Hundreds of content strategists assembled in Minneapolis to celebrate the trials and triumphs encountered while helping organizations tell their stories online. What is it that sets this conference apart?
Umm, obviously it’s the cake.
A rapidly expanding number of events are filled with sessions on content — how to create content for your brand, how to promote and distribute content, how to layer marketing on top of your marketing. Confab, however, is one of the few gatherings where you hear genuine empathy and concern for the human being on the other end of that content. This hold true both from the stage and in the halls. Not only that, the people in these rooms are empowered with the tools to make a difference.
Tapping into the broader domain of user experience, content strategists embrace methods that grant deep insight into the hearts, minds, and actual behaviors of their audiences. Presentation after presentation featured meaningful experiences. Meaningful because the content makes an emotional connection. It cares about what we care about. It makes us laugh, cry, call our moms, or get pissed off. It changes our minds and our behavior. All of this while still supporting the highly-commercial objectives of global brands. These experiences are designed.
To create these extraordinary content experiences the presenters traveled varied paths. But most recommended a common first step: Start with a content audit. It’s the place to begin. Digging through your content is a chance to discover the hidden potential.
As Blaze evolves, we’re working to support this balance between business and user orientations. It’s great (and necessary) to quantify your content, see the numbers of visits and views, search rank, or social shares. But it’s not enough.
The great content you’re creating is for people, not machines — a fact that was clear even in the SEO sessions at Confab. With Blaze we’re enabling strategists to have more time to focus on those human aspects. More time to apply insights from user research to the reality of content. Tweaking formulas or wrestling with macros doesn’t help decide if your content is making an emotional connection.
It’s easy to forget that it’s really not about the content at all.
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More from Confab 2014
Blog Posts and Recaps
“I heard about broken processes, failed governance strategies, inconsistent values, and sheer apathy. The authenticity and trust it takes to share things like that is one of the most valuable things we can give each other.”
“What won out over all the other voices in my head was this: ‘I get things done.’ Action and inaction are both choices; knowing how and when to choose between them is power.”
“Purpose brings together the best people. Purpose brings out the best in those people. Purpose is what you do because you care. Purpose is what you are passionate about. Purpose is doing the thing you love, not doing something just because you are paid for it.”
“It’s All About The People […] Specifically the users you are creating the content for and the people within your organization. Draw on your community to guide your content strategy and their expertise to carry it through. ”
5 Big Takeaways from Confab 2014: Time Well Spent with Content Strategists by Kathy Matosich (@kmatosich)
“When they asked broader questions, some thing[s] became loud and clear. When people talked about visiting campus, they had so much more to say, and were so much more enthusiastic. At campus, students experienced as warm and welcoming, not snobby.”
- Using the core model to reach your objectives
- Developing a Lycra® Content Strategy at Seattle Children’s Hospital
- Using SEO to Achieve your Content Goals
- Gathering content insights from user surveys
- Letting Go of Perfection: How to Survive as an In-House Content Strategist
- Mental Modeling For Content Work: Contextual Inquiry, Personas and Planning
- The Path to Accessible Content
- Content Strategy at 30,000 Feet
- The Visible Word: Building Trust with Transparency
- Scaling the Content Audit
- The Secrets to Building a Dominant Media Property
- All Together Now: Content & Collaboration in a Responsive Redesign