A while back I tweeted that one of the biggest problems with selling the virtues of content strategy within an organization is that the people on the other side of the table rarely use their own web sites. This is especially true the higher up the food chain you go. Senior execs rarely ever visit, let alone use, their company’s site.
Here’s a tactic I like to use. I call it the Content Card Game.
- Go to the organization’s website and put yourself in the shoes of the user.
- Imagine the kinds of common tasks users would try to accomplish on the website. (Variant: if SEO is an issue, imagine tasks involving search engines.)
- Imagine different kinds of users: Customers, prospects, job seekers, investors and journalists.
- Be nuanced. Picture the users in different contexts: a noob user vs. a power user. A happy customer vs. an angry customer.
- Identify the content trouble spots. Where the content encountered doesn’t help the user accomplish the task. Keep an eye out for ROT, lack of content, writing quality, off message, forms, navigation, etc.
- Matrix these trouble spots and task with the company’s business objectives.
- Next, write down each task on an index card until you have a sizeable deck of cards.
- At your next meeting, ask the representatives of the company to each pick a card. Then have them go online and try to accomplish the task in a set amount of time with no help from anyone in the room.
- One variant is to have people from one department pick cards related to parts of the website that are NOT their responsibility.
- When they’re done, pull out the matrix. The results are a great conversation starter.
Adapt and improve at will. Anyone have any quick and dirty tricks?