This is a big part of my job right now, and this is an excellent way to clarify the difference between what a thesaurus is and taxonomy is. Taxonomy really is about the organization of the content so that the hierarchy makes sense.
Another analogy that I’ve used–which I got long ago from Val Swisher of Content Rules is how one can organize a closet. You can put the pants together, the shirts together, and the jackets together, but you could put all the red clothing together, all the blue clothing together, etc. Neither way is wrong, as long as it makes sense and others can follow the flow.
Except with me these days, it’s more about pharmaceutical departments and procedures. Still, even with those topics, we need to scale it back all the way to what are the objectives of the website we’re building, and how do we structure the website so that users can find what they need quickly and easily. Start with the foundational basics, and build from there.
I highly recommended this article if taxonomy isn’t your strength. It shows that it’s not as hard as it seems.
One of my digital marketing profs from Rutgers, Mark Schaefer, wrote this gem (although he writes a lot of gems). I like his approach here–and it’s one that’s a big part of what I often say is the role of social media as well–is that content is to form relationships. You can generate lots of leads, but if those leads don’t turn into relationships, then they are worthless. Social media, I’ve often argued, is one of the means of conversation in the relationship between customers/clients and providers.
What do you think about Mark’s take on this? Include your comments below.
There’s a viral video that just came out that I just love, not only because it’s funny, but it appealed to the geek in me. It’s a woman who bought a fun item for her own enjoyment, and was getting a kick out of how funny it was and how it made her laugh. What can I say? The Force was with her:
It’s a contagious video because it’s so silly, and as she said, it’s the simple joys of life that makes it worthwhile. She has so much fun with the mask, and you can’t help but laugh along with her. My husband and I were laughing so hard we had tears in our eyes.
But wait…did you catch that first part of the video? While she had not intended this to be a marketing video, this ended up being a great marketing video with great content. Where did she get that mask? She got it at a department store chain called Kohl’s. And with this video going viral as quickly as it did, Kohl’s picked up on her video and this woman’s love of Star Wars, and essentially got free advertising! Not only that, but they took it a step further:
Kohl’s was smart! They not only picked up on her mention of the store and how she was a frequent customer, but also on how much one random item at the store brought her so much joy. She had provided fantastic content that reflected well on the store! Fortunately for her, they recognized this, and did something nice by giving her all those gifts as a thank you.
Why do you think that Kohl’s did all that? As I said, they realized the value of this social content. It was all in the storytelling. People who love Star Wars items–and there are lots of them–would especially relate to this story. Even people who didn’t like Star Wars would get a good laugh from watch this woman play with her mask. Kohl’s wasn’t selling anything directly by posting these videos. (Although when I played the videos later, I did see some marketing overlays trying to sell the masks at Kohl’s did pop up, but it was still after the fact.) They did show, in showing their appreciation to the woman, that there were lots of other Star Wars things they sold as a means of indirect selling. Kohl’s showed that they appreciated the value of her sharing her good experience not only with finding her mask, but that she wasn’t discouraged because she had to return some items simply because of sizing issues, and she still found something else she liked. They showed the value of a satisfied customer, which has more value than almost any other kind of marketing or advertising. The gifts were even intended, if you think about it, as a way of keeping her as a value customer.
This is a great example of the power of social media through content and content marketing. The woman was simply sharing her experiences on video through her Facebook account, the video went viral, and as a result, she received all these gifts from the store itself to ensure that she continues to be a valued customer. Kohl’s found appropriate content from a customer that I’m sure will be helping to boost sales for a bit–at least with the Star Wars merchandise–for a while. I’m sure she never expected the attention that she’s gotten, but due to the Kohl’s gift, she extremely glad she shared it!
You never know where good content will come from. This is a great example to show that it can come from anywhere if you have the opportunity to make it or appreciate it.
What do you think of this event? Include your comments below.
While I’ve reviewed what’s happened in 2015 in my recent posts, it’s time for me to look ahead, and see what I need to plan for this year.
