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What is content strategy?

Content strategy defines how content will help you meet your goals. It’s more than marketing, more than social media, and more than blogging. It includes all of your content – from web content to customer service content, content for apps and product content.

Do you know what a business analyst is? It’s someone who looks at your business goals, processes, and systems and tries to find  ways of doing things more efficiently and effectively. A content strategist is like a business analyst for your content. We look at how content is currently helping (or hindering) your business and develop a strategy to make it work better.

My experience as a content strategist

I have been a freelance web copywriter since 2008, but before that I worked for 10 years in large organisations (mainly government) who all had massive content assets to manage. In these roles I often had great ideas to improve content, only to be beaten down with ‘we don’t have budget’, ‘we’ll think about it’, ‘this isn’t in our program of work for this year’ excuses, or ‘we don’t have time because we are bogged down doing routine operational work’.

Or, I saw wonderful things implemented, then watched them slowly decay as no one took ownership for ongoing enhancements or maintenance of content.

So, for me, content strategy is a discipline that is far broader than direct communication with customers and stakeholders. It covers:

  • The identification and management of content assets (websites, intranets, libraries, contact centre info).
  • The roles and responsibilities of the people who manage these content assets (authors, approvers, champions).
  • The proper resourcing and training of these people (in writing for the web, information architecture, usability, UX, etc).
  • An overall governance framework.
  • Clear linkages with an organisation’s strategic (and operational) plans.
  • Useful and usable content that meets customer needs.

Once these foundations of true content strategy (and content management to a degree) are covered, an organisation can really plan and implement effective marketing (including content marketing) and communication campaigns to stakeholders. Campaigns that have clear messages, are properly resourced, and are measured. No more ad hoc, random activities that don’t fit in with the overall picture.

And that’s where this site comes in. I hope to give you some great resources to help you implement a content strategy for your business. Some books to read, some topics to ponder, some training to attend.

If you don’t want to go it alone, get in contact with me and we can work together.