This is the title of my keynote for Confab 2011 in Minneapolis, May 9-11. In the conversation I will share my vision about what's next for companies and their content.
Companies large and small are facing new and different challenges in content strategy.
When we begin to understand content as product, we're suddenly faced with challenges that can't be fixed with a new CMS or editorial calendar. Products require production, and that reality has significant impact on our organizational designs.
What does this new model look like? How can your content help meet your business objectives? How can your content initiatives truly focus on returns? Who’s executing content strategies that work?
These are some of the questions I will be addressing drawing on 20 years of experience working in five different industries — from Fortune 500 to start-up companies and everything in between. It is my habit to wrap tons of value around in person participation, so look out for posts building up to the session.
There will also e a leave-behind after the session. Stay tuned for more information on that, too.
My personal content strategy
A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about changing your content mix and how my strategy is constantly evolving based upon goals and a flexible plan. My mix includes more than just this blog, although I consider the blog my online hub, as explained in the social networks participation page.
You need to know where you're going to figure out whether you're getting there. The answer to the most frequent question I get, which is how frequently should I publish? is dependent upon your goals. Why best practices and templates are mere indicators, idea-fodder material.
What can you learn from comparisons? That there are as many ways to get there as there are kinds of people and organizations. The performance and results you will achieve depend on what you set out to do and what works best for your personality.
Yes, there are a lot of "it depends" in business, and in life.
My focus with you at the session and in my posts is process and framework, ways of thinking about the challenge. In that case, the question becomes, how can you design a better process that allows you to achieve greater results? Where do you draw from in your organization to make that happen?
Last year, Richard Becker ran a Fresh Content experiment and now gives us his take on what he's learned about how much is to little or too much content to publish. Disclosure: I was among the top three most picked authors among the 250 the team tracked.
The experiment focused on the quality of the content alone — and not the popularity of the authors. What all the picks had in common where two distinct traits: consistency and clarity. Becker added color on whether number of comments is a fair metric — I agree with him, take with a grain of context.
What the top picks had in common: the authors know what fits them with respect to content. This is your permission to develop your own writing style along with substance. Because substance wins the day, hands down.
Content is a business asset
And needs to be treated as such by your business.
So before you start talking about what to write and how much to push into each channel, hit pause and consider the quality of your signal, along with how you design a system that will make it stand out among what's already out there in your industry, competitive landscape, and community of stakeholders.
Worry less about the widgets you make available for people to share, and more about the substance of what you're putting out there. Then design to deliver that consistently and with clarity.
Confab has assembled the most diverse group of practitioners I have seen under one roof — that includes you — for what looks like a protracted, hands-on, lessons from the field opportunity to take stock, adjust, and/or rethink your approach. Join us, May 9-11, 2001.