I admit that last year, I had big plans. I knew that I wanted to sample some new conferences so that I could have some new experiences and meet new people. I also knew that I wanted to try to launch my own consulting company. Additionally, I knew I needed to learn something new to enhance my skills. I achieved all these goals on some level, so that’s good. However, it’s more difficult this year. If last year was a transitional year, this seems to be more of a transitional year than before. Last year, I had some direction on what I wanted–and needed–to do. This year, I really don’t know where to go, and that’s problematic.
While I earned a mini-MBA in digital marketing last year, I don’t feel strong enough to take on a content marketing job. I could certainly try, but most of the job listings need someone with a stronger marketing background than a digital background. While I understand marketing concepts, my experience fails me on that front. I’m open to taking more coursework in something to enhance my job seeking opportunities, but…in what? Two avenues that I’ve considered is learning more about Agile/Scrum, and the other is looking at getting a certificate in localization practices. I think both would be beneficial, and are things that I’m interested in, but I don’t know how much they would actually help me in the job market where I’m at. I’ve thought about getting some coursework in project management–which is what originally brought me into the IT world almost 20 years ago. Project Management has morphed quite a bit since that time. I’ve also thought about learning more about either WordPress or AEM development, which I think would be good, but I’m not sure where to find the right education for that, or know if I’m up to it, since I’m not really a developer. I’m not sure if any of these are the right direction, either.
I launched my company, but I’ve hardly gotten it off the ground. Part of the problem is that I know I need to focus on what I’m best at, and figure out what I can offer that other consultants can’t. I’m not sure what that is quite yet. I think I have a lot to offer, but honing into what makes me special, unique, and valuable to a client is much harder to define, especially when you are trying to figure it out about yourself. I also need to figure out how to find clients–that’s important, too! If I can get that off the ground more, I’d love that. I’m open to any part-time or full-time projects–even being the sub-contractor for someone else. I’m very open to remote possibilities. I don’t know where the opportunities lie. I know they are out there, but I don’t know how to tap into it.
I’d like to continue trying out new conferences, and perhaps go back to some that I’ve already attended in the past. I’m already set to attend the STC Summit this year, as I’ll be a workshop speaker. I’ll also be attending the STC-PMC Conduit conference–for the first time strictly as an attendee, and not a speaker! But other conferences? A lot of it has to do with time and money. Money is something I don’t have a lot of, and time–well, I don’t know what my time is going to look like a few months from now, let alone later this year. Perhaps I’ll go to the IEEE ProComm which will be in Austin, Texas in the Fall. I’m not sure yet. I thought about going to the Big Design conference in Quito, Ecuador (I heard it’s going to be great, and an opportunity for me to visit cousins-in-law at the same time), but it’s very close to the STC Summit, so I don’t know if I can swing two conferences so close to each other time-wise or financially.
I think the biggest issue, as you can sense here, is that I feel direction-less. It’s almost a dilemma between having too many choices and not enough choices. It’s one of those times that I wish I was a kid again, and someone could see through the clouds better than I could, and help point me in the right direction. But alas, I don’t have such a luxury. I have to figure this out for myself.
You can see that I have ideas, and I’m open to suggestions, but there are too many unknown factors this year that prevent me from committing to anything right now. I don’t know what direction my career is going in right now. Last year was the year that I thought I would turn things around and start in a new direction, and it would be a clear path. I think I had some good ideas last year–and they were, and I could try to continue with them, but I’m not sure how to do that.
So where do I go from this point? As I said, I’m certainly open to suggestions or leads. I have a concept in my head of where I want to go, what I want to do, but I don’t know how to get there. There are no Google Maps to take me there. If you have felt like you didn’t have any direction in your career before proceeding towards next steps, what did you to break out of that rut?
Include your comments below, as I’d really like to hear about some ideas that might benefit me, but could also help others who are facing the same dilemma as I am.
This is not to say I’m not optimistic about this year. I will say that over the past several years, I’m glad that I’ve built a great support network professionally around me who can certainly lift me when I’m down, and I’m grateful for that. Also, who’s to say that I have to set out any goals right now? When I decided to lose weight and get healthy, I didn’t make the plan in January, but rather in May or June of that year. Who’s to say that I won’t have this figured out a little better in a few months? Time will tell, but for now, I’m hoping the Force will provide me with some direction….