Quick take: Content strategy revolves around creating, delivering and maintaining content in ways that are understandable, useful and usable for users.
The Basic Questions
- What are we going to do?
- When are we going to do this?
- Why are we doing this? Identify a user-centered purpose
- How are we going to do it?
- Who is going to do it? With what tools?
- How is content organized, prioritized and accessed?
- What content will attract and engage users?
- How often will it be updated? What is the content lifecycle?
- What outcomes are we looking for?
How will content serve your users as well as your business? It’s a process of:
The kickoff should not be about features. It should be about figuring out specifically what our business needs are from this content, from the outputs and outcomes. And how this content fulfills user wants and needs. How can we rely on user research rather than internal assumptions?
Do a content audit. Identify larger buckets first to get the overall structure. Record pgIDs or URLs. Note anything that’s already broken.
Look at metadata categories. How do they relate to content and current navigation? Can you research how people access your site–key search terms, links etc?
Content ROT-record what content is redundant, outdated, trivial so it can be pruned away.
Check in with legal about requirements that are and aren’t being met.
Define a clear content creation process, with workflows and timelines and content ownerships outlined.
Create a findings report.
Do competitive/comparative analyses.
Create clearly stated objectives for the new site with measurable terms of success attached and weighted.
Define core messaging and topics and map them to the user journey. Write a short site mission statement that includes core exeriences and user journeys.
Define governance for the site over time.
Create a content style guide.
Create an editorial calendar and timeline.
Create objectives on a page level with a page table. What are the source material and assets, and where are they coming from? Create around 2 content priorities per page so everyone can agree on what must be included.
Page tables can serve as dev dashboards.
Creating a rolling audit procedure for after deployment.