Content strategy orchestrates the purposeful planning, creation, delivery, and governance of content. An effective content strategy ensures that your content works toward your business and user goals, remains valuable over time, and grows in a sustained, purposeful way.
I use research and analysis to help you understand where your content is and isn’t working to meet your business goals, then work with you to create a plan to bridge gaps and sustain growth over time.
Why Content Strategy Matters
Content is the core commodity of the digital economy. It is what draws users to your domain and, when orchestrated well, is what keeps them there—and keeps them coming back. Content today does not calmly sit on static pages, eagerly awaiting serendipitous visits from patient and attentive readers. Content today is crawled by algorithms and search agents, scraped and federated by hungry bots, and, when actually visited by a human, is ruthlessly scanned for whatever nuggets of value are worth lingering over before moving on to the next online temptation.
Content strategy prepares you to face the realities of the modern web with purpose, direction, and intent. It’s what makes the difference between publishing to the web, and being seen on the web.
Strategies for the effective planning, production, use, and maintenance of content depend heavily on the goals, resources, and maturity of the organization they are meant to guide. Here are a few of the activities and tools I use to help clients cut through the content strategy haze with precision and purpose.
The purpose of discovery is to understand the goals of your organization and the consumers of your content. Discovery activities often include:
- Interviewing stakeholders and subject matter experts
- Reviewing and synthesizing existing user and market research
- Assessing current analytics for insight into user behavior and key resources
- User interviews, surveys, and polls
- Assessing performance, usability, and accessibility of your current site
- Competitive and peer site audits
Understanding what content you have—and how well it aligns with your goals—is a crucial step in developing results-focused content strategy. Effective content analysis requires the use of both automated tools and human eyeballs. It often includes:
- Automated crawling of site content
- Assessment and analysis of site structure
- Correlation of analytics and other performance measures
- Metadata and linked data auditing
- Qualitative content auditing
- Gap analysis
The high level goal of most content strategy work is to deliberately influence how content functions as a system in order to achieve identified business and users goals. Content and metadata models are where we design, refine, and communicate system level interventions. Common tasks include:
- Domain modeling
- Metadata attribute specification
- Linked data type & attribute mapping
- Content modeling
- Taxonomy design
Learn more: Site Maps & Connected Content »
A content strategy roadmap (often called a “Content Strategy Brief”) details how you’ll implement and maintain your goal-oriented, systemic approach to content. The roadmap orchestrates the people, processes, and technology needed to bring the models to life. Roadmapping can include:
- Core strategy creation
- Content mapping
- Content migration guide
- Editorial calendar planning
- Governance model creation