Content Everywhere: Strategy and Structure for Future-Ready Content, by Sara Wachter-Boettcher Married with web analytics and measurement, this enables content strategists to gauge content’s efficacy. It is a relatively new discipline and there is plenty of debates on whether there is a need for the title of content strategist at all, but just like any other profession, it takes time to fully outline the key responsibilities and benefits of having one. Content design is “the process of using data and evidence to give the audience the content they need, at the time they need it, and in a way they expect” (coined by Sarah Richards of Content Design London). UX and Content Strategy: How They Are Related and Why You Should Care, Making Content Strategy and UX Work Together. Consider creating user personas with the UX team and keeping them in mind when curating content. Previous article Driving Value as a Tiny UX Content Team: How We Spend Content Strategy Resources Wisely August 7, 2020. The class will demonstrate proven methods for user engagement, including how to create a strategic roadmap, conduct a workshop, and writing for evergreen digital experiences. Content strategy focuses on the planning, creation, delivery, and governance of content. For most teams, the best CMS will depend heavily on their goals, and their team’s abilities. It also defines the tone and character of a business, in order to engage specific user groups and achieve business objectives. UX oriented Product Manager with a strong passion for sleek and usable digital products. Content strategy lays out the materials and basic layout for the “house” so UX can take over in the next stage. Or even worse, trying to figure out which came first — the chicken or the egg? They range from simple sites like Blogger and Squarespace, to the ever-popular WordPress, to more complex and developer-centric systems like Drupal and Sharepoint. Content Strategy Interviews hosted by Larry Swanson Content strategy in UX design Relation between Content Strategy and UX. Students will focus on content strategy made up of taxonomy, information architecture, UX writing, machine learning, and artificial intelligence. It’s a tricky balance to find where design helps that narrative without getting in the way. The Content Specialist/Strategist works with Experience Strategy leads and UX team members to identify and meet the content demands for various projects. I believe that great content, relevant information architectures, and a positive user experience can only be the result of research and data analysis. Karen McGrane is one of the pioneers of UX Design. Originally founded by Michael Metts . Ideally, such brainstorming sessions will help create a clear vision of the product both from UX and content perspective. This approach may be successful in the short term but if you are aiming for something greater, focusing only on user experience is not a way to go. Systems design is “the process of defining the architecture, modules, interfaces, and data for a system to satisfy specified requirements” (via Brain Traffic). More information available at: In fact, UX design and content strategy are actually far more related than you might imagine. Allison Rung, a content strategy manager leading UX writing at Airbnb, stresses how using user-oriented action verbs that have a call-to-action or “next step” for the user, while being mindful of incorporating the right amount of context that makes sense to the user at the moment is important for UX writing that flows. Earlier, we defined governance as the hierarchy of decision makers as well as the communication structure within the team. Pro tip: when looking for a new CMS most content strategists will want to at least check that it has a WYSIWYG editor! Each strategist explains a different content strategy term, leaving the reader with a wealth of information that (at a pace of 1 per week) could easily take a year to explore. She both explains the problem in an easy to understand format, and talks through some of the ways content strategists can make the overwhelming world of omnichannel content into a manageable project. She is the co-producer of, Margot Bloomstein is the founder and sole proprietor of, Jonathon Colman is a UX content strategist at Facebook, merging the worlds of data and creativity. Since the content strategist has the big picture view of the publishing process, editorial guidelines, and omnichannel needs, they are in the best position to recommend a governance model that will maintain the quality of the experience. Subscribe now to receive discounts, news, and updates. For example, the content in your app will be a part of your content strategy while still being a part of UX writing. Sometimes we get so carried away by content research and copywriting that we completely forget who the audience is. Good marketing is built off good communication, and content strategists can use those same skills to learn how to communicate with users. For some, the “content strategy” is the whole process. The final quadrant, process design, looks at the content lifecycle, governance, and content measurements. Partially, the reason for such approach was that at first the web was more of a “seller’s market” and users had to consume whatever was offered. Once a person shows interest in or starts to use your product, UX writing helps them have the best experience with it. Editorial elements including voice and tone, target audiences, and brand guidelines represent the quadrant to the left, while experience elements including user needs, customer journeys, and content format makes up the right. That depends on the content strategy. This is a great conference for beginner content strategists as well as experienced ones, since it focuses on staying small (about 650 people) and welcoming. Her 2007 article, Gerry McGovern is on a mission to make large organizations more customer-centric. “Content” is everywhere. The role of the content strategist can be a bit more broad, again depending on who