Thursday, November 20, 2014

More succes. Less content. Real results @TPLDrew #congrescm

Last up at the Content Marketing and Webediting conference is Andrew Davis. His keynote was about less content with more success. I really enjoyed listening to this talk. Lots of examples that I can hardly share in a blogpost. I'll link to the presentation as soon as it's published somewhere.

Key messages from his talk were:
  • We should create content brands, not branded content. It must relate to a subscription. Build a relationship with your audience before they need you.
  • Content brands build relationships, relationships build trust and trust drives revenue.
  • How do you do that? Think like a tv executive.
He had 5 secrets to achieve this (of which I missed one... sorry, it's been a long day):
  1. get rich, focus on a niche
  2. think in fractals, explore your niches
  3. exploit content holes
  4. … missed this one (will look it up and update this later…)
  5. create a hook
That wraps up a great conference, although I'm biased because we organize this conference. Happy to say I spoke to many smart and interesting people that felt the same about today as I do.

Wat maakt content overtuigend en viraal? @mcoster #congrescm

Micha Coster is de derde keynote tijdens het congres contentmarketing en webredactie. Zijn verhaal gaat over overtuigende en virale content. Hierbij wat 'notes' van zijn verhaal.

We nemen ongeveer 600 beslissingen per dag.

Wat zijn de mechanismen onder de keuzes die mensen maken?
  • Witte jas (autoriteit): als iemand in een witte jas wat zegt, dan nemen we dat serieuzer
  • Meer=belangrijker: als meer mensen het doen, dan doen we het sneller
  • Sympathie: mensen zeggen ‘ja’ tegen personen die ze kennen en aardig of sympathiek vinden
Deze punten kun je ook toepassen op content. Denk aan: review sites, sites om vakanties te boeken (met review en doelgroepencategorie├źn), wat experts over producten zeggen en ‘x anderen kochten ook’.

Tenslotte gaat hij nog in op de vraag wat content viraal maakt? Daar is onderzoek naar gedaan. Virale content ont
  • Maakt gebruik van 'word-of-mouth' (want het is overtuigender en gerichter)
  • Vertelt een verhaal
  • Speelt in op emotie
  • Heeft een trigger

Give your cross-media approach wings @nozurbina #congrescm

Second keynote at the Content Marketing and Webediting conference is by Noz Urbina about going omnichannel. Here are my notes of his talk.

Do you know the difference between multi- and omni-channel? Noz will answer this question during his talk.
Overt selling has given way to problem solving. Sweeping statements have given way to conversation-like message. (Rose)
Good example of omni-content: cards Google is showing based on searches. E.g. showing the opening times of a supermarket when you Google for it, instead of showing you a link to the site of the supermarket.
There are more and more channels and there's more and more need for personalization of content.
We’re realizing content is the strategic business asset, not the deliverable that wrap it. Content is vital across channels.

We must:
  1. fix the content (make it media-agnostic; make is reusable, well-modelled; apply semantic metadata; apply audience, applicability and context metadata to decide where and when to route it)
  2. assemble and serve more intelligently (manage systems that understand the content; etc)
Ad 1. Distinguish between Content, Models, Users, Scenario's and Outputs This links the world of UX to the world of content. The content model is the backbone of adaptive, cross-media, omnichannel content strategies.
Ad 2. It's not about the cms anymore. We need to think in layers: Create (authoring tool(s)), Manage (CCMS), Serve and transform (processors/api's), Publish and measure (WCMS). Then you can serve to everyone, channels, specific people. Also can relate to CRM's and translation management systems.

Omnichannel is when you take your content/assets and maps them to the phases of your relationships. This is not the same as multi-channel. Google understand this and tracks it with Google Universal Analytics.

In summary:
  • Who are you really talking to?
  • What content, format, model?
  • When should you personalize?
  • Where: device, channel, layout?
  • Why, updated valued-prop?
  • How will you create, govern, publish and measure?

Content strategy with slow content @mbloomstein #congrescm

I’m sharing some of my notes from the Content Marketing and Webediting conference I’m attending today. First up is Margot Bloomstein about content strategy using slow content for long-term change.
How to give people the right content in the right context?

Margot’s definition of content strategy is: planning of the creation, delivery, and governance of useful, usable, brand-appropriate content.

Margot’s talk is structured around the following ways to slow down your users with content:

1. Editorial style and structure
Points to tracking personal data. Lots of uptick around phone and apps to share and capture personal data (Fitbit and the like), but they don’t happen to good at long-term change. On the other hand 10Q is a good example of using content for long-term change.
Content affects experience… and the user’s perception it.
Frustrating activities feel slow, but if the activity make happy it does not feel slow.
2. Discover and comparison-style content type
Think the pathway through IKEA. Why do they do this? For instance to drive exploration.
And think about how Disneyland attractions create experience before, during and after you visit it. Content affects experience… and the user’s perception it.
Frustrating activities feel slow, but if the activity make happy it does not feel slow.
3. Long form content
Margot gives several examples from brands like Patagonia about how to use long and short content, fast and slow content.

