Passwords Should Be An Asset Not A Burden.

31045  Passwords Image

A few years ago I read a security review on http://www.antionline.com/ regarding the use of the word password for accessing accounts. Splashdata.com has recently announced that this year’s worst password is 123456 knocking password from the top spot for the first time. http://splashdata.com/press/worstpasswords2013.htm

  1. 123456
  2. password
  3. 12345678
  4. qwerty
  5. abc123
  6. 123456789
  7. 111111
  8. 1234567
  9. iloveyou
  10. adobe123

What can Website owners do

I’m sure one issue is people who want to buy something without the complex registration process. As a marketing agency we understand the importance of capturing as much information about a user as possible. That said a guest checkout process on an ecommerce website still captures all that information. It just makes it easy for user to checkout without a password.

You can also make it easier for the end user by implementing federated login on your website. Sagittarius already has integrations for Google, Facebook and Yahoo. This means that your users can use existing accounts so don't need to manage yet another password.

What can we do

I imagine you have paperwork in your house regarding your mortgage, passports and bank accounts. Probably details regarding birth dates, national insurance and any investments you may have? Do you leave it in a paper box on your doorstep for every random passer-by to read? I'm guessing probably not!

Passwords are the key to your sensitive data and it’s up to you to ensure it’s protected. Identity theft has been on the rise year on year since 2007. With passwords like 123456 or password your account has almost certainty already been accessed and any data it contains downloaded and is being resold on the internet.

I don't believe I’m an unusual internet user, I have something like 40+ accounts on various online shopping, social media and banking websites. Coming up with new passwords especially secure ones and remembering passwords is a massive inconvenience. Luckily there are many tools online which make it easier for us. You can also read up on what makes a secure or a weak password on Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Password_strength

Generate passwords

There are a number of great tools for generating secure passwords. Unfortunately the securer the password the more difficult it is to remember. The wiki how link below shows how to create easy to remember passwords.

https://secure.pctools.com/guides/password/
http://www.wikihow.com/Create-a-Password-You-Can-Remember

Password Meters

You can use online password meters to determine if a password you are using is h4 enough to withstand attack. Then weed out any which don't meet the grade.

http://www.passwordmeter.com/

https://www.comparitech.com/privacy-security-tools/password-strength-test/

Password Cards

Several online providers have released different types of password cards. These are cards which can be printed out and stored in your wallet or use on a mobile apps. The card is unique and nobody has the same card as you. In fact if you lose the card number you will never be able to regenerate it. You can use the simple number symbol combinations to generate unique passwords for all your sites.

http://www.passwordcard.org/en

Password Storage

There are a number of password storage mechanisms on the internet. You can get mobile applications of pen keys from companies like Splashdata which contain all your unique passwords. You can also use programs like KeePass to store them in an encrypted file on your computer.

http://www.splashdata.com/

http://keepass.info/

Whatever your business, be it a regional or global brand, the content you produce plays a vital role in your success. You know that… hence you’re reading this.

A well formulated and executed content strategy not only drives more traffic, at the core, it defines what your business is and helps build a strong connection between you and your audiences.

So let's quickly look at why developing a coherent content strategy is important and how setting clear goals and understanding your audience will elevate your online performance. 

What is a Content Strategy?

It's basic right? Content is at the core of how you define the way your business presents itself and an effective strategy should look to ensure that tone of voice, messaging and the core values are surfaced across all channels, from service or product pages on your website, to blog posts, through social media updates blah blah blah.

But let's keep it simple - your content strategy should be a clear roadmap that connects your marketing activities to your business goals. Align to your customer’s wants and needs and engage them at every interaction point and boom, you're in business. 

Who are my Audience?

You likely start all your projects with this chalked on the wall because your business knows “exactly” who its customers are right? Sounds obvious but we often find its not been done forensically enough (not based on data), is too old (more than 12 months ago - forget it) or its a spin off from some brand work that was legitimately aspirational but doesn’t face the reality of who you your business is actually engaging today.

So start (or circle back) with audience research, building out those personas to understand their ambitions, their lifestyle, their pain points or concerns, and crucially their wants and needs - in your context. 

Do I need to tailor content?

As part of your research find out where your audiences spend their time online and how they interact with content: Some may spend time thoroughly researching a product or service, whereas other audiences may want their content to be quick, snappy or easily digestible in the form of a video, infographic or short blog posts.

 

Ultimately, the key is to produce a strategy that creates the type of content your customers want to see:

  • What are the problems that your product or service will help them solve?

  • Who are they most influenced by?

  • What voices influence their behaviour?

  • What type of content do they consume?

  • Where do they consume content and engage with brands?

Different Content, Different Objectives

 All content is not born equal: When producing your strategy, it is important that the objectives for each individual piece are defined, that these fulfil your marketing objectives and tie to the overarching goals for your business.

There are various content frameworks that exist to aid content development in this way, but one that is popular and effective is Google’s hero, hub and hygiene method: It provides a framework on developing content to achieve different goals and gives guidance on the effort needed to create each type of content.

Hero Content

Hero content is essentially campaign content, it is big splash ideas designed to appeal to a large audience with the aim of telling your brand’s story at scale. 

Ways of measuring hero include the amount of PR mentions or links from authoritative domains plus social interactions and mentions of your brand across all channels. 

Considering the scale of hero campaigns, this content is not regularly produced and is reserved for peak promotional times where it’s important for a business to stand out from their competitors.

Hub Content

Hub content is the stuff that keeps your audience engaged, it expands on the themes of product or service level content, educates users and helps create a connection between themselves and your brand.

Hygiene Content

Hygiene content is the bread and butter of any website, it is the BAU content for products and services, it is SEO focused and targets important keywords at a product, service or guide level.

How do I manage all this?

Content development is only one part of the ongoing work needed when working with an effective content strategy. We call it “feeding the beast” because it really is the fuel in your brand vehicle and once you start you really can’t stop (if it’s delivering results) but that’s where performance measurement comes in.

Your greatest gift in managing the outputs from your hero/hub/hygiene style efforts is to understand If your content is working. To truly deliver results your business must first understand the objectives and goals of each piece of content to effectively measure its success. That as a guiding light from day 1 will let you slow down, speed up, stop or start new content briefs and projects.

Remember - content strategies are not set in stone. They are living breathing things and should adapt and pivot as insights become available and your brand naturally evolves.

If ever you want to chat content and explore new initiatives we’re always here to help.

want to speak to one of our experts?

 
Richard Brisley
Richard Brisley
Tech Lead
Richard is the longest standing member of the Sagittarius team, he works tirelessly to support the development and side-facing team with problem solving and pitches alike. His skills as a .NET programmer and database administrator have been paramount to the success of Sagittarius and our continued success. 

In 2016 and again in 2019 Richard was recognise in the BIMA 100 awards for his outstanding work in Tech, his passion for digital and his contribution to the industry. 

Richard Brisley

Richard Brisley

09 Apr 2014 - 5 minute read
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