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Company: Critical Mass/Gyro/HP
Entry submitted by: Dominic Ladden-Powell (Platform Director)
Community: HP BusinessNow
Lithy category: Community Design of the Year
HP Inc. is one of the world’s leading technology companies. Their mission is to create technology that helps businesses reinvent their competitive edge.
BusinessNow is a content marketing programme that delivers useful, relevant news and advice to small and medium business decision makers establishing HP as a trusted advisor across 5 markets: UK, France, Germany, Spain and Italy.
Beginning life as ‘BusinessReady’ in a minor subcategory in another HP Lithium Community in early-2014, we moved BusinessNow into its own Lithium Community in February 2015 and obtained almost 3 million visits in the first year.
We launched the third iteration in February 2016.
Our community goals
BusinessNow aims to provide small to medium business owners and IT decision makers with insight and advice on issues that are important to them and can help them do their jobs better.
HP has a long-standing reputation within the technology industry for its products and services. BusinessNow is helping to position HP as a thought leader by offering insight and conversation around the prevailing themes and issues.
Search and social analytics inform the content to ensure it addresses what is important to the audience. This drives a regular programme of ‘always on’ content planned to support the overall market activity and providing a connected story that encourages the community to return for ongoing and regular advice.
Key to the strategy is elevating HP’s position as not only being a technology vendor who develops quality products but an organization that understands business. Content is amplified through social channels to drive traffic to the BusinessNow community and encourage interaction and debate building a brand experience that engages the audience.
Why our community is unique
We utilize Lithium’s blogging functionality as the sole use for our community and as such have found a great new use for the platform.
An in-depth user experience study was completed to drive the development of the design. A series of designs were then created and tested to ensure the audience’s needs and behaviours online were reflected.
The design represents the best of the best from publisher sites. This was a deliberate move to avoid the site becoming like every other IT content hub and compete against the best sources of digital and business insight like Mashable.
The clean fresh design is easy to navigate and digest and competes against some of the best publisher sites. Clever features such as the time it takes to read or view each piece helps the reader and parallax scrolling has been used to keep the sharing buttons always present and encourage the community to share.
Focusing purely on the blogging functionality provides a unique experience when compared to other Lithium communities as well as a unique content hub when compared to other IT vendor sites.
How we executed our community design
After working directly with Lithium’s engineers to create our first customized instance, we employed both front and back end developers to work within the Studio.
This, combined with the experience of community management we had accumulated within our previous communities, enabled us to augment existing components and functionality as well as create new page templates and components.
We use the API extensively to create dynamic pages based on custom filters and different language versions within single templates.
Relying on existing functionality allowed us to ensure our community is as lightweight, dynamic and reliable as possible.
We have only recently relaunched our new design but have already received encouraging metrics in the early weeks of operation including the following:
In addition to the above metrics, we have received funding from new HP corporate departments to produce custom content for their own individual campaigns as well as several inquiries about producing individual categories and communities for entirely separate departments within HP.
We took inspiration from popular online publications to create a, user-centered design, which tested extremely positively with audiences. The simple and clean design allows the content to shine on both desktop and mobile:
Within articles, the design remains clean and easy on the eye:
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