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1 #ConfabINT | @mbloomstein
BRAND-DRIVEN CONTENT STRATEGY:
DEVELOPING A MESSAGE ARCHITECTURE
Confab Intensive
September 19, 2016
#ConfabINT
Margot Bloomstein
@mbloomstein
2 #ConfabINT | @mbloomstein
The key to saying more is saying no.
3 #ConfabINT | @mbloomstein
Good communication is the product
of tradeoffs and opportunity costs.
3 #ConfabINT | @mbloomstein
4 #ConfabINT | @mbloomstein
Content demands attention
5 #ConfabINT | @mbloomstein
Because we all want the same thing,
but content keeps getting in the way.
(CC) http://www.flickr.com/photos/slworking
Content requires time
6 #ConfabINT | @mbloomstein
Content dredges up politics
©Margot Bloomstein
7 #ConfabINT | @mbloomstein
Good communication is the product
of tradeoffs and opportunity costs.
7 #ConfabINT | @mbloomstein
8 #ConfabINT | @mbloomstein
Tradeoffs pay off.
©Margot Bloomstein
9 #ConfabINT | @mbloomstein
Content and design—
and processes to create them—
complement each other in
content strategy.
10 #ConfabINT | @mbloomstein
Content and design—
and processes to create them—
complement each other in
content strategy.
But first: a foundation.
11 #ConfabINT | @mbloomstein
What is content strategy?
Planning for the creation, aggregation, and
governance of content that’s useful, usable,
and appropriate in an experience.
12 #ConfabINT | @mbloomstein
Message
architecture
Content
audit
Content
types
Content
model
Editorial style
guidelines
and calendar
13 #ConfabINT | @mbloomstein
Deliverables are merely punctuation
in the conversation.
They can’t replace the conversation—
and too often, we’re afraid to talk.
14 #ConfabINT | @mbloomstein
Why? Politics—and participation
©Margot Bloomstein
15 #ConfabINT | @mbloomstein
Why? Politics—and participation*
©Margot Bloomstein
*until the blog launches,
readers require engagement,
FAQs demand integration…
Beat ’em to
the punch
“More like Apple”
19 #ConfabINT | @mbloomstein
More like Apple’s message architecture
Confident but approachable; accessible
Simple
• Minimal detail
• Streamlined and anticipatory
Inviting, friendly
• Supportive but not fawning
20 #ConfabINT | @mbloomstein
Message architecture
Cheeky
• Witty and fun
• Young without being childish
Customer oriented and responsive
• Approachable, friendly, and empowering
Helpful
• Accessible
21 #ConfabINT | @mbloomstein
22 #ConfabINT | @mbloomstein
23 #ConfabINT | @mbloomstein
From: Little MOO | Print Robot <noreply@moo.com>
Subject: MOO | Order 0629312615 | Confirmed
Hello
I'm Little MOO - the bit of software that will be managing your order with
moo.com. It will shortly be sent to Big MOO, our print machine who will print it
for you in the next few days. I'll let you know when it's done and on its way to
you.
Remember, I'm just a bit of software. So, if you have any questions regarding
your order please first read our Frequently Asked Questions or contact customer
services (who are real people!)
Thanks,
Little MOO, Print Robot
24 #ConfabINT | @mbloomstein
Cheeky
• Witty and fun
• Young without being childish
Customer-oriented, responsive
• Approachable and friendly
• Empowering
Helpful
• Accessible
Message architecture vs. brand values
Design
Innovation
Community
Excellence
25 #ConfabINT | @mbloomstein
What’s a message architecture?
A hierarchy of communication goals
that reflects a common vocabulary
26 #ConfabINT | @mbloomstein
What’s a message architecture?
A hierarchy of communication goals
that reflects a common vocabulary—
versus brand values, which are the
ethics a company espouses
27 #ConfabINT | @mbloomstein
First things first.
