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Community Management Content Strategy

The Five Elements of Hip-Hop Content Strategy

The Five Elements of Hip-Hop Content Strategy

On June 2nd, 2010, I got to attend The Five Elements of Hip-Hop Content Strategy. The speaker was Ian Alexander. Ian is down to earth, informative and fun. The meeting was hosted by Content Strategy New England. A special shout-out must go to the tireless Rick Allen.

Ian led us through a history of both hip-hop and content strategy as a discipline. Neither one sprang up overnight. So the roots are in the 1970s or so, perhaps earlier.

Then it was down to business — an outline of the Five Elements.

Hip-Hop Content Strategy – Five Elements

#1. DJ’ing – on the Content Strategy side of things, this is the technical expertise. It’s being able to understand and apply semantic categories. It is being able to interpret analytics. So a Content Strategist cannot be a Luddite. She cannot fear spreadsheets.

#2. MC’ing – on the CS end, this is the editorial expertise. Often, this is what people think of when they think of Content Strategy. It is acting as a copywriter, a librarian, a research analyst and something of an artist. The Content Strategist finds and tells the story. He or she selects the format and helps to promote the brand.

The Content Triangle

hip-hop content strategy
English: Infographic on how Social Media are being used, and how everything is changed by them. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This is where Ian introduced the concept of the Content Triangle.

Building Trust

(a) The first type of content is Trustbuilding. This is where a company establishes its expertise. So it is also where it provides value to its clients and potential customers. Here is where the company is informative about internal and industry trends.

For a product-based company, this area should encompass approximately 30% of all of the content. For a service-oriented company, this area should be about 70% of all of the content.

Informational, Please

(b) So the second type of content is Informational. This is basic internal site information, such as the Contact Us page and the FAQ. This is for users to understand how to, for example, return a defective product.

For a product-oriented company, this area needs to be around 30+% of all content. For a service company, that figure should be around 20+%. So in either instance, start here.

Calls to Action

(c) The third and final type of content is Sales/Call to Action. Somewhat self-explanatory, here’s where you close the deal. The deal need not be a commercial one; your call to action may very well be for your reader to sign up for a newsletter.

For the product-based company, this area will have to be around about 40+% of all of the content. In the case of the service company, it’s less than 10%. So either way, this should be A/B tested.

So in all instances, analytics must drive the percentages and the content.

Hip-Hop Content Strategy – More Elements

#3. Graffiti – for the Content Strategist, this equates to design expertise. Infographics are, according to Ian, only going to continue to become more and more popular.

#4. Breaking – to the Content Strategist, this element represents Information Architecture expertise. The two are related but not identical — cousins, not twins. Yet the gist of it is the concept of movement through a site. So, what are the funnels? What kind of an experience do you want your users to have? What’s your preferred destination for them?

#5. Knowledge – this final piece of the puzzle speaks to the Content Strategist’s Project Managerment/Change Management expertise. Change concepts are disposable, iterative and proposed. It is the idea of moving from a concept to a solution. The best solution is not the best solution, per se — it’s the best solution that you can implement for, without a consensus (and a budget and a signed contract!), the so-called best solution is no solution at all.

But What Does it All Mean?

Content Strategy is different from Content Marketing. So the first must drive the second. One of the best ways to help the discipline to get more respect is to branch out the network. Get to know people in vastly different disciplines (say, Robotics, for instance).

So, what about helping the client? Think differently. So generate a 404 error and see what happens. Sign up for something: what kind of message does the user get? Is the message consistent with the remainder of the site’s look and feel and philosophy? Is the footer out of date?

Check sites like Compete and Tweetvolume for more information about how a company is really doing. So note: Compete does not exist any more!

So consider CMS Watch as well. Know the company’s baseline strengths and weaknesses and understand related practices and disciplines. So note: CMS Watch now redirects to Real Story Group.

Takeaways from 2010

The Content Strategist often wears a millinery’s worth of hats, not just during a particular project but in any given day. For the CS to excel, he or she needs to have an understanding of fundamentals in a lot of areas, and be able to speak knowledgeably.

Fortunately, acquiring and applying that kind of knowledge makes and keeps this discipline fresh and exciting. Plus, Ian clearly has fun every day. And who wouldn’t want a piece of that?

