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The Building Blocks Of Content Strategy

I’ve been thinking about content strategy a lot lately. One of the most common questions I see in communities and discussions (online and off) is about what it is and what it’s not.

I recently conducted research on content strategy adoption and maturity in associations (along with Carrie Hane and Dina Lewis). We identified a set of tactics that comprise content strategy. But I realized that simply displaying those tactics in a list wasn’t enough — the tactics roll up to different goals and fit together.

For example, WHY do we audit content? Why do we create content models? What is the true purpose of creating an editorial calendar? How do content governance and operations fit in?

As I take clients through the complete content strategy roadmap and guide them through each of these steps, I think it will be helpful for them to have a visual that always places them in the context of what we hope to accomplish through each activity and each deliverable. And while my work is primarily with associations, this picture is equally true for any content-rich organization undertaking an organization-wide content strategy.

So, here is my attempt at depicting the building blocks of content strategy visually. Please feel free to download, comment, etc.

Building blocks of content strategy (PDF, 1 page)



This Post Has 3 Comments
  1. Hi Hilary, thanks so much for this! It is very helpful. Can you explain what “Create a
    single taxonomy/controlled vocabulary is and how you would use it? Is it for internal team use or for users?

    1. Debra,
      In my work, I often find that individual groups create their own topic lists — for example, there might be separate topic lists for education courses, conference sessions, magazine articles, etc. But if we create a single topic taxonomy for the whole organization, that creates the possibilities for cross-linking related content on the same topic. This is also often the case for audience groupings and other kinds of taxonomy lists.

      So to answer your other question, it is done internally, but is ultimately for users’ benefit. I hope that helps!

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