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  • Content Strategy:A road map to success

    Laura NovichTechnical Writer, Red HatFeb. 26, 2015

  • Content Strategy Laura Novich2

    Topics for Today

    What is content? What is content strategy? How to create a content strategy? What experience has taught me Tips and tricks Resources

  • Content Strategy Laura Novich3

    Red Hat is...

    Committed to its customers Dedicated to its employees Passionate about doing things the open source way Filled with creative individuals with unique interests

  • Content Strategy Laura Novich4

    What is Content Strategy?

    Content is the reason search began in the first place ~Lee Odden

  • Content Strategy Laura Novich5

    What is Content?

    Content is all information you publicly release that is consumed by visitors or customers

    No matter what the medium, genre or register is, content should be:

    Credible Trustworthy Transparent Goal-Oriented

  • Content Strategy Laura Novich6

    What is Content Strategy?

    Content Strategy is: A carefully crafted vision and definition for your content

    and its direction A plan that dictates who your content is for, how it will be

    created, and how, when, and where it will be published What should a content strategy definition include? What should the content strategy plan include? What makes content strategy successful?

  • Content Strategy Laura Novich7

    Basic Steps to Creating your Content Strategy

    Collect data from your customers online behavior and interactions with your company

    Collect information from all interested parties Create a plan of action, content policy, and vision

    statement Create new documentation (optional)

  • Content Strategy Laura Novich8

    Content Strategy vs Content Marketing

  • Content Strategy Laura Novich9

    Style Guide vs Content Strategy

    Style Guide Concentrates on the

    small parts Addresses the

    words writing, sentence structure, and templates

    Documentation cookbook

    Focuses on the leaves

    Content Strategy Concentrates on the

    documentation process Addresses the work flow Documentation road map Focuses on the forest

  • Content Strategy Laura Novich10

    Content Strategybelow the surface

    Quality, relevant content can't be spotted by an algorithm. You can't subscribe to it. You need people - actual human beings - to create or curate it.

    ~ Kristina Halvorson, Content Strategy for the Web

  • Content Strategy Laura Novich11

    Content strategy shows your customers you

    Collect information and craft CS policy and new documentation

    Audit documentation and assess what it needs

    Refine new/old documents, re-write, and release

    Evaluate and elicit new feedback

  • Content Strategy Laura Novich12

    What are Good Sources for Data Collection?

    Informal Data Sources

    Formal DataSources


  • Content Strategy Laura Novich13

    Formal Data Sources

    Feature requests and bug reports Formal customer surveys Sales Activity including:

    PoCs Tenders and benchmark testing

    Develop a relationship with customer support

    Customer contact or site visit- DO IT!

  • Content Strategy Laura Novich14

    Informal Data Sources

    User Forums Mailing lists Informal surveys Third party surveys Conferences and meetups Social Media

  • Content Strategy Laura Novich15

    Analytic Sources

    Analytics give you: Customer demographics Time spent on

    topics/pages Click analysis Download history Activity history Ability to create customer

    cohorts and discover data patterns quickly

  • Content Strategy Laura Novich16

    Create a Customer Persona

    Give them a name that makes it easy to remember who they are and what they want:

    Technical Tina Newbie Nina Connected Carol

    These personas are a bit generic RH has crafted specific user personas Imagine what content they would

    find valuable Decide how to deliver content to each persona

  • Content Strategy Laura Novich17

    Would your docs inspire Technical Tina?

    BasicsName: Tina Novak*Location: Brno, CzAge: 35Occupation: SW Engineer

    Tinas StoryTina was just promoted to team leader of the SW development team of her company. Tina has a high level of technical knowledge and is a very experienced user. She doesnt like to use the GUI and loves to write her own scripts to automate processes. Tina loves to use pre-release software and test new products. She is not impressed with gadgets unless they get the job done faster.

    What types of documents would Tina most likely read?

