A multi-year strategy for coleccioncisneros.org
The Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros (CPPC) is one of the most important collections of Latin American art in the world. Since the 1970s, it has fostered international dialogue about Latin American art and ideas through exhibitions, publications, and grants.
In 2013, the CPPC was at a crossroads. The collection needed to build a new website, but with this endeavor came big questions. How should the organization tell its story? Who was the key audience? How would they adapt their mission for the 21st Century? And how would the website meet these new goals?
The CPPC approached El Tigre Productions to tackle these questions and create a path forward.
Reinventing a Cultural Leader
We began from the ground up. The CPPC wasn't just building a website, but looking for a way to engage an international community. El Tigre envisioned and implemented a multi-tiered strategy that would make this goal a reality.
Imagining a new website for a new mission
The first step was developing a strategy for what the website should do. We envisioned coleccioncisneros.org as an international cultural hub that published original ideas from the Americas and served as the site of dialogue for the community. Each editorial content type was designed to engage a specific part of the community. We created six distinct content types including Debates, a public forum on issues shaping the field, and Cite, Site, Sights a series of cultural dispatches from the Americas and beyond.
Building audience into our content
In order for the content to be successful we had to engage the community in a meaningful way. To do so, we built the audience right into the content. Almost everything that appears on the site is produced by an international network of contributors. In the site's first year, we worked with over 200 contributors and raised web traffic by over 1,500%.
We re-designed the collection-wide brand including the logo, promotional materials, and all branding for editorial content. We managed the design of the website and ensured that branding synched across all platforms.
Adapting the CPPC's goals for the digital age meant creating new workflows across the whole organization. We developed systems for every stage of production and outreach ensuring the CPPC of quality content over the long run. Our long-term commitment means that the CPPC will be able to adapt their strategy and workflow to each new challenge that arises.
Our content strategy accounts for the overall mission of an organization -- not just for a website. We designed the CPPC's outreach and social media strategy to work in concert with all other organization-wide initiatives and designed graphics for social media as well. Since our social media plan was implemented we have tripled the CPPC's Facebook and Instagram followers.
One major goal of the website was to make the CPPC's collection accessible to a wider audience than ever before. To achieve this, we conceived and produced the ongoing bilingual web video series Open Storage. The series offers viewers unparalleled access to the artworks and first-hand knowledge about their historical and conceptual importance from experts in the field.
Why is content so important?
Because content is the new normal.
It's no secret: content is key. It is your public face, the branding of your organization. It structures the design of your website, your videos, graphic design, and newsletters. Content fuels your social media - it's what your viewers share, and it is absolutely crucial for search engine optimization (SEO).
If we truly account for the quantity and importance of all of the content needed, we soon realize that we are essentially dealing with all websites as content machines.
What is content strategy and how can El Tigre help me?
Content strategy is the master plan for the creation, publication, and maintenance of useful, effective content. An excellent strategy will ensure that your content matches your organization's needs and mission, that it communicates, it is up-to-date, and accessible. At El Tigre, we listen to your vision and goals. We then guide you through a process that results in a website with content that inspires and engages your audience.
OK, but what is content strategy really?
Content strategy is when you scream - eureka! We want to make this amazing website! But then you wonder: How will our website tell our story best? Who is the audience? How will it reach them? And how do we keep the audience engaged?
It's when you're in the middle of building your new website and you realize - woah - I only have a few pieces of content! How am I going to populate my site? And, by the way, what is information architecture? And I'm not a visual person - how can I make sure everything looks good?
It's when your super busy team suddenly has to manage a new website, create videos and articles, produce tons of social media, and publish a newsletter. And you wonder: how do we do all of this?
When should I bring in a content strategist?
The sooner the better! As soon as you begin building a new website or take on a new project, we will help you address the key questions surrounding your project and develop a clear strategy for how to meet your goals. The sooner a strategy is in place, the less headaches you'll have later!
Does content strategy only deal with content?
Nope. We look at your whole organization and make sure that your content fits with your larger goals, that it tells your story, and that it is sustainable for the long run. This means working with your team to develop new skills and roles; working with your web designers to match your your design to your goals/mission; and working with outside vendors to build your content.
Do you just create a plan and then walk away?
We're strategists but we're also makers. We create plans AND help you implement them. Much of what we do is work with you to customize the plan to make sure you can sustainably run your website.