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@mbloomstein | #IAS13 1
© 2013© 2011
The secrets of brand-driven
CONTENT STRATEGY
Margot Bloomstein
IA Summit April 2013
@...
@mbloomstein | #IAS13 2
© 2013
Unless you understand what people are
trying to do with your content you cannot
know if it’...
@mbloomstein | #IAS13 3
© 2013
Your serve.
And who are you again? 
@mbloomstein | #IAS13 4
© 2013
What is content strategy?
Planning for the creation, aggregation,
delivery, and governance ...
@mbloomstein | #IAS13 5
© 2013
Steps along the way…
Message architecture
Content audit/inventory
Prescriptive content matr...
@mbloomstein | #IAS13 6
© 2013
Steps along the way…
Message architecture
Content audit/inventory
Prescriptive content matr...
Deliverables are
merely punctuation in
the conversation.
Don’t let them replace
the conversation.
Why content strategy?
Why content strategy?
Because we all want the same thing,
but content keeps getting in the way.
@mbloomstein | #IAS13 10
© 2013
Content demands attention
@mbloomstein | #IAS13 11
© 2013
Because we all want the same thing,
but content keeps getting in the way.
(CC) http://www....
@mbloomstein | #IAS13 12
© 2013
Sustainable content is content you can
create—and maintain—without going
broke, without lo...
@mbloomstein | #IAS13 13
© 2013
Content dredges up politics
©Margot Bloomstein
@mbloomstein | #IAS13 14
© 2013
to change, empower, support,
advocate, teach, simplify,
consolidate, remind, inform…
You c...
@mbloomstein | #IAS13 15
© 2013
to change, empower, support,
advocate, teach, simplify,
consolidate, remind, inform…
Conte...
This is your job now.
@mbloomstein | #IAS13 17
© 2013
©Skillset.org
@mbloomstein | #IAS13 18
© 2013
First things first.
What do you need to communicate?
@mbloomstein | #IAS13 19
© 2013
First things first.
Why even…redesign the website, let the
CEO start blogging, audit the c...
If you don’t know what
you need to communicate,
how will you know if you
succeed?
@mbloomstein | #IAS13 21
© 2013
What’s a message architecture?
A hierarchy of communication goals
that reflects a common v...
@mbloomstein | #IAS13 22
© 2013
A little thing with big impact.
@mbloomstein | #IAS13 23
© 2013
A little thing with big impact.
How could we prove this is a car not like
anything else ou...
@mbloomstein | #IAS13 24
© 2013
A little thing with big impact.
@mbloomstein | #IAS13 25
© 2013
Message architecture
Premium technology
• Assertive; ready to perform as a driver’s car
• ...
@mbloomstein | #IAS13 26
© 2013
@mbloomstein | #IAS13 27
© 2013
@mbloomstein | #IAS13 28
© 2013
@mbloomstein | #IAS13 29
© 2013
@mbloomstein | #IAS13 30
© 2013
If these emails are boring you
and you don’t mind missing out
on all the lip-smackin’ stuf...
@mbloomstein | #IAS13 31
© 2013
Message architecture drives
the user experience
@mbloomstein | #IAS13 32
© 2013
Nomenclature
Calls to action
Instructional content
Sentence structure
Diction
…in content
@mbloomstein | #IAS13 33
© 2013
Photographic angles
Dark backgrounds
Bold headlines
Thick stroke weights
…and in design
@mbloomstein | #IAS13 34
© 2013
…and in the choice of features
and content types
@mbloomstein | #IAS13 35
© 2013
What’s a message architecture?
A hierarchy of communication goals
that reflects a common v...
@mbloomstein | #IAS13 36
© 2013
What’s a message architecture?
Concrete, shared terminology,
not abstract concepts.
@mbloomstein | #IAS13 37
© 2013
Welcoming,
but elite.
Selective?
@mbloomstein | #IAS13 38
© 2013
Accessible,
open, and
premiere.
@mbloomstein | #IAS13 39
© 2013
Traditional,
but edgy.
@mbloomstein | #IAS13 40
© 2013
©Warby Parker
@mbloomstein | #IAS13 41
© 2013
Words are valuable,
but meaningless without
context and priority.
(In a few minutes, we’ll...
@mbloomstein | #IAS13 42
© 2013
Why do this?
Words are cheaper than comps.
@mbloomstein | #IAS13 43
© 2013
Why do this?
Let creative colleagues refine the concept,
rather than confirm the purpose.
@mbloomstein | #IAS13 44
© 2013
How?
• Engage in a tangible, hands-on way
• Encourage debate and conversation
• Identify p...
@mbloomstein | #IAS13 45
© 2013
Cardsorting
• Groups of ~5
• Pick 2 people to represent the brand
• Everyone else: put on ...
@mbloomstein | #IAS13 46
© 2013
Group 1: You’re a nonprofit eldercare provider
in Florida. To attract a broader range of
v...
