Content Strategy Camp 2019
“Content strategy and content marketing have become integral parts of corporate communications and marketing in recent years.”
That’s what it says on the site of the Content Strategy Camp and we can probably all agree on that. As we want to stay up to date on content, we joined this year’s Content Strategy Camp at the media campus of the Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences in Dieburg. We learned a lot from the sessions held, especially exciting and stimulating was the open discourse with content strategists or content creators from other industries.
Exchange of experiences on content distribution
So the first session went straight to the point with the question of successful content distribution. In addition to the fact that many agencies have not yet found the right software to contribute to successful distribution, there was also the omnipresent question of where content is developing to in creation and publication. Another question was, in which areas does automated text creation prove to be useful and where are personal distinctions within the content indispensable. It was agreed that there can never be only one type of content creation. The focus must ultimately be on the recipient. The maintenance of relationships between content distributors and consumers is of crucial importance and decisive for the success or failure of publications.
For us as a software developer, the sessions naturally led to even more extensive discussions during the breaks and we are very happy about all the new contacts. We hope to carry these relationships further in order to gain more cross-industry experience.
In the second selected session, Christoph Zeidler presented how SAP approached the question of a successful content strategy and which conclusions resulted from the research. Top priority was clearly the user journey. This can only be determined through a process that links the publishing and distribution of content with the measurement of the results achieved. Before publication, however, the expectations and needs of the content recipients must be determined; the publisher must understand what the users expect from the corresponding content or how the content captures them in their needs. Only then can it be planned and produced specifically for each channel and for each target group. According to the keywords “relevant, engaging and impactful”.
Content audit – The big tidy up
The content queen Irene Michl’s session had the main focus was on how much dead wood there actually is in a website and what effects this can have on the user experience. This not only identifies content that produces so few clicks that throwing it away is more efficient than maintaining it, but also faulty infrastructures between the individual pages. These in turn have an impact on search engines or the user experience. If content of the same type is repeatedly presented differently in an archive, the user will probably not understand that they are in the same or at least similar context. Lack of navigation and helplessness spreads and leads to the user leaving the website rather than looking around for interesting content. In the worst case, not only clicks and reach are missed by the site operator, but also potential customers. Free tools such as “Screaming Frog” and a fixed objective help to identify relevant content and focus on it.
It’s not a chicken – Successful IT communication
“It’s not a chicken”, the session with this appealing title, held by communicator Sandra Aengenheyster, highlighted the problems that arise when IT professionals and end users talk at cross purposes. Although they all talk about the same thing – a chicken – they still have very different ideas about the actual execution. If a chicken is big and white or if it is a small, rather brownish animal, the questions whether all aspects of a project are understood equally or whether the corresponding participants believe to be speaking of the same thing but literally act past each other are compared. The significance that this has for software development is obvious: projects are thought through and planned in their individual parts, but in the end, extreme difficulties arise in bringing them together – in the worst case scenario. Clear communication with simple rules can help to optimise processes. Especially the rule “If it’s too complicated, take your time and make it easy” has been very popular.
Gender Equitable Language – Diversity
The last session of the day was about the right approach within published content as well as within the companies themselves. The question was also raised as to whether gender-appropriate language can bring about a rethink in the way women and minorities act or whether experiencing an equal society also entails rethinking the language. It quickly became apparent that there was no clear answer as well as a lot of uncertainty as to which path was the right one. Awareness of the background and consequences, however, is a basic prerequisite for living diversity and, of course, for adapting content and thus ultimately for acceptance by readers and for avoiding shitstorms.
Until next year
Certainly we didn’t go home with straight answers. What we did go home with though was a lot of new impulses to content strategies or even to opinions and attempts to market content successfully.
Thanks to the team of #cosca19 for such a successful day full of new suggestions, inspiration, new ways of thinking and insights into the working of other industries. Can’t wait for #cosca20!