interested in
  24. 24. Stakeholder interview goals • Learning more about each department’s business needs and goals • Getting an understanding of each department’s knowledge about and perception of the association’s audiences and their needs • Hearing first-hand what is working now, as well as the impact of current challenges
  25. 25. Web content audit 1. Review existing online content, document content types, topics, audiences, and usage 2. Create guidelines for what to keep, what not to keep 3. Based on guidelines and best practices, recommend action for each page (keep, delete, revise, archive) 4. Look at patterns and themes, document observations
  26. 26. E-newsletter audit • Review 6 months’ worth of e-newsletters • Recommend opportunities for improvement
  27. 27. Audience personas and customer journeys • Flesh out existing personas to foster understanding and empathy • Think through the customer journey to understand members’ contexts and needs
  28. 28. Audience personas and customer journeys • Shared focus on the audience • Shared understanding of the audience
  29. 29. 29 http://www.slideshare.net/est3ban/empathybased-personas-gaining-a-deeper-understanding-of-your-audience-presen
  30. 30. 30 Anthony Susan Allen Maggie
  31. 31. Content creation and publishing guidelines • Identify your organizational voice and tone • Develop editorial style guidelines to enable that in all content the organization creates • Adapt digital publishing best practices to your content and channels
  32. 32. Governance • Define roles needed to keep content effective • Define content access-level strategy • Define content success metrics and ongoing decision processes
  33. 33. Content Promotion Framework • Organization-wide content calendar • Data-driven decisions – start gathering metrics regularly – communicate metrics information – use data to make decisions
  34. 34. Sustainability • Ongoing education and training • Content contributors, management • Onboarding for new staff
  35. 35. Working together for member satisfaction
  36. 36. Thank you! Hilary Marsh hilary@contentcompany.biz @hilarymarsh

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Content is the way your organization's work manifests itself in the world. Therefore, it is how you show the value you provide to members. Learn what content strategy entails and how it will help your organization thrive.


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