Why add video testimonials, maintain
a blog, conduct an audit, or launch a
new Facebook campaign…
if you don’t know what’s most
important to communicate?
If you don’t know
what to communicate,
how will you know if
you succeed?
what to communicate
when
where
30 #ConfabINT | @mbloomstein
Serious, technical, and rigorous?
• Annual reports
• Articles on your site
• Articles on other sites
• Blogs
• Books
• Branded tools
• Case studies
• Digital magazines
• eBooks
• Email newsletters
• Facebook posts
• Games
• In-person events
• Infographics
• Licensed/syndicated
content
• LinkedIn posts
• Microsites
• Mobile apps
• Online presentations
• Podcasts
• Print magazines
• Print newsletters
• Research reports
• Twitter
• Videos
• Virtual conferences
• Webinars/webcasts
• Whitepapers
Excerpted from Content Marketing Institute & MarketingProfs Content Marketing Survey
Not all channels fit all goals.
31 #ConfabINT | @mbloomstein
Engaged, fun, and relevant?
• Annual reports
• Articles on your site
• Articles on other sites
• Blogs
• Books
• Branded tools
• Case studies
• Digital magazines
• eBooks
• Email newsletters
• Facebook posts
• Games
• In-person events
• Infographics
• Licensed/syndicated
content
• LinkedIn posts
• Microsites
• Mobile apps
• Online presentations
• Podcasts
• Print magazines
• Print newsletters
• Research reports
• Twitter
• Videos
• Virtual conferences
• Webinars/webcasts
• Whitepapers
Excerpted from Content Marketing Institute & MarketingProfs Content Marketing Survey
Not all channels fit all goals.
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.”
33 #ConfabINT | @mbloomstein
A little thing with big impact.
34 #ConfabINT | @mbloomstein
A little thing with big impact.
35 #ConfabINT | @mbloomstein
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
36 #ConfabINT | @mbloomstein
37 #ConfabINT | @mbloomstein
38 #ConfabINT | @mbloomstein
39 #ConfabINT | @mbloomstein
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.
40 #ConfabINT | @mbloomstein
Message architecture drives content
Nomenclature
Calls to action
Content types
Sentence structure
Diction
41 #ConfabINT | @mbloomstein
Message architecture drives design
Photographic angles
Background colors
Headline typography
Density of information
Content strategy
can create harmony
from cross-channel
cacophony.
Your turn:
Encourage tradeoffs
that pay off
• Engage in a tangible way
• Encourage conversation
“What do you mean?
“Are these concepts synonymous?”
• Identify pain points and debate:
“How can we be innovative and traditional?”
• Force prioritization
• Encourage ownership
• Prevent seagulling
46 #ConfabINT | @mbloomstein
What’s a message architecture?
A hierarchy of communication goals
that reflects a common vocabulary
47 #ConfabINT | @mbloomstein
What’s a message architecture?
A hierarchy of communication goals
that reflects a common vocabulary—
concrete, shared terminology,
not abstract concepts
“welcoming but elite”
“traditional but edgy”
50 #ConfabINT | @mbloomstein
Words are valuable,
but meaningless
without context and
priority.
52 #ConfabINT | @mbloomstein
• Who we are
• Who we’re not
• Who we’d like to be
Go with your gut!
Step 1: categorize
53 #ConfabINT | @mbloomstein
Who we are  Who we’d like to be
Be aspirational. What needs to change?
Step 2: filter
54 #ConfabINT | @mbloomstein
• Form groups: what goes together?
• Prioritize the goals or groups
• Tell the story of those aspirations
Step 3: group and prioritize
55 #ConfabINT | @mbloomstein
• Follow up on hesitation, smirks, and grimaces
• Push back on participants to resolve their questions
• Expose nuances in meaning and connotation
“You put ‘traditional’ but not ‘conservative’—why?
“You hesitated as you put ‘cool’ here. How come?”
“Are ‘strategic’ and ‘tactical’ on a continuum?”
