Content Strategy for Librarians

Callan Bignoli
Public Library of Brookline
@eminencefont
#masslib18
#cs4lib

Welcome!

Let's get to know each other.

• Your name, library, & role
• What kinds of information you create
or provide access to online
• One thing you hope to get out of this workshop

What is content strategy?

CONTENT | noun

a : something contained
b : the topics or matter treated in a written work
c : the principal substance (such as written matter, illustrations, or music)* offered by a website
- Merriam-Webster

STRATEGY | noun

a : a careful plan or method
b : the art of devising/employing
plans toward a goal
- Merriam-Webster

The dictionary definition



Content strategy is a plan or method with specific goals
for managing the information you create or provide access to.

The emotional appeal



Content strategy is the art of bringing the right content to the right person at the right time and in the right context.

But how?!

But how?!



Why Before How

1) Identify problems

• Too many cooks
• Too many platforms
• No one saying "no"
• Not enough [insert here]

1) Identify problems

• No control
• Bad usability
• Teams are too small
• Learning curves

You can't set it

& forget it

2) Know business goals

Awareness Visits Usage

3) Know content goals

Useful Usable Findable

 DON'T REINVENT WHEELS

 DON'T MAKE ME THINK

 DON'T GET SUCKERED

4) Understand your audience

Who are they?

(be more specific than "everybody")

Personas

What do you want them to do?
















What do they want to do?

How & where are they trying to do it?

PSST: THEY'RE NOT LIKE US

LibGuides look like this

Websites look like this

Boston Globe (Proquest)

Boston Globe (Regular)

Gale search results

Google search results

5) Assess what you've got today





Your platforms

& channels







Your messages

Your voice & tone






Your process

Content audit!

Title
Content type/purpose
URL
Responsible person
Keep, revise, delete?

What's missing?









6) Establish workflows, governance, and standards

Pick your team











Give editors the support & power they need

Create (and enforce) style guidelines

Schedule
regular
reviews

Make your life easier

(Buffer: Social Media Manager)



7) Evaluate

Return to goals

Awareness Visits Usage


Useful Usable Findable




What can you measure?

Lots! Usage of a streaming service, e-book/article downloads, circulation, program attendance, web analytics, new followers, retweets, feedback (good or bad)

Is your process working?







Who's doing it well?

New York Public Library

New York Public Library

Informative, Inviting, Inspiring

"The New York Public Library offers 93,000 programs a year across its 92 locations, from author talks and performances to exhibitions. Meet your favorite author, hear a live concert, or find something new at the Library."

Free Library of Philadelphia

Put it all together...

Core Strategy Statement

We will publish content that
• Is useful
• Is aware of our audience and context
• Supports our mission, objectives, and brand
• Helps us deliver effective service to our users
- Jefferson County Public Library

Work on your core

• Describe your library's goals
• Describe your audience
• How & where is content currently created?
• What are your content goals going forward?
• How will you measure success?

The dream



All content serves the needs of the audience and the goals of the organization.

Be a content advocate



Reading List


Don't Make Me Think
Steve Krug



Content Strategy for the Web
Kristina Halvorson & Melissa Rach



The Elements of Content Strategy
Erin Kissane



Content Strategy for Mobile
Karen McGrane

Some Other Helpful Things

 Content strategy worksheet (pdf) | (doc)


 Buffer (social media manager)


 Xtensio (free persona builder)


 Excel template for content audit


 MailChimp content style guide


 A Librarian's Guide to User Experience Design