Little Known Villains: Pride

Content strategy, like any other superhero, attracts some enemies. Here’s one of the lesser known villains in the content strategy world: pride.

A good content strategy is about working with people. Content strategists present new ideas, recommend workflows and governance plans, and suggest changes based on audits and inventories. But in order for these ideas and plans to be put in place, they need to win the trust of the people already responsible for the content.

And that’s where pride becomes a problem. Continue Reading


The Right Way to Communicate

My organization appreciates and respects the value of content strategy in our design work. Unfortunately, we are the exception and not the rule, and I am particularly lucky. Many content strategists continue to struggle to show the value of their work.

What makes this so interesting is that it is in effect the same problem that people typically use content strategy to solve: how do we convince someone else of the value we offer? How do we get the right content in front of the right people at the right time?

As content strategists, we are responsible for finding the right way to communicate with someone, based on who the individual is. That’s true when we are (in effect) our own clients as well! So the next time you’re feeling stuck, remember, this is just another content strategy project. We each need to find the right methods for communication with our higher ups.


The Difference Between Marketing and Messaging

“What’s content strategy” is a tough question to answer concisely. You want to describe the process without making it sound like copywriting, or marketing, or (God forbid) a buzz word.

This is the struggle I face each year when I lead Atlas Workshops trips. The students are like adults in that they want to connect new ideas to their old, preconceived notions, and yet they have much less business experience than their adult counterparts, making it even more difficult to explain the concept of strategy – and content strategy – and experience strategy – as it relates to anything they know.

That’s what makes it all the more magical when mutual understanding happens organically. Continue Reading


What Content Strategists Can Learn from SEO

searchlove960Last week I spoke at SearchLove San Diego. I had a wonderful time, meeting many brilliant marketing and SEO specialists. We had a lot to learn from one another, since content strategy and SEO actually have quite a bit in common, and also many differences. Here are the top 5 things I believe we as content strategists can learn from SEO practitioners:

  1. Google is trying to model behavior we should all follow. Google is trying to anticipate what users want to search for. As content strategists we focus on getting the right content to the right people at the right time, and as Will Critchlow reminded us at SearchLove, Google is showing us one method of getting there. SEO practitioners spend a lot of time learning about (and from) how Google works; we can learn from that as well.
  2. Key words really are “key.” People who focus on SEO spend a fair amount of time figuring out what the key words are that people will likely search for or use. They may not refer to it this way, but they’re actually looking for the end user’s vocabulary. Chris Bennet reminded me that key word research is something we should take advantage of when creating messaging plans. Continue Reading

Live from SearchLove: Never Lose Again

Never Lose Again, by Chris Bennet

searchlove960We’re going to go old school with some plans to never go viral, but always win.

Trying to make “cool content” is like trying to make carrot cake with just carrots.

If we’re doing it right, what we do is really important. We can change peoples’ lives.

  • By getting the right content to the right people.
  • Make sure content is well researched.

The 90s called: they want their keyword research back. Continue Reading


Live from SearchLove: Not Your Father’s Google News

Not Your Father’s Google News, by Matthew Brown

searchlove960Introducing Google News! It’s a different form of optimization from how Google optimizes everything else.

Fun facts about Google News:

  • Launched beta in 2002
  • Four year beta
  • Completed launch in 2006
  • Barely touched it since then
  • They have 76k publishers (up 50k from 2013)
  • Clicks to publisher is their #1 metric
  • Google News sends you to other sites, instead of taking other places’ info (like the rest of Google)
  • Google news results are always being tested, so two people in the same place may get different results
  • They try not to filter too much, though they do use localization Continue Reading

Live from SearchLove: The Top 10 Facebook & Twitter Advertising Hacks of All Time

The Top 10 Facebook & Twitter Advertising Hacks of All Time, by Larry Kim

searchlove960You can smartly apply micro budgets ($50 or less) to get started or accelerate a content marketing project.

Why does paid search matter?

  • For Larry, 5% of content = 56% of page views. That means that 95% of articles go nowhere.
  • SEO doesn’t help people remember your brand.
  • Search ads are great, but costs per click are really expensive.

How does content marketing really work?

Time and effort. It’s not easy! That’s the greatest misconception in content marketing. Continue Reading


Live from SearchLove: Mobile-First SEO and How to Prepare for the Next Mobilegeddon

Mobile-First SEO and How to Prepare for the Next Mobilegeddon, by Cindy Krum

searchlove960April 21st, Google made an update: Mobilegeddon. Sites that weren’t “mobile friendly” would get a lower ranking.

What is the threat?

  • Mobile traffic is still growing
  • There are more and more types of mobile devices
  • Web results are being de-emphasized by Google Continue Reading