Image credits Flickr:pshutterbug: It’s about rules and strategy
I know its one of those buzz phrases which is chucked around all over the web, but this week I want to examine content strategy, what it is and why its important? If you are to maintain any sort of web presence, your content strategy needs to be considered, a website would certainly qualify for this. Firstly we need to examine what exactly is content strategy?
What is content strategy?
The Usability.gov website offers a concise definition of content strategy ‘The goal of content strategy is to create meaningful, cohesive, engaging, and sustainable content’ (usability.gov)
The Content Strategy Consortium define Content Strategy thus
Content strategy is the practise of planning for the creation, delivery, and governance of useful, usable content” (quoted from Content Strategy at Work)
In her book Content strategy for the web Kristina Halvorson offers the following definition of content strategy as
“how you’re going to use content to meet your business (or project) goals and satisfy your users’ needs.”
Rahel Baillie’s definition adds a bit more substance as to exactly what a content strategy is
Content strategy deals with the planning aspects of managing content throughout its lifecycle, and includes aligning content to business goals, analysis, and modelling, and influences the development, production, presentation, evaluation, measurement, and sunsetting of content, including governance.Rahel Baillie:Content Strategy: Connecting the Dots Between Business, Brand, and Benefits(2012)
Why is content strategy important?
The keywords for me are in the Content strategy consortium definition ‘useful, usable content’ rather than waste time, money and resources creating poor quality content which is not fit for purpose, A content strategy enables you to set the goals for your content marketing and realistic viable plans for producing the content.
Does a small business need to bother with things like content strategy?
Emphatically YES! Content strategy is not something that need only concern large outfits and agencies, resources are often tight in SMEs,I especially find time to be the most pressing constraint, a content strategy enables time and resources to be efficiently allocated
Benefits of a content strategy
Content strategy offers benefits in addition to planning and resources, improving the overall quality of website content by ensuring that content is useful and cohesive, so no poor quality content slips through the net, this can be verified by content audits which I examined last week, as content maintenance is part of a content strategy there’s no excuse for inferior quality content being present
Content strategy is not something which need only concern large companies and agencies, it prevents content being developed in a haphazard manner and ensures content is properly planned with resources being allocated accordingly with priorities being planned which is very relevant given the pivotal role of website content in search engine rankings and performance something which many small businesses take very seriously indeed, you cannot afford to waste time and money developing content which is not fit for purpose. In conclusion content strategy adds to a more cohesive use of content, better quality content will make a good impression on website visitors. Useful content, which answers their questions, can only benefit their impression of your company.
Personally I feel that Margot Blumstein’s definition of content strategy sums up the aims of content strategy perfectly in a succinct manner
How do you make smart choices to ensure the content types, tone, and media in an experience support that experience in a way that’s appropriate to the brand and useful to its audience?Margot Bloomstein: content strategy at work(2012)
it is imperative that content serves the needs of your audience, otherwise it is useless.