Content Strategy

The term content strategy describes an approach to planning, creating and publishing content on the web. Content is usually supposed to fulfil certain purposes. It is created within a specific environment and published at specific times. From the idea for a blog post to its creation and distribution using different channels, it is possible to differentiate between phases that are dictated by a particular content strategy. This means that a content strategy provides a framework for action, which is an aid to all involved.

Content Strategy as a process[edit]

A content strategy can be understood as a process in which certain questions can be answered: [1]

  • What type of content will be created?
  • How will the content be produced?
  • By who will it be created?
  • When will the content be published?

A holistic approach that involves all stakeholders is central to this. Editors, marketers, management, designers and developers should be involved in this process. Everyone can presumably contribute a useful perspective. [2]

Audit and analysis[edit]

Answering the above questions requires preparatory work that can begin with an audit and analysis. An audit can record which types of content have already been published. It is a stock taking exercise that shows what has been achieved so far.

The analysis should then clarify which types of content can pursue which goals. More specifically, content should be useful for customers. However, useful content can be designed in different ways. Content can offer information, promote sales, improve the image of a company or target interaction. The type of content should be fitting to the corporate philosophy. All content conveys a message and should ideally pursue a consistent idea, which should go hand in hand with the strategic corporate goals. [3]

Define goals and methods[edit]

After the analysis, goals are defined which in turn limit the different types of content that can be created. In inbound marketing, for example, it is all about generating a large number of leads. These do not have to be directly measurable in sales figures, but are a starting point to increase sales.

Once the goals are defined, it’s important to use the right tactics and goals to achieve them. Each goal might require different methods and types of content. Finding useful, relevant content for a certain segment of users is not only a question of researching current topics and search volumes for keywords within your own industry. Instead, bloggers, experts and cross-industry knowledge can be used to identify relevant topics. Ultimately, useful, helpful and relevant content is a form of communication that includes all aspects of modern communication. [4]

Creation and administration[edit]

Once it has become clear which content is relevant, other factors now play a role: content is always published within a corporate identity. The design of the content is a factor which should not be neglected. Similar to how the content should fit the company's goals, the design has to be suitable. The appearance to the outside world is influenced by numerous factors. The basic concept can and should be visible in the design. These design aspects are just as important a part of the content strategy as the later composition of the contents.

In addition to the content and design aspects, the technical framework conditions are also at stake. The content management system used is central to the creation of content. Everyone involved must be familiar with the system's capabilities. In addition, certain types of content require a certain amount of additional effort. For example, if the content is to be published on different channels, the CMS must make this possible. The content strategy therefore also refers to technical aspects, and to the work of the developers. [5]

Significance for Online Marketing[edit]

A well thought-out content strategy can make a decisive contribution to the success of a company on several levels. If users see the content as helpful, they may share and distribute it. Users should feel that they are being offered a solution - not just a product. Also, since the Panda update, pages with relevant content have potential to be found at the top of the organic search results. [6]

With helpful content, a company can be characterized as competent in its field of expertise and is perceived as such not only by users, but also in some cases in the entire industry. Ideally, the content strategy leads to a certain corporate culture that promotes employee motivation and at the same time has a positive influence on external perception, as customers gain an authentic impression of the company. [7]

References[edit]

  1. Complete Beginner’s Guide to Content Strategy uxbooth.com. Accessed on 01/23/2015
  2. The framing effect in content strategy scriptorium.com. Accessed on 01/23/2015
  3. Content Strategy Basics usability.gov. Accessed on 01/23/2015
  4. The Discipline of Content Strategy alistapart.com. Accessed on 01/23/2015
  5. Content Modelling: A Master Skill alistapart.com. Accessed on 01/23/2015
  6. What is Content Strategy? distilled.net. Accessed on 01/23/2015
  7. How To Think Like A Master Content Strategist forbes.com. Accessed on 01/23/2015

Web Links[edit]