Sessions at Content Strategy Forum 2011 on Tuesday 6th September

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  • Contextually relevant content strategies

    by Daniel Eizans

    Content without context is useless. Content works best when it accounts for user behaviours, situations and the world around them. But how can it do that?

    We'l discuss the methods of context analysis: Personal-Behavioural Context, Personal-Situational Context, and Ambient Factors, and we'll learn how to implement this research, to create the basis for a context-rich content strategy.

    What you'll learn:
    1. Why context is essential to content strategy.
    2. How to integrate context analysis into your content strategy.
    3. The methods of context analysis.

    At 9:00am to 9:40am, Tuesday 6th September

  • Is your content worth it? Prove it.

    by Marko Hurst

    Unless you're publishing blank HTML pages, you have content. But what's the value of your content? What content are you measuring, and is it achieving its goals? How are you allocating funding and resources for content, and why?

    For many organisations these questions are answered by a "gut check" or worse—they aren't asked at all. Imagine what would happen if you knew that your images were outperforming your videos by 300%. What processes would you change? How would you reallocate funding? How much could you save on production and storage costs?

    Marko will help you prove what content is and isn't working on your site by teaching a simple, proven, and repeatable process for understanding the goals of your content and creating easy-to-use success metrics.

    What you'll learn:
    1. Basic content measurement metrics.
    2. How to align your messaging and measurement to your content goals.
    3. How to set up a content measurement programme.

    At 9:00am to 9:40am, Tuesday 6th September

    Coverage slide deck

  • Taking content strategy to people who already think they have one

    by Martin Belam

    Selling content strategy to a business that's never published before is one thing, but it's something else entirely to sell it to a traditional publisher who believes their established production and editing process will work just as well for digital as it does for analogue.

    Martin will talk about how digital content strategy has changed editorial workflows and publishing processes at a business that has been publishing since 1821 - The Guardian.

    What you'll learn:
    1. How a traditional publishing business has adapted to digital content strategy.
    2. How to distinguish between digital and traditional publishing.
    3. How content strategists can differentiate their services from UXers and IAs.

    At 9:00am to 9:40am, Tuesday 6th September

    Coverage write-up

  • Content is UX is design: crossing disciplines for fun and profit

    by Elizabeth McGuane

    We all want the same things. From research to concepts to IA, nomenclature, design and development, we all want to create the best user experience possible.

    Content is a constant in the design continuum, and with the rise of increasingly agile and cross-disciplinary UX design teams, we have a unique chance to demonstrate content's core value to UX: it's flexibility, granularity and ability to engage directly with the user.

    Elizabeth will share her experience working with a developer and UX architect to improve both process and product - a major financial website redesign. Using Topic Maps, they build an information model that steamlined and managed UX deliverables and the scope and production of content.

    What you'll learn:
    1. How to integrate collaboratively with a UX team.
    2. Tools and methods UX designers use relevant to content strategy and production.
    3. How to use topic maps to develop and design the structure of large, complex websites.

    At 9:50am to 10:10am, Tuesday 6th September

  • Cut the crap: why deleting is improving

    by Ove Dalen

    Content is a critical business asset, but having too much content leads to disaster. Put your website on a diet—like Norwegian telco-giant Telenor, who reduced their content by 80%, resulting in increased sales, more self service, and improved customer satisfaction.

    Ove will show how content-driven development drastically improves the quality of both the content itself, and the design and information architecture. He'll discuss why collaborating with information architects, interaction designers, and developers is crucial, and ask what lean and agile approaches can teach us about content strategy.

    What you'll learn:
    1. How to prioritise and define core content.
    2. How to encourage learning and collaboration between writers in a big corporation.
    3. Tools and tactics to avoid becoming an information dump for the rest of the organisation.

    At 9:50am to 10:10am, Tuesday 6th September

    Coverage slide deck

  • Gamification and content strategy

    by Corinne Schmid

    What do games have to do with content strategy? With business? More than you think.