Dig in to ensure clarity
• Choose content types to manifest the
message architecture
• Gain standards for a qualitative audit
• Prioritize CMS changes and metadata to
support content types
• Reallocate budget and resources across
channels
57 #ConfabINT | @mbloomstein
58 #ConfabINT | @mbloomstein
Premium
• Lindt embodies quality, in product, marketing, & company interactions
• Approachable: Quality indulgences are more accessible
• Trusted in brand and quality
Empowering
• Entrepreneurial: Innovating, championing individuals and successes
• Market driving: strategic and proactive
• Professional and consistent through experience and being responsive
Community-minded
• Engaged with the Lindt family
• Customer-oriented
• Socially conscious
Message architecture
59 #ConfabINT | @mbloomstein
Elegant layout and typography
• Spread-to-spread sightlines and flow
• Wider borders
• Layered background images
• Italic titles with initial drop caps
60 #ConfabINT | @mbloomstein
Imagery of individual impact
• People engaged with product and service—
not just product or just results of service
• Diversity of role, gender, ethnicity, and age
61 #ConfabINT | @mbloomstein
Accessible, informative copy
• First-person plural
• Frequent rhetorical asides
• Shorter sentences
• Clear, concrete explanations
62 #ConfabINT | @mbloomstein
Editorial calendar “schedules”
the message architecture
63 #ConfabINT | @mbloomstein
Message
architecture
Content
audit
Content
types
Content
model
Editorial style
guidelines
and calendar
64 #ConfabINT | @mbloomstein
But first things first:
Understand what you need to
communicate—and why.
65 #ConfabINT | @mbloomstein
Thank you!
Margot Bloomstein
@mbloomstein
margot@appropriateinc.com
Content Strategy at Work: http://amzn.to/CSatWork
BrandSort: http://cards.appropriateinc.com
Talks: http://slideshare.net/mbloomstein
All photography © Margot Bloomstein unless noted.
Screen grabs property of their respective owners.

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Developing a Message Architecture for Brand-Driven Content Strategy

  • 1. 1 #ConfabINT | @mbloomstein BRAND-DRIVEN CONTENT STRATEGY: DEVELOPING A MESSAGE ARCHITECTURE Confab Intensive September 19, 2016 #ConfabINT Margot Bloomstein @mbloomstein
  • 2. 2 #ConfabINT | @mbloomstein The key to saying more is saying no.
  • 3. 3 #ConfabINT | @mbloomstein Good communication is the product of tradeoffs and opportunity costs. 3 #ConfabINT | @mbloomstein
  • 4. 4 #ConfabINT | @mbloomstein Content demands attention
  • 5. 5 #ConfabINT | @mbloomstein Because we all want the same thing, but content keeps getting in the way. (CC) http://www.flickr.com/photos/slworking Content requires time
  • 6. 6 #ConfabINT | @mbloomstein Content dredges up politics ©Margot Bloomstein
  • 7. 7 #ConfabINT | @mbloomstein Good communication is the product of tradeoffs and opportunity costs. 7 #ConfabINT | @mbloomstein
  • 8. 8 #ConfabINT | @mbloomstein Tradeoffs pay off. ©Margot Bloomstein
  • 9. 9 #ConfabINT | @mbloomstein Content and design— and processes to create them— complement each other in content strategy.
  • 10. 10 #ConfabINT | @mbloomstein Content and design— and processes to create them— complement each other in content strategy. But first: a foundation.
  • 11. 11 #ConfabINT | @mbloomstein What is content strategy? Planning for the creation, aggregation, and governance of content that’s useful, usable, and appropriate in an experience.
  • 12. 12 #ConfabINT | @mbloomstein Message architecture Content audit Content types Content model Editorial style guidelines and calendar
  • 13. 13 #ConfabINT | @mbloomstein Deliverables are merely punctuation in the conversation. They can’t replace the conversation— and too often, we’re afraid to talk.
