Build a Content App in 30 Minutes

Michelle Lawrence Picture

by Michelle Lawrence | Last Updated: Mar 25, 2022

Content remains king and you’re likely already investing a ton of time and resources in creating great content. And then promoting it across the same noisy channels as everyone else and seeing lackluster results. That’s why you need to create an exclusive way for your customers to easily engage with your brand and content.

Leigh Hamer: Good afternoon, everyone, thank you for joining us, my name is Leigh Hamer and I will be your presenter today. Just as a matter of housekeeping. Any questions that you have please feel free to use the Q&A portion of the Zoom myself and my cohost Michelle will take pauses throughout to answer some of those questions like to make these as engaging as possible, so please use that portion. I have two sections to today's presentation, the first i'm just going to go through a quick presentation setting up you know what the importance of content is and then showing you a live demonstration of how to actually build an app in our studio so without further ado let's get started.

So today we are going to talk about building a content app in 30 minutes and like I said, my name is Leigh Hamer I am the Vice President of Customer Experience. I have more than 17 years of experience in marketing, namely within communications, leading international PR and other internal campaigns for various clients and businesses, today I have the pleasure of working with our customers to implement and drive real marketing and digital results for them and I love it so.

When I think about content I think about storytelling and it's storytelling with a purpose right so each one of you uses content to tell a story to weave a narrative for some and objective for your audience right ultimately it's helped them make a decision to purchase to click to patron. You're asking for some action from them and I wanted to share with you some of the reasons why it's likely we do what we do. So you're seeing a lot of numbers pop up in front of you essentially what this story tells is the importance of your content right, so if people want to hear a thank you and whether that is an email and app content on your website or a handwritten note in a box when somebody gets a delivery after ordering from your company.

They want to hear from you, they want to know that they matter and that helps obviously create recurring customers and repeat loyalty from them. We also know that content can drive reviews, so if you don't ask you don't get right. It's actually about 70% of consumers will post a review if you ask them that's incredibly valuable when we think about the way consumers behave today, which is seeking out other reviews peer reviews of content of sorry of products or of services, as well as.

The ethics of a business, very important to this generation, making sure that an organization aligns with their own personal beliefs and they want to hear from their peers and their experiences to validate what a company or an organization claims. A lot of consumers so nearly 100% say that customer service is important and however you deliver content can certainly drive home the point of how customer service is delivered within your organization is it proactive, or is it reactive does it meet consumers' where they are, or is it hidden and is it something they have to seek out so making that more accessible, is certainly a key portion of any successful content strategy. And then we talked about repeat customers for a moment, but they are so valuable because they do spend more than the average first time customer.

So we know that the value is high, because we don't have to spend as much to acquire them.

So their lifetime value is much higher, but because of loyalty and a familiarity with products and services it's likely that then they spend more in subsequent purchases so re engaging them with your content is of the utmost importance. And lastly, about three quarters of consumers would shop at a retailer that offered and improve mobile in store experience so whether or not you have a store.

Here, a hospital whatever type of organization, you are when you think about improving that customer experience.In aisle or in a facility or in a store that is really critical to these customers and a content app a content website something like that can certainly engage them and deliver what those 74% of your consumers are seeking. So let's talk about the steps that are necessary to achieve any number of these purposes that you might be setting out to accomplish within your organization. So here, I have a handful of steps and i'm going to walk through each one of them, and why I think this is what any successful organization needs to do when they are going to go and create a content app. So the first step. Is designing what kind of content type you're really driving for as most of you probably know, there are three content types, the first is awareness so top of the funnel.Just educating a new group about who you are your brand your services your products or your maybe educating an existing audience about a new brand or a new product or a new service, the point about awareness is something here is new to somebody. And this is very much top of the funnel just general awareness of your place in an industry in a market in a competitive set.

