A Great Content Strategy Learning Experience
Just a couple of days ago I returned from Portland's LavaCon and Content Strategy Workshops. It was a fantastic week of workshops and learning sessions put on by Jack Molisani and Scott Abel. For those of you who don't know the term yet "content strategy" is the current buzzword for optimizing your web presence for customers, members, and constituents. The discipline sprang up as a response to: 1) the avalanche of information that organizations were feeding into their websites and 2) the explosion of different software and hardware devices through which this information can, and is, being consumed.
An Avalanche of Information
If you own a small company and your website contains less than 100 pages, you're going to have less of a problem portraying consistent tone, terminology, and user experience than a site that contains 1,000 pages. Now think of the problems you'll face when your website gets to the level of 10,000 or even 100,000 pages and comes from a myriad of different departments! For your client's sake you'll need to think about keeping all that content relevant and findable. This quickly becomes a nightmare without rules of governance and a high level strategy that will help you keep things in order.
Creating a website means your are a content provider—aka a publisher. Quick quiz: who is the biggest publisher in the United States? The answer is NOT Random House, HarperCollins, or Simon and Schuster—it's the US government. Surprisingly, number two on this list goes to Boeing Corporation. The main reason Boeing, or any other company, creates content is to serve their clients—even if this content is for internal use. Making content relevant and easy to find is a must when dealing with large quantities of information.
An Explosion of Devices
As of this writing there are just over 4,000 different devices using the Android operating system alone. Are your customers wrong to think you should optimize user experience for their particular device? They don't think so. From Apple's iOS to Android, Kindle, RIM's Blackberry, Windows devices, and others if you want your audience to get your message the way you intended it to be you've got some work to do.
COPE is an acronym for Create Once, Publish Everywhere. The technology behind COPE is standardizing around XML, Extensible Markup Language, which defines a set of rules for encoding documents that both humans and machines can read. It allows for a different set of instructions to be used when information is sent to specific devices such as desktop computers, tablets, or smart phones. DITA (Darwin Information Typing Architecture) is perhaps the most popular XML data model for authoring and publishing.
Whew, got all that?
My brain is still swimming in the acronym soup I've just absorbed about how to execute a web presence across so many platforms, but the basics of business are unchanged. You can call it Internet marketing, content strategy, content marketing or anything else under the sun, but what you have to deliver is two things: an excellent product (or service), and a superior customer experience. To do this you need to know what's important to your client and how to leverage your products and services to further their goals.
Your content strategy will help you communicate how you can help people, all while using the medium of their choice. Your strategy should contain a content marketing piece to help you acquire customers, members, and constituents as well as retain them and help turn them into evangelists.
Call DeepSky Marketing to find out how you can create profitable marketing strategies for your company. DeepSky Marketing is a company that provides businesses with profitable marketing systems and verifiable return on investment (ROI). To schedule a brief no-cost consultation call 707 823-3888.
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