Every Page is Page One – Interview with Mark Baker at UAEurope 2017

Here is an interview we carried out with Mark Baker, author of Every Page is Page One. The interview is interspersed with audio snippets from Day 1 of the UAEurope 2017 conference.

Presentations:

  • Caroline Loverage (Thermo Fisher Scientific). Teaching by Example: Worked Examples in the Documentation of Complex Systems
  • Kelly O’Brien (Kayako). Practical Information Architecture: Building Templates For Better Content.
  • Helena Pichler (Nominet). AsciiDoc to Responsive Webhelp: Agile documentation for small teams/

With thanks to Matthew Ellison and Mark Baker.

How IBM uses audience intent modelling

I spoke at, and attended, the Content Strategy Applied 2017 conference last week. One of the keynote speakers, James Mathewson, provided a fascinating description of how IBM uses audience intent modelling to map its content plans. By doing this IBM is able to align its content with the buying cycles for their target personas.

This planning involves the management of 300 million pages and 100,000 marketing assets, and they use a dizzying array of artificial intelligence and software to improve their search engine rankings. However, their strategy is actually very simple.

There are three forms of audience intent

These are informational (learn about a topic), navigational (find information about a topic), and transactional (find a place to buy the solution or get help).

Audience intent

There are two kinds of audience

These are business people and specialists.

There are two kinds of queries

These are branded and unbranded. Most searches are unbranded questions, and people only move to branded questions when they are ready.

There are five stages in the IBM customer journey

Here are the steps and the type of content IBM  provides:

  1. Discover –  What is big data? web page
  2. Learn –  Video on big data (“Four ways big data and analytics transform marketing”)
  3. Solve – A product information page (“14 top big data analytics platforms”)
  4. Try – The offer (Watson Analytics 30 day free trial)
  5. Buy – A whitepaper (“Understanding Watson Analytics”)

IBM has invested heavily in technology

This is used to maintain consistency in the tagging of content, and in the tone and voice. It’s also used to learn what audience want, and are searching for on the web. A lot of searches are in the form of questions, so they mine those questions to discover what they are asking.

audience type

IBM avoids online marketing tricks

James said “clever messages to push people and trick them” rarely work online, and if they do the reader is unlikely to come back. Instead they focus on what the audience wants, and aim to meet that need.

It was the best presentation at the conference, and it provided lots of ideas for Cherryleaf’s website.

Conference on Agile documentation

The Gov.uk GDS team is organising a one day, free of charge conference in December, where speakers will discuss techniques for writing documentation in an Agile environment, and how to make your content Agile:

  • Tips to writing continuous documentation, ensuring it stays up to date.
  • Tips to getting the development team to value documentation.
  • Knowledge of the tools available to help you write Agile docs.
  • Understanding of how much documentation to write and when to start writing it.
  • Suggestions of how writers can become part of the product development cycle.
  • Understanding of how to overcome challenges that come with working in Agile environments (where the focus often tends to be on the product and not on the content).

This free event will be held in Victoria, central London. Cherryleaf’s Ellis Pratt will be speaking at the event.

See:
https://www.meetup.com/Write-The-Docs-London/events/234913157/

Agile the Docs speaker request form

Customers as Advocates Conference 2016

I thought I’d mention a conference I’ll be attending this month – The Customers as Advocates Conference.

“Customers as Advocates” focuses on the challenges of creating successful customer relationships that lead to reference and case study programmes.”

Although it is aimed at professionals that sell and market enterprise technology, I found it very informative, as a great deal of it relates to User Assistance and other forms of technical communication.

I attended this (free) conference last year, and I particularly enjoyed the presentations on developing and nurturing a thriving community of advocates.

“More than 70 percent of the buying journey is complete before a customer looks at your marketing or engages with sales. Who are your prospects and customers speaking to, and what are they sharing about the experience?” Ian Williams, Director, Jericho Consulting

The conference will be held on Thursday 26 May, in London.