    Gamification is the use of game design, dynamics and mechanics (in non-gaming applications) to improve customer engagement, brand awareness and brand loyalty. Progressive companies are gamifying their websites and business applications and they've seen increased customer participation and employee productivity.

    We'll explore Gamification: who's using it and how, what it means for our industry, and how to implement gamification into existing content strategy and design processes.

    Are you game?

    What you'll learn:
    1. What gamification means and its impact on content strategy.
    2. How gamifying your website could increase return visit by over 20%.
    3. How participation using game mechanics improves your web presence.

    At 9:50am to 10:10am, Tuesday 6th September

    Coverage slide deck

  • Developing an analytics strategy for your content

    by Rick Allen

    Without context, our data is meaningless.

    Measurement is the “so what?” of content strategy, letting us evaluate content quality, including the efficacy of communications, usability, SEO, branding, and user experience design. Web analytics is crucial: it identifies how users interact with our content, informing content audits, analysis, and governance. But standard dashboard metrics aren’t sufficient. Real insight depends on context—so we need an analytics strategy.

    Rick will explain how to develop an analytics strategy with methods for assessing content quality. Understand how to define useful, contextually relevant metrics and KPIs that support your content strategy and governance plan; evaluate content types and delivery channels; measure conversions and engagement; identify influence and reach; and enable website owners to adapt to evolving business and user goals.

    What you'll learn:
    1. How web analytics can inform the elements of content strategy, including audits, analysis, and governance.
    2. How to align website goals with meaningful metrics that enable decision-makers to maintain effective web content.
    3. How to demonstrate the value of quality content that meets business objectives and user needs.

    At 10:20am to 10:40am, Tuesday 6th September

  • How content strategy supports learning

    by Tyler Tate

    We learn things every day, often without thinking about it. We explore, interact with each other and share ideas as we make decisions online.

    Learning is at the heart of user experience; it’s behind almost all of the web's transactions, from ordering a book to booking a flight. And content is at the heart of learning.

    We’ll look at research from the fields of psychology and education to better understand the learning process. Then we’ll delve into how we can turn this insight into practical design and content strategies.

    What you'll learn:
    1. What learning has to do with user experience.
    2. The six stages of learning.
    3. How to apply learning to design and content strategy.

    At 10:20am to 10:40am, Tuesday 6th September

    Coverage slide deck

  • How web designers can stop worrying and learn to love content strategy

    by Sophie Dennis

    In a perfect world, every company has a content strategist. But often, it's web designers, not content strategists, who must orchestrate content production and integration.

    We'll discuss which tools and techniques are most useful to a small team working with clients who have little content expertise. Sophie will share lessons learned from integrating content strategy into her own design process on several projects and how she got web designers to help their clients produce great content.

    What you'll learn:
    1. Which content strategy tools and techniques are most useful to non content strategists.
    2. How web designers can incorporate some content strategy into the design process.
    3. How to benefit from content strategy if you aren't a content expert.

    At 10:20am to 10:40am, Tuesday 6th September

    Coverage slide deck

  • Balance, compromise and localisation

    by Lise Janody

    An effective global content strategy involves localisation—and that is more than translation. What differs among countries and cultures is not just language: there's industry maturity and market share; product and release availability; go-to-market approaches and partnerships; pricing and promotions; marketing objectives, campaigns and events; technical support and contact numbers; local presence and resources.

    All these things have an impact not just on a website’s information architecture, but also on the content itself. They affect decisions about not just how to localise content, but what content to localise.

    We'll discuss the reach of a localisation project, from translation to staffing, from tone of voice to prioritisation. And we'll learn how to find the right answers to the questions localisation projects ask, with balance and compromise.

    What you'll learn:
    1. What to consider in a localisation project, beyond translation.
    2. How to prioritise activities in a localisation project.
    3. How to create great global content.

    At 11:10am to 11:50am, Tuesday 6th September

  • Content strategy, content management tools, and the happy ending

    by Kate Kenyon

    A poorly designed content management tool leads to production bottlenecks, a constrained and overworked team, a diluted content strategy, and a lousy user experience.