you ask. We’re always looking for new authors. Even experienced content strategists will learn something new in this guide, since we can all do with a reminder of the basics. For over 20 years I’ve helped organizations solve key problems by discovering, understanding, and designing the right information and processes to reach the people they need to connect with. Content strategists are always discussing better ways to get valuable content from their clients to their audience. The Language of Content Strategy, by Scott Abel and Rahel Ann Bailie It helps find the optimal voice, tone and messaging to boost conversions. Any one would be a valuable addition to a content strategist’s bookshelf. CAT can be purchased for a specific number of pages, or for a monthly fee. One of those things is consistency. Brands are both visual, shown in logos and color palettes, and verbal, coming across in language and style of speech. Sometimes even two extra words can distort a design and changing the wording for the sake of design may ruin the desired effect of the message as whole. There are so many content management systems, that it can be very difficult to choose the right one. Their work is unique in that it continues nearly through to the end of the project, unlike a researcher or designer or developer, who may own a stage of the project and then move on to other things. There are often battles between UX and content management teams, especially when it comes to design process. While much of content strategy may seem highly technical, the field has also evolved—to some extent—from the world of marketing. Content strategy. At its worst, Microsoft Excel is an easy way to export information from a CMS, and at its best, for a true power user Excel can display information and help content strategists analyze and improve on existing content. But what’s the point of it all? But often better UX means clearer wording, calls to action and value proposition. In the typical UX model, content strategy sits alongside things like Usability and IA but also operates outside that framework by taking on wider issues such as governance and workflow. While there are many definitions, I would describe content strategy as a long term plan of creating, delivering and maintaining useful and valuable content for the users of your product, aka target audience. That means everything in this guide, and the tasks are creating a content audit, messaging guidelines, governance, content mapping, etc. The User Experience Professionals Association defines UX as every aspect of a user’s interaction with a product, service, or company that make up the user’s perception of the whole. How Can Content Strategy Benefit From UX and Vice Versa. And, of course, all that messy editorial planning and workflow stuff tends to continue long after interface design and front-end development are complete. Hiring web designers, developers to work with you remotely or full-time? Microsoft Excel, for all its quirks, is one of the tried and true tools content strategists use. All Rights Reserved. Treat it as a proof of concept. It’s no surprise that content strategists tend to have a way with words. Content strategy creates a framework or a guidance for copywriters and content curators defining the main themes and topics, messaging priorities, content length based on its purpose and target audience characteristics. Not long ago, before UX and related disciplines were on the rise, websites and other digital products were designed considering the taste and opinion of the client and based on the imagination and skills of the web designer. Content strategy can greatly benefit from applying the most important principle of UX: Putting the user at the center of everything. With Startup App and Slides App you can build unlimited websites using the online website editor which includes ready-made designed and coded elements, templates and themes. We’re happy to publish useful articles and tutorials related to web design. As it happens, Meetup’s interface also makes it easy to start a new group. User experience is a broad category, which encompasses every aspect of the product from as small as button design and caption up to navigation, information architecture or an e-commerce checkout process. There are many types of content audits, and the right one to perform depends on the goal. The conference avoids taking on specific themes or forcing talks into tracks, preferring instead to focus on the state of content strategy and the most up-to-date topics at any given time. He has written five books on how the Web has facilitated the rise of customer power, including, Karen McGrane is a user experience professional, content strategist, information architect, and interaction designer. But as the web evolved and competition intensified, web developers had to change their strategy for a more user-centered design putting the focus on the user needs and expectations. For some projects, the content is listed as pages. When she’s not training in-house teams, facilitating workshops, or working on projects, she’s speaking at conferences or writing about content strategy, Noz Urbina explains omni-channel publishing, Content Strategy: Connecting the dots between business, brand, and benefits, Content Strategy at Work: Real-world Stories to Strengthen Every Interactive Project, The Digital Crown: Winning at Content on the Web, Letting Go of the Words: Writing Web Content that Works, Content Everywhere: Strategy and Structure for Future-Ready Content, Beginner’s Guide to Information Architecture, How to Sell Content Strategy to Management. He has spoken about content strategy at many conferences, including giving the. The ultimate goal? Content Strategy Forum (CSF) is an open community for people interested in content strategy, at all levels of experience. As bookish and outdated as it sounds, content is still king in 2014. This is the realization of one of the principles of Google, according to which it is necessary to focus on the user, and all the other