When one discusses branding for an organization, inevitably the concept of content strategy comes up. The content strategy is a key part of any website or larger branding project and also a not negligible portion of the cost.
I have found that many of my clients have never heard of content strategy and as they tend to be entrepreneurs, people who tend roll up their sleeves, they typically would say, “don’t worry, we will write the content ourselves”. However, it involves much more than simply sitting down one evening and writing a few pages of content.
So I felt it would be useful to give an overview of what a content strategist does.
- Identify the client’s goals and objectives for the project
- Identify the content needed to meet the goals and objectives. This is usually done through interviews and/or questionnaires
- Identify your target audience. This guides the style or tone of the content and where the content will be placed and there are so many different information channels these days.
- Then one takes a good look at what content exists, either electronically or in print. One then does a content “gap analysis” to determine what still has to be created. Of course we are talking of many formats: text, pdf, images, video, sound files, animations and interactive graphics.
- From the above one puts together a content matrix of what needs to be done by whom.
This is just a brief overview of what steps a content strategy entails. There are other deliverables like a style guide document to guide the development of content.
Another important activity is to produce an “editorial calendar”. While much of the content in a project is created during the initial development, there still is an ongoing, seasonal need for content creation. The editorial calendar identifies these and puts a process in place to ensure that this content is created to standard and on time.
To learn more about this topic, simply Google “content strategy” or you can start with the Wikipedia article.