The True Life of an Intern .

True_Meaning_of_Intern

Tea and coffee, milk runs, washing up… These are the terms others and I associate when ‘Intern’ is mentioned. However, it hasn’t exactly been like that with Sagittarius.

I arrived as an Intern Developer in June 2016 as part of my University sandwich year, wanting to develop my understanding of the world of client side development. When I arrived, I soon learnt the meaning of Client Side from a Server Siders’ dictionary, ‘making colours and pretty pictures’.

As time elongated, my ideas and thoughts expanded and my pay… stuck still. I began to increase my job role and excel my overall understanding of agency workflow and office life. I began working with Design, UX and Project Managers assisting their work, decreasing their workload. Doing these tasks I learnt the ropes of the job, the amount of admin work that is required before a project is undertaken, and how to keep important documents safe and protected.

I went through a phase that influenced my desire to stay at Sagittarius. I have always been a competitive swimmer from the age of 9, I have been taught by GB Coaches and been lucky enough to train with past and present Olympic swimmers during my educational years at school. My knowledge and natural talents of the sport, like others that swim, understand it isn't an easy lifestyle to live, perfect and endure. Because of this knowledge, I previously went into teaching swimming and found teaching was a hidden talent I didn't know I had. I loved this career, and missed this when I moved to Sagittarius.

My fault was comparing this experience to the placement at Sagittarius. For you that don't know, it is a job that requires a computer and a desk, which for me was new. Going from an active part time job at the sports centre and some office hours working for my father (that let’s be honest, wasn't really a job as I got away with everything), to one that doesn't include any activity or interaction with other people (like customers or members of the public) it was difficult to get used to.

I sat down with our Head of Relations, who said “stop treating this as a job, or an employment. Use it to learn, increase your understanding of agency work and improve your abilities.” From then on, I have done just so. Through requesting different jobs, I increased my understanding of agency work and the ability to be as flexible as possible as I was taking on jobs that would have required a; Designer, Client-side Developer, Video Editor and or UX Developer. With this new mind set, I then went back to what I enjoyed at the sports centre and asked to carry on teaching two hours of classes on a Sunday and build up my private lesson list, whilst improving my work at Sagittarius.

I feel I have found myself this year, I have found talents I didn't know I had, and had the opportunity to get involved with everything and anything the agency had available. Which, had no real connection to why I started with the aspiration of an intern developer.

Overall, I will let you into a secret of mine. I have taken away a lot more than what people think, yes I haven't really been able to do much development but the rounded Evan that arrived is coming away even more rounded, no reference to the biscuit box in the kitchen, but through all the jobs I have done and endured through my placement at Sagittarius.

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?

 
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Sagittarius
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Sagittarius

24 May 2017 - 5 minute read
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