The second is considerations we're moving further down this funnel. This is where you need to address the needs of an audience, who are searching for something within your sphere so they're searching for a new doctor they're searching for a new lawn more whatever that might be. They are receptive to a purchase they're seeking it out, because of some need that they have and you need to address that need with this consideration phase. The last is decision right, so this is that click this is that purchase, this is that converted consumer it's closing the deal with an audience and making them feel confident in their purchase and then moving them forward in their experience with your organization. Identifying which bucket you're falling into or if you're in some venn diagram of this. That is important to recognize, because the next step is audience right, and when you think about your audience.

You need to first understand who am I talking to am I talking to a new audience set so let's just say you're going to a trade show. And you've never been to this trade show in Canada, so you know it's an entirely new markets and entirely new audience nobody has seen your brand or your business cards. Recognizing that and recognizing where they are in their journey and their experience and their education of you and your organization is fundamental to any content strategy. So with that example Okay, I know that my audience is brand new I need to start at ground zero I need to build up their understanding of who we are offering and lay it all out. That is very different than returning to a trade show in Miami that you've been to year after year, and you know all the players. Right, and you know, most of the customers that come into that trade show, so you can leap frog from I'm going to educate you to I need to reacquaint you with maybe some new. Add ons new products, new services, but the same brand that's a very different content play and just understanding that about the audience that you're going to be engaging is critical. So, as you assess your audience there's a couple of questions, I would say you really need to think about who are you engaging what do they need. Where will they be so thinking about the trade show where are they going to be emotionally and physically. it's very important I'm going to trade show floor in Canada and I've never met you. Okay, so physically I'm in a trade show i'm not at my desk i'm just going to have my phone that's a different way to engage and gather content. and emotionally, I have no idea who you are so maybe I'm standoffish and i'm not really willing to come up to your booth because i'm not familiar with you, recognizing those two attributes again we'll make sure that you deliver a content strategy that meets them where they are. And then the last three questions are when do they need to hear from you. So starting to think about that audience what content are you going to deliver to them and really asking yourself why, when do they need to hear from me, what is the information I think they need to have at this moment.

So why is this a moment that they need to hear from you justify it a little bit further to yourself and your team. And then, how are you going to measure success well, they need to hear from me when they're in aisle because they need to make a decision between my lawn mower and a competitive one more. And i'm going to measure success, based on the rate of sale at retailers that are participating in my in aisle activation campaign. Right, and so you can attribute some of your app activations and engagement to in store sales or coupon redemption. Or maybe it's just how many people signed up at a trade show for a meeting or downloaded a PDF of further information but identifying how you're going to measure it will help lead you into the next stage, and knowing your audience. Which is content inventory so here what you're going to be doing is thinking about three things the first is existing so think about the existing content that you have knowing the audience knowing their needs, what information they have where they're going to be physically what they don't know about you what they need to know all those things. Then start to do a quick list of everything you have what is written what videos do you have what podcasts Have you had any news coverage. Whether or not it's about you or it's about the industry and it's validating your new idea.

To have blogs that are prewritten infographics video archives of video case studies testimonials photos anything like that search to do that inventory, so you know when you step in what you have to work with. And then from there, identify any gaps okay so anything that you know you have to have okay I don't have anything photography wise about my new product clearly that's going to be a gap, we need to get that what kind of images do I want what other written content, might I want about something new that I need to share with this new audience. And then, once you have somewhat of a content inventory, you can really start to think about your app outline, and when you think about your app outline a couple of things, I would say question. If you're going to include some kind of brand purpose statements and kind of mission and values, who you are as an organization. Think about the most common customer questions that you get or questions from the audience that you're aiming to target and engage with. And then the most common issues or complaints that you've experienced with customers by doing so you're going to identify what types of content, you should have and be a proactive brand right. What information can we just get out there and get ahead of any of the confusion or issues that we've experienced and learn from our past. You can also then assess the content and assess what is most engaging based on your existing content. That can help you in your out or app outline by identifying where these things should be in a hierarchy, so the most engaging content I want that up front, so we don't lose people immediately right we want stuff that we know people are seeking that has done and performed well elsewhere. And then don't be ashamed of repurposing content and using that within your app outline but within your app outline what you're really going to start to do is prioritize and categorize your content based on that audience needs.