    But a well-designed content management tool allows content people to get on with what they do best instead of battling arcane technology they don’t care about. It allows content to be tracked, enhanced, and improved while the true value of good content is visible to everyone.

    Kate will explore content strategies that embrace content management tools, discussing which tools to use, how to integrate them with your editorial staff, and who you need in the room. She'll share case studies from her work on large e-commerce websites.

    What you'll learn:
    1. Why, when, and how content management tools should be considered in content strategy plans.
    2. Advantages and disadvantages of content management tools, particularly for e-commerce.
    3. How to ensure that your content management tool works for your content strategy, rather than being constrained by it.

    At 11:10am to 11:50am, Tuesday 6th September

  • Seven micro content strategy projects with high return on investment

    by Catherine Toole

    Are you finding it difficult to sell content strategy to your organisation? If you’re enthusiastic about content strategy but fear that any grandiose plan will be squashed, here’s how to win over the doubters through stealth, using tangible, measurable success stories.

    Look for a small, self-contained content project where the return on investment (ROI) is easy to establish, and then use it to build a business case for a broader content strategy initiative.

    Catherine will use case studies from her work with clients like Autoglass, John Lewis, and Nokia, and other case studies from around the web, to show how anyone can make the case for content strategy in their organisation.

    What you'll learn:
    1. How to choose your first content strategy project.
    2. Inspiring ideas you can borrow for your own micro content strategy projects.
    3. How to make the business case for content strategy, and sell it to your organisation.

    At 11:10am to 11:50am, Tuesday 6th September

  • Data-informed content strategy

    by Anne Marie Caborn

    Brand isn’t what you say, it’s how the outside world perceives you. To deliver content that’s flexible enough to respond to what online audiences expect—and crucially, how they want to access our content—we need a new form of thinking. It’s not just about writing for the web, or producing “web-ready” content—we need to learn how to read audiences, and then structure our content to fit their context.

    This demands more than simple data aggregation: to find true value and insight, we need to push past the data whiteout. We need to learn how to properly analyse data so that we can plan and budget for content strategies that work for both our audience and our business plan. Happy users cost less and love you more.

    Anne will demonstrate how organisations need to change their perceptions of what audiences want and need from their content, using evidence and examples to present arguments that put content at the heart of organisational reach.

    What you'll learn:
    1. Why audience insight is critical in content planning.
    2. Why context is a key data metric.
    3. Why content strategy is an organisation-wide issue, and how data informs it.

    At 12:00pm to 12:20pm, Tuesday 6th September

  • The Strategist and the Executioner

    by Cleve Gibbon

    Content management professionals tend to dive into execution without properly considering strategy. Development starts with too many hidden assumptions about what users need and how the publishing system should work. Content management needs content strategy.

    Bridging the gap between strategy and execution is challenging, but an approach called content architecture can help, by highlighting gaps in the way that we plan, deliver, and govern content. We’ll discuss how to define content structures, model user groups, capture authoring processes, outline publishing workflows, and map them onto publishing tools.

    Cleve will relate his experiences building publishing platforms for global brands, presenting six heuristics for delivering better content management tools, and demonstrating how small changes can make a large impact.

    What you'll learn:
    1. How to build a content architecture to stabilise downstream activities and highlight gaps in upstream thinking.
    2. Why content architecture is a valuable first step towards advocating content strategy.
    3. How to use content architecture to publish key deliverables and educate stakeholders.

    At 12:00pm to 12:20pm, Tuesday 6th September

    Coverage slide deck

  • Understanding accessibility

    by Irene Walker

    Web content needs to be useful and usable. We know this. But part of our role as content strategists is to make sure that it’s usable to every user. Good accessibility is not a restriction for good content, it's a vital part of it.

    We need to make sure that there are plans in place for those users who struggle to see, hear, concentrate or move around the websites we shape. We must be aware of their situations, and implement failsafe solutions. We should lead by example, and empower disabled users to be privy to the high quality user experiences we all evangelise.

