Content strategy means having a plan for the creation, delivery and curation of your site’s content. Content is much more than words on the page though, and should also include images, audio, and video wherever possible – your content should be the foundation your website’s user experience is built upon.
Here are a few things to consider when coming up with a content strategy…
Creating a comprehensive strategy
A good strategy will allow you to present engaging and coherent content that is appropriate to your brand. As a minimum, you’ll need to:
- Determine who will be sourcing, curating or creating your content, and define their roles
- Identify your actual goals, and what content will contribute to achieving them
- Know how to organise, map and prioritise that content to make it accessible
- Set standards and policies which will establish a working, evolving content lifecycle
What is a content lifecycle?
Content doesn’t simply fall out of the sky – or out of its creator. The content lifecycle generally involves these 5 steps:
- Auditing and analysis – Understanding the content environment and what it needs to achieve in that environment
- Determining strategy – Set up process ownership, content sourcing, workflow, and a solid brand definition
- Technical planning – Understanding how to customise your CMS solutions, especially in terms of SEO/metadata, and publishing
- Actual creation – This should include content writing or creation, governance, QA and even checks for SEO suitability
- Maintenance and pruning – Setting standards and targets for performance and regular (though not frequent) auditing and measurement
How can you create ‘meaningful’ content?
This will be very specific to your brand and concept of course, but there are a few ‘best industry practices’ which are almost universally applicable. Your content must:
- Answer both your user’s needs and your company’s goals. Market research and web metrics help a great deal here.
- Reflect how your users feel and speak about the subject matter. It must be in ‘their language’. This will help both with engagement and SEO.
- Be understandable and clear. Plain writing and semiotics are your friends here.
- Actually be useful to your users. Simply ‘interesting’ and ‘on point’ will not cut it.
- Remain current and factual. You must occasionally rewrite or prune content that is irrelevant or outdated.
- Be widely accessible. Consider mobile users, those with disabilities, and other special cases.
- Follow consistent branding. Text and visual design guides are just a start. They must be applied consistently and retroactively.
If you start with these bare bones, you should be able to flesh out and create a robust content strategy for yourself.
Get in touch with the content experts at EdgeThreeSixty to discuss your website’s content strategy.