As the director of content marketing at Campaign Monitor, today is a very exciting day as I introduce you to our new Resources Hub. The Resources Hub has been a labor of love and its introduction to the world has been no small undertaking. For the past several months, a small team including myself, a designer, a project director, and a developer have been working to bring you a modern day take on a resource center where you can discover heaps of relevant content to help make you a better marketer.
In this post, I’ll share how we did it.
More content = mo problems?
We’ve been creating content for over a decade at Campaign Monitor and in the past few years, we’ve introduced a plethora of new content types and categories. While all this new content was great for driving organic traffic and adding value for our prospects and customers, we soon realized that our existing resources infrastructure wasn’t built or organized to house it all. And, to further add to the problem, we had a content rich blog with over 1500 posts that was disconnected from the entire resources experience. We had heaps of content that didn’t have anywhere to live and thus wasn’t optimized for pageviews or conversions. Essentially, we were like a six person family living in a studio apartment and man, were things getting cramped!
Laying the groundwork
I knew we needed a change and it needed to happen soon. After creating a project brief to outline the problem and the opportunity, I took my place in the queue to get my project prioritized. The project assumed its place in line in our Basecamp priority list and I waited patiently (kind of) for it to move up the list.
In the meantime, we used our time to plan, as once our project was “put on the board” we’d need to be ready to move. I knew the one thing I wanted to avoid at all costs… many resource sections are where content goes to die. They can be boring, unorganized, and overwhelming. Companies like Uberflip have been formed specifically to help content marketers organize their content in more compelling ways.
We wanted a resources hub that would:
- Feel modern
- Scale with our growing content needs and types
- Foster content consumption
- Be optimized for conversion
- Be easy for our small, yet mighty content team of one to manage
The vision, design, and development
We researched tons of sites for inspiration and slowly came up with the vision for what we wanted. We knew then and there that we’d have to build what we wanted ourselves. Thankfully, we have a kick-ass developer and designer that signed on for the project and were all in for building this sucker from the ground up. We started with an audit of all the content we had, including the type of content (e.g., guide, webinar, infographic), the industry, etc. We needed to know exactly what we were working with before we started.
After our audit, we mapped out potential new content types we might create down the road so we could build with the future in mind. Again, we wanted this thing to scale with us and not be facing another redesign in a year.
Next, our awesome designer, Kate, jumped in full force and created several mockups of the UX and UI in Invision for us to consider. I’m not going to sugarcoat it. Those first few meetings were long and at times, tough. We had to question everything and then question it again because if we didn’t nail the UX, we could blow the whole project. Things we thought were super important, sometimes had to be scrapped and we had to solve for others we didn’t anticipate. Our fearless project director, Dustin, kept the project on the rails even when we felt like we were skidding out, or taking too much time to explore issues.
After a month of work and weekly meetings, we finally had our breakthrough and nailed a solid design and concept we were ready to develop. Enter Ash, our insanely talented developer. We put Ash on a two-week moratorium from working on anything else or having anyone ask him to do anything so he could focus on developing the hell out of the project. He built the whole thing in WordPress which is a mind blowing feat in and of itself. I was there (with some help) to pitch hit questions, help organize heaps of content by categorizing, tagging, and do the million little tasks that go along with a project of this scope. As I watched the hub begin to take shape I knew we were creating something awesome.
We now have a home for all our content that will scale as we continue to grow. We’ve integrated our blog, created new bundles of content by topic called Collections, added Tools, Infographics, Webinars, and a Glossary. Plus, the Hub is easy to navigate and search for all the digital and email marketing content marketers need to make their lives a little bit easier. I hope you enjoy it!