components of the mosaic of successful product promotion will take their places by themselves. A simple tool to create emails and newsletters. Content should reflect on how users think and speak about the topic. Typically, these guidelines outline the goals of the product, any market research that influences the decisions, and connects the brand voice to visual brand elements. Google Analytics gives you insight into your website’s effectiveness through a variety of metrics; including bounce rate, keyword frequency, etc. This is a review of the online course Foundations of UX: Content Strategy by Patrick Nichols. Ensuring that you have useful and usable content, that is well structured, and easily found is vital to improving the user experience of a website. Consider creating user personas with the UX team and keeping them in mind when curating content. Whether you’re an experienced web designer, developer, marketer, or a newbie looking to learn the basics, there’s something for everyone on this blog. Rahel Anne Bailie is the principal of Intentional Design, a Content Strategy consultancy. Every content strategist’s version of a content strategy takes on a different form. Most users do not read every sentence; they merely scan copy. So make sure to have clear structure with meaningful headers and subheaders, as well as spice up text with relevant visuals. More information available at: Also, as anyone who has attended will tell, there’s always cake. While they approach this matter differently, content strategists and UX writers seek to place a user’s interests at the centre of their projects. Our community is a place to learn new skills, share experiences, and network with peers. A content audit can be compared to competitor sites for a competitor audit, or it can be turned into a content evaluation, where the strategist rates each page according to specific goals. The former can’t really function without the latter, but your content strategy may still be useful without UX writing. To have flexible, searchable content that appears to the right people, in the right places, at the right time. Helped B2B and B2C clients with their overall marketing strategy, content marketing, and automation needs. Executed content strategy while following SEO and pillar strategy best practices to create content for all customer journey stages. It’s ads and longform copy, images and videos, stories and metadata. If content is king, then content strategy is the king-maker. Privacy Statement. Before writing a word, content strategists outline the brand’s message, and the organization’s goals. It’s a wonderful opportunity that any content strategist would be lucky to attend. What some people forget is that the information on a site–the content–is also a huge part of UX. This is part of our series of reviews of online UX courses. Fall 2020 Schedule Sometimes, the role of the UX writer includes creating or revising the content strategy. Smooth and enjoyable user experiences are the key components of higher conversion rates. Some are more technical in nature, and focus on tech writing and CMS work, where others speak more to those doing branding and messaging work. Design provides context, inferred intent, trust and helps brings content to life. In particular, the Content Strategy Podcast has been a gem, and I think I’ve listened to almost every episode twice. One thing that the two have in common is that the final outcome is always user-centred. More information available at: Sometimes, particularly in small companies, content strategists may also create content. Conclusion. Warning though, it’s the (self-described) largest content event, so for the many content strategists who identify as introverts, check out their post-show video access. I’m Christine Benson, an Information Architect, Content Strategist, and UX Designer. A perfect tool to create Bootstrap website. Content strategists use editorial and publication planning tools as well; we call them “editorial calendars,” and use them to plan for content creation. CS is technically not a part of UX but it has a direct impact on the end... Best practices for meaningful content. It’s also the process that plans ahead for content that needs to appear in multiple places, sometimes at specific times, so that information can be personalized be audience. Because it’s focused on collaboration, it’s helpful for content strategists who need to share sample content with designers or developers during the design process. Content strategy can greatly benefit from applying the most important principle of UX: Putting the user at the center of everything. Content strategy and UX have similar goals. What framework should you follow? Of course, it’s clear that content strategy is more than just copy (otherwise we’d call it copy strategy), but in this book Ginny Redish gives insights into how to use other content types to best communicate with end users. Content strategy plans for valuable, findable, meaningful content. Content strategy, UX, and design together make the final blueprint, so we have to go a little deeper than that this time. Among these common methodologies are omni-channel publishing, marketing and planning, adaptive content, content governance, information architecture, and branding. Google Analytics is the self–described enterprise-class web analytics solution. Content not only includes the words on the page but also the images and multimedia that are used. It should be present in almost every stage of product development to create a really smooth and seamless experience for the target audience. UXPA has chapters in nearly every major city across the United States, and many internationally. But the good news is that when user experience and content strategy work together, the synergistic effect is much greater than simply resolving conflict. Start your subscription today for free. To be fair, there is no one Meetup group. Although the authors are listed as Scott Abel and Rahel Ann Bailie, those two would be better termed the organizers