Saturday, November 23, 2013

CONTENT - yes it's still KING


Content, I'll make no bones about it as a Digiteer this should be filling almost all of your thinking right now. Content just like the sites they live on are exactly that; living, evolving things.When good Digiteers know they need to improve the quality of their websites content, some (not all) follow a process which is laid out in the graph below, created by: Rahel Bailie 
While the descriptions of the phases were borrowed from Jonathan Kahn’s articles Content Strategy for the Web Professional. Strategists figure out what what kind of content they're dealing with.

Ask questions about content, right from the start. If you're any kind of good Digiteer you should be looking at all of your user research, you know those personas you worked so hard to create, are they gathering dust? If so get your act together, get them revalidated and USE THEM. This will aid your decisions regarding what content is needed, and if you only ever ask yourself one question regarding content please let it be, “who cares?”

I would strongly recommend carrying out carrying out a content audit, and a gap analysis. Identify the key communities across your web properties, then look for the commonalities across your website’s content.

Now get down to work, write a plan for creating and commissioning content. Insist that the client (internal or external) plans for content production over time, often the best way to achieve this is to work collaboratively and get an understanding of their personal and commercial objectives. Produce and an editorial calendar I IMPLORE YOU.
  • To aid non Digiteers (you know everyone but us) in this space create annotated wireframes and sitemaps to explain how both interaction and content will work. You will see light bulbs going on over peoples heads with this approach.
  • Be demanding about your CMS features like content models, metadata, and workflow based on the content strategy.
  • Write, write, write and aggregate your killer content. 
After we’we've published content, it’s time to look back, see what worked, and plan for the future. One of the best ways I've found is to write comprehensive copy decks, base them on common templates as you'll be sharing a visual language your "client" is already accustomed to. I have recently come to the belief that for SEO to be truly effective you need to ensure there is a written and published "style guide" for tone of voice, what is your linking policy (don't buy links please) and ensure you have comprehensive community policies in place fort the content you will be delivering across social platforms

Imagine a world where content is beautiful. It’s clear, consistent, useful, and usable. You know where it lives and exactly what it says. Your users are delighted. Your business reaps the benefits. Your process is efficient. And you're happy.