    * This is actually Dita a Rails Girl, who attended a Rails Girls workshop held in Brno and wrote her first Ruby on Rails application

    Goals- To have a deep understanding of things- To be able to automate procedures- To not waste time looking for content not available on a CLI

  • Content Strategy Laura Novich18

    Would your docs scare Newbie Nina?

    BasicsName: Nina RossiLocation: Rome, ItalyAge: 22Occupation: Student

    Ninas StoryNina has limited technical knowledge and is a very inexperienced user. She likes to use the GUI and loves it when there are Wizards and tooltips. Nina is reluctant to try anything new but is impressed with gadgets.

    Should you limit Ninas access to certain documents?

    Goals- To get the job done easily- To not have to remember any steps- To learn the basics - To not have to feel naive about technology

  • Content Strategy Laura Novich19

    Would your UX impress Connected Carol?

    BasicsName: Carol Smith*Location: Los Angeles, USAAge: 42Occupation: Blogger

    Carols StoryCarol is from the connected generation. Everything she does is from her cell phone, tablet or some other kind of wearable device. Carol is tech savvy, but doesnt use anything if it isnt an app. Carol needs information yesterday and has no problem telling her friends on social media just how bad your customer service or product is.

    What should Carol be recommended to try? * This is actually Megan Smith, former Google Rep. who is now serving the Obama administration as CTO.

    Goals- Fast accurate information- Device integration- Application management

  • Red Hats Content Strategy Vision Statement

    Create compelling content experiences for Red Hat customers by integrating customer feedback, usability requirements, and

    business intelligence into our knowledge engine.

    Create your Content Strategy Vision Statement

  • Content Strategy Laura Novich21

    Create the Content Strategy Document

    Create the content strategy documents Remember it is a roadmap Keep your customer persona and data you collected in

    mind. Create / publish new content (optional)

    Align the content to Message Format, and structure Vision Persona

  • Content Strategy Laura Novich22

    Audit those docs!

    Examine everything If it hasnt been used, and

    doesnt fit your vision just like clothes in the closet Note to let them go!

    If it doesnt suit the customers needs Note to change what can be changed and purge the rest

    Dont forget to reward yourself for things that are good in the docs!

  • Content Strategy Laura Novich23

    Refining your Documentation

    You know who your audience is, what they need, and what they want

    You know what the state of your documentation is You need to decide how to fix what needs to be fixed Decide if you need to change:

    Your current work flow Your current tool set Your publication channels Your content

    Write and publish your aligned content

  • Content Strategy Laura Novich24

    Evaluating your New Docs

    You have created documents catered to your customer persona and to their wants and needs and values

    Now turn to them and get their feedback. This can be done through a button / field on your doc page, or by sending your customers surveys

    Create a dialogue where you can get their opinion and use their suggestions, answer their questions,and make them feel that they are important

  • Content Strategy Laura Novich25

    Final thoughts

    Its not about what it is, its about what it can become - The Lorax

  • Content Strategy Laura Novich26

    Collect InformationAudit the documentationRefine the documentationEvaluate the documentation

  • Content Strategy Laura Novich27

    Project Fedora

    International project with a small group of very motivated technical writers

    All volunteer work Just starting the content strategy process

    Content strategy in progress Persona creation in progress

    We need your help! Talk to me if interested

  • Content Strategy Laura Novich28

    Before I Go...

    Keep in mind that creating a content strategy takes time to develop and it can and will change over time

    Use CARE when creating a content strategy Keep your eyes on the customer and dont be afraid to

    make drastic changes Make sure that all documents, articles, collateral, and

    even social media blasts are all aligned and speak the same voice, message, purpose, and style and are crafted with a persona in mind

    Dont panic when things go wrong, adjust and change as needed

  • Content Strategy Laura Novich29


    So be sure when you step, step with care and great tact. and remember that lifes a great balancing act. And will you succeed? Yes! You will, indeed! (98 and percent guaranteed) Kid, youll move mountains.

    Dr. Seuss, Oh, The Places Youll Go!