A Look Over 9 Years Later at Hip-Hop Content Strategy

Welp, things have changed. Big time! Ian is no longer under the above URL. So you know, it’s the one in the first paragraph. And two other sites no longer exist. Plus, the world is a lot different now. So that includes my life.

Now, as I look back on older posts like this, I can see where I did not write them too well. So I can also see where older events were, can I say it?

Kinda gimmicky.

So I get what Ian was trying to say. And a lot of his advice is still spot on. So now, though, I think there are other ways of saying it.

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Community Management Content Strategy Quinnipiac Social Media Class

Quinnipiac Assignment 04 – ICM 526 – The Importance of Content Marketing for Community Managers

The Importance of Content Marketing for Community Managers

Why is content marketing important for Community Managers?

It is deceptively easy for companies to ‘get on Facebook’ or ‘get a Twitter’, and start pushing content out through a firehose. Companies may even make a splash in the beginning. But it’s unsustainable. Furthermore, it’s not serving customers and potential customers terribly well.

Much like any other aspect of modern business, online content requires strategy and structure. Just having content is not enough. It has to be relevant to fans and followers, and be more than something they will just click on and read. Instead, content is for marketing; it is for getting customers and potential customers into the sales funnel and then bringing them along. This is the case whether the sale occurs online or in a brick and mortar store.

The Content Marketing Institute says –

Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.

The Numbers Say It All

As Steven MacDonald reminds in The 5 Pillars of Successful Content Marketing, the amount of data being created in two days is more than was created from the beginning of time until 2003. Certainly, that figure is only going to grow. The United States census, in 2012, released an infographic comparing 2012 data on computers and Internet usage with 1997 (when the census first began asking about Internet usage) and 1984 data.

Per the United States census, the percentage of households without Internet has fallen dramatically, from 45.3% in 2003, to 25.2% in 2012. This does not even take into account persons who might not have home access, but are using the Internet at work, school, a café or public library or other such location.

Relevancy

With all of these people online, and all of that content coming at them 24/7/365, the race is less to get any sort of content online, and more to get relevant and preferred content to consumers. When a potential customer is being bombarded with Instagram images of their friends’ lunches and Facebook status updates with pregnant friends’ ultrasounds, gossipy Tweets about celebrities and amusing Tumblr blog posts about upcoming movies, and Pinterest boards with recipes, somehow, some way, a company’s content has got to compete with all of that.

While companies can purchase additional reach and engagement, a more sensible ad spend is to target content more closely to customers’ and potential customers’ preferences and demographics. This is easier and more detailed and better-researched than ever before, due to all of the tracking coding which is embedded in social media. As Avinash Kaushik has said about digital marketing (a term often used interchangeably with ‘content marketing’ but a bit more general, involving the use of digital devices but not necessarily as fully integrating marketing with content types like in true content marketing) and measurement –

The root cause of failure in most digital marketing campaigns is not the lack of creativity in the banner ad or TV spot or the sexiness of the website. It is not even (often) the people involved. It is quite simply the lack of structured thinking about what the real purpose of the campaign is and a lack of an objective set of measures with which to identify success or failure.

Quinnipiac Assignment 04 – ICM 526 - The Importance of Content Marketing for Community Managers
Image of Wine Library TV’s Gary Vaynerchuk. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) (image is used for educational purposes only)

Structured thinking and objective measurement can help marketers to create and define success. Content marketing is similar in that it’s studied and planned. Content marketers don’t just put up any old content whenever. They study the various platforms, as Gary Vaynerchuk strongly suggests. Successful content marketers listen to their audience (there’s that idea of measuring again!) and determine what does and doesn’t work. They post their content when their customers and potential customers are online and listening.

Putting Content Marketing Together With Community Management

Community Managers are often tasked with shaping conversations online. This is everything from thanking happy users to publicly addressing complaints to being the first line of communications for public relations problems. But that’s mainly reactive communications. Proactive communications from community managers can and should dovetail with company plans to market to consumers (or to businesses in a B2B organization). Offering helpful, engaging, amusing, and informative content is the job of the community manager as much as the soothing of angry online customers is. Posting the right content, when consumers want to see it, can be the difference between a sale and no sale. Put enough of those together, and jobs and even companies can be on the line. The community manager, doing content marketing right, can bring in business and help a company retain its customers even in troubled economic times.

