OtB Content Strategy: Opportunities for Growth Case Study Analysis & Recommendations by Lily Zimmerman

Executive Summary

On the Boards has a unique, powerful mission and service offerings which are currently not sufficiently conveyed through their web and social media presence. A UX design overhaul focused on clearly showcasing the content customers want most is essential for OtB to better convert towards its business goals. Existing OtB video samples and selected still images could be leveraged to invigorate OtB’s web and media strategy. OtB has room to improve in achieving greater consistency of brand identity and content style across communication channels. The following report will outline insights from a Content Audit, Competitive Audit, Sitemap, Core Models, Page Tables, and Editorial Calendar.

Current OtB Website:

Business & Project Goals

My competitive audit of On the Boards (OtB) along with competitors and similar organizations reveals three main areas of opportunity with content strategy:

Showcasing and re-purposing existing content from artists

Simplifying text and navigation options

Increasing/optimizing social media presence.

Improving these areas will serve OtB’s business goals:

- Increasing online conversion (ticket sales, subscriptions and donations)

- Increasing effectiveness of outreach and audience engagement

- Solidifying and elevating OtB’s reputation as a cutting edge, inclusive, artist-centered performance arts and dance venue in the PNW.

In this report, I've provided recommendations and samples for achieving these business goals.

Audience Summary

Key Audience Characteristics, Needs, and Goals:

Subscribers vs. Single-Ticket Buyers: Characteristics, Needs, and Goals

Content Audit Summary

Using Ahava Leibtag’s content value checklist, I evaluated OtB’s website and social media accounts based on several UX heuristics. Please refer to the Criteria Key below for details on how each of these heuristics was assessed. Major findings point to an overall need for a UX flow design overhaul across OtB’s communication channels.

Adapted from Ahava Liebtag's Content Heuristics
Content Audit Overall Assessment: Much room for improvement

Alt image tags are almost universally inadequate across existing OtB media. The vast majority of pages contain no links for sharing; those that do use aesthetically outdated sharing buttons and provide no encouragement to share. In general, many pages lack a specific call to action and leave the user afloat in terms of figuring out what to do on a given page. Other common flaws found included: insufficient H2 tags, lack of comment section, overabundant text, and layouts that were difficult to read and navigate. Visual aesthetics and brand identity also seemed to vary across social media platforms again underutilized video content. Aside from Instagram, engagement on social media remains low and represents a great opportunity for growth and strengthening of OtB-external stakeholder communication.

Inconsistent Brand Identity:

I understand OtB is in the process of updating Content management systems. I recommend that throughout this process, designers focus on optimizing utilization of existing OtB content for multimedia presentation across web and social channels. Accessibility is a matter of law and we should prioritize making OtB offerings inclusive by strengthening metadata practices. Alt image tags should receive particular scrutiny as a part of content strategy moving forward. Many of these suggestions can be implemented relatively quickly and easily. OtB stands to increase customer loyalty and expand reach by providing a better, richer online experience. Additionally, OtB should look to establish a content strategy that builds off of brand identity in terms of organization, visuals and voice/tone.

Competitive Audit Findings

Avg. Score Otb vs. Avg. Score Competitors

View Competitive Audit

Of the competitors surveyed, the New Museum comes out ahead in most categories. Exploring the New Museum’s website was by far the most fun and stimulating experience of all of the sites/apps reviewed. The New Museum has online exhibitions to bring their brand experience to the online audience, wherever that might be. With OtB’s rich history of unique performances, they should capitalize on this by hosting content directly—users should not have to navigate to OtBTV just to experience the rich history of offerings of OtB. On the Boards’ website could be a destination for viewing/experiencing cutting edge content and might entice audience members to buy tickets, subscriptions, or to donate.

One area of opportunity for OtB lies with its social media channels. Again, OtB can migrate existing content from its content management system to use on social media to increase engagement. To be fair, PS122 and Velocity seem to have similar struggles with maintaining engagement across social media. To increase social awareness and engagement, each page on OtB.com should have an easily visible and actionable set of options for social sharing as well as for navigating to OtB’s own social channels.

It is worth noting that the widely popular New Museum’s social content emphasizes their tone/voice as a socially-driven organization. If OtB can figure out how to better communicate its organizational identity through voice/tone, clean up & simplify text and navigation menus, and step up their social media copy-writing and content optimization, they stand a great chance of increasing online audience, ticket sales, subscriptions, and donations.


Content Topic Maps

Content Map: Subscribers

Content Map: Single Ticket Buyers

Core Model Samples

Core models help identify how and where users are searching for particular content.

Page Tables

Page Tables facilitate collaboration and prioritize treatment of content.

Explore Page Table Spreadsheets

Proposed Homepage Redesign:

Proposed Homepage Redesign
A dancer in white holds a dancer in red against a white backdrop

Content Life Cycle

Workflow Charts can be used to help organizations stay on top of overall content strategy by breaking it down into discrete elements and assigning them to specific team members. This helps save time and effort in coordinating collaboration between members on a distributed team.

The insights from this report can be applied using the workflow below to guide the process:

Proposed Content Lifecycle Inspired by template from AdoptUSkids
Created By
Lily Zimmerman