of this book. Their list of best practices, tools, and templates definitely accomplishes their goal to be useful, and membership in the alliance is open to all. Content Strategy at Work, by Margot Bloomstein Omnichannel is about understanding and optimizing for the entire journey across all channels.” A content strategist is essentially a publisher at times, responsible for considering omnichannel publishing needs, and working through the implications with the larger design team. A new addition to the conference circuit, the Design and Content Conference is making a point of highlighting the collaborative nature of content strategy and UX design. Content strategy work now typically falls into one of two groups: content design or system design. Plenty of people work on content strategy, and few of them have “content strategist” as their job title. Content audits can take on many forms, but they typically begin with the creation of an inventory in an excel doc. In this article, we’ll take a look at Content Strategy—that amalgamation of strategic thinking, digital publishing, information architecture and editorial process. Large corporations such as Disney, Wells Fargo, and Mayo Clinic have had functional content strategy teams for years. If they simply complete the template, there’s a good likelihood it will be used as expected. But their job is not to create, for that they rely on other professionals. The notion has also been explained as a repeatable framework that sets out the whole editorial content generation process. Letting Go of the Words: Writing Web Content that Works, by Janice (Ginny) Redish While this comes from the world of business organization and HR, it’s now a necessary part of content strategy. Readers will learn where and when to apply strategy, and how to start asking a lot of important questions. Designed by Content Insight, the CAT is a godsend to content strategists who need to build content audits for large sites. As an added benefit, a deliverable of this sort helps stakeholders, clients, and project owners see the value that comes out of content strategy work. Content strategists (sometimes in step with an information architect) may play a big role in defining structure, fields, and other requirements for a content management system. What better way to sort, filter, and file dozens or sometimes even hundreds of content elements, web pages, and content types? Content strategy is a huge piece of creating a user experience, and to that end content strategists play a large role in UXPA. More information available at: The words used in those strategies help to draw people to your product. Having a plan that creates a bridge between user needs and business goals is essential, not only from the content perspective but also for the UX and design team. So for anyone who fits into that category, CMWorld is the place to go. What does this mean to you? If the project includes a new site backend, they might research and develop a migration plan for a content management system. The simple tool is essentially a build-it-yourself template, where a content strategist (or copywriter) can define content needs and constraints, and then establish roles for other users to edit, approve, or comment on content. Still, there’s a lot we can learn from content marketing, and there are certainly a lot of content marketers who build and use content strategies. A content strategist may be responsible for gathering these varying requirements and narrowing the field of viable CMSes. Content Strategy and UX Writing Produce User-Centered Products. Designmodo offers advanced drag and drop website and email builders for web designers and developers, we have everything you need to make money. When that’s the case, the content strategy work results in a content strategy report, which identifies content issues, recommendations, priorities, and a future timeline to update the content’s structure and substance, and thus improve the user’s experience. We create beautiful website and email builders, helping 30,000 customers to grow their business. Includes more than 100 components to help you create custom emails templates faster than ever before. The content audit can then be repurposed as a report with prioritized pages to create, edit, retire, or migrate to a new CMS, all depending on the project. GatherContent is a content collaboration software designed by, and for, content strategists. Create an amazing static website in minutes and export ready-to-use template. Many chapters host individual conferences, as well as meetings and events. A content strategist’s tasks include conducting content audits, CMS research, content mapping, creating voice and tone guidelines, and of course developing content strategies. For others, it might get as granular as content elements, such as text paragraphs, images, videos, and PDFs. Whether the end product is a marketing website, an Apple Watch app, or a mobile-friendly site, the end user expects certain things. For example, a team without a developer will need a CMS that can be managed with little to no additional code, and an organization that relies heavily on user surveys will want a CMS that integrates forms easily. You could say that user experience writing is like a tool content strategy uses as a part of its grander goal. Finding other like-minded (and unlike-minded) people is a great way to learn, and these are great ways to find those people. Content strategy consultant Noz Urbina explains omni-channel publishing and how it differs from multichannel: “Multichannel (or cross-channel) refers to delivering content and considering consumer experience on more than one channel. Earn 25% commission on affiliate sales. As any other strategy, it gives a clear vision of what we need to achieve (the type of content that relates to the users and satisfies their needs) and how exactly we can get there (by understanding the users and creating quality content). That’s the beauty of it: search “content strategy” in your city on the Meetup interface, and