    We’ll discuss what the law says about accessibility, how certain content affects certain disabled users and how to deal with it in the early stages of content planning.

    What you'll learn:
    1. How to plan for creating and maintaining accessible content.
    2. What the law says about accessibility.
    3. How disabled users perceive certain content.

    At 12:00pm to 12:20pm, Tuesday 6th September

    Coverage slide deck

  • Agile and content strategy

    by Lisa M. Moore

    Agile is rapidly becoming a preferred way of approaching customer experience development, and its advantages are well discussed among designers, developers, and project managers in the user experience community. As the discipline of content strategy continues to emerge, and content strategists play increasingly important roles in user-focused projects, it's inevitable that content strategists will need to come to grips with the agile approach.

    In her presentation, Lisa will highlight the benefits and challenges associated with a content-centric agenda within an agile context, and will suggest ways content strategists can work more effectively on agile teams by applying some best-practice recommendations emerging from the user experience community.

    What you'll learn:
    1. Frontline insights of being a content strategist working in an agile project
    2. The pros and cons of 'agile' content strategy
    3. Tips for adapting content strategy to the agile approach

    At 12:30pm to 12:50pm, Tuesday 6th September

  • Content strategy for the social web

    by Charlie Peverett

    People want great content. The question is: do they want it on your terms?

    Users don’t always behave in the way we’d like them to, so we need to look beyond the spaces we control, to understand where relevant attention flows and what its appetites are. Only then can we design programmes that weigh-up the opportunities on- and off-site, and prioritise accordingly: content strategies for the social web.

    In this session, we’ll consider how inputs like linguistic and network research and off-site content profiling can help reveal content opportunities. Charlie will outline how to apply this research to your content strategy, from discovery to implementation, discussing both the process and the team.

    What you'll learn:
    1. The nature of users’ attention through the web.
    2. How to work with a cross-functional team to create platform-agnostic, wide reaching branded content.
    3. How to implement a content strategy from a new kind of content analysis.

    At 12:30pm to 12:50pm, Tuesday 6th September

    Coverage slide deck

  • Small budget, big difference.

    by Relly Annett-Baker

    It’s not only large organisations that need help with content strategy. Everyone has a content problem. Every designer, developer, and project manager has a project that looks nice but sounds awful—with the added bonus of no budget to fix it.

    What skills and techniques can we use with small projects and modest budgets to ensure a better outcome? What can we teach designers and developers so that they feel confident advocating the value of content, and teaching their clients and bosses that content strategy is important?

    Relly will share her experiences of finding, creating, and using techniques like these with web teams full of designers and developers.

    What you'll learn:
    1. Why the web-maker-happeners are important to content strategy and why we need their help.
    2. Why content is still a block and how we can use “show and tell” to make it easier.
    3. Skills, tools, and techniques to build a web team member’s content confidence.

    At 12:30pm to 12:50pm, Tuesday 6th September

  • B2B Content strategy: How to create company- and customer-focused content

    by Noz Ben Urbina

    Product and marketing content both affect a company's brand. But these types of content have different budgets, technology, agendas, and cultures. Poorly handled brand content can cost a big company millions - from things like unnecessary support center calls and tangled internal content discovery.

    A content strategist should bring these two types of content under one roof. They can both make and save money for a company by creating cross-disciplinary content that suits both the company and the customers.

    Noz will present a case study that tackled different kinds of content for complex, B2B products. He'll talk through a cross–content strategy that improved brand impression and customer experience, and resulted in measurable savings for the company.

    What you'll learn:
    1. How a holistic approach to content strategy benefits both the company and the customer.
    2. How a content strategist can tackle a complex organisational structure.
    3. How product data can be integrated into traditional web content strategy.

    At 2:20pm to 3:00pm, Tuesday 6th September

  • How content strategy supports communications strategy

    by Diana Railton

    When content strategy takes centre stage in an organisation alongside communications strategy, it increases efficiency and breaks down organisational silos.

    Diana will explore typical activities and disciplines needed to meet the goals of a communications strategy, which depend on a variety of communication channels. By designing a channels matrix, we can see which channels merit their own content strategy, and what features of content strategy are common to all.

