Our Director of New Media, Jessica Cook Woodrum, speaks all over town. You may have heard her talking about social media or email marketing or search. If you have, you should leave a comment telling us what you thought!
Most recently, you may have seen Jessica speaking at ConvergeSC on June 27, 2009. ConvergeSC was a conference created and beautifully executed by a handful of Columbia-based Web professionals who wanted to bring people together to talk about Website design, Website development, and the Website business.
Jessica’s talk was all about content — the importance and power of it as well as the dangers of not approaching it properly.
“I chose to talk about content because that’s what Websites are for; that’s what they’re all about, ” said Jessica. “These days people don’t want Websites anymore. They want answers, and that’s exactly what content gives them.”
Because the event’s 200 attendees were mostly people who make Website or are somehow involved in the Website development process, Jessica spent much of her talk discussing a new way for Web professionals to approach content.
She boiled her advice down into eight things to do in order to revolutionize the Website design and development process and approach content more strategically and effectively:
- Realize that content is not a feature; it’s the most valuable and important part of the Website because it communicates our brand and our messages to our target audience.
- Get an expert involved. Stop letting clients or traditional copywriters handle Website content.
- Go traditional. Put the old school marketing rules to work with content: Who is the target audience of the site? What do they need from the site? What do they need from my brand? How do I communicate how my brand fulfills their needs?
- Start earlier. Start discussing content from day one. Not after you’ve done the design or started the development.
- Start with a strategy. Plan for the creation, publication, and governance of content. Answer questions like: Why are we creating this content? How are we creating this content? For whom are we creating this content? Where are we publishing this content? How are we governing this content.
- Look beyond the home page. Every single page of the site should have a strategy for content.
- Embrace consumer-generated content. Invite your users to create.
- Stop telling ourselves lies. Stop saying things like: The content shouldn’t be that big of a deal. We already have most of the content. The client can take care of the content.
If you want to talk to Jessica about content (or about anything really), call her at 803-765-1133.
To learn more about the 2009 ConvergeSC (and future events), check out the event’s site at www.convergesc.org.
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