Posts tagged "wem"

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.

Webtrends Analytics 10: Analytics for Mobile, Social and Web

The Future of Social Media Marketing is Here

A number of organizations today struggle with the division of expertise over digital channels, web analytics included. These solutions work, but require a lot meetings and charts and graphs. Webtrends Analytics 10 aims to do away with all of that via an all-in-one analytics package. 

In addition to out-of-the-box capabilities for mobile, social and site marketers, Analytics 10 also features two primary perks:

  • Data Beyond the Tag: Analytics 10 enables marketers to visualize data from 3rd party data sources available through feeds, APIs, and public sources. Data from Facebook API, iTunes Connect, PostRank and are integrated into Webtrends Analytics 10 dashboards.
  • Intelligent Campaign Discovery: Analytics 10 uses discovery techniques to auto-detect campaign conversion and landing pages and provide out-of-the-box campaign reports and dashboards.

“With Analytics 10, we put the focus on truly empowering digital marketers and finally breaking down the silos they too often operate within,” said Alex Yoder, CEO of the company. “Today marketers need to look across digital channels, including mobile and social, to get a holistic view of brand performance and customer engagement. We designed Analytics 10 for this purpose and are extremely pleased with the response from our customers and the market."

Still Partying with Facebook

The analytics company is making a particularly big deal about its Facebook-related capabilities, as per usual. Webtrends Analytics 10 pulls data from your Facebook pages and apps using Facebook API. Additional conversion data is available with the Webtrends tag.




If Looks Could Kill… 

Bonus: It's pretty. The intuitive user interface mixes up nicely with the enhanced capabilities for data insight across digital channels, presenting them over a fairly straightforward dashboard:

“Analytics 10 goes much further in carving out a unique position for Webtrends in the Digital Analytics space. The interface is lovely…and distinctive. They are the first enterprise vendor to break away from and go beyond the basic Google Analytics paradigm,” said Gary Angel, President, Semphonic.

You may try out Analytics 10 by yourself here.

The Web Engagement Tag Team: Testing and Personalization

Engagement is all the rage, yet achieving it requires many skills. Key to the deal is the ability to test and refine your content, with a goal of increasing personal relevancy.

Companies must engage website visitors on a one-to-one basis by providing personalized, relevant and proven content. By optimizing content, organizations can significantly increase revenue as well as augment search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM) efforts.

Prioritizing Personalization

One-size-fits-all websites are old news. You have less than seven seconds to capture a visitor’s attention, while delivering a relevant and engaging experience. Is your site content prepared to keep all your visitors engaged, no matter where they click?

Providing personalized content to website visitors is a key step most companies miss. While every website visitor has a unique profile, repeat visits are almost assured if the content offered is targeted and engaging. Targeted product and service recommendations are the most widely recognized forms of website ‘personalization’, however, true personalization — recognizing each customer’s known interests and attributes on the individual level — gives a powerful platform from which to optimize content and offers, a vital key to long-term engagement and loyalty.

Don’t forget that the design, layout and presentation of site content are equally as important as relevancy. Testing content ensures that each individual visitor is compelled by what they see, finds the content relevant and increases the chances of visitors converting to customers.

The Magnitude of Multivariate

Even minor changes to font size, color and language on a webpage can significantly increase conversion — which multivariate testing then analyzes in a live environment to statistically determine which content yields the best results. By simply removing the "Add–to-Cart" icon below each product image, a leading online retailer realized a 63% increase in conversion — proving that the dollars really are in the details.

Multivariate testing is largely recognized as the most effective way to increase conversion of website visitors to website buyers, as well as helps e-commerce enterprises discover the navigation paths of their traffic.

However, in order to be truly effective, testing must be integrated into a company’s culture and repeated in multiple variations to be effective. A leading travel site who was looking to quickly evolve its website to stay competitive, decided to test 15 call-to-action variants, which led to an 18 percent increase in seating revenues. In addition, and perhaps more importantly, this allowed the company to make decisions based on analysis rather than subjectivity, while safely removing re-design risks and reducing innovation timelines.

Pieces of the Same Puzzle: Content, SEO and SEM

Purchasing keywords to drive traffic to an inefficient landing page or website is like putting the cart before the horse. But content optimization is a powerful way to augment SEO and SEM efforts.

When a website uses the most effective content and design elements throughout the site (including landing pages), the cost of acquisition through search marketing is reduced, making it easier to translate clicks into lasting consumers.

Remove the guesswork from design and content decisions through accurate testing abilities, and prove exactly what drives your visitors to make purchase decisions on your site. This indisputable data will ensure that your search marketing and SEO budget results in more than just increased page views. At the end of the day, converting traffic to dollars is the only metric that matters.

About the Author

Mark Simpson is one of the founders of Maxymiser, a London-based firm focused on conversion management practices.