Why is content strategy so hard? Webinar with Kristina Halvorson

Key points from Gather Content's excellent Q and A with Kristina Halvorson.

  1. First step in a Content Strategy: "The Listening Tour." #KristinaQA
  2. Not surprised. Number one challenge with content strategy: managing stakeholder expectations. #KristinaQA
  3. Biggest way to get over the challenge? 👉 Get stakeholders on board! #KristinaQA https://t.co/O7VDzgqeta
    Biggest way to get over the challenge? 👉 Get stakeholders on board! #KristinaQA pic.twitter.com/O7VDzgqeta
  4. First two questions in #KristinaQA content strategy webinar have basically the same answer: listen.
  5. Aligning = continually helping people feel that they are part of the process. #KristinaQA
  6. Content Strategy = Making decisions about what you are going to do, and what you're not going to do. #KristinaQA
  7. Excellent points by @halvorson about listening, prioritization, and managing stakeholder expectations. #KristinaQA #contentstrategy
  8. #KristinaQA @halvorson on clients who just want a website redesign: "we were sick of coming in at last minute and replacing lorem ipsum."
  9. Misconceptions about content are ALWAYS what delay site launches for us. It takes time and intention to get the right info #KristinaQA
  10. Such a common struggle, Q3 in our #KristinaQA! Answer: Ask good questions, often and early to get content on the agenda! https://t.co/Wg421Lo1V7
    Such a common struggle, Q3 in our #KristinaQA! Answer: Ask good questions, often and early to get content on the agenda! pic.twitter.com/Wg421Lo1V7
  11. Avoid [fill in the blank with every form of downstream disaster] by asking better questions early in the project. #KristinaQA
  12. How to get stakeholders on board to talk to you about their content - "Bribe them. Probably with food." Oh yeah. It does work! #KristinaQA
  13. I made cookies for my quarterly Web Writing Workshop and the participation was the best of any workshop I've done #foodispower #KristinaQA
  14. #KristinaQA Getting people to contribute: "bribe them with food". Usually works for me.
  15. Pair writing is pretty much the next big thing I want to try here if I can get people on board. (Bribe them with food!) #KristinaQA
  16. Tip 1: bribe stakeholders with food 😉 🍩 
Tip 2: Pair writing ✍️ #KristinaQA https://t.co/eTrwqHNPff
    Tip 1: bribe stakeholders with food 😉 🍩 Tip 2: Pair writing ✍️ #KristinaQA pic.twitter.com/eTrwqHNPff
  17. "How is content strategy evolving for voice user interfaces?" Consistency in word choice and voice and tone is important. #KristinaQA
  18. "We need video" isn't the conversation - "is video the best channel to share this info"? TY @halvorson @GatherContent #KristinaQA
  19. Mistake many ppl make with video is "we need to get into video" without understanding whether it's best channel to convey info. #KristinaQA
  20. Don't get distracted by the medium (video or otherwise) - let the content determine the best channel to communicate it! #KristinaQA https://t.co/m6NnV5SE4C
    Don't get distracted by the medium (video or otherwise) - let the content determine the best channel to communicate it! #KristinaQA pic.twitter.com/m6NnV5SE4C
  21. There's a case to be made for pairing video with well-structured transcripts so people can get info both ways. #KristinaQA #GRsocialchat  https://twitter.com/museful/status/893131017246167040 
  22. #KristinaQA "Don’t just decide you need video – make an informed decision." (See also: "we have to be on social media.")
  23. "Don't post videos without transcripts. That's just not cool." Thank you @halvorson. #a11y #KristinaQA
  24. Common mistake: saying "We need video!" w/o thinking through audience, context, goals. Is video best channel for info? #KristinaQA
  25. Mission: "Why do we exist?" Vision: "Who do we hope to become?" Love this distinction. Content strategists need to know both. #KristinaQA
  26. "How do you define the mission (that works) for your content?" This is something like the biggest and most difficult question #KristinaQA
  27. Discussion of "we need video" useful in terms of MTV and others' recent (and staff-affecting) announcement re: video #KristinaQA
  28. Push yourself to identify how your content will support your business goals! 💪 #KristinaQA https://t.co/DPsA5E13WT
    Push yourself to identify how your content will support your business goals! 💪 #KristinaQA pic.twitter.com/DPsA5E13WT
  29. What I always love abt listening to content strategy professionals is the core rhetorical/writing principles always to the fore #KristinaQA
  30. "Clear, readable, consistent, human content" is a huge challenge for us, esp when working with academics. Lots of extra words #KristinaQA
  31. A big bugbear for @halvorson - Maybe it's not as sexy, but you have to get the foundations right to begin with! #KristinaQA https://t.co/uUh38Rw9H7
    A big bugbear for @halvorson - Maybe it's not as sexy, but you have to get the foundations right to begin with! #KristinaQA pic.twitter.com/uUh38Rw9H7
  32. #kristinaqa “Good writing isn’t sexy. People think everyone can write.” Sigh.