So start with things like thinking about your homepage okay. It needs to meet expectations of that audience, or they are going to bounce right so that homepage, why are they coming, what is the call to action that you have that tells them that they need to activate this content app. Is it going to tell them about a new product is it going to demonstrate to them how to set up a new device, or is it going to help them connect to an expert for the services that they're seeking. That homepage better answer those questions and give them the power to continue that process or they're going to be very confused so within your app outline on that homepage think about what is the most important thing that my audiences. And then really think about an intuitive navigation so as you start to prioritize and categorize your content and by categorize it, I mean maybe it's simply as about my products about specific product lines about you know these types of questions or these types of issues have come up and so we're going to group these into solution areas of our app. But think about your navigation in terms of those categorized areas, so people can have a logical flow as they continue through. And then think about your actions in the request that you're making of your audience those should be very clear, and they should be very simple I need you to fill out a warranty card right, I need you to register your product. So make that apparent to them and then maybe that helps give them more tailored information about their products so always make sure that those types of CTS are clearly identified for them. And then I love this when when you think about your app outline count the clicks if you are burying the lead, as they say, that is not going to yield a really great. User experience if people are trying to activate an app to engage with an expert about your services that shouldn't take multiple clicks to get to write. Think through how many times, people are going to have to jump a hurdle to get to the information that they want and see how quickly you can maybe deliver that to them. In fewer clicks and fewer pages, not many folks will spend more than three to four pages per session within an app so keeping that in mind, might help you also prioritize the type of content that you put on your homepage and then just one click away from the homepage.

All right, then, once you have your app outline, then you can go into the app creation, which is the fun part and that's what I'm going to show you here in just a moment. But before we jump into that I do want to address, there is another stage so after you create your app there is an entire process to launch it and make sure it is adopted. Make sure it's successful and it reaches your audience so thinking about your launch campaign, how are you going to get it in the hands of your audience so as you look back several steps. The first thing that you did was figure out why am I doing this, I you know, is this for awareness is it for consideration is it to drive a decision and among what group. This is where it comes full circle in this launch and making sure that you put it in places where that audience is receptive to it and so your app can be successful.

Okay, so before I jump in I thought it would be helpful to maybe set up an example because there's literally millions of ways that we can create a content app. So here i've just written up a very simple use case so let's imagine we are with a hospital system, and we need to provide patients and their loved ones with information about hospital services and policies. So we want to provide them with very useful information when a patient is admitted, maybe for long term or short term surgery or whatever they might need but they're going to be in the hospital for a while and we need to give them some information. So let's pretend that we've gone through the steps of figuring out our audience and doing an assessment of our content and now we're at the stage where we have an outline. So, in general, certainly we do this, much more. Detailed for a true exercise, but at the high level, we would think about would have a homepage Okay, so the first page of the app what kind of information, have we said is most important, and then. Other pages, maybe we need to share with them about their care team, so the various nurses and doctors and technicians, that they will be. Seeing what kind of uniforms, they were what roles they play and what questions should be asked of them right giving the patient, a feeling of empowerment. Everyone wants to know about visitors and the policies and the rules, maybe sharing some more about the hospital, where do I eat. What kind of services are available to me that kind of thing and then very baseline pages faq where do we put all the questions that we know people are going to ask and give them a one stop shop to get all that information.

With any hospital okay people have questions about financial assistance let's make sure that we put that up front, because we know our patients and their families are always asking that let's maybe create less of a burden on our support team to get those calls and then the goal obviously of any patient is to successfully discharge them so let's have some information about our discharge plan process. So if we kind of think about that as our app outline and what we are going to be. Creating here what I'm gonna do is i'm going to change my share and share with all of you an app. Okay, see that all right we're good Okay, so what I have done is i'm in the illuminate studio and because we're about 1516 minutes into our presentation here, I have already started. By building a few of the pages that we talked about in our content outline.

