Current Powered by GE: A startup within GE that is trying to sell smart controls and the Internet of Things alongside the LED light fixtures that GE sells.
Skills: Content Strategy, Content Audit
Part of the marketing behind Current is to create enough content that businesses can find them on the internet and see the benefit of using their services. The problem is that they have produced so much content, but much of it is not getting seen.
Current identified three types of audiences that they target:
- High level executives who can make decisions on the organization level
- Maketing and sales who could use the advanced technology for improving customer environments
- Facility managers who can implement the technology within their domain
The needs of the target audiences include:
- Energy savings
- Cost savings
- Reliable equipment
- Recognition for innovation
- Inexpensive solutions
Shortsidedness in planning and budgets keep the audience from handing over an upfront cost. Information can help alleviate that, but Current is having issues getting that information out.
Although this is student work, this is a real issue for them and our professors were going to take some of our best solutions and give them to Current. Because of the nature of thise project, I cannot share the details of what I was given, including analytics and names of employees that were in interviews provided to us. Also, I did this in a week, so I didn’t get to go very deep.
In order to help Current’s content strategy, I did the following:
Limited content audit: Because of the limited time, I was only able to go through a sample of their content, looking for patterns more than specific decisions on content.
Reviewed analytics: With the analytics provided, I saw what pages got the most traffic.
Watched interviews: Some leaders within Current spoke about the process and thinking of creating their content. This helped me gain an understanding of their content strategy.
Through these methods I found several issues, including the quantity, tone, and format of the content produced.
WIth the information I gathered, I made some recommendations to Current.
- Evaluate Goals: Current needs to understand why they are producing their content and what they hope to achieve with it. Once they have a clear vision, they can go forward with creating quality content that will deliver a return on investment.
- Testing and Research: In order to best serve their target audience, they should conduct user testing to see what their audience responds to and how to best reach them. Analytics, interviews, literature, best practices, and surveys are some ways to augment their knowledge.
- Tone: Much of the content focuses more on selling than informing, which can turn people off. Current needs to choose an appropriate tone for their content based on the results of their testing and research.
- Content Gatekeepers: A content strategist or committee should make sure all content going out meets quality standards. This will reduce the amount of content that doesn’t meet their goals. They need to emphasize quality over quantity.
- Audit: Determine what content is redundant, outdated, or trivial. Then procede to keep, transform, archive, or delete the content depending on whether it meets the standards that the company comes up with.
- Format: Much of the content is contained in PDFs and eBooks that are not easily searchable or accessible, especially on mobile phones. The content that survives the audit should be in HTML for the best results.
What I Learned
Seeing content strategy applied to the real world and knowing how actual companies struggle with it, instead of just reading about it in theory, helped me understand why it is so important. While it is different from other forms of UX, focused more on the business, content strategy is more enjoyable than I thought it would be.