Why you should have a content strategy

When it comes to making and keeping your website successful, content strategy should take an active role in your organization.

What is content strategy?

Content strategist extraordinaire Kristina Halvorson describes content strategy as: “planning for the creation, publication and governance of useful, usable content”. In other words, it is a strategy – you got to think long term, and it involves content – in this case the stuff you publish.

She goes on to say that “at it’s best, a content strategy defines:

key themes and messages
recommended topics
content purpose (i.e., how content will bridge the space between audience needs and business requirements)
content gap analysis
metadata frameworks and related content attributes
search engine optimization (SEO), and
implications of strategic recommendations on content creation, publication, and governance.”

The importance of a content strategy

There are several reasons why a content strategy is a good thing.
First of all, you will want to create an ongoing stream of unique content that your users are interested in so they want to come back. In-depth, well-written content helps you market your brand and company. It builds company character. For example, producing case studies could position you as a reliable source; it shows users you’ve actually done the stuff you are trying to sell them. We call it “show and tell”.

Another reason is to regularly publish content that lets you be found on the web. SEO specialists love content because it contains keywords, so the more opportunity they have to infuse keywords in new content, the happier they are. Search engines look for those keywords and will be more likely to return search results featuring your website. If you are servicing a niche market, this is an excellent way of being found on the web.

A third reason is that a content strategy will help you align communications across all of your media, print and digital. This will create a much more united marketing effort.

Whatever your process for publishing content, always think of the user. Quality over quantity. Ask yourself, what content are you publishing and at what time. Ask yourself also where are you publishing this. Is it on your website, on your blog, on Facebook?There are so many digital and non-digital channels nowadays, you will probably need a dedicated professional to help you make the right choice.

Tools of the content strategy trade

A content management system, or CMS is an important integral part of any content strategy. A good CMS, like BrandExtract’s SAM puts the publishing power in the hand of the content manager. No need for the IT guys to get your document on the web, a few clicks in the CMS will publish your document. This leaves more time for the content manager to schedule and co-ordinate content and to make sure new content is produced on time.

Further reading on content strategy

If you’re interested in Content Strategy, I can highly recommend 3 books:

The Discipline of content strategy by Kristina Halvorson
The Elements of content strategy by Erin Kissane
Clout – the art and science of influential web content by Colleen Jones