Working on the Digital Strategies Team at MetroStar has afforded me to work on projects from cool video production to amazing mobile apps. Recently, I was fortunate enough to be part of an amazing team that created a great website.
The Army and Air Force Mutual Aid Association (AAFMAA) has been one of MetroStar’s largest clients for 12 years. In an effort to expand its reach and further support the Military community, AAFMAA tasked MetroStar with creating a website that would support, inform, and inspire 18-24 year old female Military Spouses. After much research, analysis, and creative ideation we created SpouseLink.org.
One of my roles in this project was Content Strategist. A key difference of SpouseLink.org is that it provides a mix of both pop culture and important Military information. As part of our solution, we aimed to launch the site with 300 individual pieces of content.
To do this, I had to use my strengths, take into account differing opinions, and question every single thought I had when creating and editing content.
This isn’t my site – this is our client’s site for young Military Spouses. I had to (and continue to) constantly keep this in mind. There is so much free range in what content can be posted because the site covers everything from all aspects of lifestyle pieces to all aspects of Military information. The Military information isn’t as hard to decipher than the lifestyle pieces – it has to stay nonpartisan, not be controversial, and support, inform, and inspire Military Spouses. However, pop culture is a whole other dance.
When you work in a creative field, you never know what type of project you’ll be working on. I lucked out with this one because I’m a 26-year-old female who falls into the age range of our target audience. I also have a tiny bit of insight into Military life because my dad is a Retired Col. from the Public Health Service. And when it comes to the pop culture end of things – I’m the right one for the job. My collection of music boasts over 600 CDs, I average about three movies a week, and I’m online about 11 hours a day. These were strengths I could pull from when creating content.
It was important for me to remember that just because I think something is cool doesn’t mean 19-year-old Military Spouses will. Not only do I have to be aware of the younger Spouses, the site is also geared towards Generation X (33-44 year olds) and Baby Boomers (46-64 year olds). I have to constantly put myself in the shoes of these different women and (using what I’ve learned from my insane amount of research) do my best to determine what content they would be interested in.
To do this, I used those strengths and maintained an ongoing dialogue in my head. Here’s an example of how that works:
Kathy: I love this song! I think this would be a really good post for SpouseLink.org
Professional Kathy: Why?
Kathy: The context of the song is inspiring.
Professional Kathy: You need to have better reasoning than that. Remember who your target audience is and the purpose of the site.
Kathy: The song is about love, support, loyalty, and what home means. Listen to the lyrics. I could totally see this being a Military Spouse theme song.
Professional Kathy: Are you sure it’s not too hippie-dippie?
Kathy: Yes. We’ve been posting a lot of popular music lately, it would be good to add in a different genre and this is more folky. I really think Military Spouses would appreciate this.
Professional Kathy: Why?
Kathy: OMG…you are so annoying. I can picture myself missing a loved one and playing this song to feel better. I can also see Spouses sharing this with friends and loved ones through our social media properties or directly from the website. This song supports and inspires Military Spouses. From my research I know they are proud and like to share content that shows their loyalty and love. I could even see this as music in a promo video for SpouseLink.org.
Professional Kathy: Ok, I agree – post it.
When fulfilling the role of a Content Strategist, you have to be the Editor who chooses the best content, but also the gatekeeper who keeps inappropriate content out.
Use your strengths, take into account differing opinions, and constantly remember the goal of your project.