As content professionals, we strive for clear, concise communication on the web. We cut clutter, hone our message, and plan for purposeful content. “Simple” is understandable and useful. “Complex” is confusing and time-consuming. To sustain positive change on the web in our organization we must extend this mindset to all of our content work. Ongoing content strategy requires cultural support for governance with buy-in from the top and bottom of our org chart. This means clearly communicating value for stakeholders and providing useful tools and training for content contributors. Web content is complex. It’s our job to simplify it -- for everyone. Join this session and learn how to: • Focus on what matters to hone your content strategy and create a sustainable governance plan • Get internal stakeholders to care by clearly communicating the value of content strategy • Develop content guides and tools that simplify content workflow, governance, and training
From MySpace to Mobile: How Ten Years of E-Expectations Research Informs Future Digital Strategies (TIE6)
Since 2005, the E-Expectations research project has tracked the online preferences of college-bound high school juniors and seniors. The e-recruitment and technology landscape has changed considerably in that time. Facebook and YouTube were just beginning to go public, Twitter had not yet launched, and the iPhone was still two years away. Over that time, how have the expectations of prospective college students changed? How will they continue to evolve? This session will examine ten years of E-Expectations research data, and will discuss how the identified trends might apply to the future development of websites, mobile, social media, and email. The presenters will also discuss how campuses can create an effective mix of online recruitment strategies that will both engage students and be manageable for those overseeing campus technologies. Participants will leave this session with a better understanding of how to increase the quality and consistency of their online content across multiple channels.
The Web Culture Shift (MCS6)
A successful web content strategy requires support from people all across an organization -- people with a wide range of experience and comfort levels when it comes to web work. To get our people invested in web content and thinking strategically, we first need to change the culture and thinking surrounding “web” in our institutions. This session will offer practical advice for influencing culture change on your campus, and convincing your people that they have a part in the “web” after all.
We live in a visual world. With the growing popularity of apps such as Instagram and Snapchat -- and with Facebook and Twitter becoming increasingly more image-driven -- it is essential that higher ed marketers and social media managers be able to engage student audiences through dynamic imagery. Information that used to be presented in text-heavy flyers and emails is now forced to compete for our students’ attention alongside Grumpy Cat memes and ten-second Vines. If you’re not a graphic designer nor professional photographer, this new landscape can seem pretty scary! But here’s the good news: By following a few simple tips, anyone can create beautiful, aesthetically pleasing, and effective visual content. This presentation will guide you through the process of visual content creation, including tips and tricks for planning your image strategy, taking the perfect photo with just a smartphone, editing and adding text, applying basic design principles, and implementing your new and improved material into existing communications channels.
In many organizations, especially decentralized ones as you often find in higher education, content owners and editors often operate independently, disconnected from best practices, organizational standards and style, or peers who face similar challenges in creating and managing content. In some cases, content is only a small and intermittent part of these individuals' jobs. To make our content strategy come to life, we need to make it accessible and relatable to the people we rely upon to execute it. And that means making those people accessible and relatable to each other. By organizing internal content communities within our organizations, we can better communicate the value of content strategy, and provide much-needed support to content owners and editors. Attendees will learn: - The value of organizing an internal content community - Strategies for launching and facilitating a content community - Best practices for making the community successful for both its members and the organization
Managing the Unmanageable (MCS10)
Websites can quickly get out of control with input, advice, suggestions, and directives coming from every direction. During our recent redesign, we decided to align our site with the university's mission and strategic plan. Keeping these two items at the forefront of the redesign process allowed us to make key decisions that would have been difficult otherwise. We started with a single strategy and we quickly saw the shortcomings of trying to be too generic. We ended with an overall web strategy that has a four-pronged approach to emerging technology, architecture, content, and design. Each strategy (including the overall) has three or four goals associated with it, and represents many of the common issues faced as we build and maintain websites. For our web group, it allows us to continually keep our focus on what is important, and if needed, change a goal based on the ever-changing web world. For our campus community, the strategies are presented in a simple way and have been documented (which makes them "official"), so that they can easily be shared and taught.