Sara Getz works with digital product teams at Facebook to create content that is accessible, organized and meaningful for the people who use those products. Previously, she had shaped content strategy for companies including FX Networks, Benefit Cosmetics, Aeroplan, Universal Studios and the University of California, San Francisco. At Facebook, she focuses on infusing product experiences with compassionate, clear language.
Ahead of her presentation at the Content Strategy Innovation Summit in Los Angeles this September 15-16, we sat down with Sara to talk all things content.
How did you get started in content strategy?
I came to content strategy by way of many other things, like so many of us do. I studied journalism and political science in college because I love writing and understanding how systems work. I worked in a few research organizations after college, always thinking I'd eventually go the academic route. Instead, I ended up taking on various digital projects at those places and found I really enjoyed thinking through how we could communicate something meaningful while being strategic about the process. I also love doing research and learning about why people do the things they do, so being in a UX-driven field is a very natural fit for me.
How have new technologies impacted your organization’s content strategy?
Working in technology, you're always thinking about the next thing. Right now, a lot of that focus is on VR and IoT. Some of the most exciting work a few of my colleagues have been doing recently is around what the content strategy of VR will look like, how it will shape those experiences and how we'll create content in this new 'world.' It's a topic I'm super interested in and one I'm really excited to work with our team on.
What metrics should organizations be looking at when judging how successful their content is?
Metrics tell us a lot about how much our content resonates with people, but I'd encourage organizations to conduct some quality usability research to really learn about the intents behind people's behaviors. There's nothing more helpful — or humbling — than watching someone use a product you design content for. How do they 'fail' using the product? How they use is it in a way that's totally different from how we intended? Some of the most meaningful changes I've made to my content strategy work has come out of user research.
How do you see content strategy changing this year?
I've been noticing lately that the minimalist, less-is-more aesthetic that has been paramount in design has made its way to content and the way we engage with it. I'm really interested in that — in fact, a colleague and I are currently researching the topic and presenting about it this later this fall.
What will you be discussing in your presentation?
A lot of the work I do focuses on people using our product in emerging markets. In those places, the day a person creates their first Facebook account is also often the first time they're using a smartphone, email, and even the internet. I'll be talking about the challenges of creating content that resonates with those users and what I've learned in the process.
You can hear more from Sara, along with other industry-leading experts, at the Content Strategy Innovation Summit in Los Angeles this September 15-16. To register your interest, click here.