  • 14. 14 #ConfabINT | @mbloomstein Why? Politics—and participation ©Margot Bloomstein
  • 15. 15 #ConfabINT | @mbloomstein Why? Politics—and participation* ©Margot Bloomstein *until the blog launches, readers require engagement, FAQs demand integration…
  • 18.
  • 19. 19 #ConfabINT | @mbloomstein More like Apple’s message architecture Confident but approachable; accessible Simple • Minimal detail • Streamlined and anticipatory Inviting, friendly • Supportive but not fawning
  • 20. 20 #ConfabINT | @mbloomstein Message architecture Cheeky • Witty and fun • Young without being childish Customer oriented and responsive • Approachable, friendly, and empowering Helpful • Accessible
  • 21. 21 #ConfabINT | @mbloomstein
  • 22. 22 #ConfabINT | @mbloomstein
  • 23. 23 #ConfabINT | @mbloomstein From: Little MOO | Print Robot <noreply@moo.com> Subject: MOO | Order 0629312615 | Confirmed Hello I'm Little MOO - the bit of software that will be managing your order with moo.com. It will shortly be sent to Big MOO, our print machine who will print it for you in the next few days. I'll let you know when it's done and on its way to you. Remember, I'm just a bit of software. So, if you have any questions regarding your order please first read our Frequently Asked Questions or contact customer services (who are real people!) Thanks, Little MOO, Print Robot
  • 24. 24 #ConfabINT | @mbloomstein Cheeky • Witty and fun • Young without being childish Customer-oriented, responsive • Approachable and friendly • Empowering Helpful • Accessible Message architecture vs. brand values Design Innovation Community Excellence
  • 25. 25 #ConfabINT | @mbloomstein What’s a message architecture? A hierarchy of communication goals that reflects a common vocabulary
  • 26. 26 #ConfabINT | @mbloomstein What’s a message architecture? A hierarchy of communication goals that reflects a common vocabulary— versus brand values, which are the ethics a company espouses
  • 27. 27 #ConfabINT | @mbloomstein First things first. Why add video testimonials, maintain a blog, conduct an audit, or launch a new Facebook campaign… if you don’t know what’s most important to communicate?
  • 28. If you don’t know what to communicate, how will you know if you succeed?
  • 30. 30 #ConfabINT | @mbloomstein Serious, technical, and rigorous? • Annual reports • Articles on your site • Articles on other sites • Blogs • Books • Branded tools • Case studies • Digital magazines • eBooks • Email newsletters • Facebook posts • Games • In-person events • Infographics • Licensed/syndicated content • LinkedIn posts • Microsites • Mobile apps • Online presentations • Podcasts • Print magazines • Print newsletters • Research reports • Twitter • Videos • Virtual conferences • Webinars/webcasts • Whitepapers Excerpted from Content Marketing Institute & MarketingProfs Content Marketing Survey Not all channels fit all goals.
  • 31. 31 #ConfabINT | @mbloomstein Engaged, fun, and relevant? • Annual reports • Articles on your site • Articles on other sites • Blogs • Books • Branded tools • Case studies • Digital magazines • eBooks • Email newsletters • Facebook posts • Games • In-person events • Infographics • Licensed/syndicated content • LinkedIn posts • Microsites • Mobile apps • Online presentations • Podcasts • Print magazines • Print newsletters • Research reports • Twitter • Videos • Virtual conferences • Webinars/webcasts • Whitepapers Excerpted from Content Marketing Institute & MarketingProfs Content Marketing Survey Not all channels fit all goals.
  • 32. 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.”
  • 33. 33 #ConfabINT | @mbloomstein A little thing with big impact.
  • 34. 34 #ConfabINT | @mbloomstein A little thing with big impact.
  • 35. 35 #ConfabINT | @mbloomstein 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
  • 36. 36 #ConfabINT | @mbloomstein
  • 37. 37 #ConfabINT | @mbloomstein
  • 38. 38 #ConfabINT | @mbloomstein
  • 39. 39 #ConfabINT | @mbloomstein 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.
