Posts tagged "analytics"

Content Strategy for Improving Value of Your CMS

Defining a Content Strategy

If you consider content as a form of communication — and that's exactly what it is — then a content strategy makes clear which content has to be communicated at a certain moment with a specific persona.

Bob Boiko — author of 'The Content Management Bible' and 'Laughing at the CIO' — taught me the 'golden formula' of a content strategy:

‘By exchanging [ content ] with [ target group ] we reach [ goal or business driver ], because [ personal motivation ].’

All the 'blanks' in this formula must be as specific as possible. So:

  • 'Content' shouldn't be ‘information about the product’, but ‘monthly savings in energy costs’.
  • The target group is not ‘the customer’, but for example ‘a young single mother with an average income’.
  • A business driver could be ‘an increase of contract renewals by 12 percent‘. This leads to the goal of 'making profit'.

The 'personal motivation' cannot be missed in a content strategy. What is (in) the interest of your persona? In other words: concentrate on the 'What's in it for me?'. Put yourself in your persona's shoes and discover what her personal motivation is.

From Tactics to Communication Means

Another important part of your content strategy are the tactics. How are you going to make sure this young mother reads about these monthly energy savings? What is the best moment to share this information? Who will she trust and would giving her the opportunity to share her experiences with others make her more receptive to the message?

Once you have defined strong tactics, you can concentrate on the communication means. Ask yourself if a website is the single possible option. Perhaps your persona is more likely to talk about cost savings in some social network. But is she on Facebook or another network? Does she chat within this social network using her computer or her mobile phone? Most of the time your content strategy uses a mix of communications means. Find your balance.

Make it Measurable

Talking about balance: it is essential to measure the success of your content strategy. Make your business drivers measurable using key performance indicators (KPI's). Decide in advance which instruments you will use to measure the effect. Perform baseline research, measure again after executing the strategy. Analyze the results and decide if the content strategy actually helped you reach your goals. Use your analysis to improve your strategy or the quality of your communications mix.

Be warned. Don't start with too many strategies at the same time. A full content strategy can take a lot of time and resources, especially since you have to monitor and measure each content strategy very carefully. You don't want to stop performing and measuring a strategy halfway because it was too much to handle. The average organization can deal with a maximum of seven strategies in one year, so make your choice!

Tools, No Fools

Talking about making choices: without a content strategy, selecting a content management tool (for WCM, search, ECM, social media, analytics or any other content discipline) makes no sense at all. Every single content strategy leads to specific 'requirements' the tool has to cover. Once these are clear, you can start selecting a tool. And no time sooner than that!

By the way, a Web CMS, analytics tool or social media tool can help you measure the effect of your content strategy. Take this into account when selecting and implementing your tools.

The Importance of a Content Strategy

In my opinion everything in your content organization — the content management, the content governance, the content tooling, you name it — should be based on a content strategy. Why? Well, because your content strategy is a translation of your business goals and business processes. They are literally the 'raison d'être' of your organization.

It's not a coincidence that I put the business process in the center of the content management lifecycle. Everything in this lifecycle — from planning to evaluating content — has a direct link with the business process. If what you do in your content management lifecycle has no alignment with a business process, stop doing it!

I think most of us have felt the recent financial crisis. We must all realize the times are behind us when we received budgets for our web projects without much trouble. I would say this is a blessing in disguise, really. Because now we have to prove our added value. With a successful content strategy. Management of any organization is always willing to invest in successful business opportunities. Prove that your content strategy will make your organization reach its goals and get yourself a listening ear from your management.

The Fun Part

What I learned over the years is that defining content strategies as a team is a lot of fun. In the beginning the effort seems hard. Sometimes people resist against 'yet another mission vision session'. But by using the 'golden content strategy formula' that Bob Boiko taught me, I saw a change in people's attitude. They felt empowered by it, and they soon realized that they were in charge of the content management business after all. Seeing a change like that has given me a lot of joy in what I do.

There's more to say about the Planning phase in the content management lifecycle: information architecture, interaction design are only two of them. I will go deeper into these issues in my next article. That is, if you like what I wrote so far. Please send me your comments and your own opinions about content strategy. I'd like to share and learn.

CM Lifecycle Poster

You can download the CM Lifecycle Poster at (A4 format poster) (A3 format poster)

Your Homework Starts Now

DO try this at home today!

Follow these steps to a successful content strategy:

  1. Organize a session with your project team and stakeholders.
  2. Define some content strategies in 3 or 4 groups.
  3. Let each group present its content strategy.
  4. Finalize the best content strategies.
  5. Communicate plan and realize these content strategies.
  6. Measure the results and communicate them within the organization
  7. Tweak your existing content strategies or define new strategies.

About the Author

Erik M. Hartman ( consults, presents and publishes about content management strategy and tools. With The Information Management Foundation ( he created an initiative with other information management practitioners to provide a strong and clear foundation of information management.

Posterous Gains Funding, Makes Blogging Free & Easy

Among the 7 Ways to Blog Using Your Mobile Phone, which we wrote back in 2009, a few of them included emailing your posts directly to your blog. But what if everything you wrote, posted and created came only from your email? Well, then you’d have Posterous.


Post Things Fast and Free

Founded in 2008, Posterous lets you post things online fast using email. By emailing with your text, photos, videos and links, you’ll receive an instant reply with your new Posterous blog.

There’s no sign up required (but it is available to users who plan to send more than just once from multiple email accounts), and you can even make your posts private so you can share them exclusively. However, because email is free and so is Posterous’ services, keeping afloat can be tricky. It’s not like you’re emailing them money, after all.