you’ll find any number of networking groups, educational groups, and social groups. However, the gap between publishing and omnichannel publishing is another matter. Design • UX DesignArmen Ghazaryan • May 05, 2014 • 5 minutes READ. A content strategist typically comes into the UX project during the Discovery or Research phrase. The User Experience Professionals Association may not sound content-specific, but that doesn’t make it any less of an association for content strategists! Content strategy must often precede true UX work, as when it involves the organizational communication planning that must happen before a web design project can begin. Her iconic 2008 article, Rachel Lovinger is the Experience Director and Content Strategist at Razorfish. Their goal is to allow ideas to be heard, and encourage momentum to produce useful resources for content strategists. As Kristina Halvorson further explains it in her book “Content Strategy for the Web”: “It plots an achievable roadmap for individuals and organizations to create and maintain content that audiences will actually care about.”. Here’s where content strategy comes in handy. I’m a Melbourne-based content strategist and UX researcher, working to deliver a great user experience for all digital channels. First referenced in the late 1990s by information designers like Ann Rockley, content strategy began to gain real traction around 2009. The inventory is a catalogue of all the content being used in a project. To that end, particularly when a content strategist is focused on creating a message, or providing guidelines that will evoke a specific voice, they are using branding techniques. We know, content strategy is most definitely NOT content marketing! For many people, content seems to begin and end with publishing. A content marketing strategy or brand storytelling strategy starts before a person has even shown any interest in your product. Adaptive content, responsive design—it’s tricky stuff. These are just a few of the influential and informative people who work in-house and out of agencies, as freelancers and consultants. They encourage content strategy understanding and adoption through discussion, collaboration, production of public resources, and their international conference, also called Content Strategy Forum. Content strategy borrows and learns from IA in order to prioritize content, create navigable site maps, and ultimately help users find the information they need, in the places they expect to find it. The event, hosted in Vancouver in August, brings together well-known content strategists and designers and encourages conversation, collaboration, and cross-team discussion. But for others, creating a core content strategy is also a task in and of itself (a bit meta!). But for a content strategist, content begins with defining requirements, and identifying user needs. How to create and manage content for high-end websites. Their work is unique in that it continues nearly through to the end of the project, unlike a researcher or designer or developer, who may own a stage of the project and then move on to other things. For example, the UX and content strategy team might work together, and design a product page with an image and caption, a short description of the product, and then a call to action. Letting Go of the Words addresses an area of content strategy that is too often overlooked: everything that isn’t copy! But if they label on the template “this image needs to show the exact product, so that the call to action is contextually accurate” then they can ensure it. Voice and tone guidelines can be as simple as outlining the general feel of the language, or as specific as identifying key vocabulary terms and branded language. A content strategist typically comes into the UX project during the Discovery or Research phrase. Content mapping is the process of identifying the types of content, while content modeling adds definition and structure. As we’ve shown, content strategy can impact many aspects of user experience. The UX Content Strategy MTL Meetup is a community for UX and content practitioners, as well as their teammates and colleagues, looking to explore the work of content design, content strategy, UX writing, and more. While content strategy focuses on the content that creates an experience, rather than how to market that experience, there is a lot that we have learned from the field of marketing. (Often this is the case for planning marketing content, ie blog posts, social media, videos etc.) Read some of … But none of those is going to build a successful business, if we do not have amazing content to power the overall user experience. Content strategists come from all over. So it is essential to have these teams collaborate to get projects done. Content is king. Use UX to engage more site visitors: The user experience (UX) plays a big role in content strategy and digital marketing. The tool is intended to help organise and produce content before publication. Be sure to continue with our Beginner’s Guide to Information Architecture, and our Beginner’s Guide to Interaction Design. It’s like asking a kid who he loves more — mom or dad. The conference tends to attract a mix of DITA users and CMS users as well as some stray marketing folk. Many factors contribute to the popularization of the term, including the start of dedicated content strategy conference Confab, and the beginning of multi-channel publishing. The Content Strategy Podcast by BrainTraffic, hosted by Kristina Halvorson. Remote and full time jobs for web designers and developers. Sara Wachter Boettcher tackles the tough topics in this book about devices, channels, and the future of content. While conducting the audit itself can feel tedious and tiresome, the deliverable is so versatile and valuable it’s well worth the time. This year, I’ve gotten into some really fantastic podcasts in the content strategy and UX space. Learn more about content management systems.

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