  • 40. 40 #ConfabINT | @mbloomstein Message architecture drives content Nomenclature Calls to action Content types Sentence structure Diction
  • 41. 41 #ConfabINT | @mbloomstein Message architecture drives design Photographic angles Background colors Headline typography Density of information
  • 42. Content strategy can create harmony from cross-channel cacophony.
  • 43.
  • 45. • Engage in a tangible way • Encourage conversation “What do you mean? “Are these concepts synonymous?” • Identify pain points and debate: “How can we be innovative and traditional?” • Force prioritization • Encourage ownership • Prevent seagulling
  • 46. 46 #ConfabINT | @mbloomstein What’s a message architecture? A hierarchy of communication goals that reflects a common vocabulary
  • 47. 47 #ConfabINT | @mbloomstein What’s a message architecture? A hierarchy of communication goals that reflects a common vocabulary— concrete, shared terminology, not abstract concepts
  • 50. 50 #ConfabINT | @mbloomstein
  • 51. Words are valuable, but meaningless without context and priority.
  • 52. 52 #ConfabINT | @mbloomstein • Who we are • Who we’re not • Who we’d like to be Go with your gut! Step 1: categorize
  • 53. 53 #ConfabINT | @mbloomstein Who we are  Who we’d like to be Be aspirational. What needs to change? Step 2: filter
  • 54. 54 #ConfabINT | @mbloomstein • Form groups: what goes together? • Prioritize the goals or groups • Tell the story of those aspirations Step 3: group and prioritize
  • 55. 55 #ConfabINT | @mbloomstein • Follow up on hesitation, smirks, and grimaces • Push back on participants to resolve their questions • Expose nuances in meaning and connotation “You put ‘traditional’ but not ‘conservative’—why? “You hesitated as you put ‘cool’ here. How come?” “Are ‘strategic’ and ‘tactical’ on a continuum?” Dig in to ensure clarity
  • 56. • Choose content types to manifest the message architecture • Gain standards for a qualitative audit • Prioritize CMS changes and metadata to support content types • Reallocate budget and resources across channels
  • 57. 57 #ConfabINT | @mbloomstein
  • 58. 58 #ConfabINT | @mbloomstein Premium • Lindt embodies quality, in product, marketing, & company interactions • Approachable: Quality indulgences are more accessible • Trusted in brand and quality Empowering • Entrepreneurial: Innovating, championing individuals and successes • Market driving: strategic and proactive • Professional and consistent through experience and being responsive Community-minded • Engaged with the Lindt family • Customer-oriented • Socially conscious Message architecture
  • 59. 59 #ConfabINT | @mbloomstein Elegant layout and typography • Spread-to-spread sightlines and flow • Wider borders • Layered background images • Italic titles with initial drop caps
  • 60. 60 #ConfabINT | @mbloomstein Imagery of individual impact • People engaged with product and service— not just product or just results of service • Diversity of role, gender, ethnicity, and age
  • 61. 61 #ConfabINT | @mbloomstein Accessible, informative copy • First-person plural • Frequent rhetorical asides • Shorter sentences • Clear, concrete explanations
  • 62. 62 #ConfabINT | @mbloomstein Editorial calendar “schedules” the message architecture
  • 63. 63 #ConfabINT | @mbloomstein Message architecture Content audit Content types Content model Editorial style guidelines and calendar
  • 64. 64 #ConfabINT | @mbloomstein But first things first: Understand what you need to communicate—and why.
  • 65. 65 #ConfabINT | @mbloomstein Thank you! Margot Bloomstein @mbloomstein margot@appropriateinc.com Content Strategy at Work: http://amzn.to/CSatWork BrandSort: http://cards.appropriateinc.com Talks: http://slideshare.net/mbloomstein All photography © Margot Bloomstein unless noted. Screen grabs property of their respective owners.