Posted almost 2 years ago
If you're involved in creating content you'll know that quite often business requirements change, "stakeholders" will decide they want something different than was agreed, the domain expert wants another 57 paragraphs of additional context added and your analytics is telling you the user spends a sum total of 27 seconds on the page.
Putting out fires, appeasing colleagues, and bowing to the whim of everyone who has or will ever visit your digital channel is not what we're about - creating quality content that fulfills the need of the user and drives engagement, that’s what we should be doing.
How do we chop the chaff? With a content strategy.
"Strategy" is a bit of a loaded term for a lot of people, but the fundamentals of content strategy are taught to every British school kid from the age of 8, and it boils down to the Five Ws.
Who is the user?
Who’s responsible for sourcing, creating and editing content inside your organisation?
What information does the user need at this time, and how would you judge its success?
What roadblocks need to be removed internally to get quality content created?
Why would the user be on this page?
Why does(n’t) this piece of content exist, and does it need to?
When in the user journey will this content be useful?
When are you going to collate, create and review it?
Where is your user interacting with you and is the content right for the medium?
Where else can you reuse the content you’ve created for maximum ROI?
At this stage it’s not about answering these questions with specifics (so not “get Sally from Biz Dev to talk to Ned in IT about such and such”), but creating a calling card saying how you’d approach these in each content project. “We want to ensure our content does THIS for our user, reaching them in the PLACES and at the TIME when they need it, and this is how we’d judge its success and review it in the future”
Once you have that overview, you can create, implement and judge all content efforts from the same perspective.
And it all boils down to an 8 year old’s English lesson. See, Content Strategy is Child’s Play.
Obviously this is an exceptionally brief rundown of the concepts and driving factors of a content strategy - I’ll be exploring it in more depth soon, but if there’s anything else you’d like to see on the subject, do drop me a mention.