Al Sharq Digital is a Berlin-based digital events agency committed to social impact with a focus on the middle east, west asia and North Africa. However their clients are not confined to these areas as they also work with global organisations based in Germany. Currently, their three main service offerings include, digital event support, event content creation and digital travel.
Alsharq digital reached out to Loominate in late May 2021 for support in developing content for their new website. As seasoned content developers we were more than happy to jump on board and after some initial requirements gathering it wasn't long before we had defined a scope of work that would fulfill their needs in developing a website. In this context, we proposed a content workshop, an editorial strategy workshop, and a follow up SEO consultation to ensure that the content we developed was relevant for our client's target audience.
The main goal that Alsharq Reise wanted to realize was to introduce a new digital events focused service offering to their existing business portfolio. This strategy grew in light of the ongoing pandemic and was a natural progression towards meet the demand from existing clients and address wider market segments. Following an initial the requirements gathering phase, our goals in supporting Alsharq Digital were the following:
In order to highlight the value provided by Alsharq Digital’s services in a coherent manner, it was important for us to first map out their processes step by step in order to clarify which services they were offering and then be able to formulate them in accordance with their target audience. Once we had completed this step our aim was to then create an empathy map and user journey in order to define the value propositions for their customer segment. Through these exercises we would be able to derive content that could then be purposed for the website.
Using Miro, an collaborative online whiteboarding tool, we conducted a series of workshops to help our client craft SEO relevant content which could resonate with their target audience.
Before we could start co-creating content with the team, it was crucial to align on the company's vision and mission. For the Kick-Off we first facilitated a few brand related exercises to get a better understanding of the purpose driving Alsharq Digital. This initial workshop was important to establish website goals, as well as narrow down the value propositions and develop a content strategy.
The content generated during the workshops would not only be crucial for us to understand the complexities of the service offerings, but also an important step in ensuring all participants had the opportunity to provide valuable input. In the case of Alsharq, we invited the designer, developer, project manager, copywriter and CEO to be present for the first session.
We grouped the input from the participants onto the board and worked to achieve a consensus for the overall website goals and types of users we would expect on the website.
Once we were happy with the achievable website outcomes it was necessary for the team to align on the What, How and Why of the company. This activity draws from Simon Sinek’s methodology found in his book - “Start with Why”. This concept is used to derive the purpose behind the companies ‘drive’ i.e the reason for starting a company. This is an effective method for laying down the core foundations for building a solid vision and mission.
(Note: for the purposes of this use case we won't delve too deeply into this part as we cover similar areas in our branding workshop use case found on our branding workshops page.
At this point all participants had a decent idea of what the company offered and it was time to start ideating a few claims and tags for the landing page. We conducted this exercise as a quick-fire session which involved writing down as many tags (ideas) on sticky notes as possible in a short space of time. This quick-fire process aimed to provide a mass of content that could be used for further additional content ideation and copywriting later on.
Next up was getting stuck into the juicy part of the workshop and arguably the most complex: Creating an empathy map and user journey that allowed us to map the customers process and plot out the service offerings.
An empathy map, as the name hints, is a framework which allows participants to better understand their target customer’s needs and desires, in order to design a service offering that helps to address these.
It enabled us to plot out the ‘jobs to be done' - (the customer's problem and what they need to achieve) , the services that a customer finds useful, and the pain and gain points the customer experiences.
After some rearranging and questioning we were able to co-create a user journey mapping out the steps a customer takes during the different stages of their purchasing process. This framework then allowed us to pinpoint the opportunities to connect with our customer along their purchasing journey, thus generating opportunities to create value and provide services for them.
The goal of the second session was to define the fundamental content guidelines for the new Alsharq Digital website and establish a strategy for future content campaigns. The workshop agenda consisted of the following exercises:
We started the session with S.M.A.R.T Marketing objectives, as it ensured that everyone was able to get an understanding of the objectives to be achieved. In Alsharq’s case, Objective setting proved to be an important preliminary exercise as it became evident that the team were not as concerned about creating a future content strategy or campaign as we had initially thought.
In order for us to create relevant and customer centric content it was imperative that we identify our target audience. At Loominate we find it most effective to design detailed User Personas in order to fabricate a hypothetical customer to use for future user-testing campaigns and provide some ground for keyword analysis . This activity is best conducted by providing a persona map, that includes a set of questions, which allow the workshop participants to create a portrait of their prototypical customer.
Although Alsharq operates as a b2b company we were still able to identify the types of roles within a company that they would target. As such, the persona aims to consolidate information regarding the type of topics that the target persona (in this case a program manager) would care about, where they spend their time and the relationship they have with the types of services Alsharq provides. The information collected on the persona board then provides a perfect starting point in developing seo-driven content.
To further narrow down the content style and ensure it has a good chance of resonating with the target audience we conducted a few activities that explored the tone of voice used when addressing our audience and the nomenclature we would define to describe Alsharq's services. The terminology derived from these activities would also provide us with crucial long-tail keywords that we could then use to generate additional keyword ideas and suggestions through our SEO tools.
After the workshop was completed we could start work on our keyword analysis. At Loominate we have found that using the powerful SEO tool Ahrefs.com provides a detailed and comprehensive overview of a keywords popularity, hit rate and costing, while Ubersuggest is great for providing...guess what?..keyword suggestions! Using these tools in combination allowed us to build a detailed keyword analysis which was then used to pin point the most accurate and searched-for-terms. These keywords were then integrated into the content, creating customer-centric copy that would help companies and individuals easily find Alsharqs services.
By creating a workshop process that allowed ample opportunity for participants to provide ideas and relevant content, we were able to generate effective copy for the website and create content guidelines to help inform future content campaigns.
We learned the importance of setting expectations for a workshop early on and communicating the agenda clearly in order to adapt exercises in accordance with our client's objectives, expectations and feedback. In the end, the client found value in the process and workshop activities and gave us great feedback on the services we provided.
"Loominate was very responsive and dedicated, and they delivered agreed outcomes." Georg Layr, Managing Director, Alsharq Reise GmbH
Take a look at the final website result at - https://alsharq-digital.de/
If you or team is interested in participating in a similar workshop to support with content generation, check out our workshop pages or feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Loominate is a Berlin-based creative agency providing marketing & design services to flourishing organizations. We thrive on projects situated at the intersection of arts, culture & emerging technologies, such as blockchain & AI.