A content strategy provides a plan for how to use content to simultaneously meet user needs and support business goals. When redesigning a website it may be very tempting to just transfer all of the content from your old site to your new site – after all, it already exists, right? The problem is that just having content doesn’t mean it’s successful at doing what you need it to do for your business. Check out a sample content strategy proposal I've created for a redesign of Fairmont State University’s (FSU) main website.
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?
Have you ever had one of those dreams where you’re being chased? You don’t know exactly what’s chasing you, what it looks like, or why it’s after you, but you’re certain if you slow down nothing good will happen? If I looked back to find out what this was in my dreams I'd bet I’d find a tangled, towering mass of words, photos, videos, GIFs, graphics, and URLs. I’d find myself being chased by a content monster. As a social media professional this is what my relationship with content feels like sometimes – an unrelenting demand for more.
Cinemagraphs are a recently invented and popularized form of a seamlessly looping GIF or video in which still photography and video are combined to make a dynamically interesting visual that tells the story of a moment in time. With tips on how to craft a good animated story from Liz Blazer's book Animated Storytelling: Simple Steps for Creating Animation & Motion Graphics, I've created 4 brief motion stories from a day in my life in the form of cinemagraphs using Adobe Photoshop and After Effects.
Users’ attention spans are short. They make judgments they may not even consciously realize about websites in seconds. Every element of a website’s design works in coordination to sway those judgments negatively or positively. There’s an overwhelming list of elements to consider for web design, but to be helpful I’ve highlighted the following 8 design areas I think are important to offer a good user experience.