Who's Your Role Model? .

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Let me ask you for the names of female role models in tech... 

Did you think Ada Lovelace? Grace Hopper perhaps? Both very worthy of being on that list. 

This was a conversation a few of me and my male dev colleagues were talking about this week on the approach to International Women's Day.

I still think that the marketing of women in all fields, not just computing, needs a modern day kick up the ass. It is absolute madness that the two names above are still the 'go-to names' for female role models in tech, one of which died 167 years ago! 

For me, the name I think of is that of Dr Anne-Marie Imafidon. She is the CEO of Stemettes and her work on  Artificial Intelligence is fascinating; if you get a chance to hear her public speaking I highly recommend it!

“Aged 11, she was the youngest girl ever to pass A-level computing, and was just 20 years old when she received her Master’s Degree in Mathematics and Computer Science from the University of Oxford.”

Being a SQL Server admin, one of the many blogs I followed to hone my skills was Kendra Little. Reading her blog, I learnt a lot about performance tuning among others and even today with the likes of extremely talented people such as Pinal Dava aka SQL Authority, I still consider her information in the highest regard which just tells you she's top notch.

If your interests lean more towards physics, you should try following Katie Mack on Twitter... she's an astrophysicist and her posts are great fun.

You can go read her latest post here which is “Extra dimensions, black holes, and vacuum decay, oh my”

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Katie at the Large Hadron Collider

Or perhaps conservation, natural science is more your thing, how about Cristina Zenato...“Cristina has dedicated a lifetime to exploration, education and conservation”

This is a video of her swimming with sharks to help them by removing fishing hooks.

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Talking about the technical challenges of getting data from Australia all the way to the EU by moving it here in shipping containers! Due to the sheer quantity of information being produced. Impressive for anyone in development to hear about the challenges faced in her field of expertise.

I think it shows that there are so many great role models for women now. These are a few off the top of my head and I have no doubt that there are so very many more. I don't discount the impact some of these historical individuals have had on all areas, but the people who will inspire the next generation and here and now.

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

07 Mar 2019 - 6 minute read
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