Applied Content Strategy Class

$1,999 Per Session

What makes a website great? Content. Without reliable and valuable content, traffic to a website and conversion suffers. Having a solid content strategy to develop the right information for the right audience at the right time will help any digital communication be successful. This eight-week session will provide you with content strategy, content marketing and content management system (CMS) skills necessary to assess, plan and create content for exceptional digital experiences, including websites, social media channels and email messages.

Who Should Take This Class

  • Anyone who wants to be a content strategist in an agency or for an organization
  • A digital designer/marketer who wants to understand how content strategy fits in their world
  • Marketing teams who have been given responsibility to manage the organization’s website

What You Will Learn

You will learn how to:

  • Discover opportunities to help an organization determine the right content for their digital experience
  • Define a content strategy that supports business goals and audience needs
  • Gain knowledge on how to identify and develop content
  • Optimize content for findability and usability
  • Support the build of content management systems
  • Work with the digital team – user experience architects, visual designers, copywriters, technology developers and clients
  • Present your content strategy recommendations to your digital team and your client

How You Will Learn

In-Class Lecture/Discussion
You and up to seven classmates will meet on for an interactive lecture and discussion. Your instructor will walk you through the steps needed to define your content strategy and guide you through the process for bringing your strategy come to life. We engage with a real client who needs a new or redesigned website to support their business goals.

On-Own Homework
This is where the real learning begins. Yes, we’ll teach you the fundamentals of how to develop a content strategy, but you have the opportunity to make it your own. We encourage you to take time to work on your content strategy homework throughout the week and be prepared to present your work to the class.

Who Will Teach You

Rebecca SteurerRebecca Steurer

• Content Strategist

• Content Marketer

• Content Academy Co-Founder

• Founder, ContentRS – Making content real simple

Rebecca has been practicing content strategy long before content strategy had a name. She began planning and developing content for Northwestern Memorial Hospital in 1999 to help patients find health information, physicians and educational resources. She managed and mentored a team of three content specialists to provide the right information at the right time to the right audience.

Rebecca moved on to agency life to work with and learn from talented teams of user experience, visual designers and technical developers to provide exceptional content strategies for clients, from planning to development to governance to SEO. As an Associate Director of Content Strategy for Manifest Digital, then Rightpoint, Rebecca’s most rewarding responsibilities was working with her team of content strategist to help them develop their professional goals and improve upon the content strategy process. She is an attentive listener who believes everyone has the power to achieve their goals if they put in the work, and have the right skill set.

Syllabus

Week One

Understanding the Business
Developing the right content is crucial for connecting with your audience and making sure you’re not wasting time developing information that will never be read. In this two-hour session, we’ll take an in-depth look at key steps for understanding the business space and your audience’s needs.

This session will cover:
•    Business Goals & Audience Needs: How to determine what is most important for your organization and audience
•    Stakeholder & User Interview Questions: How to write the right questions for optimum discovery
•    Presenting the information and your recommendations

Homework
•    Research the business
•    Write stakeholder and user interview questions

Week Two

Understanding the Content
As a content strategist, you need to become intimately familiar with the content you’re working with to support the strategy, planning, optimizing and migration. A Content Assessment considers the qualitative aspects of existing content. It evaluates the site against usability, design, writing style/grammar best practices and achievement of goals. In this two-hour session, we’ll discuss the importance of the content assessment and best practices for analyzing the information in a timely manner.

This session will cover:
•    The benefits of assessing content
•    How to assess and analyze content
•    How to optimize your time and energy during the assessment
•    What to do when you’re designing a website from scratch
•    How to present your findings to your team and client

Homework
•    Assess content on a website
•    Content brief and assessment
•    Presentation findings

Week Three

Developing Content Guidelines
Content Guidelines provide recommendations for strategy, messaging, voice and tone that specifically apply to the online audience. They help editors and content contributors maintain one voice in a multi-author environment. In this two-hour session, we’ll discuss when content guideline should be created, the elements included and how to share the information with your design team and your client.

This session will cover:
•    The elements of content guidelines
•    When to start developing
•    Who to share with
•    How to present

Homework
•    Develop content guidelines
•    Present guidelines

Week Four

Understanding & Developing Taxonomy
A taxonomy classifies your content so that related information will dynamically appear throughout your site, and will help your audience find the information they need. In this class we’ll review how to create a taxonomy and how it’s applied within the site.

This session will cover:
•    What a taxonomy is
•    How to develop a taxonomy
•    How to implement your taxonomy

Homework
•    Develop a taxonomy
•    Present to colleagues

Week Five

Content Marketing: Who, What, Where, When & Why NOW!
Content Marketing is not just about SEO and Ad words. It’s about developing content that informs and educates your audience. In this two-hour session, we’ll review the true meaning of content marketing, how to determine what content to develop and how to keep the momentum going. We’ll also talk about SEO best practice (which really means quality content).

This session will cover:
•    Content Marketing: What is it exactly?
•    Editorial Calendars: Your best friend for staying organized, and ahead of your competitors
•    SEO Best Practices: It’s not as difficult as you may think
•    Optimizing influencers: No, you don’t need to spend a ton of money on advertising, just tell your “friends”

Homework
•    Plan your Content Marketing Strategy
•    Define your top 50 keywords
•    Discover your influencers

Week Six

Content Management Systems: The Basics
Content Strategists play a key role in developing content management (CMS) systems as well as managing throughout pre- and post- launch. This session will review the different types of CMSs and what you as a content strategist needs to due to support the development and management.

This session will cover:
•    The different types of CMSs
•    Content Strategists responsibilities to support the build

Homework
•    n/a

Week Seven

Content Migration Planning & Implementation
Content migration is typically a huge endeavor, but when planned properly, it can go smoothly. This two-hour session will review the content migration process and tips for planning and organizing.

This session will cover:
•    The content migration process
•    What to look out for
•    How to rally the team

Homework
•    Content migration plan

Week Eight

Final Presentation
Now that you’ve gone through the steps to develop your content strategy, it’s time to present your work and final conclusions to your class and your client. This exercise will give you the chance to get a feel of what it’s like to present to a client and begin to define your presentation style. Be prepared to answer questions from your client.

Homework
•    Present findings to your client and class

 

EIGHT-WEEK CLASS SCHEDULE


Feb 20 – April 10
July 11 – Aug 29

$1,999


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16 Hours
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On-Own Homework
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