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Opinion Quinnipiac Social Media Social Media Class

Quinnipiac Assignment 09 – ICM 552 – Content Moderation and Ethics

Quinnipiac Assignment 09 – ICM 552 – Content Moderation and Ethics

Content Moderation Principles

Content Moderation isn’t as modern as you might think. Ratings systems are not new. Even before the internet, film reviewers like Siskel and Ebert would routinely award stars or thumbs up or down. Book reviewers would favor a work with placement in a well-known periodical, such as the New York Times Review of Books.

But there’s been a change. Reviews are now big business. Under social technographics theories, Critics encompass over 1/3 of all users online.

Quinnipiac Assignment 09 – ICM 552 – Content Moderation and Ethics
Critics (Social Technographics) – Image (http://image.slidesharecdn.com/vamsocialmediafinalcombined-100317211719-phpapp02/95/virginia-association-of-museums-vam-2010-conference-museums-building-communities-through-social-media-combined-presentation-11-728.jpg) by slidesharecdn.com and use of Social Technographics verbiage are claimed under fair use for educational purposes.

I believe that there are differing ethical considerations, depending upon the type of content under critique. There are fundamental differences between works of art and consumer goods and services.

Rating Consumer Goods and Services

For the rating of consumer goods and services, a lot of the measurements are quantitative ones. E. g. a size 10 shoe must be within certain length parameters. Those don’t change if the shoemaker is a large company or a tiny one-person cottage industry. The same is true if there is a promise for the manufacture of the shoe in a certain time frame. Either it’s delivered on time, or it’s not. The one-person operation and the huge multinational conglomerate both have the same seven-day week.

In some ways, it’s reminiscent of the contractarian ethical theory. This is whereby ethics are based on mutual agreement. So the shoemaker tells the consumer that the shoe fits a size 10. The consumer buys the shoe because they rely on the shoemaker providing a product within accepted length parameters. If the shoe is too long or too short, then the shoemaker is in breach.

Subjectivity

There are subjective qualitative measurements as well. Is the shoe stylish and comfortable? Is it in fashion? Some of those variables are under the control of the shoemaker. Others, like the whims of fashion, are not.

But the reviewing of consumer goods and services is generally in the objective and quantitative realm. If the shoe isn’t in fashion, or the consumer doesn’t like the color, they don’t buy it. Reviewing after the fact is usually of fit, durability, and other measurable considerations. That’s not quite the case with works of art.

Rating Works of Art

For rating works of art, there is virtually nothing that’s measurable or objective or quantitative. While a film critic might dislike, say, the Lord of the Rings< films because of their length, that’s generally not the only reason a professional critic will supply. Instead, the critic will mention if the plot held their interest. They’ll mention if the characters were true to the source material. And if the actors’ performances were credible. Plus if a parent can safely take their children with them to the picture. About the only one of these review elements that is quantitative is the latter. And even the question of suitability for children is a subjective one.

Bucking for Improvements in Content Moderation

Further, a bad review for a consumer good/service can (should) lead to improvements. The company should try to make amends. According to Beth Harpaz’s article, Debate over ethics of deleting negative reviews, companies should actively try to improve their customer service after a complaint.

“TripAdvisor spokesman Kevin Carter said businesses are instead encouraged to reply to reviewers publicly on the site. It’s not unusual to see a negative review followed by an apology from a business detailing what’s been done to make amends.”

But no such option truly exists for works of art. A reviewer might hate scenes of the burning of Atlanta. Yet they won’t get an official new version of Gone With the Wind. So that’s not unless the reviewer personally edits the work. Even then, the edited version would be seen as unofficial and unsanctioned (and likely a copyright violation). All that the reviewer can do is (a) dissuade people from voting with their wallets for certain works of art. And, possibly, (b) convince the artist to try better next time.

For works of art, it’s more of the Eudaimonism theory of ethics – the well-being of the individual has central value. So, does the work entertain? So does it enlighten, uplift, or inspire? Gone With The Wind can. The Venus de Milo can. Shoes, however, cannot.