So, in general, the outline helps because when you come in to start building, you can identify the types of pages that you need and how you're going to put the existing content that you have in the content that maybe your team is creating. In here to create a holistic app So the first thing that I like to start with, is just thinking about navigation So here we have a fly out navigation, with some of those pages that you saw. So, by identifying the pages that we need, I can easily come over here, I can add my page that I need. And I've done that here, then within the branding section, what I can do is start to set up the navigation to these various key pages that I've already said. I know I'm going to have content for right i'm not whining i'm not just jumping in here blind, I have a plan so within the branding section now I can fully customize this I can change the font to whatever my company's branding is so let's perhaps say that. it's let's change it to around you can also change your color palette so that way throughout it has your brand consistency.But then here within the header i've selected header with menu because because of my outline I know i'm gonna have a lot of pages to my app or more than just a few. So this allows me to have a fly out menu here, then what I can do is just simply start adding in my page names and because i've already gone through the process of adding those pages. I can easily linked to them from here, I can certainly keep adding more pages and then come back over here and link them. I have chosen here not to do a footer and a FAB so our scroll all the way down our FAB is a floating action button.

I just trying to keep this pretty clean and be very content driven, but if you wanted to incorporate anything like a live chat if that's something that your team is supporting I can certainly add it in here drift, is a good example. And also, we have live chat and live agent and that shows up just as a circular icon above all other content in the app okay now what I am able to do is i'm able to start adding things into my app. To start adding some of the content which you see here like my images and this is a carousel to help with some additional navigation. Where I like to start after I kind of do a framework of my app is I go into content, yes, I do want to save my changes. So under content, this is where illuminate enables you to store any documents and images, you can also create forms for this use case that's not very relevant, but I can certainly create any kind of form here and include that in my app so, for instance here within documents, as you can see, I can have an excel file a word document a PowerPoint or a PDF. And you can add as many of these as you need, and then I can link to them from my app So if I have a PDF of my patient rights or my patient policies. Anything that is maybe more authoritative that I want to point to I would load it here.

I'd also like to come through and load my images So these are images that I've identified that I'm going to go in my app. So maybe they show off my cafe. You see, I have my hospital logo, I have some images about my interpreters so based on my content outline I know what imagery and assets, I have available to me. Now, once I've loaded all of those and it's just as simple as clicking this selecting your file, giving it a name, so you can name it something different than the file name, so that way it's easily identified in here Okay, then I can go back into my app. And it's my webinar content app. And then anywhere that there is an image, I can link to one of the images that I've loaded within content and anywhere that there is a link I can connect my users to anything that I loaded within documents, so let me just give you an example. So here I am using an image. From content images and it's just my hospital but let's just say, maybe that's a little too on the nose, maybe I want something that feels a little bit more personal, so perhaps I want something like this. My doctor photo which just shows a happy doctor or something a little bit more personal I can easily swap those out and not have to go searching my files so by taking the time to load it into content it'll make it go a lot faster, as you start implementing your app and playing with different options.

In terms of how you use those assets that you've gathered always a great idea to add in your alt text. So that way should the image failed to load or if anybody has accessibility on their devices, they can see the alt text in lieu of that image okay. Then what i've done in combination with my fly out the fly out is kind of a fail safe for allowing people to find all the pages and we can have many more up to 15 linked I'm using our Avatar carousel over here to connect people to some of those key pages that we identified so that way from the homepage. I am identifying that I want my new patients to quickly get information about your care team again one tap away interpreter services, maybe that's something we've seen a rise in an increase demand for so again making sure these items are one click away from the homepage. Then we can do our other pages and start inputting our information faq is a really common one, I like to use our expandable cards for this. So the expandable card allows you to have an action so for faq it allows the user to quickly see the question and then they can expand and get more details, they can keep expanding things and all of them will stay open.

But here pardon me again, the idea being one click away if a user does come to the faqs and they start to ask you know, can I have visitors are welcome, whatever benign answer we give here, maybe we give them a quick link to the visitor policy which, in this case. If I click on the button, instead of linking maybe to the visitor page maybe we decide we don't need an actual visitor page, but rather we have. A document, so perhaps we have a brochure about visitors and our current policies and maybe it is something that's ever-evolving based on. The season flus things like that we can link it to the PDF that we have loaded with them, content and then any changes that we made in content to that file will automatically show up here, where it is linked.

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