    Instead of assigning content strategists to major channels like websites and intranets, a central team of content strategists can coordinate and monitor content delivery throughout the organisation. The ultimate objective is to help the organisation meet its communication and business goals, while measuring return on investment.

    What you'll learn:
    1. Why content strategy needs to support a communications strategy.
    2. How a channels matrix can inform a content strategy.
    3. How a coordinated content strategy can break down organisational silos.

    At 2:20pm to 3:00pm, Tuesday 6th September

  • The "classic" content provider and the technological shift

    by Benjamin Fischer

    The "classic" content provider is the television. And with today's multiple domains - the technological shift - this model is changing. And it's changing rapidly.

    Businesses must experiment with new forms of interactive narration and communication, and that means new technological possibilities. How can we create good content for any time, anywhere and any device?

    We'll explore how this technological shift impacts how we produce, present and deliver content to our users, i.e. how we engage the conversation with them. We'll discuss how content strategy can put shape onto these fluid fields of content, technology, and interaction design.

    What you'll learn:
    1. How technology has changed content consumption
    2. How to engage users on multiple devices
    3. How to apply content strategy to interactive narration

    At 2:20pm to 3:00pm, Tuesday 6th September

  • Content Strategy Goes to the Movies

    by John Ryan

    Content is more than words. A proliferation of always-connected devices means that content has ballooned into a vastly richer experience than even five years ago.

    How can businesses take advantage of this seismic rich-media shift? Especially when nobody on staff has a video camera, or the foggiest idea about making movies?

    We'll investigate web video, from You Tube to in-house production, and discuss why you should produce video content at all, and how to do it effectively.

    At 3:10pm to 3:30pm, Tuesday 6th September

  • How to plan for multi-dimensional content

    by Cory-Ann Joseph

    The tools of a content strategist can make content appear flat. Our meticulously-labelled Excel sheets, tree-structured CMS sidebars, and tabbed site maps squash each page, making contextual relationships invisible. But web content isn’t flat.

    We'll consider an actual FAQ redesign project to demonstrate how easy it can be to underestimate the multi-dimensional facets of web content, as well how to avoid the pitfalls.

    What you'll learn:
    1. How to identify and think about the multi-dimensional aspects of your content.
    2. What tools can help map, track, and manage multi-dimensional content.
    3. Processes for using these tools in an actual content strategy project.

    At 3:10pm to 3:30pm, Tuesday 6th September

    Coverage slide deck

  • Putting the Content Back in Content Strategy

    Content strategists are sorters by nature, which is useful when tackling a project, but problematic when it comes to shaping the discipline. In our efforts to distinguish content strategy from copywriting work, are we alienating would-be content strategists who—gasp!—love creating content in all its forms? And what of our now-bulging toolkit? Surely we are more than the sum of our spreadsheets.

    Let’s take a step back to the days when we practised content strategy without having to put any single discipline’s name on the marquee. Back when strategy and creation shared the stage. Using real case studies from Facebook, Alicia will focus on the experience of the writerly content strategist while making the case for creative flexibility in every aspect of our work.

    What you'll learn:
    1. How to recognise projects that beg us to leave our deliverables at the door and reclaim our beginner’s mind.
    2. See examples of projects that should appeal to the writerly content strategist.
    3. Understand the risks of intra-disclipline typecasting.

    At 3:10pm to 3:30pm, Tuesday 6th September

  • The content strategy panel extraordinaire

    by Cleve Gibbon, Karen McGrane, Ove Dalen, Gerry McGovern and Kristina Halvorson

    We’ll round off these two days of cutting edge content strategy talks with a panel led by Kristina Halvorson. They’ll debate the questions you’ve raised on twitter during the conference, discuss the state of content strategy in 2011, and explore what's next. The panel are:

    Gerry McGovern
    Karen McGrane
    Ove Dalen
    Cleve Gibbon

    At 4:00pm to 4:50pm, Tuesday 6th September