Content strategy is a journey that takes careful planning and management. The end result: Your content will help your organization reach its business goals by meeting your users’ needs. A content strategist can help you get there, using a roadmap that details where to start and how to create a meaningful, sustainable way of creating, publishing, promoting, and managing content.
In an earlier blog post, we described the first 5 steps of the content strategy roadmap:
- Content audit and assessment
- Comparative content analysis
- Empathy-based audience personas and customer journey map
- Develop guidelines for content creation and publishing
Here are the remaining steps. Your organization needs to adapt each step based on your goals, your culture, and the content media and channels you use.
This is the process I use with clients. In addition, I have conducted many workshops covering each step in depth, including collaborative hands-on exercises. If you would like to discuss a project or a workshop, please get in touch!
6. Identify roles, lifecycles, workflow, and governance models
Content strategy adapts some of the practices from print publishing: good content takes editing, review, and fact-checking, which means that you need to have the right people doing the right kind of work. And specifically with digital content, it’s crucial to avoid content ROT (redundant, outdated, trivial) — so content needs to have a lifecycle. Should your website content be published by a central team, or does it make more sense to have a more distributed model? What does success mean for your content? A content strategist helps think through all these elements for your organization.
Topical tags are the “glue” making sure all content on the same topic gets related to one another, regardless of which internal group created it. This step entails developing a standard vocabulary for topics (capturing synonyms where appropriate), and also defining audiences, content types, and interests.
8. Plan for content transformation and migration
At this point in the process, your organization has a relatively clear picture of what effective content will look like. You’re ready to start the journey of getting there. This plan develops the details of your content types and lists your existing content to revise, new content to create, a map of where it will go, and a calendar to get through it.
9. Plan for content marketing/promotions
Your organization’s content will be eminently marketable: created explicitly for an audience and with a clear business purpose. In order to do the actual marketing, your organization will need a central calendar where every content creator posts their content plans. With that information, the content strategist can work with your marketing team to market the content and report on the metrics.
10. Handoff, plan next steps
With all the elements of the content strategy defined, organization’s next step is to bring it to life and sustain it over time. The content strategist works with the organization to create a plan to socialize the content strategy: educate and train content creators, incoporate any new tasks into people’s job descriptions, keep management informed, and bring new contributors up to speed. To succeed, content strategy must become part of the organization’s DNA.