Content Ever-Evolving: Musings on Content Strategy Applied (CSA) 2011

EVG CEO Brice Bay traveled across the pond in mid-January to hook up with our Director of Business Development for Europe, Eric Ingrand, and attend the Content Strategy Applied, London.

Fine-tuned over pints at the Marquis of Westminster, Brice & Eric’s preferred “thinking spot” in London, here are some of the more buzz-worthy notes, shout-outs and musings Brice had in response to the conference:

  • Content Strategy author, Content Strategist Innovator & Brain Traffic CEO Kristina Halvorson (@halvorson) gave a great keynote entitled “Do You Speak Content Strategy?” that truly challenges content strategists here, there and everywhere to develop a common vocabulary and context for their profession.
  • Rahel Bailie’s (@rahelab) keynote, “If Only I Had a Content Strategy,” emphasized content strategies as repeatable processes, governable throughout lifecycle of the content, “an iterative cycle whose scope includes analysis, collection, management and publishing.” The Intentional Design CEO also used a “sweet” metaphor to describe where our focus always should be as strategists: “Little bit of icing, lots of cake (content).”
  • Nikki Tiedtke, EU Senior Content Strategist with eBay, also provided an insightful case-study that illustrates how a consistent, well-conceived content strategy is essential … even to a global giant like eBay.
  • Content strategy and community management were the dual focal points of Rob Hinchcliffe’s workshop, entitled “Curating Communities.” The owner of Hour of Play spoke candidly about how a business’ content strategy should tap into the community because today’s Web is far more than a communications platform – it’s a place for collaboration, education and socializing. Brice strongly agrees with Hinchcliffe that the concept of “content strategy” is not dead, but it is, indeed, rapidly changing and has shifted focus from the general to the specific.

The walkway from CSA-London? Content strategy is not a dead agenda, but it’s in a constant state of evolution and it’s our job to make sure our clients don’t operate on an outdated model. As Hinchcliffe noted, the long-held belief that generic content is good because it reaches a larger audience is now fallacy because the online audience is comprised of individuals who make individual decisions. A brand’s content strategy simply can’t be an one-way blast to the masses that defines what the brand is about. It’s more about using smart, authentic content to engage individuals and interact with them consistently and honestly. It’s about maximizing every opportunity for interaction because these are so crucial. And it’s about creating content that first and foremost answers the question, “How will this benefit my consumer?”

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