Live from ConfabEU: Extreme puzzling: Content strategy and corporates

Extreme puzzling: Content strategy and corporates, by Sam Wilson

logo-smallSam works at Woolworths, figured out she was a content strategist 6 months into her job.

  • She was a commercial lawyer.
  • Then she was a journalist.
  • Then she worked for an online publisher.
  • Then she was recruited by Woolworths.

The problem: how do you pull together a decade’s worth of online content from across different silos all int one content structure with the ability to scale as new content is created?

  • Step One: a content audit.
  • Step Two: Content Goddess Complex – thinking “ooh, I can fix this!” every time you see a piece of broken content.
  • Step Three: Setting up meetings to show people how the content was currently messy, and how it could be organized. She got buy-in.
  • Step Four: Creating a content matrix, dividing content into 6 categories. The matrix helps content connect across silos.
    • Seasonal content, so that the images on the site reflect what’s actually in the store.
    • Curated content, or content that looks good as a set
    • Evergreen content, which needs to be showcased appropriately, intermingled with the seasonal content
    • Customer content, pulling customers in through other channels
    • Data-driven content, i.e. related items
    • Corporate content, information on how things are sourced
  • Maintain it!

A tale of two departments…

  • Marketing says “Just put it on the website – what’s so hard about that?”
  • Online says “It’s not all about content; we have backend things to take care of.”

Content gets caught in the middle. Sam’s content team was creating with the marketing team, slowly pushing the online team. She worked through a loop to balance the teams and work through the process.

  • Ask the team “What are you trying to do, and why?”
  • Plan ahead – How is the customer going to get there? What’s the customer journey?
  • What will the customer find when she gets there?
  • Analytics – did she actually go? How and when did she leave?
  • What can we learn from that?
  • Based on what we learn, what are you trying to do, and why? (and round and round we go!)

The goal of Woolworth’s online website is to be the shop assistance, not a giant online magazine. So the site needs to be constantly tweaked to ensure it’s facilitating the customer journey. She learned a lot…

  • Websites are like kitchens; constantly needing to be cleaned
  • Content maps are your secret best friend
  • Google analytics teaches us what’s working
  • The content team has to remember that everything they do is in service of the UX.

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