Respect users when the pay attention to your brand. Be here now.

You can find Margot's slides here:

Friday, November 14, 2014

The importance of Why for intranets #intranatverk

I’m on my way back from my visit to Stockholm. I was honored to speak at one of Kristian Norling’s Intranatverk conferences. I’ll share my insights from the conference in another post and start with sharing my slides and the story around the slides with you. Please find my slides here:

My talk was about the importance of Why for intranets and digital workplaces. The reason to talk about this topic is my surprise about how often organizations don’t answer the why question and just focus on the what, when and where of intranets. (Research on Swedish and Finnish intranets underlined this. I’ll share more about this in a following post.) I think this is problematic and leads to intranets and digital workplaces that don’t have (enough) value.

Endless debates
When we talk about ‘why’ we could easily get into endless philosophical, demographical or cultural discussions. About why we don’t ask why? Or why kids asks why more often than adults? And why some cultures ask why more often? I didn’t want to go there in my talk. Although I do find this an interesting topic...

Why is there fire?
But, to be true, my kids (I have three boys) do inspire me to talk about ‘why’. As you know kids ask ‘why’ all the time. Over time, when we grow up, we seem to lose that. I love how kids question everything. Sometimes the why question is easy to answer: why are you dressed that way? Or, as they asked me recently while building a fire: dad, why is there fire? In any case the why questions makes us step back and think. It helps us find what is essential and necessary.

Better intranets
This goes for intranets and digital workplaces as well. In my experience asking why more often leads to intranets that are more:
  • ambitious
  • realistic
  • valuable
  • useful
Two issues with Why
What I see around the why question for intranets is 2 things:
  1. it’s not asked at all, it’s all about how, where and when
  2. it’s answered by a too small group
In my presentation I wanted to look at these two observations and unpack them. First of all: What is a good why or intranet goal and what does a good why look like? Secondly, I’d like to discuss the question how do you get to a good why?

Bad examples
Let’s look at the first one first. I’ve seen organizations formulate the goal of the intranet in the following way: The intranet should have news, profiles, project spaces and blogs. Is this a good why? I’m hoping when you read and think about this, you ask: but why? Why news, why profiles? What is the underlying reason to work on this? To me this goal or this answer to the why question is not good. It’s focused on how not why. It’s focused on functionality or strategy instead of goals. (By the way: to me goal and strategy are different things. A strategy is a way to achieve a goal. Don’t mix them up!)
Sometimes why is answered in a better way. Organizations say: the intranet should improve or centralize communication. Or: it should improve knowledge sharing.

This is indeed better than the previous one. But again, the question should be ‘why?’. Why should communication or knowledge sharing be improved? What’s the problem? And how does this relate to employees’ daily work and the goal of the organization? How are we going to show the intranet helped improve communication or knowledge sharing?

A good intranet goal
To me a good answer to the why question or a good intranet goal consists of the following:
  • it’s specific, measurable
  • it’s inspirational
  • it’s about short- and long-term
  • it’s related to business goals and the employee’s daily work
So the goal helps you define the value of the intranet and you can communicate that to employees and decision makers. It’s helps you improve the intranet. It’s helps you distinguish between what the intranet should do now and later. And it’s help you do business in a better way. More products developed, more new product ideas, better service, more sales, etc.

How to get to Why?
So, first I wanted to address what a good why or goal is. Now let’s think about how to define a good intranet goal. How do you do that? I often see the why question answered in a small, isolated group. E.g. in the Communications department. They are working hard amongst themselves to define the reason why a new or updated intranet is needed. In the best case IT and HR join the discussion. This usually leads to too ambitious goals or goals that are not grounded in the daily business of the organization.

Broad participation
My experience is that the why question should be answered by a broad group of people in the organization. Most importantly by the people in the primary business departments. Get them together, talk with them one-on-one and in workshops, understand how they do their work, which tools they use, work with them and create the answer to the why question with them. It’s not easy, but in doing so you get an intranet goal that:
  • really answers the why question
  • has a broad acceptance in the organization
  • creates enthusiastic amongst employees about the (future) intranet
In short
So to wrap up this blogpost. I hope it inspires you to:
  • Ask Why more often in intranet projects
  • Distinguish between why and how, between goals and strategy
  • Define goals together
  • Make sure the goal is measurable, inspirational, focused on now and then and relevant to the business
So, give me an example of a good intranet goal, you ask? Good question! You tell me. I hope you're able to formulate one. Share it as a comment to this post. :-)