Monday, February 27, 2012

The 4 focuses of content strategy

There are so many ways to slice and dice content strategy. Each slice has only limited value. The real benefits come from understanding each area of content strategy well enough to integrate them into a complete strategy.

Here are some of the different approaches that I take to content strategy, and how I integrate them.

Front-end content strategy: This is what your audience sees and experiences. It includes:

  • User experience content strategy
  • Marketing and editorial content strategy
Back-end content strategy: This is how to make the content work well. It includes:
  • "Intelligent" content 
  • Content governance and operations
Let's look at these four areas more closely.

User-experience content strategy focuses on: 
  • User needs and motivations 
  • Content flows and linkages
  • User reactions and interactions with content
  • Content types and formats
  • Comments & other user-generated content
  • Labeling
  • Content findability
  • Content usability
  • Content usefulness
  • Content relevance
  • Content consistency
Marketing and editorial content strategy focuses on: 
  • Marketing objectives
  • Content marketing
  • Brand guidelines
  • Messaging
  • Tone and voice
  • Writing style and quality
Intelligent content strategy focuses on: 
  • Content re-use
  • Content modelling
  • Multi-channel publishing
  • Component-based content
  • Dynamic content
  • Customized content
  • Content requirements for using within a specific technology
Content governance and operations strategy focuses on: 
  • Corporate content policies
  • Content development processes and workflows
  • Content publishing processes and workflows
  • Ownership and responsibilities
  • Team building and training
  • Organization-wide education and change management
  • Content support tools
So, why are we focusing on all of these different aspects of content strategy? So that we know exactly what we need to integrate, and combine with business objectives, to create a holistic approach to content. 

An integrated approach to content strategy across all project phases ensures that content is effective and processes are efficient. It provides a basis for measuring web content success and effectiveness over time, from both a business and user perspective.

Once you understand the different focuses of content strategy, you can be sure that they're each represented in your activities and deliverables. I'll talk more about this in my next post.

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