Funding & Future Plans

Yet, Posterous has been able to raise US$ 4.4 million in its first round of funding. Investors included Redpoint Ventures, Trinity Ventures and angels including SV Angel, Founder Collective, Lowercase Capital, Brian Pokorny, Aydin Senkut and XG Ventures.

Currently the San Francisco-based Posterous offers their free web publishing platform to 12 million unique monthly visitors and boasts 25 million page views, which put the unique blogging platform poised at a tipping point.

And there are plans to monetize a professional version of the platform later this year.

Autoposting, Widgets & Analytics

Posterous also lets users autopost to all the other social media services you already use, like Twitter and Facebook. As well, there are buttons and widgets, care of Widgetbox, to share your blog, and analytics to add via Google and Feedburner. Users can even create custom domains.

Telligent Analytics 3.5: New Support Analytics, Updated User Analytics

With new versions of Telligent's (site) Community and Enterprise Collaboration solutions out the door last February, the only thing left to know was when would we see an updated version of their analytics. While we still don't have a firm date in hand, we do have a look at some of the new capabilities coming in it.


The 4 Core Areas of Analytics 3.5

Telligent Analytics is almost three and a half years old and there's no sign that this solution is joining the market of basic analytic solutions. Rob Howard, CTO and founder of Telligent gave CMSWire an overview of the four core areas that Telligent Analytics 3.5 covers. Here they are:


All analytics solutions listen. It is a basic requirement. You need to listen to what yourinternal and external communities are saying. Like Howard says, this is what provides clear insight into what your customers/employees want and need.


But listening is becoming commoditized. Howard says they are seeing their toolset delivered alongside the likes of Radian6 and similar solutions.

And listening is only the beginning, not the end. Howard says you have to make that actionable.


Which brings us to the importance of analyzing collaboration activities. Where are people spending their time, who is contributing what to the conversation.

New in Analytics 3.5 is topic focused analytics. Key topics, who is participating in the conversation, where does the organization need to provide more resources? For internal communities you will be able to determine who is providing the expert knowledge required and where it may be needed, but isn't available (or not enough is available).

These are the types of things you will get from topic focused analytics.

Support Analysis

Another area that Howard says there is a need is support analytics. There are a number of external support communities out there. But there's a large gap in tools that would allow support managers to put KPIs around these communities.

Telligent is putting metrics around these communities in Analytics 3.5.

User Analysis

The upcoming new version of Analytics will provide breakdowns of detailed user types. There will be eight different categories describing the types of users participating in your communities.

Bridging Web and Social Analytics

As part of their analytics offering, Telligent also offers Web Analytics, metrics that provide basic traffic patterns and usage. Telligent uses these web analytics as a bridge into social analytics.

Where traditional analytics is missing the ability to connect to the next level of information — the who — Telligent's social analytics comes into play. According to Howard, web analytics draws a picture, social analytics colors it in.

The other key, Howard points out, is that it is important to serve the right information to the right people at the right time. Having the tools is just the beginning, there's just too much information to look at.

User Engagement Analytics

Howard believes that Telligent is in the unique position to offer user engagement analytics. He believes that most vendors have the toolset — or at least part of it — but Telligent offers both the collaboration platform and the analytics.

Howard points to Google's acquisition of social search vendor Aardvark, as a closer model to what they are doing then say, what Jive Software or Radian6 offer. Both of these vendors focus their analytics on public information. Although with Jive's acquisition of Filterbox, we should expect to see internal community analytics as well.

It all sounds very interesting and we do know that what Telligent offered in earlier versions of Telligent Analytics enabled many organizations to determine ROI from their community solutions. Unfortunately we can't show you screenshots of this upcoming version. All we know for sure is that it's coming soon.

Telligent Updates Focus on Extensibility, Performance and Ease of Adoption

Telligent (site) has made improvements to their community and enterprise collaboration software. Improvements that focus on performance and extensibility, flexibility and ease of adoption.

It was June of last year when Telligent went through a major transformation, not only rebranding their enterprise collaboration and community solutions, but moving to a platform-based offering with a continued focus on the critical need for analytics.

With a renewed focus that included not only collaboration, but integration with enterprise applications, Telligent introduced:

  • Telligent Community 5.0: This is the latest version of the externally facing community solution supporting partners and customers.
  • Telligent Enterprise 2.0: The latest version of the internal enterprise collaboration solution, formerly called Community Server Evolution, focused on enterprise integration in addition to community capabilities.
  • Telligent Analytics 3.0: Formerly Harvest Reporting Server, Analytics 3.0 introduced a number of new reports to help organizations measure engagement.

And the new underlying platform that supports all these new editions was Telligent evolution. Built on the Microsoft stack, it includes an API available through a REST interface to support third party application integration.

New Versions, More Extensibility

New versions of both Telligent Community — now 5.5 — and Telligent Enterprise — now 2.5 are available. Here's what's new.

  • Community 5.5: A configurable registration form allows you to add, order and customize fields, and interface enhancements shorten clicks required to do an action. You can also create new content pages, modify navigation, create blog and file mashups and content areas that are search driven.
  • Enterprise 2.5: Extensible security options include setting access rights to content, sharing video content from internal and external sources, and creating employee dashboards while still ensuring corporate information is still visible.

What's Coming for Analytics

March will also bring a new version of the Telligent analytics. The company is also providing a sneak peek at some of the enhancements we can expect:

  • Optimized for high-traffic, large communities
  • Integration with any data source (like Twitter)
  • Publish and share reports with external sites

And if all these enhancements excite you and make you want to develop applications for the Telligent platform, there will also be a platform SDK available in March.

Need to learn more? Then register for a webinar on Thursday February 18th.