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'There Is No One Size Fits All Metric For Successful Content'

We spoke to Stacey Jaffe, Vice President of Digital Content and Channels at Teach For America

6Jul

Stacey Jaffe runs content initiatives across multiple platforms at Teach For America and leads the organization’s efforts to move into a content marketing philosophy. She leads a team of eleven full-time staff members, while partnering with a variety of other teams. In this role, Jaffe develops strategies to utilize data as a 'focus group' upon which to improve the content experience for our various audiences.

Previously, Jaffe toiled for Nickelodeon’s Team Umizoomi (educational preschool television show) in content development. In that role, she conducted focus groups to ascertain how to improve the content to best resonate with the audience. Jaffe also actively volunteers for URJ Camp George. Jaffe completed her B.A. at Miami University and earned her M.A. in Developmental Psychology from Columbia University’s Teachers College.

Ahead of her presentation at the Content Strategy Innovation Summit in Los Angeles this September 15-16, we spoke to Stacey to talk all things content strategy. 

How did you get started in content strategy?

My volunteer experience led to my start in content strategy. In 2011, I was (and still am) serving on the board of URJ Camp George when we received shocking scores on a customer satisfaction index. Upon further study, it became clear that the poor scores were related to poor communication between the camp and its audience. I wrote a strategic plan for utilizing social media to resolve the communication issues. A year later and with no other programmatic changes, URJ Camp George doubled or tripled its results on every single customer satisfaction index question as a result of adopting a new digital communications strategy.

After that moment, I was mesmerized by the power of digital communications to improve a community’s experience. I am honored to be at the helm of Teach For America’s digital community. My goal is to rally our community to continue their work to create a reality where every child, regardless of their zip code, has access to an excellent education. Our community consists of 50,000 individuals who have the shared experience of having taught for at least two years in a low-income community through TFA. Most of our audience never planned for the path that experience set them on; today they are educators, superintendents, lawyers, doctors, policy makers, etc., all of them devoted to the students and communities they served. We leverage our digital channels to connect our audience to one another, to our mission, and to the power of their collective action to create opportunities for their students.

How have new technologies impacted your organization’s content strategy?

Leveraging new technologies is mission critical for us! We know our millennial target audience quickly adopts new media! To keep up with our audience, we consistently iterate our strategy to provide a best-in-class digital content experience that rallies the next generation to join us in our work.

What metrics should organizations be looking at when judging how successful their content is?

There is no one size fits all metric for successful content. To determine the best metric for judging success, it’s best to assess what you want your audience to do with each piece of content and measure that against your hypothesis for how well that piece of content should perform.

Here are some differing ways I think about the multitude of content Teach For America publishes:

- If the goal for a piece of content is to encourage audience members to apply to be a Teach For America corps member, I judge success by the number of conversions.

- If the goal for a piece of content is to encourage our audience members to read a piece of long-form content, I judge success by the CTR, time spent on page, and the bounce rate.

- If the goal for a piece of content is to extend the idea in a story to a large, diverse network, I judge success by the number of shares.

How do you see content strategy changing this year?

More than ever, this year will epitomize a sense of 'game on' in the content strategy arena. As each platform continues to intensely focus on delivering a better and more distinct user experience to that platform’s audience, each brand will need to deliver a more refined, relevant, and useful experience to attract and keep the attention and engagement of their audience on said platform.

I believe each platform is truly bettering the user experience and that this further invites brands to humanize their brand experience and storytelling to create a more interconnected world. The challenge and 'game on' experience lies in optimizing your audiences’ experience on that platform in such a way that stays true to your brand storytelling and voice.

What will you be discussing in your presentation?

My presentation discusses Teach For America’s Content Loop – or how we utilize social listening and digital data as a focus group to determine what content to publish, how to amplify it, and how to refine it as we further iterate our content strategy to increase our ROI.

You can hear more from Stacey, along with other industry-leading executives, at the Content Strategy Innovation Summit this September 15-16 in Los Angeles. To register your interest, click here

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