@mbloomstein | #IAS13 47
© 2013
@mbloomstein | #IAS13 48
© 2013
Cardsorting
Step one:
• Who we are
• Who we’re not
• Who we’d like to be
Go with your gut ...
@mbloomstein | #IAS13 49
© 2013
Group 1: You’re a nonprofit eldercare provider
in Florida. To attract a broader range of
v...
@mbloomstein | #IAS13 50
© 2013
@mbloomstein | #IAS13 51
© 2013
Cardsorting
Step two:
• Who we are  Who we’d like to be
Think aspirational.
What needs to...
@mbloomstein | #IAS13 52
© 2013
Group 1: You’re a nonprofit eldercare provider
in Florida. To attract a broader range of
v...
@mbloomstein | #IAS13 53
© 2013
Cardsorting
Step three:
• Form groups: what goes together?
• Prioritize the goals or group...
@mbloomstein | #IAS13 54
© 2013
Why do this?
Gain standards by which to conduct
a qualitative audit.
(What is “good” anywa...
@mbloomstein | #IAS13 55
© 2013
Why do this?
Promote new content types to manifest
the message architecture—not just
becau...
@mbloomstein | #IAS13 56
© 2013
So where to from here?
Content audit: measure quality against
the aspirational attributes ...
@mbloomstein | #IAS13 57
© 2013
So where to from here?
New content types: prioritize features
against the new communicatio...
Audit time!
@mbloomstein | #IAS13 59
© 2013
The organization
Established and premiere
• Founded in 1896
• International reputation for...
@mbloomstein | #IAS13 60
© 2013
Message architecture
Engaged and curious
• Creating knowledge by supporting rigorous scien...
@mbloomstein | #IAS13 61
© 2013
@mbloomstein | #IAS13 62
© 2013Engaged & curious? Welcoming? Applicable & relevant? Innovative?
@mbloomstein | #IAS13 63
© 2013Engaged & curious? Welcoming? Applicable & relevant? Innovative?
@mbloomstein | #IAS13 64
© 2013
@mbloomstein | #IAS13 65
© 2013
@mbloomstein | #IAS13 66
© 2013Engaged & curious? Welcoming? Applicable & relevant? Innovative?
@mbloomstein | #IAS13 67
© 2013
Audit to understand what you
have and what you need.
Don’t just do it for fun.
Before you ...
@mbloomstein | #IAS13 68
© 2013
@mbloomstein | #IAS13 69
© 2013
Each section* gets its own tab.
@mbloomstein | #IAS13 70
© 2013
Every tab tracks the same data
Quantitative:
• Head count: what do we have?
• Is it consis...
@mbloomstein | #IAS13 71
© 2013
@mbloomstein | #IAS13 72
© 2013
Every tab tracks the same data
Qualitative: is it any good?
• ROT analysis: redundant, out...
@mbloomstein | #IAS13 73
© 2013
@mbloomstein | #IAS13 74
© 2013
Each piece of content gets a row
Set up dropdowns to constrain data
• Data  Data validati...
@mbloomstein | #IAS13 75
© 2013
@mbloomstein | #IAS13 76
© 2013
Message architecture
Passionate about strategic discovery
• Creative, spirited, inspired
•...
@mbloomstein | #IAS13 77
© 2013
@mbloomstein | #IAS13 78
© 2013Passionate? Creative? Hands-on? Pioneering and modern? Trusted?
@mbloomstein | #IAS13 79
© 2013
@mbloomstein | #IAS13 80
© 2013
@mbloomstein | #IAS13 81
© 2013
@mbloomstein | #IAS13 82
© 2013
@mbloomstein | #IAS13 83
© 2013
What will you learn?
• What do we have?
• What are the patterns, elements, & types?
• Is i...
@mbloomstein | #IAS13 84
© 2013
Where can you go?
• Prescribe new content types
• Advocate for more frequent content updat...
@mbloomstein | #IAS13 85
© 2013
Steps along the way…
Message architecture
Content audit/inventory
Prescriptive content mat...
@mbloomstein | #IAS13 86
© 2013
Steps along the way…
Message architecture
Content audit/inventory
Prescriptive content mat...
@mbloomstein | #IAS13 87
© 2013
Steps along the way…
Message architecture
Content audit/inventory
Prescriptive content mat...
@mbloomstein | #IAS13 88
© 2013
Steps along the way…
Message architecture
Content audit/inventory
Prescriptive content mat...
@mbloomstein | #IAS13 89
© 2013
But first things first:
What are you trying to
communicate?
What content do you have and
w...
@mbloomstein | #IAS13 90
© 2013
Thank you!
Margot Bloomstein
@mbloomstein
margot@appropriateinc.com
slideshare.net/mblooms...
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@mbloomstein | #IAS13 14
© 2013
to change, empower, support,
advocate, teach, simplify,
consolidate, remind, inform…
You cannot act in passive voice

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