The free-for-all days of the internet and social media in the 2000s was bound to eventually run headlong into an ethical quagmire. Online content was never going to be easy to put limits on – even in terms of advertising which has historically been restricted for certain products, industries, and organizations by law or self-regulation. As we look to private tech companies to regulate the ever murkier world of content marketing and branded content what do ethical precedents on advertising say about who should and should not have the ability to use these content strategies for financial gain?
For this post, I’ve created a sample content analysis of the Motor Neuron Disease (MND) Association’s digital content on their website and social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube). The MND Association works on “improving access to care, research and campaigning for those people living with or affected by MND in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.” The aim of the analysis was to determine if the organization’s current content aligns with the business goals defined in its management strategy developed by strategic advisor Bernard Marr & Co., and report findings and recommendations to the organization’s Board of Directors.
Without content strategy, content marketing is basically a nonsensical house built without blueprints. This complementary relationship, though, is often why content marketing and content strategy are mistaken for the same thing when they are very much distinct practices. Learn what each one is about and how they relate.
In her book The Content Strategy Toolkit, Meghan Casey (2015) lists 3 methods for identifying the problems and opportunities of a website’s content: a content audit, an analytics review, and user testing. This first option – a content audit – is what she recommends starting with. For this post I’ve conducted a sample content audit of Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders' (MSF) external-facing website for the United States. Read my full content audit report to learn more about how I evaluated the MSF site and what I found.
From getting stakeholders aligned to planning a budget and pitching your project well, content strategy can be complicated dance. Learn why these factors are important and how to approach them to set your next content strategy project up for success.
There's a lot of junk our there in terms of content and in the last 15 years, we’ve done a pretty good job of creating an astronomical amount of it in the digital sense. Faced with this new importance of content, businesses have looked to content strategy to help, applying it heavily to content marketing and UX. But how has the expansion of content strategy into new areas of focus recently effected the concept of content strategy and how may it continue to evolve with our content-centric world?
Animated GIFs have become a popular digital content type for both personal use and brand marketing. See how I researched this content type and applied Liz Blazer's 6 steps of pre-production work from her book Animated Storytelling: Simple Steps For Creating Animation & Motion Graphics to create 3 different styles of summer-themed GIFS for marketing purposes using Adobe Photoshop and Animate.
Social media has given everyone a voice and in doing so the general public has taken control of the conversation. Some businesses, used to having all control over their brand narrative, may find themselves lost as to how to effectively operate in this space. Instead of saying “why bother” or, worse, futilely moderating your social media presence within an inch of its life, effectively killing all authenticity, you should place your brand as the steward of your brand community by creating community management guidelines.
In my last post, I explored how to decide the social media presence for a small business using one of my favorite small businesses – Scratch Baking in Milford, CT. Now it’s time to activate that presence. It’s time to plan and create content. No matter how strategic you are in choosing your business’ social media platforms, that will mean nothing if you’re not strategically and regularly creating engaging content for them.