  33. Getting the right words is a skill, an art and a science. So true. #KristinaQA
  34. Web writer/copywriter still considered low on the totem pole. Yep - I see this. "Everybody can write" right? Not so much! #KristinaQA
  35. 🙌 (One of) The hardest part(s) of #contentstratgey is watching colleagues 🙄 when you encourage them to reconsider their content. #kristinaqa  https://twitter.com/PennyKiley/status/893133468040876033 
  36. ;we can name course "Writing for the Web" but not "Writing for Content Strategy" - students still define by *their* discipline #KristinaQA
  37. We have arrived on the dark side. Content Marketing. Content Strategists worst nightmare (the term "content marketing" ). #KristinaQA
  38. I admit a real confusion between Content Strategy, Content Marketing, etc. Thanks for talking about it! <3 Strategy first! #KristinaQA
  39. Solid content strategy focus as ever from @halvorson, the writing bit is so important, and so easily misunderstood/overlooked #KristinaQA
  40. Start with your marketing strategy (market research, segment, target, position) then apply content strategy can be applied #KristinaQA
  41. content strategists also have to be UX designers. they have to be. #KristinaQA
  42. Struggling with the semantics of the "content" job title. YES! LIked @halvorsen's idea of Can't we just be UX writers/editors? #KristinaQA
  43. Agree that sometimes the title (Writer vs, say, Content Strategist) leads to undervaluing the importance of the work. #kristinaqa
  44. "Content strategy is really user experience done right... Nobody comes for your UX design, they come for your content." YESSSSSS #KristinaQA
  45. Consider yourself a collaborator, alongside UX. UX and CS are inextricably linked! #KristinaQA https://t.co/Oee3BfBruX
    Consider yourself a collaborator, alongside UX. UX and CS are inextricably linked! #KristinaQA pic.twitter.com/Oee3BfBruX
  46. Content strategists connect build team, governance and maintenance, stakeholders, and UX #KristinaQA
  47. Content strategist seen as a linchpin in orgs - connecting UX, tech, editorial, social, search etc - #KristinaQA
  48. Content strategy lives in the connection between teams. <3 this-feels like my live but I always wondered if that was "right"). #KristinaQA
  49. Content strategist self care = connecting with others who are doing the same thing you are ... like now! #KristinaQA
  50. Love @halvorson's advice: connect with #ContentStrategy people. Join the LinkedIn group, search on Twitter, start meetup group. #KristinaQA
  51. Find others that are doing what you're doing - Twitter, Facebook groups, Slack channels and more! #KristinaQA https://t.co/EhxkKG4owY
    Find others that are doing what you're doing - Twitter, Facebook groups, Slack channels and more! #KristinaQA pic.twitter.com/EhxkKG4owY
  52. Connecting with content strategists is the best, esp at @ConfabEvents. I also <3 how these conferences are made for introverts! #KristinaQA
  53. Role of empathy in content strategy? Work on your listening skills. Don't jump straight to a solution. #kristinaqa
  54. "Make an ongoing commitment to seeking feedback" and "being open to criticism" from your users. We all need that reminder #KristinaQA
  55. You learn more from audiences that didn't choose your product/service rather than speaking to customers that have chosen you #kristinaqa
  56. Embed content strategy into all possible projects but don't worry about always calling it "content strategy" #KristinaQA https://t.co/e2kNN4K8UN
    Embed content strategy into all possible projects but don't worry about always calling it "content strategy" #KristinaQA pic.twitter.com/e2kNN4K8UN
  57. Content marketing needs editorial strategy. Enter CS when the design of the product carrying the content is in question. #KristinaQA
  58. A content strategy should provide some limits and structure. This seems a good thing to remember. #KristinaQA
  59. Content 1st approach can be tough when folks want the images & the pretty pictures for their redesign. (SO get this-ARGH). #KristinaQA
  60. Content before design—people aren't coming to your site for the pretty visuals, they're coming to do/learn/find something #KristinaQA
  61. From 2008 "the web is content. Content is the web. It deserves our time and attention...that’s where content strategy comes in" #KristinaQA
  62. As long as CS meets business goals, user needs, and brand values... new trends are extra. Core values won't change. #kristinaqa
  63. The core principles will stay the same. Keep fighting the good fight! Keep looking for opportunities to apply our core concepts #KristinaQA https://t.co/kRNeoPu371
    The core principles will stay the same. Keep fighting the good fight! Keep looking for opportunities to apply our core concepts #KristinaQA pic.twitter.com/kRNeoPu371
  64. "The best we can do is to connect these [core CS] tools with whatever happens to be in the spotlight in the tech industry." #kristinaqa
  65. “content: most important asset which people can have online” #KristinaQA!
  66. #KristinaQA Skills for content strategists? Analysing, communicating, being curious. “Clear thinkers are good writers.”
  67. Yesss "How do we get people to *use* a content style guide?" #KristinaQA
  68. Hearing @halvorson talk abt what she looks for in a content strategy team member reminds me librarians often have these aspects #KristinaQA
  69. Have to be able to enforce it. What are the repercussions? #KristinaQA
  70. A good strategist asks a lot of ?s, is able to synthesize that information & come up with a solution @halvorson @GatherContent #KristinaQA
  71. Tip 1: Pair writing (again - it gets people on board!) 
Tip 2: Show the benefits & results (consistency clarity)
#KristinaQA https://t.co/hlYpANOAaL
    Tip 1: Pair writing (again - it gets people on board!) Tip 2: Show the benefits & results (consistency clarity) #KristinaQA pic.twitter.com/hlYpANOAaL
  72. You have to clearly demonstrate the benefits of a style guide over and over and over again (sigh) @halvorson @GatherContent #KristinaQA
  73. Demonstrate what consistency looks like. "What do these pages have in common? Style guide used." (rinse + repeat) #KristinaQA
  74. Thanks to all who joined @halvorson's #kristinaqa this morning. She—and cake!—will be waiting for you in Denver:  http://confabevents.com/events/intensive-2017 
  75. “Learning how to define assumptions and risks is probably your best bet.” #KristinaQA
  76. “People who take themselves to seriously don’t do well in this field.” #KristinaQA!
  77. Pitching content strategy to naysayers? "Learn the language of assumptions and risks." Don't just show the ➕, outline pitfalls. #kristinaqa
  78. Often an organizational question mark... "CS lives in the fibers that connect teams more than in one place or another." #kristinaqa
  79. A favorite #KristinaQA quote: "Content strategy is user experience done right." We'd add "it's also technology done right"